Q&A ON COLLECTING
Sewing machine a stitch in time
Q: This is a photo of an antique treadle sewing machine that I inherited. The machine is decorated with gold filigree designs and has the name “Minnesota” on the front. The cabinet is oak and stands 32-inches tall and 49-inches tall when it is open. Except for a good cleaning, it is in good condition and the cast-iron treadle still works. My sewing machine has been in our family for a long time, and I hope you can tell me about its history and value. Any information you can provide will be appreciated.
A: The Davis Sewing Machine Co., sometime between 1900 and 1913, made your sewing machine. Job Davis founded his company in the 1860s in Watertown, N.Y. They made the “Minnesota” for Sears Roebuck and Co. Richard Sears chose the name to honor his home state. The gold filigree decal decoration is typical for sewing machines made in the early 1900s. Some even had inlaid pearl and silver plated parts. Since the gold decals can be fragile, avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaners. Use a soft cloth and a small amount of mild soap and water. Always test an area first. Sewing machine oil will help lubricate moving parts.
Your sewing machine would probably be worth $175 to $275.
Q: I have enclosed my drawing of the mark seen on two pieces of china. One is a platter decorated with a turkey, and the other is a plate decorated with a man and woman dressed in Colonial-style clothes. A third person in the background is a man playing a flute. Both are trimmed with a wide band of gold and are in good condition. I would like any information you can provide.