Q: Any information you may have concerning the plate in the enclosed picture will be greatly appreciated. The mark on the back is CFH over GDM. The plate measures 9 inches.
A: Your plate was made in Limoges, France, by Charles Field Haviland. The GDM stands for Gerard, Dufraesseix & Morel, a company taken over by Haviland. Your plate is from the late 1800s. It would probably sell for $75 to $85.
Q: I have an antique plate that is said to have belonged to Napoleon. It is decorated with crowns and trimmed in gold. The attached mark is on the bottom of the plate.
What can you tell me about its history and what it might be worth?
A: The Sevres porcelain factory in France used this mark in 1854 during the brief reign of Napoleon III. It did not belong to him or the original Napoleon I.
Your rare plate would sell in the $225 to $235 range.
Q: I have inherited a beautiful cut-glass punch bowl. It is so lovely I would like to find a sterling-silver punch ladle. What can I expect to pay for one?
A: Fine sterling antique ladles can run more than $1,000. You should be able to buy one made in the last 50 to 75 years for around $200 to $300.
Q: I have a teapot made by John Maddock & Sons Ltd. It is the Indian Tree pattern.
What information can you give me about the Indian Tree pattern? I also would like to know approximately when it was made and its value.
A: The Indian Tree pattern features a gnarled tree with various flowers in an Oriental style. It was produced by several British potters in the early 1800s. It is still being made today.
Your teapot was made in the early 20th century and would probably fetch $75 to $85.
Q: Vincent van Gogh's painting "Irises" sold for more than $50 million, yet you told me my print of the same picture was worth very little. I don't understand this. It doesn't make sense to me.
A: A print of a famous painting is about the same as taking a picture of it with a camera. A photograph of a BMW isn't more expensive than a photograph of a Volkswagen.
Q: The antique shops never seem to offer any military medals from World War II. Are they collectible? Are they very expensive?
A: They are collectible, and some are expensive. However, it is illegal to sell them. Here are a few examples:
Distinguished Service Medal -- $50-$60.
Bronze Star -- $10-$15.
Distinguished Flying Cross -- $20-$25.
Air Medal -- $20-$25.
Medal of Honor -- $500-$600.
Silver Star -- $65-$75.
Purple Heart -- $15-$20.
Navy Cross -- $75-$80.
Q: At a recent antique show I saw a silver napkin ring with three wheels and a cherub on top. It was priced at more than $300. Isn't that unrealistically high?
A: Probably not. Figural silver-plated napkin rings are extremely popular with collectors. Here are some typical prices:
Two girls climbing ladder -- $400.
Monkey dressed as a man -- $265.
Two dolphins -- $200.
Boy with a drum -- $250.
Cat with ring -- $150.
Squirrel and bird -- $225.
Q: I have my grandfather's shaving mug. It has a farmer driving some kind of a wagon. It is trimmed in gold. I notice at antique shows some of these are quite high in price.
Can you tell me how much mine may be worth?
A: Occupational shaving mugs are eagerly sought by collectors. Your farmer's shaving mug would sell for around $175 to $200.
Q: I have an extensive collection of marbles (at least 1,000) from ++ my childhood of the 1950s. Is there any way I can find out if any of these are valuable? Are there any organizations or shops that purchase and appraise marbles?
I would also like to know if any of them are collector's items. Please advise me.
A: You can get all kinds of information from the following sources.
Collectors clubs: Marble Collectors Society of America, P.O. Box 222, Trumbull, Conn. 06611; National Marble Club of America, 440 Eaton Road, Drexel Hill, Pa. 19026, and Marble Collectors Unlimited, 502 W. Pine, Marengo, Iowa 52301.
Q: My bronze Ansonia clock has a figure of a warrior holding a sword in his right hand and a shield in his left hand. Would you please tell me about how old it is and what it might be worth?
A: Your Ansonia "Attila" model clock was made in the late 1800s and might sell for $800 to $900 in good condition.
Q: There is a mark on my Limoges cake platter that I received from my aunt. It is 15 inches long and 13 inches wide. It has yellow, pink, white and purple chrysanthemums painted on it. What can you tell me about my platter?
A: Your cake platter was made in Limoges, France, by Mavaleix & Granger in the early 1900s. It should be worth around $115 to $125.
Q: I have an oak secretary with a drop-leaf front, curved glass door and embellished with a lion's head on the drop-leaf desk. It also has a lion's head as a shelf support.
Will you please give me the value of this piece of furniture?
A: Your asymmetric secretary was made in 1900 and would probably sell for $500 to $600.
A similar secretary was awarded a prize at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
Q: At an antique show recently I saw some novelty ceramics decorated with fat little elves with skinny legs and they had large round eyes. There were several of these shown by a dealer.
Can you tell me anything about these?
A: From the way you describe these, I think these items are decorated with pictures of "Brownies" designed by Palmer Cox, which were first drawn by the artist in 1883. These cartoon figures were used to decorate a variety of items. Here are some typical pieces:
"Brownie" china cup and saucer -- $70 to $75.
"Brownie" Palmer Cox Whistle -- $150.
"Brownie" auto race game -- $65.
Letters with picture(s) are welcome and may be answered in the column. We cannot reply personally or return pictures. Address your letters to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.