This chest was first mentioned in the will of Edward Richardson, who died in 1751. It was left to his wife, Ann, and has since come down through the Richardson and Anderson families to me. The bottom part consists of one drawer, with the other drawers resting on it. It contains no nails, as it has been put together with pegs.
I would appreciate it very much if you would appraise the chest for me. I enjoy your column.
Margery, Wilkesboro, N.C.
The fair market value (the amount of money a willing buyer would pay a willing seller) of your tall chest is around $5,000. Insurance value might exceed $12,000 if provenance packs a punch. Anything made in America before 1800 must have many stories to tell.
Your flat bonnet chest has eight differently sized drawers on a base of one large drawer. That alone has raised my heart rate. Any changes, damage or repair can, however, lower value.
It appears to be of good quality, but if I were able to examine it more carefully, I’d make sure the wood in the back of the two stacked pieces had worn similarly. The wood underneath the base should look the same as the back. Since wood shrinks from the day it is cut, I’d look for old cracks and separation to confirm age. To fetch the highest value, all pulls and locks should be original. Look for dents or shadows from previous hardware to detect changes.
This tea set was given to me by my mom. Her mom got it for her. I know it’s from Germany and was made in the early 1900s. It is gold-plated. It shows a man playing music to a woman.
There are six cups and saucers, a teapot, creamer and a covered sugar bowl. It’s very beautiful, and I love it. I would like to know its value.
Gold-plated porcelain can certainly bring some sparkle to a tea party. And unlike shiny metals, you don’t have to polish it. This set might sell for $20 to $50. The man playing a lute to his lady is a decal. Use the things you love, but be careful when you wash the pieces — never in the dishwasher.
How much would 82-year-old baby clothes be worth? Or are they worth anything? There are several pieces: booties, shoes, bonnets, caps, dresses, etc.
Simple cotton pieces without decoration or fancy needlework sell in the $18 to $25 range, as do bonnets and caps. If pieces have tucks, tatted edging, silk or remarkable buttons, the value can rise to more than $50. Hand-sewn clothes are more valuable than machine-made, so the money is in any extra work performed by a skilled seamstress.