Sikorski's Attic: 6/1/14: Table is old, but not 200 years old; mystery for readers

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Dear John: We found this library table in a storage barn. It was in pieces, so we had it completely restored while we were still in Ohio.


We were told by the restorer that it was at least 200 years old. We have since moved to Crystal River and enjoy reading your articles in the paper. So what do you think about the age and what it might be worth? — A.M.R., Internet 

Dear A.M.R.: You have an attractive sofa table. I think it was manufactured in America, possibly in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This type of table was not made 200 years ago. It could be 50 to 100 years old, but not before the 20th century. Potential dollar value is $150 to $300. 

Dear John: Attached are photos of a family antique, a ram’s horn snuffbox. I would greatly appreciate your comments or other information concerning this piece.

A partial note indicates “Cairngorm Mountain Range in Northern Ireland.” The engraving on the side of the silver box reads: “Challenge Horn Presented by a Member To No. 6. Co. 1st A.V.A.” On the reverse side, it reads “Won by Battery Sergeant Major A. Paton 1889.”

Thank you for your consideration of this request. — T.E., Internet 

Dear T.E.: Snuffboxes have been a category of collecting for a long time. They were made of gold, silver, bronze, brass, wood, various animal horns and more.

The photograph you included is out of focus. I need better photos in order to see the detail and finish the story. 

Dear John: I have a question for you. I have a waterfall bed and dresser with round original mirror, probably from the 1940s. How much would they be worth? They are actually mine. The bed has the original slats.

Thank you for your time. I would like to sell them. — B.S., Internet 

Dear B.S.: Waterfall furniture is often called Art Deco Waterfall. In the Art Deco collecting category, it is low on the totem pole of collector interest. 

Waterfall furniture was manufactured in large quantities between World War I and II in a wide range of quality. Generally speaking, it sells at very affordable prices. If you can use it, it would be better kept than sold. If you like, send several good, clear photographs and I will be more specific. 

Dear John: Attached are photos of an item we found in the garage of an old house my brother bought in Texas.

We were fascinated with this tool and wondered what it was used for and how. No one has seen anything like it. There are faint, unreadable markings from the manufacturer on the tongue, so we know it is not a homemade item.

All our inquiries and research have told us nothing, but have led us to you! Hopefully you can inform us about what this is and if there is any value. Thank you in advance for your time and efforts. We look forward to reading your articles every Sunday. — J.C., Internet 

Dear J.C.: I do not know what your tool was made for. A guess would be farm tool category, perhaps a crop planter of some type. Perhaps one of our readers will recognize it.

Martin J. Donnelly is a nationally recognized tool expert and has authored several books on tools and tool collecting. I suggest you contact him about your tool. The website is www.mjdtools.com. Let us know what you discover.


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.