Q: Enclosed you will find a photograph of a "hairpin" chair left to us by my mother-in-law. There are four of these small-scaled chairs, two of which need to be recaned. Before I invest any money in these chairs, I would like to know if their potential value would justify the hefty price of recaning. I doubt I would ever use them, but would consider restoring them if their resale value would justify the investment. I was told there is a very limited market for this type of antique in my area.
A: You have a set of Victorian balloon-back side chairs that was made around 1860 to 1870. Many are selling in good condition and with the caning intact from $125 to $225. Depending on the price of restoring the seats in your area and since they came to you at no cost, it might be profitable to have them recaned.
Q: I am sending you the mark I have drawn that is on a set of dishes that is a service for eight. The dishes are decorated with pink and red buds, flowers, green leaves and trimmed in gold. I have not been successful finding any background information on the Internet.
I would like any information you can furnish about this set, including its monetary value.
A: The mark you provided was used by the Carrollton Pottery Company, which was located in Carrollton, Ohio. The firm was founded in 1903 by E. L. Henderson and made semi-porcelain china. By 1929, it, along with seven other potteries, became part of the America China Corporation, which made a variety of dinnerware and used several different marks.
Your set was made around 1920 and would probably be worth $150 to $200.
Q: In the 1940s, I was a teenager in high school. My girlfriend and I went to big-band concerts. When Frank Sinatra was there singing in 1943, I got his autograph. He wasn't well-known then. I'm now 86 and still love the big-bands music. I would like to know if this autograph is worth anything today. I have tried to find information and have not been successful. Anything you can tell me will be appreciated.
A: Condition, authenticity, age and quality are important when valuing an autograph. Sinatra's autographs are very collectible. Depending on the condition, yours would probably be worth $200 to $400.
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