Unusual things that people collect includes UNO cards

March 2024

Michelle Knows Antiques

Unusual things that people collect includes UNO cards

by Michelle Staley

Greetings, all. I hope this finds you healthy and warm.
By nature I am a very curious person. If there is a box sitting by the side of the road, I’m going to stop and open it to discover what’s inside. Believe me, I have regretted this decision on more than one occasion but continue to do it.

The ability to start a conversation with anyone has served me well over the years. This has led me to meeting some really great people with interesting stories to tell. One such incident recently occurred while in Austin. I started chatting with a young woman sitting near me. We talked about the icy cold weather in Texas, the amazing antique table lamps in the bar, and quickly the conversation turned to what people collect.

She collects UNO cards — yep, the 100-plus-cards-to-a-pack, colorful card game. I have heard of people collecting playing cards and have seen some beautiful antique cards. There are role playing cards such as Magic the Gathering cards that came out in the 1990s, some of which can be worth in the upper five figures, especially if they are from the first edition. Somewhere in my house is a shoebox full of these cards that our youngest daughter just had to have. I put them away for safe keeping and have yet to find the silly box.

The UNO card game was invented in 1971 by Merle Robbins. It was later taken over by Mattel. It is estimated that there are more than 640 variations on the cards and a number of spinoffs.

Her UNO card collection really intrigued me as I was unaware that there were even different styles of UNO cards. She just happened to have photographs on her phone, and I was blown away by the her collection. My favorite UNO cards in her collection are the “Non-partisan” pack; there are no blue or red cards in this politically correct pack. What’s not to love about this? You can pick up this particular set for less than $10. She indicated that this is a favorite among most of her friends and one she actually allows out for a quick game.

Most of the other sets she has are special editions, many of which are sold in decorative metal containers, such as the pictured Pixar 25th Anniversary put out in 2023 set, which sells for less than $20.

 

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

UNO Cards

One young lady’s UNO card collection reveals the different styles that have been released since the game was invented more than 50 years ago. (Image courtesy of the author)

UNO is a popular card game and editions are released with little, if any, fanfare. During the height of COVID, Mattel released a set titled, “Thank You, Heroes.” It could only be ordered from the Mattel website and only for a limited time with all proceeds going to first responders. Mattel has not divulged how many sets were made or sold, so buy it if you find one, because the price could be quite high — if not now, in a few years. There are also sets commemorating artists such as singer Luke Bryan. Once again, there is no information on how many sets were released or the price point.

I asked her how many different UNO sets she currently has, and she told me 25 and growing.

My advice is this, if you come across an early UNO pack or what might be a limited run, grab it. One thing the young lady I met said is that she also likes collecting the card game because they take very little room to store. You just never know, so I always err on the side that one day someone will pay good money to own one of these sets of UNO cards. Yes, I will now start looking for these.
Happy collecting.

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.

 

To appraise or not to appraise

December 2023

Michelle Knows Antiques

To appraise or not to appraise

by Michelle Staley

As I type this month’s column, the weather is very fitting for early November, chilly and raining. What better activity to undertake on a day such as this than to binge watch “Antiques Roadshow” especially when one is an antique dealer and appraiser?

My mind began to wander through my long career as an antique appraiser. I have assisted in several archaeological digs, appraised some amazing items, and even took a side trip into a forensic assessment, dating and identifying a young man whose skeleton was found in a dried-up river bed. If you have seen the movie “Dirty Dancing” there is a scene where the main characters are dancing on a log laid across a river. In reality, several years ago the river dried up and a skeleton was found. A detective from that area of Virginia reached out to me. I used the shoes to come up with the approximate year of his passing and a ring found on his finger led me to a nearby men’s university. There was initials inside the band so then I turned to yearbooks from the university and identified him using all of the information I gathered. Through my research I learned that there used to be speak-easies scattered about in the woods. The detective speculated that the young student had spent the evening drinking and while stumbling back to the university he fell into the river. I never heard from the detective again to see if he had located any family members.

