Ask Antique Trader: Vintage Wedgwood Ashtray Group Worth $200

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Q. This set of blue Wedgwood ashtrays (right) in the shape of playing card suits (clubs, spades, etc.) belongs to my daughter. They are stamped “1953, Wedgwood, made in England” on the bottom. She would like to know what this type of Wedgwood is called and the value. — J.W., Savannah, Ga.

A. The set is “Jasperware,” a porcelain bisque with bas-relief (raised) cameos depicting Egyptian, neo classical figures and various motifs. The cameos are always in white and the backgrounds were produced in many colors. Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) was born into a family of potters. Though he created many pottery glazes and techniques, he is best remembered for “Jasperware.” Today pieces made in the mid 20th century are being collected. A complete set of these ashtrays is considered rare and could sell for $200 in a shop.

Q. I am the executor of my late mother’s estate that includes an H.C. Bay player piano. How would I go about selling it, what could it bring? The serial number indicates it was made in the 1920s, and it is in great condition. —  S.B., Wilmington Island, Ga.

A. Prices listed by sellers on Craig’s List for similar player pianos range from $700 to over $1,000. You might run an ad in one of the antique trade publications, list it on the Internet or in a local paper.

Q.  I have a collection of 18th century American pewter. I have been told that pewter “isn’t in” right now and has no value in the antique market. Is this true? Where might I find interested buyers if it is still collectible? — E.L., Savannah, Ga.

A.  There is always a market for quality, 18th century American pewter. If it has good maker touch marks and includes rare examples, prices can go into the thousands of dollars. Contact the Americana Dept. Skinner, Inc. Auctions, 63 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 or www.skinnerinc.com or 617-350-5400 or 508-970-3000.

Q.  I inherited my grandfather’s estate that included this Louis Vuitton trunk. It is in pretty good shape considering it had plenty of use when my grandfather traveled in the early 20th century. It has the original Vuitton label, both Paris and London addresses. It is 14 inches high by 44 inches long by 22-inches deep. I know new examples are very expensive. How about my old one? — J.P., Palm Beach, Fla.

A. Similar examples can sell for as much as $6,000 at auction. A new book, “100 Legendary Trunks—Louis Vuitton,” published by the Vuitton Company is sure to raise prices.

Anne Gilbert is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eight antiques and collectibles books, and is well known for her lectures to business and professional groups. She is a member of the Newspaper Features Council and Society of Illustrators.

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