Q & A with the Antique Detective

Q. I know little about this fruit basket display. Each piece of fruit is blown glass, wax coated and hand painted. The glass dome is 36" high and fits into a groove in the wood base. The basket is wicker. Can you tell me anything about it and value? R.J.C. - Bradenton, FL

A. Your domed display was one of the many lady's crafts popular in the mid-19th Century. It could sell in a shop for several hundred dollars.

Q. This covered cheese plate confuses me. The stamp says "Meissen", but the symbol seems to be from England. Could you figure out what this piece is worth and the age? J.A.S. - Falls City, NE

A. Take a closer look at the names on the bottom. "Carro Meissen" is the name of the blue and white Meissen style pattern. The other name reads "Staffordshire England" where the piece was made around 1890. It could sell in a shop for $250.

Q. I am the owner of 18 pairs of porcelain Dorothy Doughty birds that I am considering selling. Can you suggest the best way to do it? B.M., Chicago, IL

A. There are many ways. First know the retail (shop) value, then cut that in half for your asking price. You could check on the Internet or the library for collector's clubs or try eBay. Or run an ad in this publication.

Q. What can you tell me about this cookie jar marked, "Little Red Riding Hood"? No other marks. An antique shop owner told my sister-in-law it had matching bowls and was worth $2,700. N.L.P., Payson, Utah

A. Talk is cheap. Your cookie jar was made by Cronin China Company and sold by the Pottery Guild of America. The Pottery Guild was in business from 1937 through 1946. Your jar, listed under Pottery Guild of America on the Internet under "Red Riding Hood Cookie Jars", has a shop value of $100/150. Many pottery companies made Red Riding Hood cookie jars, often using the same molds.

Q. What is this porcelain object and what was it used for? It is 2 1/2" high and 6 3/4" long, marked "Germany". It is like a cup with a long spout. B.S., Freeport, PA

A. Your object is an invalid feeder. It allowed the sick person to suck soup or liquids through the spout. It was made in the late 19th C. and could sell in a shop for $50 or less.

Q. I inherited this secretary from my uncle in 1946, but know it is older. It has no markings. I would like to know the history, maker, and value. A.W., Skokie- IL

A. Your secretary is in the "modern Gothic" style, made around 1875-85, probably by one of the many Chicago furniture makers working at the time. Look inside the drawers for a maker's name. Or it could have had a paper label. It could sell at auction for $2,000 or more.

Q. This lamp is 21" high and weighs about 6 pounds. The female figure is gold in color. The shade is green glass. I can find no marks. Any information appreciated. It has been in the family at least 60 years. T.R.T., Ford City, PA

A. The weight offers a clue that the figure is bronze. Make a tiny scratch. If it shows bright gold, it is bronze. It is in the Art Deco style. It may have had a paper label. Similar lamps sell at auction for over $1,000. Have it looked at by an appraiser specializing in Art Deco from the '20s and '30s.

Q. We are interested in any information about this red cash register. It measures 6" x 4" x 5".

A. Your child's toy cash register was made in 1931.It has been reproduced. A vintage example could sell in a shop for $50 or more.

1875-85 modern Gothic-style secretary,
possibly $2,000

"Carro Meissen", not Meissen, $250.

Domed fruit basket display, a few hundred.

Bronze Art Deco lamp with green shade, maybe $1,000.

Crodin China Red Riding Hood cookie jar, $100-$150.

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