My favorite archaeological dig was performed in central Caribbean Panama. I was contacted by a gentleman from the University of Texas to assist in dating, and in some cases identifying items that were found in specific areas along the Panama Canal. Some of the cultural components found dated back to the second millennium BC. They also found the first documented samples from the Caribbean slopes of Monagrillo Ware, the oldest known pottery in Lower Central America.* They also investigated the area along the canal where the workers who dug the canal lived. This was really when my experience was needed.

Hopefully, I have not lost your attention by reflecting back on these opportunities. I found the CD from the Panama Canal dig today while cleaning off a shelf in the office and felt the need to share with you.

Ten years ago, Bruce Rodgers, the former owner of Discover Vintage America, brought me onboard to write a monthly column, which I sincerely hope that y’all enjoy. Several years ago he paid for me to become a certified appraiser. When you take classes in something such as appraising you quickly learn how little you really know. I am always looking for ways to increase my knowledge, besides the education, conducting appraisals on a frequent basis is always a learning opportunity.

People get items appraised for a number of reasons. Some are simply curious about the value of things they own, appraisals for insurance purposes are popular, as are appraisals for the family once someone passes on. This hopefully prevents higher value items from being sold for a couple of dollars. Later this week I will conduct a full house appraisal for that very reason.

I certainly don’t want to talk anyone out of hiring me to conduct an appraisal but there are a few appraisal questions that are asked on a regular basis. Ashton Drake, Bradford Exchange, and Danbury Mint are all known for advertisement/order postcards inserted in magazines and they declare that their items are “Limited Edition.” Limited edition can denote several things. There are limited edition items that are actually limited to a predetermined number of pieces if you see a notation similar to 200/1000 this is telling you that you have number 200 on a run of 1000. This is the best that you can hope for. The above companies mention in tiny print that the dolls, plates, and other items they make are limited to a particular number of firing days, for instance 365 days. The great unknown is how many of a particular doll or plate the company can produce in a single day times 365 days. I can bet that they have the capability to craft several thousand items a week. Due to mass production the doll that you are paying $90 for is now worth $10 to $20. The plates and other small items created by these companies are for the most part valued at $5 or less. There are a few exceptions but they are rare.

 

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Amanda doll

Amanda doll. (Image courtesy of the author)

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Varaflame Starfire lighter by Ronson

Ronson Lighter and box. (Image courtesy of an appraisal customer)

Lighting is another question that comes up often. Some people see stained glass lamps and immediately assume that Tiffany was the manufacturer. Many of the lamps that you see today date to the 1970s by an unknown company or by homecrafters who create hanging lamps as well as tabletop lamps. Tiffany pieces are generally marked and the work is masterful. A Tiffany lamp will sell for thousands of dollars with better known pieces selling at auction for six figures. My hanging light MIGHT sell for $30 to $40 despite the fact that it has about 60 hours of labor, $200 worth of glass, and lead came in it.

Glassware took a big downturn in 2008, but the better pieces are making a strong comeback. It is often pretty easy to distinguish old from new glassware. Old glass has a bit of a greasy feel to it. Older glass such as Depression, Carnival, and pressed glass will have tiny blemishes in the glass such as bubbles, small defects that look like scratches, and will be light weight. These types of glass were made as giveaways in oatmeal, laundry soap, and dish night at the movies. They were inexpensive to make and purchase. Using the above guidelines it is relatively easy to tell the old from the new.

 

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Sainted glass light

Hanging sainted glass light. (Image courtesy of the author)

Books and Bibles can be a bit tricky. A run of the mill Bible will sell for $5 to $10, whereas one that is heavily illustrated, is a family Bible with hard covers can fetch several hundred dollars. Bibles dated pre-1800 are difficult to find but they too can sell for a tidy sum. A 1,100-year-old Codex Sassoon Hebrew Bible, which is one of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts, sold at auction for $38.1 million, on May 17, 2023, in New York. When it comes to books, there are several factors that determine value such as condition, a first edition, original dust jacket, author, and illustrator. A signed first edition, first printing of “To Kill a Mockingbird” can sell for $30,000 to $50,000.

