Q: I want to furnish my office with a Chicago River decor. Where can I find pictures, paintings, prints, maps, literature and other items relating to the river's present and past?
A: Friends of the Chicago River is a not-for-profit river advocacy organization that offers a newsletter and other printed material, historical river trail walks, boat trips and tours, workshops and other benefits. Annual individual membership is $20, $35 a family, $15 for students and seniors, available from Friends of the Chicago River, 407 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1580, Chicago, Ill. 60605; phone (312) 939-0490. The organization offers Chicago River artwork such as river artist Michael Blaser's 31-by-21-inch limited-edition print "Port of Chicago," available for $650 for the artist's remarqued editions numbered 1-50, or $225 for those numbered 51-1,500; shipping, handling and insurance are $7.50; Illinois residents must pay sales tax.
James Boulivar Needham (1850- 1931) was one of Chicago's earliest black artists; he studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago and is known for his industrial views of the Chicago River, such as a 14-by-21-inch oil on canvas "The Chicago River, Goodrich Plant" (1916).
For information about Needham's river artwork, write to Robert Henry Adams Fine Art, 1480 Webster Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60614; phone (312) 327-6542.
Literature on the Chicago River can be found at Chicago Historical Bookworks, 831 Main St., Evanston, Ill. 60202; phone (708) 869-6410.
Q: Where can I find information on current values of Hummel figurines with old markings?
A: "Hummel Figurines and Plates," by Carl Luckey, is available for $15.45 postpaid from Books Americana Inc., Box 2326, Florence, Ala. 35630.
Q: Where can I find information on and examples of original Gustav Stickley desks, bookcases and other library furniture?
A: Some of the best examples of Stickley furniture (including double-door bookcases, a 1901 chestnut drop-front desk and a 38-inch-wide desk fitted with drawers and cubby compartments) can be found at the 20th Century Arts and Crafts and American and European Decorative Arts Auction at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at John Toomey's Auction House, 818 North Blvd., Oak Park, Ill. 60301; phone (708) 383-5234. Catalog (one can bid by phone or mail) is available for $25 postpaid.
Q: How can I determine which Coca-Cola items are authentic and which are reproductions?
A: Send for a copy of "Petretti's Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide," by Allan Petretti, for $32.45 postpaid from Wallace-Homestead Book Co., One Chilton Way, Radnor, Pa. 19089-0230; phone (800) 695-1214. Reproduced items are made to look like the originals, whereas fantasy items never existed as originals. For additional information, or to buy or sell Coca-Cola memorabilia, write to Forrest Wright, 1019 Kehoe Drive, St. Charles, Ill. 60174, enclosing an addressed, stamped envelope for a reply; or call (708) 584-9372).
Q: I have some old Fisher-Price toys. Would they have any value?
A: Depending on their age, condition, rarity and desirability, such toys are worth from $10 to $600 or more, according to the second edition of "Fisher-Price, 1931-1963 -- A Historical, Rarity, Value Guide," by John J. Murray and Bruce R. Fox, available for $27.45 postpaid from Books Americana Inc., Box 2326 Florence, Ala. 35630.
Q: I've been collecting Hall's Orange Poppy pottery for about 15 years and would like to know if there is a club for collectors or how I can contact others with the same interest.
A: You can subscribe to Hall China Encore, published February through December, for $19 a year, or $12 for six issues, from Kim E. Boss, 317 N. Pleasant St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074. Information also can be found in the "Collector's Encyclopedia of Hall China," by Margaret and Ken Whitmyer, $21.45 postpaid from Collector Books, Box 3009, Paducah, Ky. 42002-3009; phone (800) 626-5420.
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.