Man-made fiber used in wicker


August 07, 1994|By Anne McCollam | Anne McCollam,Copley News Service

Q: This is a photo of a small green wicker rocker that was given to me as a child. It is about 62 years old and in good condition. What is its current value?

A: Wicker is a term that encompasses a variety of natural fibers such as cane, rush, willow, rattan and reed. In 1917 Marshall B. Lloyd invented a loom that produced a man-made fiber. As a result, production was less costly and more efficient. After 1920 this technique was used to construct most wicker furniture. Your child's wicker rocker would probably be worth about $150 to $175 in mint condition.

Q: Would you please let me know the value of my Cedar Lane chest? It is the "Brewster" model. It measures 45 by 19 by 32 inches. I have had it for almost 50 years.

A: The cedar chest was a 1920s innovation. They were either lined with fragrant cedar or made completely from cedar. The aromatic red cedar was believed to kill moths. The Lane Co. in Altavista, Va., was one of the leading manufacturers of cedar chests. They were available in many styles, from period designs to styles that reflected the current trends.

In some regions, they were known as "hope chests." They were sometimes given to unmarried young women and filled with linens and objects to be used when she married, thus the name. The value of your chest would probably be about $225 to $250.

Letters with picture(s) are welcome and may be answered in the column. We cannot reply personally or return pictures. Address your letters to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 490, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556.

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