Q: Where can I find authentic-looking reproductions of Early American country furniture painted to simulate wood graining? Do craftsmen make such furniture in specific colors? Also, can you tell me anything about the methods originally used to create faux wood-grained effects?
A: Everything from candle smoke to combs to corncobs were used for graining furniture.
Full- and one-third-size reproductions of grain-painted country furniture, with worn spots, are offered for sale by the Workshops of David T. Smith. You may write to the Workshops of David T. Smith, 3600 Shawhan Road, Morrow, Ohio 45152. Enclose $5 for a packet of Folk Furniture color pictures, catalog and brochure.
"American Country Furniture -- Projects From the Workshops of David T. Smith" by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite ($29.95 in hardcover), with photographs, plans for building country furniture and instructions on grain-painting techniques, is available by postpaid mail from the workshops. For more information, call (513) 932-2472.
Q: Who will pay me $20,000 for a circa 1965 rare set of painted, handblown glass Christmas tree ornaments made in Italy, shaped like the four Beatles holding plastic guitars? All are in mint condition in the original box.
A: You have grand illusions in thinking that such a set is worth such an astronomical sum, according to Jim Bohenstengel, a Christmas tree ornament collector, dealer and auctioneer. He says he has four sets of such Beatles ornaments in never-opened boxes for $300 a set. (You may write to Mr. Bohenstengel in care of Galerie St. James, 727 Lake St., Oak Park, Ill. 60301; (708) 524-8870.)
Rick Rann, a Beatles collector, buyer and dealer, says such Beatles ornaments are worth no more than about $500 a set in mint condition. Some Beatles collectors might want such an unauthorized set, Mr. Rann said, but those who collect only authorized Beatles memorabilia would not. (Mr. Rann wrote "Beatles Memorabilia Price Guide," with Marty Eck and Jeff Augsburger, available for $22.95 postpaid from Mr. Rann at Box 877, Oak Park, Ill. 60303; or send $1 for his catalog of Beatles items for sale, or an addressed, stamped envelope for a reply, evaluation or offer for Beatles memorabilia; or phone (708) 442-7907 for information.)