Antique or Junque: Golden oak secretary worth a bit of gold
Jul 27,2007 00:00 by Anne McCollam

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a secretary that I have inherited. It originally belonged to my grandfather. No one in our family has been able to furnish any information as to the age of our secretary. Everyone just says, "He always had it." He died at the age of 80 in 1947 and then it was passed down to my mother. Inside the drop front part are various size cubbyholes. Behind the lower door are sections for storing ledgers.

GOLDEN OAK SECRETARY - This circa 1900 secretary would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500. CNS Photo.  
VOGUE MARK - Vogue was a distributing company that sold china and earthenware made by several different factories. CNS Illustration.
On the back of the secretary is a shipping label with an address I was able to identify as a Sears and Roebuck Co. store in Chicago.

I would appreciate information regarding the age and value of our secretary.

A: The applied scrolled carving on the drop front and the pressed brass pulls, are typical of golden oak furniture made in the late 1800s and very early 1900s. Sears and Roebuck Co. sold a plethora of similar pieces of Golden Oak furniture.

Your circa 1900 secretary would probably be worth $1,000 to $1,500.

Q: This mark is on 12 porcelain dinner plates that were my mother's. They are decorated with pastel flowers in the centers, the rims are embellished with gold, and are in excellent condition.

I am now in my 70s and must find a home for them. I hope you can give me an idea of their value.

A: Vogue was a distributing company that sold china and earthenware made by several different factories. Homer Laughlin China Co. in Ohio was one of the major china factories they had contracts with. "Warranted 22 K Gold" was first included with marks in the 1920s.

Your dinner plates were made sometime between 1924 and the 1930s. Each plate would probably be worth $20 to $25.

Q: I have a life-size cardboard figure of Superman that I am curious about. At his feet are the words "Watch Superman on TV." Below that is a picture of a corn flakes cereal box. I was told it is a grocery store display and the top part was used as a place to display cereal boxes.

Does it have any value?

A: Your life-size Superman figure was used to promote Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal and the TV series around 1956.

Its value is super-sized! Depending on the condition, its value ranges from the upper $600s to $4,000.

Q: I have a Lane cedar chest that was purchased around 1929 and is in mint condition. The trim and lock are all brass and the Lane certificate and instructions are still attached to the lid.

I know it's probably not really an antique, but I would like to know if it has any value.

A: John Lane and his son Ed started making red cedar chests in 1912 in Virginia. Over the years they added a variety of furniture to their lines. Today they are owned by Furniture Brands International.

Your early 20th century cedar chest is not quite in the antique category, but is a nice collectible. It would probably be worth $200 to $300.


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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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