Desk bought 30 years ago for $40 is worth $2,000

June 16, 1991|By James G. McCollam | James G. McCollam,Copley News Service

Q: This desk was purchased in Dublin, Ireland, over 30 years ago for $40. It is 33 inches high, 21 inches wide and 21 inches deep. The top is inlaid and has a leather writing surface. The drawers go all the way through so the knobs are simply decorative on one side. It seems to be quite old, but I have seen what appear to be modern copies in Italy priced at $2,000.

A: This is an English Davenport desk (named for a Captain Davenport who designed the first one over 150 years ago). Yours was made in the mid-19th century and would sell for about $2,000 in good condition. The reproductions are so labor-intensive that they cost as much as an original. However, ,, the original will continue to appreciate in value.

Q: The attached mark is on the bottom of an earthenware soup tureen. It is decorated with an Oriental scene in shades of red. I would appreciate any information you can provide about the value and when and where it was made.

A: The manufacturer was Charles Meigh & Sons in Staffordshire, England, about 1850 to 1860. It would probably sell for about $125 to $135.

Q: Can you place a value on a Chinese garden seat in the rose medallion pattern? The local museum determined that it was made in the mid-19th century. It is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips.

A: Based on the sales listed in several price guides, a garden seat such as you describe would probably sell in an antique shop for $2,500 to $2,750. If you choose to sell it to a dealer, you will probably be offered about $1,500 to $2,000.

Q: My husband inherited an old wristwatch. It is curved to fit the wrist and is marked "Curvex Precision, Gruen Watch Co." Do you know when this was made and what its value might be?

A: Gruen made this model watch in the late 1930s and early 1940s. A 17-jewel movement in a gold-filled case with a matching bracelet should sell for $300 to $400.

Q: We have an Edison Model A Home Phonograph that plays cylindrical records. The horn is almost 4 feet long and has a rod to support it. Can you tell me when this was made and what it should sell for?

A: Your phonograph was made between 1900 and 1905. The extra long horn is somewhat rare. In good condition, this should sell for $500 to $600.

Send your questions about antiques with picture(s), a detailed description, a stamped, self-addressed envelope and $1 per item to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. All questions will be answered; published pictures cannot be returned. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.

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