Q: How can I learn to recognize various types of art glass and to distinguish original pieces from copies? I bought what I thought was a Tiffany lamp, but it turned out to be a reproduction.
A: Extensive information on art glass and its makers and marks can be found in "The Collector's Encyclopedia of American Art Glass," by John A. Shuman III, available for $31.95 postpaid from Collector Books, Box 3009, Paducah, Ky. 42002-3009; (800) 626-5420.
Q: I have some old Tootsietoy cars and trucks. How can I find out more about them and their values, and where can I find different examples? Also, where can I find a movable or mechanical antique doll for my wife's birthday?
A: Pictures, descriptions and values of Tootsietoy vehicles are in "Collector's Guide to Tootsietoys," by David E. Richter, available for $18.95 postpaid from Collector Books, Box 3009, Paducah, Ky. 42002-3009; (800) 626-5420.
Antique Toy World magazine, published monthly, is available for $25 a year, or $3 for a current issue, from Box 34509, Chicago, Ill. 60634. YesterDaze Toys, published monthly, is $12 a year, or $2 a copy, from Box 57, Otisville, Mich. 48463.
Q: I have an original photo inscribed to me and signed by John F. Kennedy. How can I find out its value, and how can I contact buyers of presidential memorabilia?
A: Write to the following sources, enclosing a photocopy of the signed photograph: Kennedy Political Items Collectors, in care of Harvey Goldberg, Box 922, Clark, N.J. 07066; (201) 382-5429 evenings; and Rob- ert Bathchelder, 1 W. Butler Ave., Ambler, Pa. 19002; (215) 643-1430. State whether you received it from the president in person or by some other means, which could indicate the inscription and signature were written by another hand, such as by a secretary or presidential aide.
The value of an autograph depends on many factors, including its authenticity, the signer, what the signature appears on, the rarity of the autograph, its desirability and demand, historical importance, whether the signature is written in pencil or ink or another material and whether it is strong or faded, and so on. The value also depends on whether an autograph is inscribed or uninscribed; those personally inscribed to non-famous people are worth less, in most cases.
Information on autographs can be found in "The Collector's Guide to Autographs," by George Sanders, Helen Sanders and Ralph Roberts, available for $19.45 postpaid from Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1 Chilton Way, Radnor, Pa. 19089- 0230; (800) 695-1214. Also available from the same publisher is "The Price Guide to Autographs -- Second Edition," by the same authors, available for $24.45 postpaid paperback or $32.45 postpaid in hardcover.
Q: I have an original Dick Tracy drawing, dated 1973, that I won as a prize on Wally Phillips' radio show for identifying Chester Gould's voice. I kept it with the envelope it came in, postmarked Woodstock, Ill., where Gould lived. Who might be interested in buying it?
A: Larry Doucet is always looking for Dick Tracy items. Contact him at 2351 Sultana Dr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 10598; (914) 245- 1320. Enclose a photocopy of the Gould drawing or a description of any Tracy-related items you might have, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. Mr. Doucet and William Crouch co-authored "The Authorized Guide to Dick Tracy Collectibles," which includes prices for such pieces and is available for $15.45 postpaid from Wallace-Homestead Book Co., Chilton Way, Radnor, Pa. 19089-0230; (800) 695-1214.
Q: I'm interested in collecting miniature books. Is there an organization I can join, or any sources I can contact, to get examples?
A: The Miniature Book Society has been in existence for nine years and has about 500 members. For information about miniature books and membership, write to dealer Ward K. Schori, 2716 Noyes St., Evanston, Ill. 60201. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a list of available miniature books Mr. Schori makes by hand, or phone (708) 475-3241.
To qualify as miniatures, books must measure less than 3 inches in size but can contain an unspecified number of pages. Mr. Schori buys, sells and trades miniature books and offers a variety of examples (some of which are leather-bound) by popular authors, including Mark Twain, George Ade and Eugene Field. Prices range from $25 to $45, depending on materials used.
Miniature books have been produced for hundreds of years, and Mr. Schori claims the distinction (at age 83) of being the oldest person still producing them.
Anita Gold can be reached by writing Anita Gold, Maryland Living, The Sun, Baltimore 21278. Selected questions will appear in her column. The volume of mail makes individual replies impossible. When writing sources listed in this column, enclose an addressed, stamped envelope for replies.