Wednesday, September 23

It’s Just Stuff

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Dear Connie Sue,

These are framed items my mom has in her North Carolina home. The “BE-20” note is on the back. They are about 8 by 10 inches each. I’m wondering about their value.


Dear Leah,

Your mom’s pair of reverse painted silhouettes was made in the 1930s. The note tells us the iridescent portions of the silhouettes were inspired by butterfly wings. All of the decoration is applied to the back of the glass.

These pretty ladies in fancy dresses might sell for $9 to $20 each. I’ve seen them featured in wall groupings, so the price could go up within a year.

Dear Connie Sue,

We inherited this chair years ago. We have tried to research it on the internet but have failed to identify the style chair. Please help us settle a bet. I think it is a reproduction. My wife says it is the original antique. Can you give us a value?


Dear JD,

In Europe, similarly shaped solid oak armless chairs were called hall chairs. They were most used for waiting. They were hand-carved, completely handmade and had less lovely legs than your little chair.

Although some handwork was done on your chair, the bulk was done with the help of machines. It was made during the Colonial Revival period, probably around 1900. So, yes, it’s an antique, but it’s not English oak or from the 18th century.

The plied oak back and turned stretchers were made with steam power. And the shape of the front legs wasn’t used on the earlier hall chairs. It could sell anywhere from $30 at an estate sale to $135 at a high-end decor shop.

Dear Connie Sue,

This was left behind in a house I bought, so it’s probably of no real value. It is in rough shape, 4 inches tall and says “ST LOUIS SILVER CO” in a circle on the bottom with “Quadruple” underneath it. I can’t find much online. Can you tell me anything about it?


Dear Gale,

The white metal cream pitcher you found has lost its quadruple layers of electroplated silver.

Worn metal hollowware is popular, though. I’ve seen pieces tucked in corners of kitchens and dens. The popularity hasn’t helped value very much. In a retail shop, $10 might be top price.


Dear Connie Sue,

This writing desk was sold to me as an antique. I’ve looked for identifying marks but have found none. Any information is appreciated.

Robert, Sparta

Dear Robert,

This lady’s desk was available in the 1897 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog for $8.95. The listing claims the desk is the one of the most convenient pieces of furniture for ladies and that the solid oak construction will last for a life time. At 122 years old, this drop-front desk with fitted interior has certainly lived up to one of those claims.

In the 1970s, similar desks were selling for $450 to $550. Today, they struggle to bring $100 at auction. In nice shops, they might be priced around $300. If I were offering the desk to younger buyers, I’d remove the drop front and feature the clever shelves for use as a pantry.


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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