Please see the attached picture of a bust my wife’s mother received as a gift years ago from a neighbor who was French. She believes this was brought from France by her friend. Unfortunately, the lady passed away a while back, and we are not able to find out any info on exactly what this is and where it may have come from. Any help would be appreciated.
Art nouveau porcelain busts of pretty women elaborately clad in feathers and lace were made around 1900 in Austria and Czechoslovakia during the art nouveau period of color and flamboyance. She is beautiful and forever young. Similar busts sell for $250 to more than $2,000. Although maker’s marks and condition play a part in the final sale price, the love of beauty often affects the desire to own such a sculpture.
Dear Mrs. Davenport,
First I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your column in The Tennessee Magazine. What fun it is to read the submissions and your comments!
I wonder what you think of this hall tree. My son chose this piece of furniture to remember his grandmother after her death. She had a house full of “stuff.” There is a shipping label on the lower right corner of the back. I suspect it is not quite as old as we thought. I’m pretty sure they restored it. Was that a mistake?
I would be interested in how much it is worth and also your comments on how these pieces were featured and used in the past. What kind of wood do you think it is?
Charles, Mint Hill, N.C.
Kearns began making furniture in 1904 at the time hall trees of oak were offered through mail order catalogs to people all over the United States. In fact, my copy of the Sears & Roebuck 1908 catalog calls them hall racks. They’re listed for $4.85 to $6.65 and feature French beveled mirrors and roomy seats that lift to reveal storage.
Hall trees or racks were conveniently used near outer doors or entry or mud rooms prior to the advent of entire closets installed to corral coats and hats. The seat provided a place to change from boots to house shoes. More elaborate hall trees had a place for umbrellas with a fitted drip-pan at the base.
I like the dark finish on your son’s inherited hall tree. Slender stands like this with original hooks, hinges and mirrors sell for anywhere from $175 to $700, depending on location and presentation. Today, we still use hall trees at the doorway but also in large bathrooms and children’s rooms. I have seen them in kitchens, but they don’t fit as comfortably there.
I purchased this old crock bucket at an estate auction 12 years ago and would like to know what purpose it was used for, the age, value and, if possible, some info on the maker’s mark on the bottom. It measures 5 inches tall and 5 inches wide at the top.
Others have called it everything from a berry bucket to an egg bucket to a pot to keep used grease in. No one has ever been able to identify the maker’s mark. I do believe the handle has been replaced.
Similar blue-banded buckets with the same bail have the word “butter” or “eggs” written in blue to assign their use. I suppose this means the use of your bucket was in the use-as-needed category.
The raised horseshoe mark on the base is a mystery to me as well. In the mid-19th century, there were hundreds of small, cottage potteries with fewer than 50 employees. In the late 1800s, small shops were scooped into larger companies. This may explain the obscurity of the mark. If anyone knows, please write, don’t call, with the potter’s identification.
Regardless of the maker, your little bucket would sell for between $100 and $350.