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Cast Iron Hatchet Commemorated Washington's Inauguration Q: Enclosed is a photo of a memorial hatchet that is 12 inches long by 4 inches high. On the side are the words "Washington Inaugurated President 1789 of the US." There is a date before "1789" that is no longer readable. The hatchet appears to be …Read more. Satsuma Vases Were Made in Japan Q: Enclosed is a photo of a pair of Asian umbrella holders that I inherited from my aunt. Actually, I'm not sure if they are umbrella holders or what they are. They are approximately 18.75 inches high and 8.5 inches at the widest part. Marked on the …Read more. Collectors Clamor for Cow Butter Molds Q: Enclosed is a photo of an antique clear-glass butter mold. When the butter is extracted from the mold, it produces an impression of a cow on the top of the butter. How old is it, where was it made, and what is its current value? A: Glass butter …Read more. Ice Was a Luxury in Victorian Era Ice Was a Luxury in Victorian Era Q: Enclosed is a photo of a silver tankard that has been in our family for somewhere around 100 years. On the bottom are the words "Barbour Silver Co. — Quadruple — 50." What can you tell me about the …Read more.
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Cabinet Is So Handy


Q: I have sent you a photo of a sewing basket. My husband found it at the dump around 1972. I always used it as a sewing basket, but I'm not sure that is what it was intended for. It is in very good condition.

What can you tell me about its vintage and value?

A: You have a wood sewing cabinet. Many were made in the early 1900s. They usually were made of wood, had handles for convenience, had turned legs and usually opened out to reveal shelves for storage. Seamstresses kept their sewing notions in the cabinets. They held threads, needles, scissors, tape measures, knitting and crocheting accessories. Sewing cabinets were often placed next to a sewing chair or sewing rocker.

Similar circa 1920s-1930s sewing cabinets can be seen selling from $125 to $150 online.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of a cream pitcher and covered sugar bowl that I bought at a garage sale. I paid $10 for the set. Each piece is about 4 inches tall and in excellent condition. They are decorated with pink roses, green leaves and brown trim against a cream background. A friend told me they are the "Desert Rose" pattern and might be worth more than what I paid.

Is she right?

A: Your friend is right on both counts. Your cream pitcher and covered sugar bowl were made by Gladding McBean and Company. The mark you provided is often referred to as Gladding McBean's "TV screen" mark.

They were founded in 1875 in Los Angles, where there were rich deposits of clay. The set is an example of their "Desert Rose" pattern that was introduced in 1941. It is recognized by the embossed pattern of pink roses, green leaves, and brown branches. It is very similar to their "Apple" pattern that was introduced in 1940. Both patterns were embossed and hand-painted. Gladding McBean made several other similar patterns, including "Ivy," "Cafe" and "Fresh Fruit." Both "Desert Rose" and "Apple" have been by far the most popular pattern. A plethora of pieces and accessories were available, from pitchers to cigarette holders. In 1979, the company was sold to Wedgwood in England, and all U.S. production ceased.

The "Desert Rose" pattern continues to be popular. Your cream pitcher and covered sugar bowl were made around 1960, and the set would probably be worth $50 to $75.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



1 Comments | Post Comment
If I would like to post a photo of something that I am wondering the value of, how do I do that? I don't see a place to attach a photo. Thanks!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Paula Brown
Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:23 AM
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