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By Dr. George Marchelos
Attached are several pictures of a metal spoon my husband and I bought many years ago. Can you tell us anything about it and its worth? Thank you.
D.M. has sent photos of a spoon purchased years ago. No other information is provided except the photos. The photos reveal a spoon from low grade pewter or spelter, possibly with some copper. These were very common mainly in Germanic areas of Europe and had many variation depending on the purpose of the individual item.
Some, this may be an example, had a religious connection. Others were communion or wedding spoons. Notice the cherubs in the motif. This spoon was cast and in a fairly crude way, revealing a large production. Because of the round bowl this example is probably a sommelier ladle. We do not have the shape and apparent size with the long handle. These were widely produced in the first half of the twentieth century and were sold at fairs and markets to those wanting a souvenir of their travels.
When we lived in Europe we saw many at most flea markets in Germany, the Netherlands and parts of France. Its value is rather low. Probably less than $20 as shown.
I have two chairs that I would like to know how old they are and what do the carved symbols mean (sun and snakes, plus other chair). If you would know how much they are worth? Thank you.
J.M. has sent a photo of two chairs, asking about them. One has carved Cs in the top rail, which was a common motif in the 1840s in Europe and the United States. In this case they are probably not hand carved. The ears are a stylized S. Both chairs have drop-in seats but we do not know about the legs, which are not shown. Both chairs have upholstery tacked on as part of the overall design and the material appears to be a type of modern thick artificial material as opposed to cloth, probably naugahyde vinyl. The wood grain is indistinct but the staining appears to be mahogany.
The second chair is of a different style with tulips and a wedding bow, which was widely used in the late 1700s. The wood is of a lighter staining and is possibly fir, although the grain in the photo does not allow us to know for sure.
The aprons and side rails on each appear to be plain. Their value would probably be about $60-$75 each as single items, which could be used as accent pieces in a sun room. The condition is average. The age is somewhere in the latter part of the 20th century, the 1960s or after. The origin is probably Europe. The tulips point to the Netherlands with the one. The other is possibly English. Close examination may reveal a label or plate which would identify the place of origin.
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