Treasure Hunt 21/06/10

Dear Donna,

I hope you can help me out. Perhaps 25 years ago, when my aunt died, her daughter told my mom she could choose something from my aunt’s home. My mom chose this piece, which she had long admired. She thought it was beautiful but I have never liked it a bit. Still, though my mom died a dozen years ago I have kept it as she thought it was valuable. Please tell me otherwise so I can finally give it to somebody, anybody, without feeling guilty.
Harvey from Manchester

Dear Harvey,
First let’s say there shouldn’t be any guilt if you find this piece a new home with someone who will cherish it again. What you have is a piece of flashed ruby glass. Most likely it had two other smaller candle holders, one on either side of the center bowl. It was meant to be placed on a mantel or in the middle of a table.

Flashed glass was very popular during the late 1880s and early 1900s. It was done by a specific method that applied a film-like covering over a clear glass (this is a very simplified explanation). The design was then etched to appear through the ruby or cranberry coloring to expose the clear glass. It looks beautiful but most didn’t hold up well in time. Scratching was an issue.

The deer design was a common one and very eye-pleasing. Now with that all taken into account, the value of a piece like yours would be in the $85 range to a new buyer. It’s a tougher market these days because it’s harder to fit into a modern decor. Still a beautiful piece, but it may be tough to sell. I hope you do find a new admirer for it.

Treasure Hunt 21/06/03

Dear Donna,
Can you give me any information on this metal piece? I thought it was interesting and decorative. My husband believes it’s old. Can you tell me anything?
Tina from Merrimack

Dear Tina,
Let’s start off by saying there are definitely lots and lots of reproductions out there, mostly for decorative purposes. When something is reproduced it can be hard to tell. Some things to look for are multiples. If you see them around in shops, flea markets, etc., you can be sure they are mass produced. Also, sometimes when the original was iron, the reproductions would be tin, for example. Where you got it could be telling.

I would suggest having someone look at it. From the photos, I think you found a real outdoor fountain sign. If so, I’d say it’s in the $100+ range. It could have fallen off or been removed and ended up in the secondary market. You were right in saying it’s a decorative piece and a treasure too.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/27

Dear Donna,

I have accumulated several hundred marbles. I display them in jars but think it’s time to move them on. I haven’t purchased them in ages, so I’m wondering what the value might be today. Most are like the ones in the photos, with a few of what I call “fancy” ones.

Dear Dan,
Marbles were and are a very common collection to have. They bring such fond memories and are decorative (in jars like you have them).

Because there were so many machine-made marbles, most are very common and can be found in jars (canning size). You can pick them up at antique shops, flea markets, etc., most for around $15 to $30 a jar.

If you have been collecting for a while and haven’t had them seen by someone, my suggestion is to either have someone look at them or get a marble reference price guide. It’s important to just make sure some are not more rare, because then the values can rise up quickly. This isn’t tough to do when there are so many places to get the information today and great photos as well.

Let’s just say they are all common aside from what you think are fancy ones. You still have a treasure that should be easy to find a new home for.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/20

Dear Donna,

I have this necklace that is marked 925. I am wondering if it is real silver or not and what the value might be.

Dear Meg,

Your necklace is real sterling silver; that is what the 925 stands for. The piece is 92.5 percent real silver and then other metals. The tough part here is to figure out the age of your necklace and a maker without any other markings to help us. So to give it a value it could be done by the weight of it (for silver value), or judging it by size and the quality of it.

Sterling silver jewelry is common to find, old or new, and some being very unique and signed can bring really high value in today’s market. Whether it’s from long ago or today, it’s all about the craftsmanship.

Your necklace looks to be in great condition so I would think it should be in the $60 to $100 range in today’s retail market.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/13

Dear Donna,
I found this small horse charm and it says “Black Horse Ale NY.” It’s only 1 1/2” x 1” and is made of plastic. Can you give me any information and a possible value?


Dear Lynne,
I did some research on your horse charm and found out it was an advertising charm for Black Horse Ale. The story is a very interesting one but a long one as well; if you’ve got the time I would encourage you to do some research online to read the story of Black Horse Ale and see how one tiny plastic charm has such a history.

The interesting thing to me about this charm, and other small collectibles, is how did such a tiny piece even survive to today?

