The name of the game is furniture Antiques: Collectors have to be familiar with all the terms describing the type or time period of a particular piece.

September 22, 1996|By Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel | Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel,KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

Names for styles of furniture can be confusing. One expert might call a chair Victorian, another Aesthetic Revival, another late 19th century. All could be correct, since Aesthetic Revival describes a type of Victorian furniture made in America in the late 19th century.

Furniture collectors should familiarize themselves with the terminology. Mission and Arts and Crafts both describe the heavy, rectangular, plain, often oak furniture made by Stickley and others in the early 1900s.

Chippendale was named for a man who designed furniture in England in the last half of the 18th century. Hepplewhite was named for an English designer working about 1800. Federal refers to the furniture, sometimes in the Hepplewhite style, made after the Colonies joined together. The experts date Federal furniture from 1789 to about 1840, when the early Victorian designs appeared.

Don't be confused when you go to a furniture store. Today all those names, and others, are used by contemporary makers who base new pieces on the old designs.

I have a seven-compartment plastic tray. There is a portrait of an Eskimo in the middle section. It is signed "Sascha B." Who was he or she?

Sascha Brastoff was born in Cleveland in 1918. Brastoff worked at several jobs until 1947, when he opened his first ceramic plant in Los Angeles. He designed and sold inexpensive ceramics. His signature was included on every item. It even appeared on items designed by artists who worked for him. His plant closed in 1973.

The Alaska series with scenes of Eskimos actually was designed by Matthew Adams, who eventually opened his own studio and produced a similar design signed with his own name. Your tray is worth $150-$175.

I saved the tea set that I played with as a child. It's marked "MF England." The four plates, cups and saucers, creamer and teapot are decorated with four scenes: Puss-in-Boots, Cinderella, Robinson Crusoe and Dick Whittington. What is the set worth?

Morley Fox & Co. used the MF England mark between 1906 and 1920. Old children's tea sets are popular. Your Staffordshire set would sell for about $400 in excellent condition.

When I was a youngster, I loved Daniel Boone. I still have my Daniel Boone cap gun. It's plastic and looks like one Boone might have used. What's it worth?

Louis Marx & Co. made your Daniel Boone Wilderness Scout Derringer. The 8 1/4 -inch-long single-shot gun sells for about $70 if you have the original packaging. Since you probably played with yours, it would sell for less.

At a recent garage sale I purchased a cast-iron mechanical bank. It has no paint and doesn't work. Inscribed on the side is "Professor Pug Frog and His Great Bicycle Feat." What can you tell me about it?

Your bank was made around 1892 by the J&E Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn. If it worked, you could place a coin over the rear bicycle wheel and turn the center crank. The frog would turn, and the coin would be deposited in the basket.

The bank has been reproduced. An original in good working condition is hard to find. One sold at auction a few years ago for $12,500. Your broken, unpainted one is still worth a few hundred dollars.

I have a sewing machine that looks like a chest of drawers. It is labeled "New Cottage." Do you know how old it might be?

Sewing machines with elaborate cabinets were popular in the early 1900s. The National Sewing Machine Co. of Belvidere, Ill., made New Cottage sewing machines. The company merged with the Free Sewing Machine Co. in 1953. Depending on condition, your machine would sell for $330 to $450.

I have a clear-glass Planter's Peanuts jar with the name %o diagonally on the side. The raised lettering on the bottom says "1940 Leap Year Jar."

If your 56-year-old Planter's jar still has the tin lid picturing Mr. Peanut and is in good condition, it would sell for $60 to $90.

Tip: Most Oriental rugs can be washed. There are many books in the library that give detailed instructions. Don't do it yourself if the rug is silk or if a test shows the colors would run. Don't worry if the rug becomes stiff when soaked in water; it will soften when dry.

Current Prices

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Disney place mats, laminated plastic, Disney characters, marked Walt Disney productions," 1964, 11 1/2 inches by 17 1/2 inches: $35.

1934 Greyhound U.S. map, paper, lithograph showing Greyhound routes, 20 inches by 30 inches: $40.

Geraldine Ferraro "1st woman vice president" button, autograph, celluloid, 3 inches: $55.

American cloth baby doll, by Martha Chase, pressed facial features, blond hair, brown eyes, accented nostrils, closed mouth, circa 1900, 17 inches: $350.

Steuben glass bowl, pink, tapered trumpet form, mottled and bubbles, 5 inches: $405.

Amish quilt, pieced and appliqued, cotton, black and yellow, 49 squares in pinwheel pattern, circa 1930, 75 inches by 73 inches: $690.

Queen Anne andirons, brass, ball-and-pear finial, baluster-shaped shaft, square plinth, late 18th-century, 16 inches: $1,495.

The Kovels welcome letters and answer as many as possible through the column. Write to Kovels, The Baltimore Sun, King Features Syndicate Inc., 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 9/22/96

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