Antique or Junque: Phonograph plays to a profitable beat
Mar 27,2009 00:00 by Anne_McCollam

Q: I have enclosed a photo of an old phonograph that my mother gave me several years ago. This is a view of the cabinet's exterior with the lid open. I'm glad my mother rescued the phonograph from a woman who was going to throw it away.


A "Diamond Disc" phonograph, made from around 1912 to 1927, would probably be worth $200 to $500. 

The wood is oak and in perfect condition. The original red felt over the speakers has been replaced. There is a gold metal tag with the words, "Diamond Disc — Official Laboratory Model — Thomas Edison."

What is my "prize" worth?

A: Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. Your "Diamond Disc" phonograph was produced in over a half-dozen cabinet styles from around 1912 to 1927.

Your phonograph would probably be worth $200 to $500.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of a small porcelain bowl that I bought at an antiques shop 35 years ago. Decorated with green clovers against a cream background with a basket weave surface, the bowl measures 4 inches in diameter and 3 inches high. I have always kept it in my china cabinet and it is in mint condition.

What can you tell me about the mark?

A: You have a sugar bowl, which is a nice example of Irish Belleek made in County Fermanagh, Ireland. Founded in 1857 by Robert Armstrong and David McBurney, the company continues to produce Belleek porcelain today. The pottery used black marks from 1863 until 1946; subsequent marks were green. Your mark is their second black mark — used on pieces made from 1891 to 1926.

Your bowl would probably be worth $125 to $150.

Q: I inherited my great-grandmother's bronze mantel clock and would like to know more about its history. It has a figure of a warrior standing next to the clock. The figure is holding a knife in one hand and has a shield above his head. There is the letter "A" on the face of the clock; it is an eight-day windup and strikes on the hour and half-hour.

The overall height is 21 inches and the width is 19 inches. It is in perfect working condition.

My clock is a cherished heirloom, and it would be so nice to have information to pass down to the next generation.

A: Ansonia Co. made your mantel clock around 1894. Founded in 1851 in Ansonia, Conn., the factory moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1879 and was sold to a Russia company in 1930. Made of base metal with a Japanese Bronze finish, the figure is "Attila." This clock was also available as a double figure model with Mars on the other side. Your clock originally sold for around $50, but in today's market would be worth $1,500 to $2,000.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.