Q Enclosed is a photo of a pedestal table from two angles. It looks like a Duncan Phyfe, but I’m not sure. I bought it at a garage sale for $60 from a lady who said it belonged to her grandmother who passed away at age 96. It has the #40M on the bottom, brass claw feet and it is about 28 inches high and 25 inches in diameter. It has a drawer in front and one in back which I can’t pull all the way out; I think there must be a release button somewhere but I can’t find it. Can you tell me what it is and what it might be worth? Is it a Duncan Phyfe?
— A.W., Tucson, Ariz.
A Your Duncan Phyfe-style parlor table is an example of the Colonial Revival furniture widely produced during the 1920-1940 era. The design is actually based on an English design of the early 19th century, but similar pieces could have been made at the Phyfe workshop in New York City at that time too. As a nice revival piece, I think a fair value range might be $125-$225.
Q I’m sending a photo of a picture I bought 51 years ago at a thrift shop. There is no signature. The picture is under glass. All I know is on the back it says, Tea for Two 253. The picture size is 33 inches by 28 inches. Thank you for any information you can provide.
— S.S., Kansas City, Mo.
A This picture is a color print, probably produced in the 1895-1910 era. The frame is typical of that era. It is based on some original painting and you might find some additional information in tiny wording along the bottom edge, under the frame. Sometimes this information was trimmed off during framing but if it’s there it might give you a copyright date for this piece. The value of such prints depends greatly on their condition. If it doesn’t have any staining, dirt, wear or tears I would guess it might sell today in the $150-$300 range.
Q I found three of these bottles at an abandoned railroad depot. They were under a platform in the dirt. Could you give me information on what this oil was used for and whether the bottles have any value?
— C.T., Florence, Mont.
A Your Edison Battery Oil bottle did hold oil used in early autos. The molded address on your bottle is for “Bloomfield, NJ” and I found that that address was used on this bottle after 1915 so I would date this piece from the 1915-1930 era. These are not rare bottles and sell in the $1-$5 range.