Satsuma, a city in Japan, has a special meaning to collectors. An easy-to-identify, cream-colored pottery with a crackle glaze and intricate decoration is also called "Satsuma." The vases picture detailed Japanese landscapes and people and have brocadelike backgrounds and edges. Warriors and gods often are shown. The inside as well as the outside of bowls have similar overall decorations. Colors used were beige, green and other muted shades, often with added gold decoration. Styles changed about 1918 to 1930, when art-nouveau and art-deco designs - especially pictures of irises - became popular. After 1930, pieces had fewer delicate decorations, larger figures, darker colors and added black accents. "Monumental" vases are especially popular today. These are vases more than 18 inches high. They're large enough to look as if they belong on the floor.
Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations.¢ Karo Cookbook, 1910, little boy and girl with baby on cover, black and white, 52 pages, 5-by-6 1/2 inches, $35.¢ Paladin "Have Gun Will Travel" fan-club member card, 1958, CBS copyright, 2-by-3 1/2 inches, $45.¢ Steiff Mama, Papa and Baby bears, yellow mohair, black eyes, black embroidered noses and mouths, jointed, peach felt pads, 1980s, 6 inches, 14 inches and 16 inches, $355.¢ Rookwood ashtray, harlequin in yellow suit in corner, marked, c. 1929, 4-by-6-by-6 inches, $460.¢ Sampler, Mary W. Curlin, dated 1836, "Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain," 17 1/2-by-16 1/2 inches, $570.¢ Cylinder musical box, Freres No. 75615, crank-wind spring, zither attachment, grained case, cherubs at play tune-sheet, patent date 1888, 20 inches, $765.¢ Handel lamp, bronzed base, reverse-painted shade with landscape, impressed mark, shade signed, 15-by-22 inches, $1,080.¢ Paris porcelain vases, floral bouquets in baskets, handles form vines and leaves, hand-painted and gilt design, c. 1865, 18-by-9 inches, pair, $1,440.¢ Tiffany sterling coffee service, round form, dome tops, ball finials, scalloped base, scrolled border, c. 1902, 43 pieces, $1,840.¢ George IV sideboard, mahogany, scrolled backsplash with crest, bowed top, drawers over cabinets, reeded turned feet, c. 1825, 54-by-75-by-24 inches, $4,590.
Q:I have a wooden chair with open arms. The seat and back are upholstered in black vinyl-coated fabric. A small plate on the back of the chair reads, "B.L. Marble Chair Co." Do you know anything about the company?
A: Barzilla L. Marble (1851-1932) was born into a chair-making family in Bedford, Ohio. He and A.L. Shattuck formed the Marble and Shattuck Chair Co. in 1885. In 1894, he left the partnership to open his own company, B.L. Marble Chair Co. (often called "Marble Chair" by local residents). The firm manufactured chairs for homes until 1910, when it switched to making office furniture. Your chair, with vinyl upholstery, was probably made for office use. It could date from anytime between 1910 and 1965, when Marble Chair merged with the Dictaphone Corp. and became Marble Imperial Furniture Co. The factory closed in 1985, the building was torn down in 1991 and the Bedford post office sits on the site today.
Q: Could you please tell me when an item is considered an antique? I always thought it was at 75 years, but someone told me it's 100.
A: The U.S. government's definition of an antique is that it must be at least 100 years old. The government uses the definition to determine the duty on imported items. There are different rules for firearms and cars. Many collectors use the word "antique" to refer to "old" things, no matter how old they are. Others say an antique is about 75 years old. The word "collectible" covers everything else.
Q: I have a cobalt-blue pickle dish with raised lettering on the inside that reads, "Love's Request Is Pickles." A figure of a woman from the waist up is embossed in the middle of the oval dish. Please tell me something about the dish.
A: You have a modern reproduction of an Actress pattern pressed-glass dish originally made in the early 1880s. Originals came in only clear glass or clear glass with an acid (frosted) finish. Any Actress glass in another color is new. The actress shown on the pickle dish is Kate Claxton (1848-1924), a popular New York theater actress in the 1870s. Other actresses are pictured on other pieces in the pattern. No one knows for sure where the pattern was made originally, but experts think that the maker was one of three Ohio companies. Reproductions were introduced in 1957 by the Imperial Glass Corp. of Bellaire, Ohio. Imperial used a new mold for the repros and continued to make them for years. Its reproductions are embossed "IG" on the bottom.
Q: What is my figural "MacBeth" clock worth? It's cast bronze, 15 inches high and 15 inches wide. The round clock sits on the left side of the base, and a sculpture of William Shakespeare holding a quill pen and writing his play "MacBeth" is on the other.
A: Your clock was made in the early 1900s by the Ansonia Clock Co. of Ansonia, Conn. Ansonia made several similar figural clocks with different finishes. Ansonia Clock Co. was in business from 1850 until the Depression forced it to close in 1929. Ansonia clocks are well-made and collectible. We have seen your model sell for $250 to $400, depending on condition.
Tip: Missing part of a jigsaw puzzle? Make a color photocopy of the picture of the puzzle on the box. Enlarge or shrink the copy to exactly the size of the puzzle. Then cut it to make the missing piece. It will be an almost perfect match.
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