Then you have the flip side of the coin where items you might think have very little value can actually be worth a few dollars. Cigarette lighters and certain styles of ashtrays can be a surprise win. A Ronson Varaflame Starfire in the original box, in like new condition can sell for $50 to $80. Older office supplies can be another surprise.

I love conducting appraisals; please keep in mind that for many appraisers this is their sole means of income. I charge $25 per item and am willing to work with people who have multiple items. As much as I wish I could, it is impossible to keep up with incoming questions without payment.

Now, take your newfound mini tutorial knowledge and visit an antique store to put it in play.

Happy Holidays!

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.

 

Is the chair antique or simply a fantasy?

October 2023

Michelle Knows Antiques

Is the chair antique or simply a fantasy?

by Michelle Staley

Q:  Our family bought this chair years ago at an estate sale for Hinky Dink Kenna, a crooked alderman in Chicago. The chair dimensions are as follows: back height is 40 inches, seat height is 17 ½ inches, seat width is 21 inches, the back support is 22 inches.

A:  I would first like to give a bit of information on Hinky Dink Kenna. Since I was young I have had this strange fascination with all things mobster related, including the graft and corruption of politicians. Maybe I was a gangster moll in a previous life.

Chicago was the home base for the well-known gangster Al Capone. That is why Chicago is on my radar. In the 1890s, Hinky Dink “Michael” Kenna and Bathouse John Coughlin created a powerhouse political machine in Chicago’s first ward district “based on graft and protection money from the saloons, brothels, and gambling halls of the Levee district.” ** The Levee district was called “The Wickedest Place in the USA,” with streets named “Satan’s Mile,” and a bar named “Bucket of Blood.” This website has a couple of great maps of the Levee area, www.myalcaponemuseum.com. Hinky Dink owned a couple of saloons in the Levee district and was known to be a very smart, quiet man; those are usually the ones you need to watch out for. He passed away in 1946. Al Capone knew and worked with both of these men but was particularly fond of Hinky Dink.

Now, on to your chair. This is what I call a fantasy piece. Your accent chair is fairly contemporary — probably made in the late 1940s or 1950s, if not later. It does not depict a particular known style such as Queen Anne, George III, or other older furniture styles.
Upon close inspection, on the ends of the top rail, you can see a clear line attaching the edges of the top rail to the back uprights. This is also visible on the back. In an older piece, these attachments would be virtually invisible, and in a chair that is hand-carved, the top rail would be one continuous piece.

There are no stretcher bars attached to the legs. These are a necessity in chairs that are solid wood and heavy. The front legs are in the Queen Anne style, more or less; the claw feet are a bit overdone with three rows of “claws,” and the back legs should show a tiny outward curve, yet they are straight legs.

The carved ladies fit, more or less, into the Art Nouveau style, but the rest of the chair does not echo that period. Design Tuscano used to make and sell fantasy pieces, but a search of their furniture did not show your accent chair.

With that being said, I adore this accent chair and I’m sure that Hinky Dink did as well. Even though your chair is not a piece that you can sell and retire on the proceeds, I still put a resale value of $500 to $650 on it. This price depends on the venue through which you sell it and the area, be it rural, suburbs, or large metro city.

Just a little side note, it is not uncommon for people who conduct estate sales to bring in pieces from other estates. Also, we don’t know when the estate sale was held. Hinky Dink died in 1946, but it could have been several years before his belongings were sold. We really don’t have a clear provenance on this particular accent chair.

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Art Deco Bronze Flapper

The Art Deco Bronze Flapper Figurine by Chiparus

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Art Nouveau style chair

This chair, bought at an estate sale for the late Hinky Dink Kenna, is a fantasy piece, likely no more than 80 years old. (Images courtesy of the question submitter)

Art Nouveau and Art Deco

I want to quickly address the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. I get a number of questions about the difference between the two.
These two styles were the most defining movements of the 20th century. Art Nouveau is the more organic style, while Art Deco tends to be more polished.

