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.


Treasure Hunt 23/04/20

Dear Donna,

I was wondering if you have any information on this item that was my parents’. I believe it is made from heavy tin or something similar. It has a beautiful floral picture on it. I hope you might know something.



Dear Joanne,

What you have here is a handled mid-century hammered aluminum tray.

There were several different companies that made them with the same look — flowers, scenes, hammered or plain. Most pieces you see are utilitarian in some way. The more common pieces you find in most homes bring about $20.

I hope this was helpful, Joanne, and you still have a use for your piece.

Thanks for sharing.


Treasure Hunt 23/04/13

Hi, Donna.

I have this Huckleberry Finn clock made by Century. The clock tells time, and the fishing pole bobs up and down and the fish area lights up as the fish move around. The case is cast metal and I think my grandfather told me it was from 1940. It’s in perfect condition. What would something like this be worth?

Thank you.


Dear Janice,

How fun is that! Your clock is from the mid-century and produced by the Century Works company of New York. There are a couple different designs and styles. The style you have, Janice, in good working condition brings around $200+. Animated clocks are tough to find in good running condition. So the ones that are hold their value.

Sweet piece, Janice. Thanks for sharing with us.


Treasure Hunt 23/04/06

Dear Donna,

While clearing my parents’ home, we found several packs like these feathers. Is there any market for them?

Thanks for any help, Donna.


Dear Cindy,

I’m sure there is a market, but the value will be in the buyer’s need.

It’s not uncommon to find feathers in older homes. If your dad or mom enjoyed fishing, they could have tied their own flies and used several different kinds of feathers. Or they might have used them for decorating such things as hats.

In today’s market I believe they could be used for some of the same reasons. The value depends on how many feathers, which different ones, and the rarity of them.

Maybe we will have a reader that has use for them, Cindy. I think that would help determine a value for them as well.

Hope you find them a new home.


Treasure Hunt 23/03/30

Hello, Donna.

My name is Gayle and I have inherited this piece. Not sure what it is — it was used as a doorstop. It is very heavy — 15 pounds, 12 inches high, 6 inches wide (at wheels) and 7 1/2 inches long. Not sure if it is brass or if it is plated. I see no markings. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Gayle,

I have to say you got me!

Using it as a doorstop with that weight is a great use for it. I do think it’s all brass; it has a warm smooth rounded finish to it like copper. Brass would make it heavy as well.

Gayle, as far as what it was originally, I think it was just a decorative piece. The value would be in the range of $50 decoratively. Using it as a doorstop is priceless!

Thanks for sharing, Gayle.


Treasure Hunt 23/03/23

Hi, Donna,

I have attached pictures of two tables I acquired from my parents. I believe my mother (born 1931) received them from her parents (born 1904 and 1906). Anything you might be able to tell me about them would be great. The round table has inlaid pearl.

Thank you very much.


Dear Sandi,

Let’s do one table for now. It’s a sweet Victorian-style table. The inlaid pearl and wood design is not so uncommon in that style table.

Your dates could be right or it could be from a little earlier, the mid to late 1800’s Victorian period.

It looks to have been very well taken care of. It also appears to have been refinished. I have no problem with that. When furniture is from the early 1800’s or late 1700’s then always leave it in the original condition.

The value of your table should be in the $300+ range, but it’s tough to call it in the market today. The style is not so popular in today’s design themes.

Nice table, Sandi, and I hope you’re still using it in your own home.

Treasure Hunt 23/03/16

Dear Donna,

I’m looking to find out what your thoughts are on this bracelet. It was my mom’s and she always said it was special. It does not say a name or anything that looks like it’s gold. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.


Dear Bev,

I want to assume with no maker mark or a gold mark it is costume jewelry. That doesn’t make it less valuable to your mom. It might have had sentimental value to her.

Your bracelet looks like a very common design even now. The stones would be colored glass and the finish of the metal, gold-filled or plated. It has a more modern look to it with the double strand.

I would say the value is in the $20 range. I hope this helped and thanks for sharing with us.

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