Antique or Junque: Washboard wrings in the cash
Mar 30,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: The antique washstand seen in this photo has been passed down in our family from generation to generation. Although we don't have any official documentation, we believe an ancestor who was an accomplished carpenter originally made it. We do know that we descended from a long line of German carpenters and cabinetmakers; therefore, there is some creditability to the family history.

In any event, it had been forgotten and stored in the basement of one of my relatives for years. It had many coats of black paint, making it impossible to see the carving. She gave it to me and said, "Good luck!"

It has been carefully restored and is now beautiful. What can you tell me about my washstand?

A: Your washstand has certainly been through the wringer. Judging from your photo, it was made by a cabinetmaker rather than rolling off an assembly line in a factory. The incised carving, pressed brass pulls, porcelain castors, candle shelves, wood inlay and overall angular lines are characteristics of the Victorian Eastlake period of design. The stylized potted flowers on each door suggest a German influence.

WASHSTAND - This Victorian washstand was made around 1875 and would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500. CNS Photo.

A.D. HEISEY CO. MARK - The A.D. Heisey Glass Co. made upscale glassware from 1900 to 1958. CNS Illustration.

Your washstand was made around 1875 and would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500.

Q: This mark is on my crystal figurine of a pony. The figurine stands on a base and the overall height is approximately 5 inches. It is in mint condition.

What can you tell me about the maker, age and value of the figurine?

A: A.D. Heisey Glass Company made your pony figurine. The factory was located in Newark, Ohio, from 1900 to 1958. They made upscale glassware that was known for its pristine clarity. Their first line of figurines was introduced in 1933.

Your pony was also available in amber and cobalt. Several companies including Imperial, Viking and Fenton made reissues of the pony figurine using Heisey molds.

Your figurine was in production from 1940 to 1952. It is photographed and listed in "Glass Animals" by Dick and Pat Spencer at $90 to $110.

Q: We have a Victorian oak shelf/kitchen clock that was made by Seth Thomas. There are scrolled designs carved into the wood, and it stands about 15 inches tall. It is an eight-day wind and strikes on the hour.

My husband bought it from a private party in the 1970s and we would like to know what it is worth and when it was made.

A: Seth Thomas Clock Company has made clocks in Connecticut since the early 1800s. In the late 1800s, they were one of the major American manufacturers of Victorian gingerbread shelf/kitchen clocks.

Your clock was made around 1895 and would probably be worth $200 to $300.

Q: I have a book that belonged to my grandmother titled "The Princess" by Alfred Lord Tennyson. On the title page are the words "Copyright - T.Y. Crowell & Co. - New York - 1892." It is bound in leather with gold embossing on the front, and is in exceptional condition.

I have been curious about this book of poetry for years. Can you please shed some light on it for me?

A: Alfred Lord Tennyson was the poet laureate in Victorian England. Tennyson wrote "The Princess" in 1847. In it, he addresses some of the social issues of his era, especially female emancipation.

Your book was published in 1892 in New York and would probably be worth $25 to $50.

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. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

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