Monday, August 3

It's Just Stuff

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bentwood0002Connie Sue,
My grandfather gave my mother this bentwood rocker. I have been told that this is a “real” bentwood rocker — not a reproduction.

I am interested in knowing more about it, especially value – although I would never sell it! I can remember being rocked in this rocker as a child of about 3 or 4. I was born in 1944, but I know she had it before that.
Ellen, Mt. Juliet

Dear Ellen,
Although good-quality bentwood rockers are still being produced, your bent hickory chair’s burned Roman numerals indicate the age as from the first quarter of the 20th century. Most rockers of this type had cane seats and backs. Only your family would know if this one had been upholstered after production. Similar rockers sell for anywhere from $50 at an estate sale to $450 in a nice shop. I think the hickory wood is your chair’s strongest feature. It’s a strong wood that retains its shape forever after it is steamed into form.

I need a little advice. My mother left a lot of old magazines, particularly Life Magazines from the late ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. They have covers of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, Clark Gable’s son (who was born after his death), The Beatles and many others. What is the best way to organize and sell these? I am sure some I would sell in quantity, and others may be sold individually, depending on the subject matter. I really need to clear them out, as I need the space.
I would much appreciate any help or advice you can give.
Donna, Woodbury

Dear Donna,
Magazines sell easily on Craigslist. With a simple listing of the date, cover photo and condition, buyers can easily determine which issues you offer. Buyers need not come to your house. Value can range from a couple of dollars to $35. Life Magazines are easy to ship and sell because everyone is a potential customer. Most people want to own their birthday issue or a least their favorite movie or rock star, fashion feature, inspiring hero or moment in time. A huge collection of magazines in Winchester was my first investment of antiques to sell.

knivesDear Connie,
Could you please give me some information about these knives? I purchased them for $100, which I thought was too much, but the girl needed money for Christmas. I want to sell (the set) and need to know what to ask. I think they are butter knives, made out of oyster or some type of shell. There are no markings on the silk box or knives. Can you help?
Thanks a lot,
Tammy, Pikeville

Dear Tammy,
Your mother-of-pearl canapé knives were produced in the early 1900s. Boxed sets of most anything were popular then. You are correct, they were carved from shell. Presentation boxes certainly add to the value, but I agree, you were generous — and that’s good. Ask $100, but be willing to take half that.


About Author

Connie Sue Davenport

Connie Sue Davenport, ISA AM, offers antique appraisal events, private appraisals and estate sale consulting services to individuals, businesses and organizations. Sign up for “IT’S JUST STUFF,” her FREE quarterly newsletter, at Send your inquiry with photos to the mailing address or email below. Only published appraisals are free. Private appraisals are available for a fee. Call 615-672-1992 for an appointment. No appraisals are given over the phone. Connie Sue Davenport, P.O. Box 343, White House, TN 37188 615-672-1992 • email:

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