Q: My husband received the antique desk seen in this photo from his grandfather's estate in Westminster, Md., in the early 1980s. It is made of oak and does need some restoration.
The original finish needs restoration mostly on the drawers, and there is a piece missing on the side of the cornice.
What can you tell us about it and its value?
A: As a rule, your desk is called a secretary. The difference being a secretary is in two separate parts, the top usually has shelves behind glass doors. The top has a cornice often with a scrolled pediment.
A desk has a flat top. Your secretary was factory made around 1900. The style is eclectic, having borrowed decorative elements of the colonial period and also reflects the ingenuity and designs of Grand Rapids, Mich., manufacturers.
Similar secretaries can be found selling in the range of $800 to $1,200 in very good condition and not in need of restoration.
Q: I am curious about this mark that is on a vase we inherited from my great aunt. The vase stands 9 inches tall, is decorated with a green glaze and has handles on either side.
Anything you can tell us will be greatly appreciated.
A: Abingdon Pottery in Abingdon, Ill., made your vase. They started out producing porcelain plumbing pieces in 1908. In 1934, they introduced an art pottery line. The company was taken over by Briggs Manufacturing Co. in 1947.
Their pottery was sold at Marshall Field's, Wannamaker's and Gimbles Department Stores. By 1950, demand for their art pottery declined.
At the same time, there was a surge in the market for plumbing fixtures. Briggs Manufacturing Co. discontinued their art pottery line and moved forward with the profit making plumbing fixtures.
Your vase was made around 1940 and would probably be worth $25 to $50.
Q: In 1965, my aunt brought a Nishi geisha doll back from Japan for my mother. The doll is 12 inches tall and in a glass case. She is sitting and holding a musical instrument. The bottom of the case has a mark with the words "Nishi & Company, Ltd. - Japan."
I was 5 years old in 1965 and I am now 53. She has been kept in perfect condition all these years, and now I would like to know her value.
A: Nishi dolls are collectible and yours would probably be worth $200 to $300.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com
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