Radio show listener says zimbelstern rings a bell

Published: Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.

Q: Hi, nice talking with you on the radio show. I have called in before. Here is a photo of the type of zimbelstern that looks similar to the description the caller from Inverness shared. There are a number of other styles, of course, depending on the manufacturer and the application desired. You might also find a visit to interesting.


To find out what this is, go to (Courtesy of John Sikorski)

— L., Internet

A: I am glad you were listening to the radio show. When the caller asked what I could tell her about the item she described, nothing came to mind. I was left blank, so thanks for the help and the photographs. Now we all can find out about a zimbelstern by going to the website. Cheers to you.

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Q: I am hoping you can help me find something out about the piece in the picture. I purchased the 45-caliber single-barrel boot pistol at an auction in Gettysburg, Pa., in 2005. I was bidding against a dealer, and paid more than $500. He claimed it was from the early 1800s. The handle has a brown sticker that reads "255 also ELG" in a circle over a star. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. I plan on giving it to my son, a sergeant on the Reading, Pa., police force.

— J.R., Internet

A: Boot pistols were manufactured in large quantities during the 19th century. I suspect your pistol was made during the mid-19th century, circa 1850- 1870. Most boot pistols currently sell in the $150 to $300 range. For research on the maker, perhaps the firearms specialists at Rock Island Auctions can help. The website is

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Q: My parents bought an ivory chess set in Hong Kong in the early 1950s. The pieces are all carved Chinese figurines. The set is missing two removable flags that attached to the white elephant knights. Otherwise, the figurines are in good shape. The chessboard carrying box is in fair-to-poor shape. I want to sell it on eBay. Do you know what it would be worth? Where can I go to get it appraised?

— R.S., Internet

A: The photograph of your ivory chess set is not clear enough to see the detail and how well done they are. Most sets like yours, made of ivory with a game board in good condition and average-quality figures, sell in the $250 to $500 range.

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Q: I have two old, unopened, with original seals intact, bottles of liquor that were in my late father-in-law's cabinet. One is a bottle of Drambuie, the other Benedictine. The wording on the Benedictine bottle's labels is in French and the wording on the seals is French and Spanish. I cannot find any dates on either bottle. I would like to know how I could determine the age of these two bottles and whether it is legal for me to try to sell them to collectors of fine, aged spirits. Is there someone I could contact for more information?

— D., Internet

A: There is no specific collector interest that I am aware of for your bottles of liquor. I do not think it is legal to sell bottles of alcoholic beverages without a proper license.

I suggest you contact the Division of Alcoholic Beverages to make sure.

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

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