Treasure Hunt 22/04/21

Dear Donna,

I came across this miniature school desk that almost fell apart when I picked it up. It was missing most of the original bolts and the remaining ones were loose. It has a little rust on it, but overall it’s in good condition. No information was on it indicating manufacturer or age.

When I brought it to a hardware store to find replacement bolts, people were fascinated with it! One person said sell it on eBay. Any suggestions?


Dear Stephen,

My first reaction to selling it online is yikes — I wouldn’t want to pack it for shipping!

Your child’s school desk is not too uncommon to find. It’s from the late 1800s to early 1900s, but there were many. Most bolted to the floor so they seem to be found in OK condition today.

The value ranges from $20 to $75 depending on being in original condition, and some are more desirable than others (like double ones and unusual ones).

I think to find yours a new home, I might try locally and keep the price range under $30. I hope you find it a new home to be used again for a new purpose or decorative display.

Treasure Hunt 22/04/14

Dear Donna,

I have three of these wooden soldiers. I think this was part of a bowling set that was my mom’s.

My first question is, are these old enough to have value? Next question is, could I find more or similar ones to create a collection for my son?


Dear Emily,

I enjoy the fact that the set of three soldiers might be the beginning of a new collection.

Your toy soldiers could definitely have been part of a bowling pin set. They have been made for many years, from the late 1800s to now. Older ones such as yours could have been marked at one time Germany or Japan.

I think the value would be in having the complete set, and even better if in the original box. That might be in the range of $100+.

Now for starting a new collection moving forward, that’s priceless! The hunt will be fun and there is no saying what you will find out there today. Yes, it’s always worth collecting antiques and older items. Have fun, and I will keep my eyes open for you as well.

Treasure Hunt 22/04/07

Dear Donna,

I’m looking for an opinion on how to preserve the painting on this old cabinet. It was poorly stored for many years and I don’t think it’s worth a lot of money, but I’d like to preserve the painting. Could I do so by spray lacquer? Or is there something more appropriate? It is an old glass-shelved curio cabinet.


Dear Clare,

I want to start off by saying the cabinet looks lovely. Sad to see the wear and tear that things made over 100 years ago can go through along the way.

My advice would be to contact a specialist furniture refinisher. They should be able to do the task and possibly even have painters on hand to replace parts of the missing areas.

The downside to this is that the cost could exceed the value of the cabinet, so you have to decide whether it’s worth it.

As far as attempting the work yourself, it could be tough and the end result is the painting is gone. I feel most of the original varnish would have to be removed. That job would scare me!

I hope this was helpful and you’re successful in restoring your cabinet.

Treasure Hunt 22/03/31

Dear Donna,

We thought you would enjoy this set of Goffstown history books. They are in good condition and full of some very interesting facts from Goffstown, N.H. Could you possibly give us an approximate value and is this something you might be in need of?


Dear Betty,

Your books look to be in great shape! Tougher to find the set, so that’s a plus. I want to say thank you for sharing with us and thinking of me for a home. I happily say I have my own set from when I lived in Goffstown. You’re right, there is so much interesting history in them.

Your books’ value comes from age, having both and condition — if the pages are all there and there are no tears, fading, wrinkles, etc. The value of town history books vary depending on rarity as well. These would be in the range of $50+.

I do hope you find a new home for your set. I still enjoy mine!


Treasure Hunt 22/03/24

Dear Donna,

Do postcards from the 1950s have value?


Dear Joann,

I always think everything antique or collectible has a value — the question is how much.

Postcards are a market within the field that has many collectors for several reasons. Basically when looking at postcards the value is in age, rarity, condition and subject. Postcards from 1940s and 1950s that are comical mass-produced ones I’m sure have collectors for them. The value tends to run in the couple-dollar range for most. But I feel finding someone who will enjoy them again is worth it.

Treasure Hunt 22/03/17

I am hoping you can guide me. I have this wedding band that belonged to my sister. I have no use for it and am wondering what I should do with it. It’s marked 14KT with no other markings. If I had to guess, I’d say it was from the 1970s.

Can you help by telling me what would be the best way to find it a new home, maybe with a jeweler or a gold buyer?


Dear Karen,

I think the first thing you need to do is confirm it is gold. It’s tough to really tell these days when there are so many fake marks out there.

Step 2 is find someone you can trust to do business with. The markup on jewelry is so high, returning it for a wedding band to sell again might not give you the best value.

I would see what the secondary buyback value is and then what the gold value is, assuming it is gold. That’s why dealing with someone you can trust is important. I can give you a couple names of who I always dealt with for gold and silver if needed. They can determine gold, weight and best value.

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!