Art Nouveau first appeared toward the latter half of the 19th century. It prevailed between 1890 and 1914. Art Nouveau, or ‘new art’ is often considered the first modern art style. Art Nouveau came at a time of industrialization, when Europe’s modern identity was defined by an industrial attitude and an ever-growing increase in mass production. It embraced and reacted against the Industrial Revolution, celebrating craftsmanship and the skill of the artist while incorporating the stylized forms of automation and industrialization. Europe was also moving away from the constraints of the Victorian period. What happened in Europe quickly made its way to America.

Art Nouveau consists of flowing lines, draws inspiration from nature, and organic designs.
When it comes to Art Deco, fun, eclectic, decadent, and luxurious come to mind. The movement grew out of the Exposition Internationales des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes that took place in 1925 in Paris. The heyday for Art Deco was the 1920s and 1930s. The Great Depression brought it crashing down.

Think of the Roaring Twenties and the movie “The Great Gatsby,” the original movie featuring Robert Redford — this was the height of the Art Deco movement. Art Deco styling is very evident in the movie; the period is well known for a luxurious style, and artisans of the time used exotic woods, geometric patterns, lots of curves, and smooth lines in their creations.
Another excellent example of the Art Deco movement is evident in the Chrysler Building in New York.

I am particularly fond of the Art Deco style. From the beautiful glass car hood ornaments, radiator caps, stylish figurines, lamps, luxurious furniture, and clothing, I am hooked. One has to be extremely careful when purchasing Art Deco items because they have been extensively reproduced which makes it easy to pay a lot of money for a reproduction but the upside is that you can get the Art Deco look without the expensive price tag. I have always wanted a Lalique glass “Spirit of the Wind” car mascot hood ornament on my vehicle. These can be had for upwards of $1,500 or a reproduction for less than $100.

The Art Deco Bronze Flapper Figurine by Chiparus sells for $900 USD. Anything created by Nancy Daum will set you back a pretty penny such as the Art Deco vase, $8,500 and the Art Nouveau vase approximately $10,000.

Do you have a design period that you would love to learn more about? Please email me and let me know what your interest is.

*gallerease.com/en/magazine/articles
**www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.

 

A priceless painting found at a garage sale

August 2023

Michelle Knows Antiques

A priceless painting found at a garage sale

by Michelle Staley

Several years ago, I pur-chased a beautiful painting at a garage sale for $3. The scene seemed very familiar, but I didn’t linger on my analysis of the piece. I loved it, paid for my purchases and went on to the next sale.

Later that day, I brought my newly acquired painting into the house, sat down, and gave it a quick once over. The painting is unsigned, so I pulled out all my art-related books to see if I could find the artist who painted the piece, to no avail.

Three months ago, while scanning through my online home page, lo and behold, my painting popped up on the page. Oh my gosh, I have a Rembrandt!

I am one of the few lucky people who found a real treasure at a bargain price. In my head I was already spending the millions of dollars I would get once I sell the piece at auction. I called my father and hus-band. “We are going to be rich,” I said and proceeded to tell them the story behind my amazing find.

I was literally trembling as I gently took the painting down from the office wall to really scrutinize the piece. The painting is of Rembrandt and Saskia, Rembrandt’s wife, in the scene “The Prodigal Son in the Tavern,” circa 1635.

My painting is oil on can-vas, just like the original, and it is about the correct size based on the informa-tion in my resource book.

There are appropriate signs of wear to the front, and it looks to me like someone put new stretcher bars on it. It has contemporary staples holding the canvas in place. I quickly dismissed these minor inconsistencies. A painting of this age probably needed new stretcher bars.

Mine is not signed “F. Rembrandt” like the original, but I was justifying all of this to myself, and I can be pretty convincing when I want to be.

The brain is a powerful instrument. The story I wove around my painting is that Rembrandt had to have painted more than one of this particular scene as a practice run. The one I held in my hands was the true original and that is why it was not signed. It has been rolled up and hidden away in a cedar chest for centuries, just waiting for me to come along and purchase it.

Well, the proverbial bubble eventually burst. I sent photos to a noted auction house to have it evaluated and assured them that I would let them sell it for me and we would all become very wealthy. The conclu-sion was that I own a very well-executed copy of undetermined age, but most likely it was painted in the 20th century. The auction value for my painting is around $200.

