Antique or Junque: Dental cabinet's value should bring a smile
May 04,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a dental cabinet that belonged to my father-in-law. It was given to him around 55 years ago by a dentist who was throwing it out. It was covered with many layers of paint and was used by my father-in-law to store paint supplies, brushes and tools for years. We decided to have it refinished and were told the wood is mahogany, the base is marble, and the glass knobs are original. The overall measurements are 43 inches tall and 40 inches wide. When all the drawers are closed the square middle drawer has to be opened first or all the drawers remain locked.

We would appreciate any information you can provide including value.

A: Vintage dental cabinets are popular with collectors. Yours was made around 1930 to 1940 and would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500.

Q: The enclosed mark is on each dish of an 85-piece service for 12 set of porcelain. My mother bought the set in Germany several years ago and has since passed it down to me.

DENTAL CABINET - Vintage dental cabinets are popular with collectors. This one was made around 1930 to 1940 and would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500. CNS Photo.

THOMAS PORCELAIN MARK - The Thomas porcelain business is part of Rosenthal Glass and Porcelain of Selb, Germany. CNS Illustration.

She kept the dishes in a china cabinet and never used them. The dishes are decorated with bands of cobalt blue and gold against a white background.

Can you tell me the approximate value of the set?

A: Rosenthal Glass and Porcelain has used the mark you provided from 1957 to the present. They have made earthenware and porcelain in Selb, Bavaria, Germany, since 1879.

Your set of dishes would probably be worth $800 to $1,500.

Q: I recently bought an antique Mission oak file cabinet for $400 at an antiques shop. It has two deep drawers with brass pulls and stands around 29 inches tall, 25 inches deep and 16 inches wide. There is no manufacturer's label, so I have no idea who made it.

My wife thinks I paid too much and would like your opinion.

A: If you use it and enjoy having it, you didn't spend too much for your two-drawer stacker. As a rule, cabinets that can be attributed to specific makers are more valuable than those without credentials. Cabinets similar to yours that are unmarked and are in good condition are usually in the $300 to $350 range. Those with manufacturers' label are often in the $350 to $425 range.

Q: In the 1950s, when I was around 10 years old, I was given a child's porcelain tea set. The set consists of a service for six that includes plates, cups, saucers, a teapot, a cream pitcher and a covered sugar bowl. They are decorated with tiny pastel flowers against a white background. It was made in Japan, is still in the original box, and in mint condition.

Does my set have any value?

A: Children's dishes sets are always desirable collectibles. The value of your set would probably be $50 to $75.

Q: I have a pair of cranberry glass vases that are decorated with white enamel figures in relief of children at play. Each vase stands around 10 inches tall and is in perfect condition. They are both unmarked.

I know they are old because they belonged to my great-grandmother. They have been handed down over the years and no one knows anything about them. Do they have any value?

A: You have a pair of Mary Gregory-style vases. Even though there is nothing to substantiate the story, the type of glass you describe has been attributed to Mary Gregory, who was an alleged employee at Boston and Sandwich Glass Co. in the late 1800s. In any event, the glassware was in demand around the turn of the 20th century and continues to be manufactured today.

Each vase would probably be worth $200 to $250.

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.