Treasure Hunt 23/06/29

Dear Donna,

Can you tell me if people even still use alarm clocks? This was in my parents’ home for years. It still works fine. I just don’t have a need for it any longer.

Does it have value to someone?

Thanks, Donna.


Dear Kate,

I bet there are many people that still use alarm clocks — electric ones, and maybe some people even still use wind-ups.

Your Big Ben clock is from the early 1900s and looks like one of the first models. Westclox Co. has an interesting history. Your clock working is a plus for you, Kate. The value would be in the range of $60 to a collector or decorator. Who doesn’t love the look and charm of an antique timepiece?

Thanks for sharing with us, Kate. I hope you find time to find your clock a new home.

Treasure Hunt 23/06/22

Dear Donna,

I have a question about this tiny chicken plastic charm. My mom always had it in a jewelry box. It was special to her. Would you know why? Thanks, Donna,


Dear Tina,

The special part of this Cracker Jack prize charm. Hmmm. Has to be the situation at the time she acquired it.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know Cracker Jacks? The sweet popcorn treat has been around since the late 1800’s. Inside the box was that special treat toy charm you couldn’t wait to unwrap. Your chicken charm is from the 1940’s, Tina.

Prizes and charms are still in the boxes of sweet popcorn. Older ones like yours vary in price but all are collectible. I would say yours is in the $20 range. Some can bring a lot more, depending on the rarity. Common ones can bring a lot less as well. The idea was to collect lots of them and buy more Cracker Jack.

A fun collection to have with a history behind them. I hope this was helpful, Tina. Thanks for sharing.

Treasure Hunt 23/06/15

Good morning.

I have had these six luncheon plates in storage for years. I’m wondering if you can tell me anything about them and their value. Thank you!


Dear Pam,

Your Haviland Limoges plates with the Frontenac pattern were produced in the 1920s. They were part of a much larger set. The plates, cups and saucers are very common. The rarer pieces are the serving pieces, such as platters, pitchers and tureens. As with all dishware the harder-to-find pieces today will bring a higher value.

Frontenac is such a nice light pattern.

The value on your plates with no damage (chips, cracks, excessive scratching) would be in the $40 range for the six.

Thanks for sharing, Pam. I hope this was helpful.

Treasure Hunt 23/06/08

Dear Donna,

What’s your thought on old glasses? We found three pairs in my parents’ estate. Any value to them, or are they throw-aways?



Dear Scott,

Antique spectacles are some of the most common pieces to find in old estates.

There is a long and interesting history that goes along with them. This pair is bifocals so not as early as some. Bifocals came later, invented by Benjamin Franklin.

In general most antique glasses run in the range of $10 a pair. They are bought today for many decorative reasons. If the rims are real gold and not plated or gold-filled, they have a much higher value, and there can be some exceptions, as always, for rarer ones.

So my answer, Scott, is not to throw them away. Have them checked by an antique dealer or jeweler for gold first and possibly a sale.

Thanks for sharing with us, Scott.


Treasure Hunt 23/06/01

Dear Donna,

Is my mom’s mother’s recipe book of any interest or value to anyone? I have all the recipes I need and hate to toss it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time. Enjoy reading your responses in the Hippo.


Dear Shannon,

I’m laughing because my first response is they should be priceless! Some of the most important things to people make it through time. I’m thinking how well-used this booklet was from the 1930s to the present.

I remember when I was growing up recipes within the family were secreted. Barely ever given out. When holidays came you couldn’t wait for that one yummy item to come!

The value on it, Shannon, is around $40-ish. To keep it in the family, though, and keep passing it is priceless!

Thanks for sharing with us and for reading.

Treasure Hunt 23/05/25


I have these five salt dishes with stamps from Prussia. No chips, perfect condition. Can you give me the value for these?


Dear Gail,

Your salt dishes by CS Prussia were produced in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. That is what the blue mark on the bottom shows.

Salt dishes were always an add-on to a larger dish set. Imagine using them in the day! Being in perfect condition should put them in the range of $50 to a collector.

It would be fun to use them today, right? Thanks for sharing, Gail, and I hope this was helpful.


Treasure Hunt 23/05/18

Hi, Donna.

Here’s a photo of a desk that has been in our family since the 1920s. Can you tell us anything about it? We were living in Michigan at the time.



Dear Judi,

Nice clean piece of furniture. It could have even been manufactured in Michigan.

It looks like a secretary desk or butler’s desk. This is why the front drops down. The piece dates from between the early 1900s and the 1930s. It’s walnut and, as I said, very clean and in great condition. Looks great where you have it.

Values are tough because demand dictates everything. But if I appraised it for insurance purposes, I would say in the $1,000 range. Not sure it would market for that. But to me it’s worth that. It has stood time well.

I hope this was helpful, Judi, and thanks for sharing with us.


Treasure Hunt 23/05/11

Hi, Donna.

Our daughter got these two pieces about 20 years ago in Somerville, Mass. and was told they were antiques. We can’t find any markings. The bureau hardware is not original to the bureau.

She has moved to the West Coast and asked us to sell these pieces. We don’t know what prices to ask. Any assistance will be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.


Dear Vikie,

The box in the photo is an antique blanket box in an original painted finish. Being from the 1800s and in the original finish does give it value. Prices have changed so much because of the current generation having minimal need for such pieces. Looking at it that way, I would say you still could sell it in the $100+ range.

The chest of drawers is not as old and in tough shape. The value would be if someone needs one and is willing to give it TLC to fix it.

Thanks for sharing with us, Vikie.

Treasure Hunt 23/05/04

Hi, Donna.

I have two of these tiny little plates. They are 3 inches long by 1 7/8 inches wide. As shown on the bottom they are by Nippon and are hand-painted. What are these and do they have any value? They were from my grandmother, who would be 120+ now. Thank you.


Dear Janice,

Your Nippon dishes were most likely part of a larger set. They could have been used for bone dishes or for other things.

Interesting story of these dishes: Lots were hand-painted here in New England. The blanks were shipped in and local artists would paint the pattern. Then they were shipped back to complete a set.

The value really depends on the detailing. Some can have full scenes on them in detail. Simpler patterns like the ones you have would run about $10 each today.

I hope this was helpful, Janice, and that you still find use for them today. Idea: soap dishes?


Treasure Hunt 23/04/27

Hi, Donna.

My name is Karen and I am unsure of what I have. It came to me in a collection of decorative spoons but it definitely does not look like a spoon. On the reverse side it says D. Peres Germany. It has a few brown spots around the tail and where the screw is located which connects the two pieces together. It is approximately 5 1/2 inches from top to the bottom. I would be very interested in knowing what it is.



Dear Karen,

You made me smile today! The first time I saw one of these I also thought, What are these for?

What you have, Karen, is an egg slicer. That’s why it’s in the form of a chicken. It is a plated material on the coating so you can find brown spots or even chipping of the plating. They were also made in sterling silver, which would be of higher value. What a novel idea to slice your hard or soft boiled egg with this kitchen tool.

The value is not high for the piece but priceless for an education. They run in the $15 range. Karen, thanks for sharing.


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