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The smart collector: 'Vermeer' works aren't even good fakes

The smart collector: 'Vermeer' works aren't even good fakes

Q: Are these paintings by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) of any value?

July 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

The smart collector: Set emotion aside to assess value of inherited items

Q: Can you comment on these antiques that have been handed down through the family? I also need the name of a reputable appraiser in my area.

July 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Look far and wide when choosing auction house

The smart collector: Look far and wide when choosing auction house

Q: I have about 200 Madame Alexander dolls (with boxes) to sell. How do I find doll auctions in my area?

July 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Do your research before selling inherited items

The smart collector: Do your research before selling inherited items

Q: Several years ago, family members aged 91 and 95 died and left me a lot of things that I have no idea regarding value. Can you give me a clue? I'll pay for your appraisals.

July 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: If it's old, it's not necessarily valuable

The smart collector: If it's old, it's not necessarily valuable

Q: Any info on my vase marked, "Made in Japan"? It seems to be clay and is 11 1/2 inches tall. Note that the surface is not smooth.

June 30, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Demand usually low for old oak pieces

The smart collector: Demand usually low for old oak pieces

Q: This old oak rocker was painted black. I had it stripped. How can I sell it? It's marked "Wisconsin Chair Co." and "1896."

June 23, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Folding bed has value as a curiosity, but no collector market really exists

The smart collector: Folding bed has value as a curiosity, but no collector market really exists

Q: My mother bought this folding bed in the 1970s. It's marked "Bednet," but I can't find any info online. Is it a Murphy bed?

June 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Antique and early fire memorabilia is a white-hot collecting category

The smart collector: Antique and early fire memorabilia is a white-hot collecting category

Q: I got this fireman's trumpet, badge and bell at an estate sale and would like to know what they're worth. I was told the bell was used going to a fire.

June 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Mug has 3 hound-shaped handles

The smart collector: Mug has 3 hound-shaped handles

Q: I was given this three-handled cider jug by friends in England long ago. I was told that it's very old. There are no marks, but I think it's unique because it is flawless. Any info?

June 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Lamp collectors covet fine pieces from the golden age of cut glass

The smart collector: Lamp collectors covet fine pieces from the golden age of cut glass

Q: Any info on this antique lamp I bought at an estate sale? There was no information furnished with it. I thought it was pretty. It's 27 inches tall, not including the chimney.

May 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Do as pros do - get the best, most current price information available

The smart collector: Do as pros do - get the best, most current price information available

Q: I found three vintage sports pennants from the 1940s, but I can't find value for them. There's a reference book on pennant prices, but who wants to spend $18.95 for something you use once?

May 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Potato-chip cans prove popular collectibles

The smart collector: Potato-chip cans prove popular collectibles

Q: Many years ago, we bought a Japp's potato-chip can at a flea market. Does it have any value?

May 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Finding a value range for paintings by obscure artist is job for an appraiser

The smart collector: Finding a value range for paintings by obscure artist is job for an appraiser

Q: I bought some beautiful paintings in Germany decades ago. I need to assess personal property for insurance purposes and all I can give my agent are rough guesses on their purchase price, which I think is far less than today's value.

May 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Internet sales shed some light on price range for vintage lamp

The smart collector: Internet sales shed some light on price range for vintage lamp

Q: I saw a small Pairpoint "puffy" lamp with lilacs, flowers and butterflies on the 8-inch shade. The base is tree-shaped brass. What is the price range for this fine specimen?

April 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Founding Fathers', early presidents' signatures vary enormously in value

The smart collector: Founding Fathers', early presidents' signatures vary enormously in value

Q: Your column carried a photo of a Ben Franklin-signed deed that sold for $13,200. We have a document signed 1811 that grants land in Ohio to a family member. It's signed in two places by President James Madison and once by Secretary of State James Monroe. Is this of similar value? Should w…

April 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Heavy, bulky, hard-to-move pianos difficult to give away, much less sell

The smart collector: Heavy, bulky, hard-to-move pianos difficult to give away, much less sell

Q: How can I find a home for a well-maintained circa 1920s upright piano? A local consignment shop was not interested at all. Several local churches have also turned it down. Any info?

April 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Just being in a museum doesn't make it valuable

The smart collector: Just being in a museum doesn't make it valuable

Q: Around 1953, my parents bought a Heywood-Wakefield dining room set of a credenza, dining table and four chairs. While visiting Wichita, we visited a museum and the exact credenza I now have was on display. What is value on these pieces?