Recently while in Texas – that trip was a doozy and the story will be coming soon – I was driving through a neighborhood on big trash pickup day, a gentleman had just placed a beautiful painting on the curb. I immediately hopped out of the car and grabbed it. I took the painting back to the RV and placed it where the sun would not shine on it.

Later that day while sitting in the RV to escape the Texas heat of 104 degrees, I examined my free find. It is a beautiful woman in a blue dress, sitting in a thoughtful pose at a desk, and is signed “D’yf.” It is oil on canvas with an aged backing board. I didn’t have an Internet connection, so I had to use my cell phone to do a bit of research. The results came up as “Claudine and The Red Rose” by Marcel Dyf. My painting has a pink rose, so I am going with that the rose faded over time.

Marcel Dyf (1899 – 1985) was active/lived in France. Dyf is known for landscape, figure, floral still life and seascape painting. He had little formal artistic training but owed much of his inspiration to the great masters of the past such as Rembrandt, whom he particularly admired, Vermeer and Tiepolo.*

Do I have a true Dyf painting? I highly doubt it, but I still need to remove the backing board and take a peek at the canvas. Maybe I will find something mar-velous behind this lovely lady. One can hope.

So, why am I sharing these stories with you? To illustrate the fact that no matter how knowledgeable you are in antiques and collectibles, it is very easy to get caught up in the moment and have all common sense leave the building.

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

A Rembrandt?

For $3 I became the proud owner of a Rembrandt! I was sure of it, proving even experts can get caught up in the emotion of a great find. Rembrandt and Saskia. (Image courtesy of the author)

Works of art are very easily reproduced. There are companies in operation today that have staff artists who do nothing but copy the works of the masters for resale and most bear no notation that they are repro-ductions. This is not a new industry, and it is often dif-ficult to differentiate the real deal from the reproduction.

You also need to keep in mind that many art museums sell reproductions of original works held in the museum. These pieces are often notated in some fashion to indicate they are reproductions of original works.

With today’s sophisticated printers one can even scan a painting and print it in such a manner that it looks like an actual painting. This is called a “giclee.”

Even if you have an artist-signed painting, etching, engraving or drawing, it does not necessarily mean that you have a valuable work of art. Have you heard of a “starving artist” sale? This type of art sale became popular in the 1970s. They are generally held in hotels or convention centers across the country and advertised as the op- portunity to own an authentic work of art at a dis-counted price. The paintings are usually signed with only a first name or illegible signature and a two-digit date such as “72” for 1972.

The pieces sold at this type of sale are mass produced by artists for the wholesale company putting on the sale. Typical scenes you’ll find are oceanscapes with crashing waves, light-houses, street scenes and still-life paintings.

The value of the paintings on the secondary market depends largely on the sub-ject matter, quality of the piece and the frame, but most sell for less than $50.

Recently I have had an onslaught of appraisals for “paintings” with a label or stamp on the back that says “Intercraft Industries” or “Academy Arts.” From a distance, they look like original works, but when you get close and examine the piece, you notice that it is a print on cardboard with texture added to give the illusion of an oil painting.

The added texture was very appealing to the consumer versus a flat print or lithograph. I have seen some actual acrylic-and-oil paintings on canvas with the same label.

Intercraft Industries was founded in the 1950s or 1960s to bring affordable art to the masses. From what I could find through my research, the company ceased operation in the early 1980s.

If you have a painting, drawing or similar piece of art you think might be of some importance or value, I highly recommend having it examined by someone in person. A local art gallery or art museum can most likely direct you to someone who can analyze the piece and give you some infor-mation.

And as a side note, please consider this: When it comes to works of art, if you are on a budget, purchase pieces you love and support your local art community. You never know if an artist might ascend to the ranks of someone who is known and admired on a national or worldwide level.

