Q: This is a photo of an antique oak cabinet that we inherited from my husband's great-grandmother. There are four adjustable shelves on each side and behind glass doors. The approximate dimensions are 60 inches tall, 17 inches deep and 50 inches wide. Other than being refinished, it is in excellent condition.
Do you think it has any value?
A: At first glance, your cabinet looks like an example of Arts and Crafts furniture. The plain, sturdy design has the straight, unadorned lines of the Arts and Crafts era. The bulky curved feet are the giveaway. They are clues to late Empire Revival style of furniture that was made in the late 1800s, just before the advent of Arts and Crafts design. It can best be described as a transitional piece. Your cabinet is versatile; it can be used as a china cabinet, a curio or a bookcase.
Your cabinet was made sometime between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Similar ones can be found selling on the internet in the range of $350 to $550. A few have been offered for sale as high as $1,500.
Q: I have enclosed the mark that is on the bottom of two earthenware cream pitchers. Our brother just recently passed away, and my sister and I found them among his belongings. They are decorated with pink blossoms and green leaves. The edges and the bases are trimmed with yellow glaze. They are in mint condition.
We didn't want to sell them to a secondhand shop until we checked with you. Any information you can provide will be appreciated.
A: Your cream pitchers are similar to many pieces of pottery that were made in several regions in Italy, including Deruta, Tuscany and Umbria. Many pieces were made by Deruta Pottery for the souvenir pottery market. Italian pottery often was marked with only the word "Italy." Without the name of the manufacturer, it can be difficult to identify the maker.
Each was made in the mid-20th century, and each would probably be worth $25 to $50.
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