That old thing: damaged chess figure is still valuable


Q. I am submitting this figure of three chess players for a family member in Switzerland. The item was purchased online in Switzerland for 395 Swiss francs ($ 545 CAD). It is 30 centimeters high and 36 cm long (12 and 14 inches). The marks include a blue monogram and a title “Schachspiel” with “Volkstedt-Rudolstadt”. Any information about it, where, by whom it was made and its value would be greatly appreciated.

A. You have an elaborate group of porcelain figurines made by the oldest porcelain factory in Volkstedt sometime after 1915. The business started around 1760 and is associated with the state of Thuringia in Germany. “Schachspiel” means “chess game” in German. They made many figurines in the “Dresden” style of porcelain figurines with textured lace cuffs and dress bottoms – an area where yours suffered damage. The value of this coin is increased by the current strong interest in the game of chess. The asking prices are high for similar numbers – in the range of $ 875 or more by high-end retail stores. Due to health issues, its value is around $ 375.

Q. I wonder if this blue glass vase has any value? It came out of my grandmother’s dresser and could have been a wedding present when she got married in 1903. I am now 80 years old and wondering if this is something to pass on or put on. a garage sale table. It is 18cm high (seven inches) and there are no marks on the bottom.

A. The use of the human hand in the design immediately attracts attention. Hand vases began to appear in the mid-1870s and continued through much of the 1900s. They were first produced by English companies and then in America for the centenary celebrations of 1876. Rightly so. , the French firm Vallerysthal & Portieux in Lorraine manufactured them. French anti-slavery activist Edouard de Laboulaye proposed the idea for the Statue of Liberty in 1865, and a French sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, designed it with the “Light up the world” hand torch in 1870. Your version blown glass has a top edge that has been hand crimped using a tool. This is the most common right-handed shape – left-handed versions are much rarer due to the superstitions surrounding them. It was probably made in Bohemia around 1900. It will pleasantly house a small floral bouquet for around $ 65.

Q. This is what my grandmother called a cocoa package. She gave it to me with a story that he was from Pennsylvania with his ancestors in the late 1800s (which I doubt). The pot is 24 cm high (9.5 inches). The set, in perfect condition, consists of the pot, the lid and six cups and saucers. At the bottom are the words “Hand painted”, a monogram “RC” and “Nippon”. It was given to me by my grandmother and I would appreciate any advice on its value.

A. You have a majestic set of seven pieces of cocoa made by one of the many Japanese companies (Japan) in existence at the time – this one is known as “Royal Crockery”, which means “fine china. “. The mark on your set was used from 1911 and was used at least until 1921. The decorative band, with drooping flowers and vines, is very colorful and is beautifully outlined in gold. The more expensive Nippon cocoa sets have most of the body glazed. At the same time, it is not common to have all the original cocoa cups and saucers as in your set. Cocoa jars are always eye-catchers, and your set will cost $ 225.

John Sewell is an antiques and fine art appraiser. To submit an article to his column, go to the ‘Contact John’ page at Please measure your part, say when and how you got it, what you paid for and list any identifying marks. A high resolution jpeg photo should also be included. (Only email submissions are accepted.) * Evaluation values ​​are estimates only. *


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