Dear Ms. Davenport,
This brass pot was given to me in 1953 by my mother-in-law. It had been in her family for many years, but I neglected to ask its history.
I have passed it to my granddaughter, and she started the inquiry as to its use. It has been cleaned and has no finish on it. Thank you, and I look forward to anything you can tell us about its use and history.
Before steam was captured to hasten and improve production, brass and copper pots were hand-hammered into desired shapes and soldered together. Made from a sheet of metal, the earliest pots have visible flat joints similar to dovetailing. Steam power allowed early manufacturers to uniformly shape brass buckets, pots and pails for a lighter alternative to cast-iron vessels.
Copper and brass pots are often described as apple butter pots, but they can be used for most foods. A white metal lining was often added on the interior to buffer against any taste of metal. Pots like yours, made around 1880, sell for $50 to $150 depending on location and condition of sale.
This is a child’s sewing machine I received when I was about 8 years old in 1956, I think. It really sews. What do you think its value is?
The Singer SEWHANDY Model 20 sells for just over $100 with a pristine box, the clamp to secure it to a table and instruction booklet. A box and machine only might sell for around $45. I had one of these, too. Although my mother had high hopes, it was not well used.
Dear Mrs. Davenport,
This chair belongs to a friend who brought it from Missouri recently after visiting family there. She said it was used in the kitchen for children to sit on while watching the activity and hoping for a morsel of food. Now 50, she used it as a child.
I said I could make repairs. But now after looking at the unusual features and form, I wonder if it might be of some substantial value. Could you please investigate this piece of furniture?
With a pressed back and turned posts, tall chairs like this were indeed used in families to keep wiggly children seated and within sight of people working to feed the family. I remember younger cousins strapped in a chair like this, held fast by dish towels tied in the back of the spindles. Like most “keep the baby still” ploys, it worked — for a while.
Your friend’s tall chair is called a youth or high chair. It was made circa-1900 and might sell for $55 to $165. Repairs would make the chair usable. Without repair, it would sell for far less.