The value on it is in the $25 range but the history is priceless. I know that collecting charms from gum machines, cereals, Cracker Jack and premiums is still happening today. What’s amazing is how many old ones are still out there and the stories that go behind them.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/06

Dear Donna,
Enclosed is a necklace belonging to my great-grandma that I believe is of the Victorian era and made of brass. I have tried to research it but came up with nothing. There is also a cup and saucer, also belonging to my grandma, that says “J.P.L.France” and then “Limoges.” I believe it could be of some value, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jackie from Pelham

Dear Jackie,
Let’s start with your tea cup and saucer. The mark “J.P.L.” stands for Jean Pouyat Limoges. This was done during the middle to late 1800s. Definitely part of a much larger set for dining.

You are right about Limoges china having value, but in today’s market even value can sometimes be a tough market. The value on china is in the makers and mostly in the larger more uncommon pieces that are in excellent condition (which is hard to find). Then it would be in the hand painting designs (patterns). There is quite a history behind Limoges, and it’s interesting to read about in books or online to find out more about yours.

The value would be in the $25 range for the tea cup and saucer. Finding a buyer might be tough. though. in today’s market.

As far as your sweet necklace, unless pieces like it are marked it’s tough to find a value. So some things can give us a clue: material (gold or silver would have a higher value than brass); age (tough to tell in this case) and maker (if not signed then go by the design and condition).

It looks to be an earlier style, maybe from the same estate and period of time as your tea cup and saucer or a bit later. I think we’re safe to say it is in the $40 range but I would have it checked by a professional to confirm my view from here.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/29

Dear Donna,

I have a set of clear Pyrex bowls that I got at a yard sale. I’m wondering if they have value to them, being a set of three. All are in really great unused condition. I have seen pattern Pyrex pieces for much more than I paid for these, so I am curious.

Dear Linda,
I think the set of bowls is sweet, and being Pyrex is a plus. But keep in mind Pyrex is still produced today. Many patterns have changed and there have been some different styles as well over time. The company started in Corning, N.Y., but now is in Pennsylvania. Can’t think of any home that doesn’t have a piece or several in it. The stuff was made to last, and that it did.

I would say that values are in the patterns, age, condition and rarity of production of pieces. So clear and common form at any age would be in the lower end of values. Not knowing what you paid I still think in today’s secondary market the set of three would be in the range of $25. You can’t buy a good set of bowls cheaper these days.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/22

Dear Donna,

Are you familiar with the maker on this pendant? It says 14kt and Jabel, not Jared. I inherited this from my family and was wondering if you could share any information with me on a value.

Dear Mindy,
I have to say I had never seen the mark before, but then again there are so many jewelers out there.

What I did find out was that Jabel started off as a ring maker and later created pendants and other pieces as well. I feel safe in saying your pendant is from the mid-century era to the 1960s. I found a set of earrings that are almost a match to your design, but they were 18kt gold, so the price would be significantly higher.

I think we would be safe in thinking the value of yours would be in the $350 range in the market. It all depends on the maker, amount of weight in gold and the size and quality of the diamond.

So your family passed you down a treasure.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/15

Dear Donna,

We recently purchased a Victorian home in Hampton. We have three doors that are missing the match for knobs. Wondering if you might be able to help locate matches. Are they worth trying to find?
Rob and Shea

Dear Rob and Shea,
The value on antique doorknobs can run usually in the range of $10 to $50 depending on material and design. Now the tough part will be to find matches — like needles in a haystack, as they say.

I would try online first to see if a match is on any selling sites. Try Googling antique brass doorknobs (you might have to replace them both if you find what you are looking for in a complete set). Or maybe you’ll find similar knobs with the same aged patina (coloring of the aged brass). Next I might try flea markets and salvage shops as well.

All of these suggestions could take time, so it depends on the amount of effort you want to put into replacing them with original ones, or finding similar ones from the same time period that will fit into the rest of the doors.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/08

Dear Donna,

Can you tell me anything about this sweet doll? She is 3 1/2” tall and seems to be made out of string.

Dear Tina,
Your doll is part of a family for 1960s doll houses. I think they are made from a rubber plastic with string applied over it for a natural color and look and possibly durability.

Any kind of toys that made it through the 1960s to now should be priceless. I was a 1960s child and I played hard with my toys so it amazes me whenever I see such toys in good or unused shape.

The value of your doll would be higher if you can find the whole family of them together. Alone I would say that for collectors of miniatures she might be in the $10 to $20 range.

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