Pocket watch engraving depicts winter landscape scene
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 2:21 p.m.
Q: I have an antique pocket watch that belonged to my paternal grandmother's uncle. His name was J. Frank Howell. The watch was left to my grandmother and eventually made its way to me. I have tried to find out more about the watch on the Internet, but have not had any success. Attached are several pictures. Hopefully, you can find out more about it than I did.
— E.S., Internet
A: You have a good-looking huntercase pocket watch. The engraving on the case lid of a winter scene landscape of snow-covered trees and a house at the edge of a lake is very decorative. The watch was made in Switzerland, likely during the late 1800s to early 1900s. The winding stem is located above the "3" on the dial. To set the time, there is a small lever located on the bezel at about 4 o'clock on the dial. With your fingernail, slide the lever out then turn the winding stem and set the time. Afterward, slide the lever back flush with the bezel. If the case is either gold or silver, there will be a mark on the inside of the case covers. The movement also will have information on it. Take a look, and let us know what you find. Then, I will finish the story.
Q: I bought this piece at a consignment shop about 20 years ago. What I was told is that this is a copy of one of the large tapestries in a Buddhist temple. It is the Buddhist symbol of their religion, the lotus flower. The writing pointing to the various parts of the flower explains their relation to the teachings of the religion. These little ones were handmade copies, and used as one would hang a picture of Jesus at home. I was told to hang it where I could see it every day, which I have done. I have had some American-Asians look at it, and they do not seem to agree.
Here is the confusing part: It was related that this piece is written partly in Chinese and partly in Japanese, and that it was done during the Japanese occupation of China. Do you have any idea of what this picture is, and does it have any value?
— J.M., Ocala
A: This is one I cannot help you with. However, Lark Mason is a specialist in Oriental antiques, and perhaps he can help. I suggest you contact him at www.igavelauctions.com. Good luck, and let us know how things work out.
Q: Do you know what has happened to Hummel? I have been a member the Hummel Collectors Club for a very long time, and when I called I find the office is closed and to leave a message in the mailbox, but the mailbox is full. I never received my free ornament due March 2013, and was told several times it was being mailed, but it never came. Have they gone out of business? Do you have any idea what is happening to them, and have their products lost their value? Thank you for any help.
— B.S., Ocala
A: I do not know what the current status is on new Hummel production. I do know that the old ones have gone way down in collector interest and dollar value. The younger generation has little-to-no interest in Hummels, and I doubt there will be a revival of interest any time soon.
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.
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