St. George and the dragon theme popular in Europe
Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.
Q: Enclosed is a picture of what we think is an umbrella stand. It says "Hand Painted – Miyako." It was given to my grandparents in 1909 as a wedding present. We have been unable to find any information on it.
The other picture is of an English tea or serving table. The top lifts off to become a serving tray. The wood is very hard, and there are no markings of any kind. We purchased it about 30 years ago and paid $150 for it. Can you tell us anything about it?
R. & C.S., Gainesville
A: Your attractive hand-painted vase was new when given as a gift to your grandparents in 1909. The style is Art Nouveau, circa 1890-1910, a popular style that started in France. It had a huge influence on the decorative arts in England, Europe, Japan and the United States. Art Nouveau has been a category of collecting for decades. Although you did not include the dimensions, I do not think it was made to hold umbrellas or canes. Potential dollar value is $75 to $150.
The very ornate coffee table was likely made in Italy, circa 1920-40. Coffee tables like these were manufactured in massive quantities. Potential dollar value is $150 to $300.
Q: When my parents passed, I inherited these items. They are beautiful, and I would like to learn more about them.
A: I think the oak chest on legs with the carved detail depicting St. George and the dragon was made in the last quarter of the 19th century. The theme was popular in Europe and England and used widely in the general decorative arts during the 19th century. Current potential dollar value is less than $500.
The attractive art pottery vase was likely made between World I and II. I do not recognize the maker. I assume it is not maker marked. Potential dollar value is less than $50.
Q: In a previous article, one of your readers wrote in about a mold problem on a leg of an antique dresser and was thinking of discarding the piece because of it. If he moves the dresser to a garage, carport or covered porch with good ventilation, and rubs out the area with true mineral spirits, cleaning the area well, it will kill the fungus. This also sets up the rubbed-out area for a light "glazing" of stain to bring the piece back to color. He will have to experiment with mixing different shades to match the original finish. Since he stated that they have had the dresser for a couple of years, he should check where the dresser has been, to ensure that it is not in a damp area that would encourage fungi growth.
A: I appreciate your response. Now they can avoid discarding the piece.
Q: I am a librarian at the Marion County Public Library. My mother recently passed away and, unfortunately, I am going to have to liquidate some of her personal property. My mom had beautiful furnishings, and I will not just give them away for nothing. I will probably do my best to sell privately.
Most of my mom's pieces are Scandinavian. Many are vintage. For example, she has two Eames dining chairs that are in pristine condition. The not-so-great attached photos are of a vintage bedroom suite that I believe is quite valuable. These pieces, I think, according to a 1999 New York Times article that I read, are from the 1950s, created by a Swedish designer named Edward Spencer. Do you have any idea what the value of these pieces are?
A: It would be a good idea to check with a specialty auction company that sells 20th century modern era furniture. Eames chairs are sought after by collectors. During the era, there were generic furniture companies producing look alike Eames-style chairs. David Rago Auctions specializes in this category. The website is www.ragoarts.com. Good luck.
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.