Happy 50th anniversary to Discover Vintage America! It has been a real privilege and pleasure to be part of this fabulous publication and family for 10 years. To have a print publication last this long says a lot for the quality of the content and the trust of those who advertise through us. Bruce, now retired, brought me on board knowing that I am not a journalist but was willing to put in the effort to make my rambling columns look professional. That mantle has been hand-ed off to our current editor Corbin and publisher/owner Patti. Thank y’all for letting me be part of this beautiful publication. I don’t leave home without a current copy in the car and now RV. Thanks to all of our advertisers and readers – you are what keep us going strong.

Here’s to another 50 years.

* Artnet.com

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.

 

Push plows useful in gardening, exercise

May 2023

Michelle Knows Antiques

Push plows useful in gardening, exercise

by Michelle Staley

It’s May

It’s May, it’s May, the lovely month of May. The last frost date in Kansas is considered to be Mother’s Day. This is the magic date when one can safely get your vegetable plants and annual flowers in the ground without fear of frost wiping everything out. It is an exciting time for those who have gardens. Months have been dedicated to poring over seed and plant catalogs, and the chosen items will be arriving soon.

Putting in and maintaining a vegetable garden is so much easier now than it was in days gone by due in large part to the gas or electric tiller. If you go to an Amish community, you will see them working the fields with large workhorses and push plows. Using this method, the farmer has a long strap tied to the bridle of each horse and it is looped across the upper body of the farmer. This is used in the same manner as riding reins, to direct or steer the horses, the farmer is holding onto the plow. This is probably not the safest way to ready a garden, but you work with what you have. To be honest, the gas or electric tiller can get away from you at times.

We have two push plows. The yellow Lambert plow belonged to my husband’s paternal grandfather and the brown cast iron plow belonged to one of Lenexa’s original Belgian truck farming families, it has got to be closing in on 100 years old. We use the brown one to go in between the rows of vegetables once they have developed a hardy root system as the push plow is less likely to damage the roots. If you farm or have a sizable home garden, you can cancel your gym membership for a few months. Between preparing the soil, planting, weeding with a plow, and finally harvesting, you are getting cardio, core, legs, and upper body on a daily basis throughout the growing season.

You can still purchase push plows or cultivators. Lehman’s sells them for less than $150. The Lambert plow with one additional attachment has a value of $175. The older cast metal plow with decorative handles and an attachment has a value of $225.

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

A Lambert push plow

A Lambert push plow. (Image courtesy of the author)

Somewhere we have two additional attachments for it. The price also includes the provenance as we know how long it has been around and in use as well as the family who owned it.

If you have a home garden or large farm, we would love to know what you grow and whether you use a push plow/cultivator or a tiller.

Question

My husband bought this beautiful cabinet and was told that it had been used by an insurance company to hold policies and other paperwork. The seller said it dates to the late 1800s or early 1900s. It measures 7ft tall, 6ft wide, and 15 1/2 inches deep. It has 96 cubby holes with removable fronts. It is extremely heavy. I am curious about the value and what type of wood was used to create the tiger stripe look. Thank you.

Answer

This is an amazing piece of furniture. Since the seller had so much information, I am going to go out on a limb and state that the seller must have had a family member who used this piece in their business. The tiger stripe look is often seen in quarter-sawn wood and most often in maple and oak. Quartersawn wood is literally cut into quarters before it is run through the mill. The wood is sliced with the grain largely perpendicular to the face. The widest lumber is taken from the center of each of the four quarters. It’s a way of aligning the grain into a tighter pattern overall. The wood is extremely durable and the milling causes a lot less waste than other methods of milling wood.

I noticed that a few of the face plates are missing. These are easy to find and age to look like the others. The resale price on this beautiful piece is $3,000 to $3,500 with an insurance replacement value of $5,000.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful find.

 

Front of a quartersawn cabinet. (Image courtesy of the author)

Front of a quartersawn cabinet

Front of a quartersawn cabinet. (Image courtesy of the author)

*All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop, or other resale outlets. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade.

Send questions with photos to Michelle at michelle@discovervintage.com or TXSmichelle@gmail.com. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. There is no guarantee that your question will be answered or published.

Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michellesantiqueappraisals.com for a one-on-one appraisal. Please note new web address.