Sikorski's Attic 4/20/14: Sizing up a numbered print; fixing an antique music box

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Dear John: In doing some research regarding a print I own, I came across your column. I saw you did an appraisal on an A.E. Backus litho. I also have this same litho titled “Flamboyant,” by A. E. Backus.


Here is some more information about it: It is a limited edition litho, No. 901 of 1,000, and as my photos show, it is double signed by A.E. Backus. There is one up for sale currently on eBay for $799, but you can never tell how realistic those prices are there.

The A.E. Backus Museum’s website also had one they sold recently, but there was no price listed. I am not looking to sell mine, because it goes perfectly with my room, but I was just wondering what it is worth. I purchased the print more than 20 years ago at Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Fla. — H.K., Internet 

Dear H.K.: I think it would be a lucky day to get a couple of hundred dollars for your print. At $799, it seems like someone is fishing for a mackerel or an autograph buyer.

Generally speaking, collectors of limited-edition prints have a cutoff edition number of 250. 

Dear John: I have an antique cylinder music box in need of repair. I had significant repairs done to it years ago by a man in Ohio and would send it to him again, but shipping is prohibitive

 It appears to be a mechanism issue, as it has begun playing very slowly. I have searched the Internet, but have not found any sources in Florida or even the southeast.

Do you know of anyone closer than the northeast or California who repairs antique music boxes? Could a watchmaker take care of the problem? — R.P., Internet 

Dear R.P.: I wish you had included a photograph of your cylinder music box for our readers. It is possible that the mechanism can simply be removed from the box and shipped separately. First, you might contact the person who repaired it and ask if just the mechanism can be removed and shipped separately. 

I do not know of anyone in Florida to repair it. One of the nationally well-known restorers is Al Meekins of Meekins Music Box Restoration, who could do the repair and perhaps may know of someone in Florida. His website is www.antiquemusicboxes.com. 

Dear John: I have the 1980 Christmas edition Cabbage Patch dolls dressed in red velvet clothes. They are Noel and Nicholas special editions from Babyland General in Cleveland, Ga. My registered numbers on the dolls are No. 0506 and No. 2345. Could you please advise me of where I may sell them and what the value is of each one? — W.C., Internet 

Dear W.C.: The crest of the popularity wave for Cabbage Patch dolls has come and gone. The secondary market is loaded with them for sale. If you have noted a seller asking a high price for the type you have, contact them and see if they are willing to buy your two.


John Sikorski has been a professional in the antiques business for 30 years. He hosts a call-in radio show, Sikorski’s Attic, on WJUF (90.1 FM) Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. Send questions to Sikorski’s Attic, P.O. Box 2513, Ocala, FL 34478 or asksikorski@aol.com.