Treasure Hunt 23/12/07

Dear Donna,

We dug this out of my parents’ estate attic. It’s all complete but no papers or box. We are looking for a value, if any. Can you help? Thanks.


Dear Andrew,

Your aluminum mid-century tree appears to be in good shape. I grew up with one in my family!

There are a few different makers, styles and colors in aluminum trees. The value is higher if you have a complete one with the original box. We used to have ours in a big bag so my mom didn’t have to reset it every year!

It was a treasure to find, though, Andrew. Values are in the range of $200 and up. You can also find electric color wheels for them. The value on them in working condition is in the $40 range and up.

So no matter what you’re going to do with your tree, keep or sell, it’s a treasure. Hope this was helpful and thanks for sharing with us. It’s a memory for me and lots of others I’m sure.

Treasure Hunt 23/11/30

Dear Donna,

Can you give me any information on this Occupied Japan tea set?

Thank you.


Dear Barbara,

Your set is moriage (which means hand painted with a raised enamel) dragonware. Being marked hand painted in occupied Japan gives you the time frame it was made (mid 1940s).

They made lots of dragonware earlier and even up to date. The history is an interesting one.

Having the tea set with teapot is better than just cups and saucers. As with everything, you want no damage or scratching. So if in good clean condition I would say the value is in the $100 range.

Thanks for sharing, Barbara.


Treasure Hunt 23/11/23

Dear Donna,

Would you be able to give me a value on my hippo? He is in great shape with all original tags. He is a Steiff, the tags say. I got him in the 1970s when I had my first daughter. Looking to find out more about him.

Thank you, Donna,


Dear Rita,

Someone gave you a collectible at the time of your baby. Your Steiff Hippo Mockie was made in the 1950s.

The Steiff story is a very interesting one. They started way back in the late 1800s with Margarete Steiff. Today the older ones are very collectible and can be a very expensive collection. I have seen many in the thousands of dollars. Your hippo (so cute) in the condition it’s in prices around $60.

Sweet gift someone gave you. Keeping it in this shape is like money in the bank. Thanks for sharing your treasure, Rita.

Treasure Hunt 23/11/16

Dear Donna,

I have over a dozen rolls of this used/old paper. Toss or keep? Do you know if anyone would have a use for it?


Dear David,

My logic always is there is someone who might have a use for it.

Your wallpaper is from a really good company. It’s been around since the 1800s. I think judging by the pattern it looks to be from around the 1960s or 1970s.

The nice part is you have so many rolls that I’m thinking it could be useful if someone is looking to do a complete room.

Old wallpaper has a collectible market. Age, pattern and condition all factor into the pricing. I have seen many early fragments or partial rolls bring really good money.

Because you have a good amount, if it’s in good condition I would say the value is in the range of $200+. Now you just have to find a collector or a renovator who could use it. Possibly an antique shop could help with that.

David, thanks for sharing.

Treasure Hunt 23/11/09

Dear Donna,

I hope you can answer a question for me. I have a few wooden animals that appear to be hand-carved. This horse is my favorite.

How can you tell the age of it and who might have carved it? There is no name or date visible.

Thanks for your time, Donna.

Anna in Brookline

Dear Anna,

Hand-carved animals have been made for so many years. It is tough without markings to figure out the exact age and who made them.

In your photos you can see a natural age patina (this is a natural coloring that develops over time). You also can see crackling of the original varnish (finish).

What you’re looking for in each animal you have is detailed craftsmanship. Sometimes by looking at them all you can see they could all have been made by the same carver.

Your horse appears to be from around the early 1900s to 1940s. I would say the value is in the $75 range.

Horses are very collectible, even today!

Thanks for sharing, Anna, and I hope this helps.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo

Treasure Hunt 23/11/02

Dear Donna,

I found this small pamphlet-type homemade book. Inside are several different pieces of crochet.

No two are alike, so I’m wondering if this is a teacher’s booklet. It’s possibly from my grandmother’s period of time.

Kate in Milford

Dear Kate,

You guess is a good one! I don’t think it even has to be a teacher’s, though. This sample book is a collection of someone’s work.

Yours looks to be from the Victorian era but could be even later. The fact that there are a few pages with multiple design work is what carries the value today.

