Peg-and-scallop drawer assembly reveals age
Published: Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.
Q: Enclosed are a couple of photos of a piece of furniture I bought about 30 years ago. One photo is of the piece itself, with three pieces of marble on top of the three tiers of the piece. The other photo is of a drawer and the way the drawers are assembled, which I was told placed the piece in the 1880s.
The gentleman at Back in Time Restoration advised me to not have the furniture stripped and refinished, but to clean it thoroughly and apply a good quality paste wax and rub it out well. This was done, and it looks great. Can you tell the age and current value from the photos?
A: Your marble-top dresser was made in America, circa 1860 to 1880. The style is Renaissance Revival. The drawer assembly is called peg-and-scallop, and was the first machine-made dovetail used to fasten the drawer face to the side.
Often a piece of antique furniture can appear to be in horrible condition, but with a little tender loving care, cleaning and polishing, it can be brought back to life without refinishing. Potential dollar value currently is less than $1,000, perhaps more on a lucky day.
Q: I have two questions. The first is about five lithographs of David Roberts' "The Holy Land" hand-drawn folio pages. The lithographs were done by Roberts as a limited edition in the mid-1800s. The lithographs were part of a collection belonging to John Hill, founder of the Hill Library in Minneapolis, Minn. I would like to dispose of these lithographs, but I do not know where to go to find someone with an interest in Egyptian antiques.
I also have 24 replica mechanical banks, all in working order. I think all of them were made in China, but they are many years old. Are you aware of anyone who would be interested in purchasing them?
A: David Roberts RA, 1796-1864, a Scottish artist and member of the Royal Academy, is considered one of the eminent painters of landscapes, architectural and topographical views. He specialized in scenes of Egypt, the Holy Land and Africa. Roberts' original oil paintings sell from $1,500 to $50,000. The lithographic prints made of his paintings sell in the $50 to $150 range.
Reproduction mechanical banks have been produced in massive quantities and sell in the catch-as-catch-can range. You might consider donating them to Hospice Attic.
Q: I was wondering if you could give me information about my Steiff bear. I obtained this bear from a lady who got it when she was about 4 years old. That would have made the bear very old, because she passed away in the early 1990s at the age of 82. There is no button, nor can I find where one would have been attached. That does not mean it was not there at one time. If I have been reading the right history of Steiff, I think they started placing a button in the ear in 1905.
This bear is 8 inches tall sitting, and 11 inches tall standing. It has an open mouth, moveable arms, legs and head. When I first obtained the bear, it had a sound, but that disappeared. I can still feel the noisemaker in its stomach. It would be considered blonde.
I am asking you if it is worth my time and effort to try to find the dollar value of this item.
A: Vintage Steiff teddy bears have been a specific category of collecting for decades. In order to help you, I need good clear photographs of the front, side and back of your teddy bear.
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 email@example.com.