March 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: How to figure the value of an old manual typewriter

The smart collector: How to figure the value of an old manual typewriter

Q: We found this Underwood No. 5 typewriter while cleaning out my parents' home. What do you think it's worth? What's the best way to get maximum value? I think a good cleaning would indicate a gem. Best I can tell, it's in great working order.

March 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: 1839 print showing Mt. Sinai could be worth a tidy amount

The smart collector: 1839 print showing Mt. Sinai could be worth a tidy amount

Q: My aunt was a high-ranking officer in the Salvation Army. As such, she received many gifts from visiting dignitaries. One is a lithograph, "Approach to Mount Sinai," by Wady Barah 2/17/1839. My family had it framed in the 1950s. Any info?

March 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Quality antique steins bring best prices

The smart collector: Quality antique steins bring best prices

Q: I came by these steins in the 1970s when my landlady, an old woman from Germany, was cleaning out her shed and told me I could have anything I wanted. I took this box of steins. I've never seen anything like them. Any info?

March 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Older readers will remember odd-colored wartime pennies

The smart collector: Older readers will remember odd-colored wartime pennies

Q: After a family member died, we found these bottles with 1942 pennies inside. Some are copper, but others are darker. I haven't found them anywhere on the Internet. Any info?

February 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Decorated antique shooting gear more valuable

The smart collector: Decorated antique shooting gear more valuable

Q: We found these items after my father passed away. I know that two are powder horns. Can you give us any info on the rest of the stuff?

February 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Antique glass paperweights can add heft to your wallet

The smart collector: Antique glass paperweights can add heft to your wallet

Q: My grandfather has two antique glass paperweights he wants to know about. He says the maker is Stanhope. I can't find any info on the maker. Can you help?

January 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

The smart collector: Chest from estate sale with two-eagle crest likely was mass-made

Q: I bought this chest at an estate sale. After some research, I discovered that the emblems are Imperial Russian double eagles. I haven't been able to find any other information. Is the chest military? What era is it from? Is it rare? Any information will help.

December 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The smart collector: Lion ornaments by 'Erik Kramer' could be the pride of any garden

Q: We bought this pair of Erik Kramer lions about 25 years ago at a local auction. In the same sale, many Remington bronzes were sold, so we assume these lions have value. We're having a hard time finding info on the artist. Can you help?

December 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Bookends usually sell for theme, not maker

The smart collector: Bookends usually sell for theme, not maker

Q: We bought these bookends in Europe many years ago, Are they worth anything? Appreciate any info you can give.

November 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: 'Jar' is an ivy vase churned out in the 1920s

The smart collector: 'Jar' is an ivy vase churned out in the 1920s

Q: This jar was given to a family member as a wedding gift in the 1920s. What can you tell me about it? It appears to have had a stopper, which is gone.

November 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The smart collector: Remarque can add value to 'Canoeists' etching

Q: Can you tell us about our pencil sketch titled "Dedicated to the Canoeists of America?" Does it have any value? It's been in the family more than 70 years.

August 12, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Web is best bet for selling opera glasses

The smart collector: Web is best bet for selling opera glasses

Q: How does one find collectors? I'd like to sell two pairs of opera glasses passed down by my grandmother. They're in excellent condition. I'd prefer to sell to a collector rather than on the open market.

August 05, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Hotel memorabilia is a treasure to some

The smart collector: Hotel memorabilia is a treasure to some

Q: I have seven cocktail forks from the historic Planter House Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. How do I find out if they have any value?

July 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Enrobed tiles, yellowed by age, desirable in old mahjong sets

The smart collector: Enrobed tiles, yellowed by age, desirable in old mahjong sets

Q: My mahjong set dates from before the early 1940s. There are ashtrays at the ends of each rack. I've searched online for sets with ashtrays and found none. I've never seen another like it. How do I determine value, and how can I sell this unique set? The case is in sad shape.

July 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: 'Webb Burmese' vases are actually fakes

The smart collector: 'Webb Burmese' vases are actually fakes

Q: How do I find the value of three Webb Burmese vases? They have no maker marks, just a circle on the bottom.

July 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Old switchboard can sell; online auction is best

The smart collector: Old switchboard can sell; online auction is best

Q: We inherited an old telephone switchboard. We can't find any serial numbers and have no idea how to go about selling it. Maybe Craigslist? Any ideas?

July 08, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

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The smart collector: Condition, age of newspapers relevant to determine worth

Q: I have old newspapers from the American Civil War that describe battles. How do I determine their worth?

