Q: I have enclosed a photo of a solid cherry wood drop desk that was purchased by my parents at an estate sale in 1925. It has a beveled mirror, and brass pulls on the drawers and shelves. It has the original finish and is in mint condition.
Could you provide any information?
A: You have a Victorian aesthetic movement desk/etagere. The movement began in England around 1865 and was inspired by Japanese art and Gothic design. Reformers saw a blend between the beauty of Japanese art and the integrity of Gothic craftsmanship. The rectilinear lines were a reaction to the heavily ornate and overly decorative furniture of the Victorian era. The movement was a forecast of the simplicity of the Arts and Crafts movement of the second half of the 19th century.
Your desk is a combination of a desk and an etagere. It was made around 1880 and would probably have a value of $800 to $1,200.
Q: These marks are on a set of Limoges china that belonged to my husband's grandmother. She came to the United States in the 1800s from Luxembourg, and we don't know if she brought the set with her or purchased it in the U.S. My husband and I are both in our 80s, and he remembers his grandmother serving dinner on these dishes when he was a little boy, so we know they are old. Each piece is decorated with a band of flowers on the border and gold trim against a white background. Some pieces are missing, so it is not a complete service for eight. But there are 71 dishes and several serving pieces.
We have been searching for information on the age, maker and insurance value of the set. What could you tell us?
A: The Mavaleix & Granger porcelain factory located in Limoges, France, made your dinnerware set. It was established by J. Granger and P M de Mavaleix in 1920. The porcelain was decorated at Latrille Freres, which was located in the old abbey in Limoges. Based on those dates, it would seem your husband's grandmother purchased the set after her arrival in the U.S.
Your circa-1920 set of dinnerware would have an insurance value of $500 to $1,200.
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 www.creators.com.