Q My large plate is made of copper and brass and it is quite heavy, as it has a backing of brass screwed on. Please help me evaluate this item, if possible.
–J.J., Bronx, N.Y.
A This beautifully detailed stamped copper charger or wall plaque probably dates from the last quarter of the 19th century when Renaissance designs of the 15th and 16th century were very popular. It most likely was produced in Europe and may be a copy of an antique original. Because of the large size and fine detail I think this piece might sell today in the $400-$800 range.
Q I’d appreciate any information you can give me on these two items. The lamp has been in our family as long as I can remember; it belonged to my grandfather, and then was passed on to me. I can find no marks or names anywhere. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it has a bronze-color on the lamp and shade.
The clock belonged to my late husband. I think he said it was a railroad clock, but I have no other information. The top part has metal around the bell. Thanks for any information you can give me on these pieces.
–C.P., Higbee, Mo.
A Your lamp features a shade composed of bent panels of caramel slag glass, which would date it to the 1910-1925 era. Many lamp companies made similar shades with matching bases and not all of them were signed. If all the glass panels are intact I think this lamp might sell today in the $600-$900 range.
Your black mantel clock is also typical of pieces from the late 19th and early 20th century. I don’t know why it might have been called a “railroad” clock since I can’t see any design detail that would relate to the railroads. The bell gong on the top is a bit unusual but otherwise this piece is quite similar to a multitude of mantel clocks manufactured between about 1880 and 1910. Sometimes you will find a clock maker’s name or logo on the clock works if not on the dial itself. The value of such a clock, however, depends more on the condition than on the maker. If it is in working condition and keeps good time I believe it might retail in the $125-$225 range today.
Q This oak high chair lowers and converts in to a stroller (metal wheels). It has a pressed back design of Dutch children playing and a windmill in the background. It is in beautiful condition. On the bottom, impressed into the wood it has “Witte Chair Company, 1802 (or 1892, I can’t be sure which). I would be interested in finding out the history of the company and any value on the piece.
–B.H., Champaign, Ill.
A Convertible highchair-strollers were first introduced in the late 19th century and remained popular into the early 20th century. Since your piece is made of oak and features a stamped or “pressed” design on the back it would date from around 1900. I haven’t been able to track down the Witte Chair Company but it most likely operated in the Midwest (Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin) many years ago and probably is out of business. The impressed number with the name is probably a design or factory number and not a date. My guess is that your charming chair would be valued in the $150-$250 range today.