July 01, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Owners hanging on to Icart prints amid price lull

The smart collector: Owners hanging on to Icart prints amid price lull

Q: How should I sell two Icart prints in original frames that have been in the family for more than 60 years? Each is in excellent condition. I contacted several sources, but they were no help.

June 24, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Pairpoint lamps are valuable - but only prime specimens

The smart collector: Pairpoint lamps are valuable - but only prime specimens

Q: Any info on a Pairpoint reverse painted lamp given to me by an elderly aunt? It's signed by a Pairpoint decorator. My aunt told me it was very valuable and would possibly sell for six figures in New York and for half that where I live.

June 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Picasso sketches must be authenticated

The smart collector: Picasso sketches must be authenticated

An old friend recently gave me two pen-and-ink sketches by Pablo Picasso. They show a former lover of Picasso's, a Serbian countess named Countess Zamora. She was Picasso's mistress during the mid-'50s and went to Philadelphia after he passed away to take up with my friend. How can I sell it?

June 03, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Value of plaster Bartha copy of the '40s can vary

The smart collector: Value of plaster Bartha copy of the '40s can vary

More than 30 years ago, I rescued a beautiful plaster bust from the trash at a public-library branch. The name "Barthe" is scratched into the back of the base. From my research, I am assuming that it might have been created by Richmond Bartha. I don't know how to determine if the bust has an…

May 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Several resources for info on fishing reels, tackle

The smart collector: Several resources for info on fishing reels, tackle

These fishing reels belonged to my dad. We found them in a box marked "Antique." I know nothing about reels and have no idea how to find out if they have any value. Could you give me some direction on where to start?

May 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Old stock certificate might have resale value

The smart collector: Old stock certificate might have resale value

We have a certificate for 40 shares of stock for the Tucker Corp., which failed. We'd like to sell. Would it be of value to a collector? Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated.

May 13, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Be wary selling old musical instruments

The smart collector: Be wary selling old musical instruments

My husband was a professional orchestra musician who collected antique musical instruments. Since his death, I have many fine pieces to donate or sell. How do I start?

May 06, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

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The Smart Collector: Ohio River pottery is confirmed as an authentic early piece

The Smart Collector: Ohio River pottery is confirmed as an authentic early piece

Q: I bought a white pitcher that I thought was made by the C.C. Thompson Pottery Co. But the mark on the bottom differs from their standard mark. Can you verify my mark?

March 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The Smart Collector: Avoid gun dealers; auction is the best way to dispose of collection of valuable firearms

Q: My husband died last year and left an assortment of very old rifles and pistols. Some are very valuable. I want them out of the house, and I don't want anyone to know they are here. How do I go about selling them?

March 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The Smart Collector: 'Swiss fake' pocket watch still can be valuable

Q: Have you ever Googled something and got zero hits? I've been looking for info on my grandfather's pocket watch made by Cook County Watch Co. for years, but when I Google or research, nothing comes up.

March 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The Smart Collector: Tiffany label adds value to sterling-silver cake plate

Q: What can you tell us about our cake platter inscribed Tiffany and Co.? How can we sell it for more than just the weight of the silver?

March 04, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The Smart Collector: Attractive Buddhas in fashion but value is limited

The Smart Collector: Attractive Buddhas in fashion but value is limited

Q: Any info on my ceramic Buddha? It's from the personal shrine of a Japanese officer.

February 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The Smart Collector: Especially with very worn paint, cookie jar is not worth much

Q: I need an honest appraisal for this 1948 Mammy cookie jar. It's 11 inches tall and has "McCoy" on the bottom. The paint is a bit worn, but that's to be expected. Could you please tell me how much this jar is actually worth and how to sell it at value?

February 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The Smart Collector: Many factors determine worth of mantel clock

The Smart Collector: Many factors determine worth of mantel clock

Q: What can you tell us about this clock? The works are by a maker in Frankfurt, Germany. We believe the casing may be French.

February 12, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The Smart Collector: Glass vase's worth depends on what's on it

The Smart Collector: Glass vase's worth depends on what's on it

A: The vase seen in an image sent is a familiar shape from the Steuben Glass Works of Corning, N.Y. A bulbous shape with rounded shoulders, it's listed as mold No. 2683 in early Steuben catalogs. See it on www.cardersteubenclub.org

February 05, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

The Smart Collector: 'End of the Trail' was copied often, so shop for good buyer

Q: Any info on my sculpture, "End of the Trail," by James E. Fraser? It's about 31 inches tall by 29 inches long.

January 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

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