Q I have subscribed to the Antique Trader over 25 years and enjoy your paper very much. I would appreciate any information you could give me on this chair as to age and value if possible. I purchased this chair about a year ago at an antique store, and the seat was recovered. Thank you.
— D.A., via email
A This is a charming chair with a number of characteristics that readily help determine the style. The carved ribbon crest is a traditional French motif. The legs are turned, tapered, fluted and crowned by a square reinforcement that is carved on two sides with rosettes, and the spindles in the shield-back echo the fluting seen in the legs. These elements indicate the chair is in the style of Louis XVI — a classic French style popular since the late 18th century. Louis XVI furniture emphasizes a rectilinear, symmetrical form with right angles rather than the curves and cabriole legs seen on Louis XV and Rococo furniture; the leg, especially the rosette-carved square at the top of the leg, is the most typical characteristic of a Louis XVI chair. Other characteristic motifs are the subtle beadwork ornamentation and ribbon-and-stave or ribbon-and-stick carving around the perimeter of the back.
It is difficult to determine the age, or if the chair is hand or machine-made without actually examining the wood, which appears to be beechwood. Characteristics such as wear on the feet or crest rail may indicate an older chair. Construction methods such as the presence of screws or nails will also help assign an age.
Based on the photograph, I would place the date of this chair as late 19th to early 20th century, and therefore certain it is machine made. Earlier chairs would most likely have an upholstered, rather than spindle back. Contemporary chairs in this style without the detail and charm of your chair sell in the $300 to $500 range. If your chair is 19th century, the value could be a bit higher, if 20th century, a bit lower.
Q I am trying to find information on a jar I bought. It is a hand-painted jar with wicker or bamboo handle. The lid has a dog, and the jar itself has several dogs. I can find this jar in a cat, a mouse and a clown – no dogs though. I don’t know if that means it is rare or not. The only mark is the Japan stamp on the bottom.
—T.S., via email
A Your Dancing Puppies cookie jar was made sometime in the 1950s by Betson’s Pottery in Japan, which was known for their cookie jars and their brightly colored moriage “dragon ware” tea sets.
Several different animals were represented in their dancing animal series, with bears, puppies and cats being the most popular. Pieces made by Betson’s were marked with an impressed “Japan” with an additional foil label, most of which were removed or lost due to washing.
The dancing puppies cookie jar can often be found online and has sold in the range of $10 to $39 with a more realistic value being the $30 to $35 range.
Q Is it possible for you to evaluate the 18-karat Tiffany pocket watch shown in the pictures for age and value? It is an open-face watch with two back covers and a locket on the reverse with a Victorian-type picture. It measures 1 1/8-inches in diameter and is in working order. The serial number is 117643.
I have tried to take the best pictures I could. I hope they help.
— H.M., via email
A Tiffany is a name that is known and respected as a seller of luxury goods since 1837, and fine jewelry since 1853. Your gentleman’s open-faced pocket watch with Arabic numerals and enamel dial is no exception; it is a lovely piece. Although it appears to be heavily worn, the painting is charming and unusual for a Tiffany pocket watch. My initial impression as to the age of the watch based on the style was in the 1910-1920 period; however, the painting suggests it may be a bit older. The inner cover on the back does not form a locket; that inner cover is called a “cuvette” (French for “pan” or “dish”) and acts as a second barrier in protecting against dust.
Assigning a scrap appraisal is an easy task for any jeweler with a scale, but there are other considerations when appraising a working Tiffany pocket watch. Tiffany made their own movement for a very short time, and after 1879 the movements were made by a variety of manufacturers: Patek Philippe, Movado, Lecoultre, Zenith, Audemars, Piguet, Longines, Touchon, Waltham and Agassiz are some of these companies.
The number of jewels (anywhere from 7 to 33) and the maker of the movement are significant considerations that determine value; examine the movement to determine this information and use this to further investigate your watch.
This watch with a Waltham movement might sell in the $1,800 to $2,400 range, whereas a Patek Philippe could sell for more than $5,000.
The first one has a base that lights, as well with a single small bulb. It has had a repair by a professional on one of the panels in the base. It has not been rewired, and still has the original wiring (which is a little scary looking) but it works well. I can easily have it rewired.
The second is in perfect condition with a heart motif and has been rewired and has a fabric covered cord.
The third one is more ornate and is also in perfect condition and has been professionally rewired with fabric cord.
Any help you can give would be most appreciated. I have had all three of them for a very long time — bought at various antique shops in New England during the past 25-30 years. Thank you.
— L.G., via email
A Thank you for sharing your wonderful lamps. Slag glass lamps were manufactured in the thousands beginning in the late 1800s up until the 1920s.
Unfortunately, most slag lamps were not marked by their manufacturers and so cannot be attributed to any individual company unless displaying specific characteristics exclusive to that company. Slag lamp panels can be flat or bent with simple frames or frames with ornate designs overlaying the glass; often the bases of these lamps light as well.
The lamp with the bent panels and heart-shaped motif has a value of $350 to $450, and the lamp with the fan-shaped fret work effect a value of $500 to $600 at a competitive auction.
Appraisals are personal opinions of value and are to be considered for entertainment purposes only. The values are estimated and are not to be used for any other purpose, either legal or personal.
|About our A.I.A. appraiser: Dr. Anthony J. Cavo is an honors graduate of the Asheford Institute Of Antiques and a graduate of Reisch College of Auctioneering. He has extensive experience in the field of buying and selling antiques and collectibles; at age 18, he became one of the youngest purchasers and consigners of antiques and art for a New York auction house. Mr. Cavo is an active dealer in the antiques and collectibles marketplace in the U.S. and abroad.|