Kyle on Antiques: Top-notch table shows Taj Mahal

Q I am trying to help a friend find out information and a value for this beautiful teak table. As you can see, it is heavily inlaid with ebony and mother-of-pearl. The table measures 5 feet across by 21 inches deep and is 19 inches high. I see no damage anywhere on the piece. My friend says it was stored under her father’s bed for the last 30 years.
–M.S., Nashville, Tenn.

A Your decorative table would have been made in India, most likely during the first half of the 20th century. The ornate inlaid designs of elephants and peacocks are typical of East Indian art and, of course, the center of the top has an inlaid design of the famous Taj Mahal. Although it is probably not a true antique, this table certainly has decorative appeal and lots of nice workmanship. In the right market I could see it being offered in the $800-$1,800 range.

Q Enclosed is a photo of a bronze figure I purchased about 22 years ago. It was from the estate of movie star John Barrymore. I have no papers of proof of that, though. The figure is 26 inches high and 12 inches wide. The figure is on a wooden pedestal with a brass plate. Thank you for any information you are able to share.
–J.B., Livonia, Mich.

A From your photo I can’t confirm whether your statue is truly cast of bronze or of a cheaper white metal given a bronze patina. Both techniques were widely used in the late 19th and early 20th century. Your piece is based on a 19th century French original but was probably a later copy. If you can make a small scratch with a needle on the bottom you may be able to tell more about the material used. If the scratch exposes a golden or brass color, the piece is most likely a true bronze. However, if the scratch exposes a silver color you know it is a cheap metal given a bronze patina.

Of course the value will vary greatly depending on what this piece is made of. The fact that it may have belonged to the actor John Barrymore probably wouldn’t influence the current value. If this happens to be an early bronze, I suspect it might be valued in the $1,500-$3,000 range. If it is old, but of patinated white metal, the value would be about half the lower price quoted above.

Q I have enclosed a picture of a porcelain plate with an unusual marking on the bottom. The plate is 10 inches in diameter and appears to be quite old. I have been unsuccessful in researching the “Anchor” mark on the plate. I would appreciate any help you could give me on the age, origin and value of this piece.
–G.G., Chicago, Ill.

A I’m not sure the photo of your earthenware plate and the back mark will show up here, but I did determine that the William Ridgeway, Son & Co. of Staffordshire, England, used the unique anchor mark between 1838 and 1848. The ribbon below the mark encloses the name of the pattern. Such ornate designs were popular on transfer-printed wares during that era and the purple color was also common then. Although this is quite an early piece it was a pattern that was likely mass-produced. A single plate in perfect condition might be valued in the $50-$75 range today.