Sometimes old things that were once shunned in the marketplace come back in fashion, as today’s parlor stove demonstrates. Sometimes the tide goes in the reverse direction, as with the antique bed, which holds some of its original value because of condition and relative rarity. The firewood box may increase in value as time goes on, if the interest in small decorative pieces of furniture also increases. For the pottery pieces, as with all but the best glass and ceramic ware these days, the market has been weak for many years, with no signs of changing except in a further downward direction.
Q. We would like to have this parlor stove considered for your column. It is in excellent condition, Charter Oak, #115. It is 59 inches high, 25 inches wide at the bottom between the legs, 28 inches across at the widest point.
J.S., Northeast Portland
A. Your wood burning parlor stove is by the Charter Oak Stove and Range Company of St. Louis, Missouri, Model No. 115, and likely dates to circa 1895-1905. It is of cast iron with nickel-plated decoration and details, and is one of their more ornate models. Popular as a heating source in the more formal rooms of the 19th century home, the parlor stove is enjoying a comeback today as an alternative heating source and also as a decorative accent. At auction, you might see a sale of $900-$1,200, though it may bring more. A retail shop specializing in period stoves might ask $3,000-$4,000 if the stove is complete and in excellent original condition.
Q. My mother gave me this bed, and she said it has been in the family for at least 80 years. It is in very good condition with some scars of age. The frame sits on metal casters. I am interested in whether this piece of furniture has much value in the current market. It takes a standard full size mattress (double). The headboard is upholstered with velvet material. I can’t say that it is original, but it is approximately 80 years old.
D.H., Southwest Portland
A. Your bed is American, of walnut, and likely dates to circa 1885-1905. There is an Eastlake influence to the design, and the tufted back panel is unusual. This style of furniture, with its heavy, dark wood, was more sought after in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and broadly speaking, prices have declined the past few years. At auction, you might see a sale of $70-$100, though collectors looking for a unique piece might pay significantly more. If the upholstered panel is original to the manufacture, a dealer may ask $600-$900 for such an unusual bed.
Q. I would like to know the origin of this brass covered box, its possible age and intended use. I inherited it from my mother, who purchased this box while living in Portland around 1972, possibly through Lynn Walters Auctions. All surfaces except the back are covered in brass with raised images. The top opens with a piano style hinge. Its dimensions are: 24 inches wide x 17 inches high in front and 22 inches in back x 15 inches deep.
J.L., West Linn
A. Your repoussé brass overlay box was originally intended as a firewood or tinder box and likely dates to the first quarter of the 20th century. Repoussé is the technique of creating raised areas by hammering the design from the reverse side. This box is likely English, though it may be continental. The sides and top depict village and pub scenes, as well as a group of soldiers whose uniforms could be English, Spanish or even Dutch. At auction, you might see an estimate of $75-$125. An antique shop specializing in European furnishings may ask $350-$450 for such a box in original condition.
Q. I have several pieces of Frankoma Pottery. The Indian maiden is 12 inches tall, the Sun Valley dish is 7 inches in diameter and the cougar is 9 inches wide. All three of these pieces are in excellent condition with no chips or marks.
A. Your pieces are by Frankoma Pottery of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. John Frank, a professor of ceramics at the University of Oklahoma, founded Frankoma in 1933. His early ceramics used a light-colored local clay and this was replaced by brick-red clay — also local — in 1953. Frank operated the pottery until his death in 1973, and his daughter ran it until 1991 when she sold it. After several other sales to different owners, the company was auctioned in 2011. In 2012, the original Frankoma molds and trademark name were sold to FPC LLC. Your Indian Maiden figure was introduced in 1963; the Reclining Puma was introduced in 1934; these were made from their introduction date through the close of the company, so exact dates of manufacture can’t be determined. Your Sun Valley advertising plate probably dates to the 1970s. At auction, you might see sales of $20-$30 for the Indian Maiden, $30-$60 for the puma and $10-$20 for the plate. A dealer may ask $70-$100 for the Indian Maiden, $100-$150 for the puma and $30-$50 for the plate, if all are in excellent undamaged condition.
Q. I inherited this vase from my grandmother. It is in excellent condition and measures 11 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide.
A. Your vase is by Weller Pottery of Ohio. The company was founded in 1872 in Fultonham, Ohio, and by 1905 was the largest pottery in the country. It mass-produced a number of different lines of art pottery until about 1920, and these early pieces are highly collectible. By the 1930s, however, hand painting had become very simple and by 1935 Weller was only making molded pottery. It produced this until closing in 1948. Your vase is an example of their molded “cameo rose” pattern, and dates to the 1930s-1940s. At auction, it might sell for $15-$25. A dealer specializing in American pottery might ask $40-$60.
About Today’s Collectibles
The values discussed for items featured in this column were researched by Portland appraiser Jerry l. Dobesh, ASA, an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers, with a specialty designation in Antiques & Decorative Arts. His services include providing appraisals for estate tax, charitable contribution, insurance scheduling and loss, and equitable distribution needs.
To find an appraiser, contact the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America. Estimates suggested in this Collectibles column are for general information purposes only and cannot be used as a basis for sale, insurance, or IRS purposes.
To have items considered for inclusion in future columns, please send us your high-quality images, preferably at least 300 dpi, 1Mb in size and in jpeg format. Photos must show each object in its entirety and must be clearly focused and well lighted to show detail. If there are any maker’s marks, please include an image of those. Include measurements and information about the condition of the piece.
Send to: [email protected]
or to: Today’s Collectibles/Homes & Gardens The Oregonian 1500 SW First Ave., Suite 400
Portland, OR 97201
Please include your name and town, along with contact information; phone number or email address. Contact information will not be published. The Oregonian will retain usage rights of the photographs for its print, marketing and online media.
— Carolyn Patten