Chairs With That Old-Country Charm


Canadian country furniture was made by workmen who came from France and England. The furniture was made to resemble pieces from the "old country."

One unusual French Canadian country chair is the Ile d'Orleans, common in the lower St. Lawrence River region.

The seat is a flat piece of wood, and the back resembles an empty picture frame. The legs usually had stretchers that were turned, resembling other chairs of the era.

Ile d'Orleans chairs from the late 17th century can be found in museums. The style was out of fashion by the late 1700s.


Question I have a string of small bells to which is attached a booklet titled "Bells of Sarna." How old are the bells? Is Sarna a person?


Answer Sajjan Singh Sarna was a bell-marketing genius. Sarna was born in India about 100 years ago. He immigrated to the United States when he was a young man but returned to India in the 1930s to buy a supply of Indian bells. He returned to the U.S. and started selling single bells and sets of bells.

He sold them with booklets that named the various bells and explained how they were used in India. Sarna later acknowledged that he invented many of the bells' names.

Millions of Sarna bells were sold, so their prices are not high. A string of small Sarna bells sells for $10 to $20.


Q We have six soft plastic character figures from the "Pogo" comic strip. The figures range in height from 4 to 5 1/2 inches and are marked on the bottom with the character's name and the words "Made in Japan, Walt Kelly, 1969." Are they valuable?


A Your figures represent Pogo Possum, Howland Owl, Albert Alligator, Beauregard Hound, Porky Pine and Churchy LaFemme, a turtle--characters from Kelly's newspaper comic strip.

Kelly worked as an animator for Walt Disney and in the late 1930s started drawing the characters in "Pogo" for a series of animal stories that appeared in comic magazines during the 1940s. Kelly began drawing the newspaper strip in 1948. After he died in 1973, it was continued for a couple of years by his heirs.

Your figures are valued at $25 each.


Q My vase was brought to North America by my Danish grandparents in 1917. It is about 9 inches tall and painted blue with white flowers and green leaves. The mark on the bottom is circular. The words "Royal Copenhagen" surround a crown. Three wavy lines are under the circle. When was my vase made, and what is it worth?


A The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory has been open in Denmark's capital city since 1775. The mark on your vase indicates that it was made between 1894 and 1922 and that it is made with the company's decoration No. 370 on item No. 47C.

Your vase would sell for $100 to $200.


Q What is yellowware? I have a collection of mixing bowls. I think of them as yellowware, but my friends say some pieces are just modern mixing bowls.


A Collectors differ on the definition of yellowware. All agree that yellowware is stoneware made from yellow clay.

The English exported yellowware to the United States in the early 1800s. Clay beds were found and yellowware was made in the eastern United States and Ohio.

Some collectors consider the era of yellowware to have ended with the 19th century. Some say it continued until the 1930s. Others consider any piece made of yellow clay to be yellowware.

Most yellowware pieces are mixing bowls and other kitchen wares. The age is determined by shape and design.


Q Can you tell me how my small electric sterilizer was used? It is porcelain on the outside, with a metal top, lining and perforated tray. It is 5 inches long, 2 1/4 inches wide and 3 inches tall. The front once had a paper label, but it has worn away.


A You have a Renwal brand syringe sterilizer made by the American Sundries Co. of Brooklyn. It was designed to be used in small medical offices. It also was sold to diabetics who gave themselves insulin shots at home.

Boiling water in the sterilizer would heat syringes and needles placed in the tray.

Insulin was first isolated in the 1920s. Your sterilizer was made in the '30s or early '40s.


Q I bought an old plastic radio at an estate sale. It is shaped like a globe on a stand. The globe is cream-colored, and the continents are painted gold. The metal bottom is marked "The New World Radio." Can you tell me the age and value?


A Your Bakelite radio was made about 1933 by the Colonial Radio Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y. It came in black and gold, maroon and gold and old ivory and gold.

If it is in excellent condition, with unworn paint, it is worth more than $1,000.

For a copy of the Kovels' 1998 leaflet listing 153 books and pamphlets that are price guides for all kinds of collectibles and antiques, send $2 and a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents) No. 10 envelope to Price Guides for Antiques and Collectibles, Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.


Current Prices

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

* 1955 Chevrolet Corvette All-American Sports Car manual: $70.

* The Partridge Family paper dolls, Susan Dey as Laurie, 1971, Artcraft Corp.: $90.

* Zippo slim lighter, Lee logo, polished finish, black enamel engraving, "Lee, the Clothes You Need for the Life You Lead," original box: $135.

* American Encaustic tile tray, four monks, bright green, 6 1/2 by 5 inches: $145.

* Golden Rule Blend Coffee grinder, cast iron on wooden base, glass bottle holds beans, 18 inches: $200.

* Steiff teddy bear, Zotty, light-brown longhaired mohair, swivel neck, shaved nose, open mouth, stitched ears, bead eyes, 1969, 8 inches: $325.

* Steuben glass Audubon plate, white pelican, signed, circa 1940, 10 inches: $550.

* Coca-Cola ice cooler, four-legged, red with white, "Serve Yourself, Please Pay the Clerk," 1920, 34 by 30 inches: $1,100.

* Chippendale cherry chest of drawers, four beaded drawers, quarter columns, straight bracket feet, circa 1790, 35 by 38 inches: $2,600.

* New Hampshire mirror clock by Benjamin Morrill, circa 1815, reverse painted upper panel, half column gilt and grain frame, 30 by 14 inches: $3,000.

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