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Antiques Considered - August 12, 2009

A piggy bank collector in the Northern Neck recently purchased this one on a business trip at a thrift shop for $1.99.  At the cash register healt received a 15% senior discount.  It is brown pottery, with traces of red underneath.  It is in excellent condition, and shows very little sign of wear.  He considers it to be a great find, and says it was the only good thing he found in the huge store.  He thinks it has one coin inside.
This piggy bank appears to be Pennsylvania redware, and, if so, dates from the mid-nineteenth century.  The modeling and coloration are quite nice, and the condition is astounding.  I say that because piggy banks were not made for lasting beauty, but to encourage children to save change, with the ultimate thought that the bank would be smashed to retrieve the money.
 Sadly, most such banks met that fate, thus decreasing the supply, and, for collectors, thereby increasing the value.  This one appears not to have been used, which accounts for its pristine condition.
Banks have been popular for decades, and good ceramic ones fetch great prices.  This one seems almost too good to be true, with no chips, cracks or other indications of use.  I do not think it is a reproduction, but even if it is, the price was a true bargain.  As a reproduction it is worth $25., but as an original, ten times that amount.
This discovery proves that one never knows what lies around the corner in a rummage shop.  If one is willing to go through the morass of "stuff" hidden treasures might appear, all of which enhances the excitement of the hunt.  From the photograph this item seems to be authentic, and if it is, it was more than worth the effort.
Happy Antiquing...

Antiques Considered - August 5, 2009

altThis overlay cut glass vase comes from an estate in the Northern Neck.  The base color is green, and the thickness is about equal for the green and the white layers.   It still bears a worn old handwritten label from an antique shop indicating it once was priced at $40., but there is no original label or identifying hallmark. The enamel and gold leaf decoration is in fine condition, and the owner wonders if it could have been one of a pair.
Overlay cut glass is quite popular, and this is a very good example of it.   Most such pieces have red or blue as their base colors, but certainly green could not be called rare. At the factory the original green base received a white overlay application, after the firing of which the glasscutter made the marks which reveal the green beneath the white.The question of whether it is American or European is difficult to answer.  British, Italian, Austrian and American glassmakers produced such pieces, but from the overall appearance I would consider it to be American, dating from the early twentieth century, at the latest the 1930s.

Read more: Antiques Considered - August 5, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 29, 2009

altThis antique icebox comes from an estate in the Lower Northern Neck. The wood appears to be chestnut, and the original hardware has been painted shiny black. The interior is in good condition with the original enamel paint and no signs of rust. The wood has been refinished and the label is missing.
The copper drain is intact, but there is no drip pan.
This icebox dates from the early 20th century. From the photographs, it looks to be by Arctic, one of the preeminent manufacturers of iceboxes.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 29, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 22, 2009

   A writer from the Lower Northern Neck purchased altthis English Regency chest at an antique shop in Alexandria many years ago. It is mahogany, with satinwood inlay and the original ivory escutcheons. Unfortunately, the original hardware, consisting of single center pulls, has been replaced with the present bails. The finish also is not original, and there is a minor piece missing from the top on the right side.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 22, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 15, 2009

altA writer from King George e-mailed this picture of a lorgnette, which is from the family of a friend who is in her 60s.  The friend thought her grandmother might have brought it from Europe when she immigrated.  The glasses are perfect, and the frame appears to be gold-washed, but the sterling silver is tarnished.  The hallmark reads “STERLING,” but otherwise it is unmarked.
This piece is a prime example of the American Art Nouveau period of the 1880s and 1890s.The hallmark “STERLING” gives it away as being American. Lorgnettes were indispensable accessories for ladies going to the theater or to concerts in the evening.  They allowed “grande dames” to sit in their boxes or orchestra seats and view performances without wearing glasses.  Originally, the lorgnette might have been part of a large dresser set.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 15, 2009

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