I was cutting small trees and vines from my yard and among the poison ivy vines found this wire basket. Nobody knows what it is. It has no bottom. We’re in awe of its perfect shape. The wire is rusted, and there’s no bottom. You were the only source we could think of to find out what it is. It is made of .25 wire and is 12.5 inches in diameter and 9 inches tall.
Thank you very much,
Billie Jean, Whitesburg
Dear Billie Jean,
Thank you for the confidence. The basket you’ve rescued from the poison ivy is a gathering basket, most often used to gather eggs. The bottoms of these baskets were also wire and often rusted away or had enough ‘give’ in them to wear the wires attaching them to the sides. In fact, I’ve seen quite a few without their bottoms. Intact, they sell for $35 to $75. During our quest to bring the farm into suburbia, egg baskets of any sort were actively collected and hung from the rafters.
This lamp came from an estate sale in East Tennessee. The lamp measures 18 inches tall and weighs about 7 pounds. It has a signature etched in the glass, on top below the finial. It is in perfect working condition, and there are no chips, cracks or defects at all. I’ve been told that it is a cobalt cut to clear crystal lamp made by Dresden. I’m hoping you can tell me what it is, where it came from and its value.
Jeanie, Tellico Plains
Many people call this colorful glass cut to crystal Bohemian. Your lamp was made in Europe around 1960 and sold for around $500 at that time. It was also made in ruby red, cobalt blue, dark yellow and green. Although photographs can distort color, I think your lamp is another of the available colors — deep purple. Currently at auction and on eBay, the same lamp sells for $100 to $175. As near as I can determine, the Dresden by Peck mark indicates a Polish maker.
I am enclosing three pictures of a secretary desk: one full shot, one a close-up of a drawer and a third that shows the interior — which leads to my question. The exterior appears to be of one wood in a brownish tone, but the interior is in a different wood in the red tones. Can you explain why that would be?
In terms of background, we believe the piece came from Illinois, but no name or identifying marks could be found.
Thank you for whatever insight you can provide.
Very truly yours,
Susan, Beech Mountain, N.C., and Parrish, Fla.
The reddish interior color is original. The exterior has either faded from exposure to sunlight or has been refinished to expose a brownish hue. This desk is referred to as a Governor Winthrop-style slant front. It has a fitted interior, serpentine drawers and ball-and-claw feet. Made circa-1900, a current auction estimate is listed for $200 to $600, coincidentally in Crystal River, Fla.
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