Kyle on Antiques: Unusual flower is really an ashtray

pewter flower ashtrayQ This pewter item looks like a flower when it is assembled. Each petal is separate, and when removed from the flower, becomes an ashtray. No one has ever seen one like it. I’ve had it for nearly 50 years and have never seen another. Could you suggest a value for it? – H.G., Mooresburg, Tenn.  

A I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a pewter flower quite like yours but the general design makes me think it was probably manufactured in the late 1940s into the 1950s. During that era decorative metal accessories were very popular. Hammered aluminum items are a good example of this type of ware. Since there are collectors of older ashtrays today I’d guess your interesting piece might have a value in the $40-$60 range.

late victorian golden oak tall dresserQ Someone gave this dresser a few years ago. The tag on the back reads: Baker & Co., Allegan, MI No. 1 Chifforette. It has wooden casters. From what I can fiind out, Baker & Company went out of business in the 1930s, Could you give me a value on the piece? – W.D., Wyoming, Mich. 

A Your late Victorian Golden Oak tall dresser (sometimes called a princess dresser or chifforobe) is a nice example, circa 1900. The serpentine front and shaped swivel mirror are nice features and the finish appears to be a great shape. It also has added appeal because it retains the original manufacturer’s label. It wasn’t until the very late 19th and early 20th century that American furniture makers started marking most of their pieces. Golden Oak furniture isn’t popular in all areas of the country but in the right market I’d think this piece might sell in the $450-$650 range.

marshall butter churnUPDATE: Regarding the butter churn in the Jan. 16 issue: It was made by the Marshall Pottery Co., in Marshall, Texas. The two blue stripes tell me that it is a newer piece. The Marshall Pottery Co. is still in business. I have both old and new crocks from them. The older ones have no stripe. They all have the blue oval with the number and the name inside. I don’t know what they sell for. I bought mine at yard sales for very little except the newest one, which a friend bought for me at the factory when he was on vacation. I think he paid about $50 for it. It is a five-gallon crock with no lid. The butter churn would probably be worth much more than that. – Terry Durgan, Goldendale, Wash.