I have had a few sample books over the years and each brings a different value, depending on age and the work inside. But they range from $50 to $100+.

So you found a treasure! I hope this helps you figure out what to do with your collection.

Thanks for sharing with us, Kate.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo

Treasure Hunt 23/10/26

Good afternoon, Donna Welch,

I have service for six of dinner, soup, bread/butter, salad bowl, dessert, cup/saucer and rectangular 11-inch platter that are looking for a new home. Can you provide a value of these dishes?


Dear Marget,

The Homer Laughlin Co. has quite the history. Since the late 1800s it’s been one of the most common names for china. There are many many styles and patterns. Diner china to fiesta ware, they have it!

I did find some pricing and it seems that the common dinnerware runs in the range of $5 to $10 or more per piece. The serving pieces and hard-to-find patterns and styles can be much higher. As always, all pieces have to be in great condition with no damage or scratches. Marget, the prices I found were all over the place and I think would vary a lot locally, depending on finding a buyer who will then also re-sell. My suggestion would be a local antique shop. But be aware, as I said, they have to then sell them. I hope this was helpful and your dishes find a new home.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo

Treasure Hunt 23/10/19

Hi, Donna.
A friend in New Hampshire who owns an antique restoration business gave me your contact. Is there anything you can tell me about this chair and its value? I was told it may be one of the 12 chairs created from the original. Thank you for your help.

Dear Pam,
Your chair appears to be in great shape. Even though there is history behind this style, it’s tough to get the JFK recognition for it. When you do research you find that one of the original ones that JFK used brought a high value. But even though you were told this could be one of the original 12 made, it doesn’t carry the same value.

It did, however, get the P&P Chair Co. a boost in business. Out of North Carolina the company produced many rockers of quality. This style is not just theirs but other companies’ as well.

Yours, being in good clean condition and still usable today, would have a value in the $200 range. The days of being able to relax in a rocker!
I hope this was helpful, Pam.

Donna Welch has spent more than 35 years in the antiques and collectibles field, appraising and instructing. Her new location is an Antique Art Studio located in Dunbarton, NH where she is still buying and selling. She is a member of The New Hampshire Antiques Dealer Association. If you have questions about an antique or collectible send a clear photo and information to Donna at, or call her at 391-6550.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo

Treasure Hunt 23/10/12

Dear Donna,
I recently purchased these wondering what they were. I know now they were and are used for holding flowers. My interest is in collecting them now. My question is values on them and where to look for more.
Thanks, Donna,

Dear Ellen,
I enjoyed your email! Nice to see a collection beginning!
Metal painted flower holders like yours have been around for many centuries. They are used to hold flower stems in place inside a vase, bowl or other container. Even today “flower frogs,” as I knew them, are still in use.
The values of them can range from $5 to $10. Some fancier forms can bring much more. What a nice collection to have. As far as finding more, the hunt is on. Look at antique shops, flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores etc.
Ellen, I wish you luck in your hunt for a new collection. Thank you for sharing with us.

Treasure Hunt 23/10/05

Hi, Donna,
Saw you in the Hippo. Do you have any knowledge of these old toys’ value or the market for them? Appreciate your input.
– Tracy

Dear Tracy,

Who hasn’t played with a Fisher-Price toy!

Your collection of Fisher-Price toys does have a value in the collectibles market.

Fisher-Price is a well-known manufacturer of quality toys. The company has made toys from the 1930s to the present.

My suggestion would be to bring them to an antique shop to get a value on them. With Fisher-Price toys, condition is everything. Consider their age, the paint on the wood, the paper designs, etc., as well as whether the set is complete and in working condition.

Some prices for hard-to-find toys in excellent shape can run into the hundreds. Common and easily found ones start at $10+.

I hope this helps you find a new home for your toys, Tracy. Good luck!

Donna Welch has spent more than 35 years in the antiques and collectibles field, appraising and instructing. Her new location is an Antique Art Studio located in Dunbarton, NH where she is still buying and selling. She is a member of The New Hampshire Antiques Dealer Association. If you have questions about an antique or collectible send a clear photo and information to Donna at, or call her at 391-6550.

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