The thrill of recognizing your chair in a 1908 Sears Catalog
Published: Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 30, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
Q: We have a set of furniture — a loveseat and rocker— that is featured in the 1908 Sears Catalog. We were wondering if you could tell us anything about the value of these pieces. The furniture has been in my husband's family for more than 50 years.
A: Sears Catalogs are wonderful for research on the decorative arts during the early 20th century. What a cool discovery to find an example of one's furniture in the catalog. The style is typical of the last of the Victorian-era styles spilling over into the 20th century, shortly to be replaced with the streamlined simplicity of the 20th century. Current market interest is very soft. I think the rocker would sell in the $75 to $150 range and the sofa for less than $500.
Q: Enclosed are pictures of a couple of items that I have. I am curious to know if they have any value. One of the pictures is of an original piece of my late husband's uncle's gas station in upstate New York. It still has all of the original price labels included in it. It is rather weathered looking. The other picture is of a plate. It has what appears to be gold embossing around it. I know that it is at least 52 years old, having had my 18th birthday cake delivered on it. It has "Homer Laughlin USA M49N6" on the back of it and "James Currngh-Amsterdam, Holland" on the front beside the painting of the lady.
A: Wow, 19˝ cents a gallon! We all would be willing to pay 10 times that in today's market. The price per gallon chart is of interest in the Gas Station memorabilia category. I think it would sell close to $100.
Your porcelain plate is part of a series of famous works of art done by notable artists of the 19th century produced by the Homer Laughlin Company. In this case, the artist's work being copied is Dutch. They were transfer printed, not hand-painted. Potential dollar value is $5 to $10.
Q: I found a set of salt and pepper shakers at the flea market. They look like they may be pewter. On the bottom, they are marked "Quaker Shaker, reg. 553." They have a painted floral design on them. Would you be so kind to let me know more about them?
A: The salt and pepper shakers were made by the Quaker Silver Company, located in North Attleboro, Mass. The company started business in 1926, and was purchased in 1959 by the Gorham Corp. Quaker Silver produced both silver-plate hollowware and pewter ware. I think your pair was produced before World War II. The condition appears to be poor. The maker does not have name recognition in the salt and pepper shaker collectible category. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.
John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, "Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o The Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608-2015; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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