Kyle on Antiques: Mini furniture could bring maxi price

I own 5 rooms of wood doll furniture made by Strombecker-Becker Mfg. Co., from Moline, Ill. I bought the items as open stock at the “dime store” about 1929-1930, if I recall correctly. I am now 83. This picture shows the living room suite. It has been pampered all these years. I would like to know the value of my collection. I have reached the age where I should “unload” some things.
– P.W., Eveleth, Minn.

A You have a nice collection of early wooden dollhouse furniture by a known maker. These painted pieces are much scarcer than the hard plastic dollhouse furniture of the 1950s and 1960s. I would guess the value of your pieces would certainly be comparable to those plastic pieces or higher.
I’d think, depending on the piece represented, each item could be valued in the $15-$60 range or perhaps even a bit more. The floor radio, floor lamp and grandfather clock would likely sell for more than the armchair, sofa or side table.

Q My doll was made in Germany. On the neck is written “–W.’U.’L./Y Germany 200/6.” It’s made of porcelain and leather. It has red hair and four teeth. I’m sure the clothing is original. The lace is very fine. The shoes are leather. She is 19 1/2 inches tall. I’m hoping you can tell me something about my doll and what she’s worth.
– E.G., Detroit, Mich. 

A It took some work but I finally was able to track down the maker of your bisque-headed doll. It was a product of the Wagner & Zetzche Company, which operated from 1875 to 1938. I would date your girl doll to around 1900. This is not a well-known company but they apparently made nice quality dolls. From what I learned an “open-mouthed” style doll, such as yours, could be valued in the $250-$350 or more. The value would go up if it had on an early period costume.

Q Is this lamp worth anything? It has the initials N.H. on the metal base. It has a lot of gold trim and looks like it’s made of porcelain.
–  K.K., New Orleans, La.

A This ceramic table lamp mounted on an openwork metal base is probably from the 1920s or 1930s. Such pieces were widely produced by various companies and values remain fairly modest. In the right market I’d value your piece in the $50-$125 range.