It is sometimes difficult to know the proper name of an old piece of furniture. Names may change.
A chest of drawers can be a chest of drawers; a cupboard like a sideboard; or a small bedroom dressing table, usually with a drawer for soap, combs, brushes, and cosmetics, and a small shelf behind a door that holds a jar until it is emptied by the servants. There were no flush toilets in homes until the late 1800s.
A davenport in England in the 19th century was a small desk that opened to the side with a slanted top that was easy to write on. In 20th century America, a davenport is a type of sofa.
But the strangest is a dining room service table with a central post around which usually revolve three graduated round shelves, like a lazy Susan. But, of course, if the name “dumb waiter” is still used for this type of table, it has nothing to do with a stupid person. A Victorian table like this, consisting of a three-piece leg, was sold last year at the New Orleans Auction Galleries for $ 406.
Q: I have my grandma’s Nancy Prentiss 1950s stainless steel flatware set, and I use it daily. I wash it by hand most of the time, and it’s only when I’m feeling super lazy that I put it in the dishwasher. It doesn’t appear to be damaged, but I’m curious about using the dishwasher all the time. We run the dishwasher about once every four or five days and use well water with a water softener. Should I continue to wash it by hand, or is it once a week in the dishwasher OK?
A: It is safe to wash stainless steel cutlery in the dishwasher, but do not use citrus-based detergent. Stainless steel cutlery should be washed shortly after use to avoid stains. If you only run the dishwasher every few days, wash the cutlery by hand on the days you don’t run them. Do not soak the cutlery for a long time. To avoid stains, dry thoroughly with a soft cloth instead of letting it air dry. Stainless steel can be cleaned with silver polish.
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Q: My father owned a butcher and a grocery store in the 1940s and 1950s. I have several boxes of coffee, cookies, pretzels, lard and spices from the store. Is it worth anything?
A: The first tins were made in the early 1800s. The type of tin we use today, with a crimped top and welded side seam, was first made in 1898. Some collectors of promotional items collect tin cans. Some specialize in cans for a single product, such as coffee, tobacco, beer or oil. Boxes with modern graphics and clean images indicate that they are not from the 1940s. Collectors want older boxes and boxes for products that are no longer manufactured. Boxes with interesting graphics usually sell for more than those that contain only words. Some sell for a few hundred dollars or more, but common boxes sell for between $ 50 and $ 100.
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Q: I have my grandmother’s dollhouse which is similar to Dunham’s Cocoanut dollhouse, but it is unmarked. I’m interested in letting it go, but have no idea how to market it. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
A: Dunham’s Cocoanut Dollhouse was a bounty donated by Dunham Manufacturing Company of New York in the 1890s. Boxes of Dunham’s grated coconut were shipped in crates decorated like a four-piece dollhouse including a living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a bedroom. Bricks and windows were stenciled on the outside of the crate. Rugs, furniture and lithographed accessories, including boxes of Dunham Cocoanut on the kitchen shelves, were inside. Folding paper furniture was also offered as a bonus, but very few of them have survived. A Dunham’s Cocoanut Dollhouse sells for between $ 650 and $ 750. The price is based on the advertisement and the popularity of the Dunham advertisement. The price of a “similar” dollhouse depends on the graphics and whether it is a promotional item or just a homemade version.
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Q: When was Katrich pottery made? I have a 15 inch tall vase with a shiny pattern of stars and clouds on a dark blue background. It has the name at the bottom with a rectangular patch that has the outline of something on the inside. There is also a number stamped on the bottom of the vase.
A: You have a piece of pottery from a modern potter named Paul J. Katrich. He started working around 1993 and uses shiny glazes on his pottery. Katrich’s pottery is featured on a very comprehensive website about his work. Each piece has been marked with a 3 or 4 digit number in sequence as it was made between 1993 and today. If you go to the homepage of www.katrich.com, there you will see dozens of parts sold which can be located by number. He also has many new parts for sale. His work can be found in museums and in private art pottery collections.
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TRICK: Never soak rhinestone jewelry in water. Moisture seeps behind the stones and will cause discoloration.
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Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question and a photo, you are giving full permission to use the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or e-mail addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes it impossible to provide personal responses or evaluations. Write to Kovels, (Name of this journal), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.
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Current prices are recorded from antique shows, flea markets, sales and auctions across the United States. Prices vary by location due to local economic conditions.
Fishing, lure, jitterbug, Fred Arbogast, white, hooks, 2 1/2 inches, $ 65.
World’s Fair, 1892 Columbus Clock, Chicago, Bostwick & Burgess, 15 x 6 1/2 inches, $ 115.
Fan, electric, General Motors, black, Delco Appliance Co., 18 x 21 inches, $ 180.
Advertisement, thermometer, Orange Crush, from natural orange juice, 16 x 6 1/4 inches, $ 260.
Candelabra, 6 lights, brass, painted metal, figural, woman in dress, 1900s, 32 x 11 inches, pair, $ 320.
Sports, wakeboard, orange, white, Peterborough Canoe Co., Canada, 1920, 28 x 58 inches, $ 335.
Animal trophy, warthog, shoulder mount, 24 x 13 inches, $ 500.
Mirror, crown, seashells, putti, rose, teal, porcelain, c. 1850, 30 x 20 inches, $ 2,160.
Gas Pump, Super Shell, Globe, Brass Nozzle, Red, Yellow, Art Deco, 1930s, 30 x 18 inches, $ 4,590.
Tea caddy, shagreen, pear shaped containers, cartridges, claw feet, Aldridge & Stamper, 6 1/2 inches, pair, $ 6,000.
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There is a hidden value in contemporary pottery. It is found in shops and garage sales at low prices, because the brands are unknown. Kovels ‘special report “Kovels’ Identification Guide to Contemporary American Pottery 1960s to Present” includes over 180 brands and 60 featured artists.
Each artist’s biography includes a brand, an illustrated piece, and that year’s award. Meet Robert Arneson, Jack Eugene Earl, Henry Takemoto and more. Recognize the most recent pottery when you see it at a flea market or garage sale. Available only at Kovels for $ 19.95 plus $ 4.95 shipping and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996, online at Kovels.com; or by mail to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.