Q & A on collecting
Antique secretary style is eclectic
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.
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.