KOOKS a good place to start grinder inquiry
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 5:09 p.m.
Q: I found this in the attic of my grandparent's home. It looks like it is supposed to grind something, but the top does not come off, and you would have to tip the jar upside down to get the contents to the teeth in the lid. Any idea what it is and how to use it?
— M.K.A., Internet
A: Yes, indeed. The item was certainly used to grind, perhaps a variety of things. I am sure the lid is designed to unscrew, but has become stuck. Try a penetrating oil to loosen the lid. The collector interest category is Kitchen Memorabilia. Perhaps one of our readers will have an opinion of its use. You might try KOOKS (Kollectors of Old Kitchen Stuff). The website is www.kooksonline.org.
Q: I am sending pictures of my bow-front secretary that has been in my family for many years. I am 78 years old, and I remember this secretary in my aunt's Illinois home when I was a small child. The curved glass door has leaded, mother-of-pearl. The mirrors are beveled and the drawers are dovetailed. It has the original hardware. Can you give me any information about date of origin, manufacturer, current price range, etc?
— D.W., Wellborn
A: Your attractive piece of furniture was made in America, likely Grand Rapids, Michigan, circa 1900 to 1920. It was a new idea to combine a bookcase and writing desk into one piece of furniture. Manufacturers called them combined bookcases. Collectors and dealers refer to them as side-by-sides. I think your side-by-side was originally marketed through the Larkin Soap Company as a soapbox premium. The Larkin Soap Company history is fascinating. They had large quantities of oak furniture manufactured for them by various companies to be used as premiums for soap purchases.
The Larkin Company catalog shows a wide variety of side-by-sides, from very plain to fancy. Yours has lots of fancy decoration, beveled glass mirrors, leaded glass door and carved drop-front lid. Current market value is less than $1,000, short of a lucky day. There is a lot of information available about the Larkin Soap Company on the Internet.
Q: My husband has numerous signed, first-edition books in excellent condition. Some include 35 Clive Cussler, six Steven Cannell, 22 Tony Hillerman and James Patterson. We are looking for someone who can give us the value of these, or perhaps purchase them. Since there are many, we would prefer an appraiser or buyer in Florida.
— D.S., Gainesville
A: Swann Galleries is one of the specialty auction companies recognized nationally for rare and antiquarian books. I suggest you contact them about selling your signed, first-edition books. The website is www.swanngalleries.com. Good luck.
Q: I have in my possession a copy of "A Treasury of Great Recipes" by Mary and Vincent Price, published in 1965. It was left to me by my mother. The book is quite large, over 450 pages. It features a leatherette cover, sturdy glare-proof antique paper, two ribbon place marks, herb and spice charts, table of weights and measures and cooking temperature tables. It also has a special section for personal recipes, favorite wines, guest book, calorie chart and table of equivalents.
The book is in pristine condition. I would like to know if there is any collector interest in this cookbook, and its value, if any.
— D.V., Silver Springs
A: Cookbooks are a large category of collecting. The one you have is low on the totem pole of collector interest. Potential dollar value is less than $50.
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.