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Sikorski's Attic 7/27/14: Beautiful sculpture likely European, made of alabaster

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Dear John: Attached is a photo of a sculpture of Rose of Sharon. The artist’s mark appears faded somewhat. I hope the pictures are helpful regarding the maker and period of the piece. The coins have letters upon them. The detail and craftsmanship in this close-up picture may be helpful as well.

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I look forward to any information you could provide on value, the maker, and period of the piece. — D.S., Internet 

Dear D.S.: Wow, what a beautifully carved bust; the detail is excellent. The beautiful young woman has a soft, warm look in her face. The lips, nose, and eyes are perfectly formed.

The style is Art Nouveau. The signature appears to be Niccolini. I was not able to find any track record or biographical information about the sculptor. The material is either marble or alabaster. 

Carved busts of beautiful young women were produced during the last quarter of the 19th century by numerous sculptors in Italy and throughout Europe in large quantities. Most were alabaster due to the cost of marble. Potential dollar value is $600 to $1,200 if alabaster, more if it is marble. 

The title “Rose of Sharon” is a popular tale of two young lovers awaiting their wedding used throughout the decorative arts, including a popular quilt pattern. 

Dear John: My husband and I are both interested in antiques and collectibles. Over the past few years, we have had fun buying stuff at garage sales and estate sales, then selling them at local auctions.

We plan on doing some selling on eBay and are in the learning stages of selling. What we buy and sell is based on our subjective feeling and guesses. What reading resource books would you suggest for us to become more knowledgeable about the antiques and collectibles market? — F.M., Internet 

Dear F.M.: It is nice you both are interested in the antiques market. Buying and selling antiques and collectibles is fun and often profitable if you do not consider time, effort and expense involved with acquiring.

I suggest any of the books by Judith Miller, published by DK Publisher. Her price guide on collectibles is excellent, as well as her antiques price guides. Good luck. 

Dear John: I am downsizing and need help selling a beautiful 12-place setting of solid white Rosenthal China, in the Olympia pattern, from 1960. My aunt sent it to me from England, and it has stayed in my china cabinet unused, except after my marriage when we used two plates once.

The set is in excellent condition and complete, except for one saucer. It includes the normal set of 12 and a wide variety of serving pieces. 

It also came with a Rosenthal teapot, creamer, and covered sugar set. The trademark is Rosenthal Selb-Plossberg Bavaria-Germany Winifred pattern. Again, it is solid white.

I have treasured this set for 54 years, but it is time for someone else to enjoy them. Could you please help me price this set, and hopefully lead me to someone who might want to buy it? — M., Internet 

Dear M.: Rosenthal is a widely recognized name for high quality porcelain and dinnerware. Collectors are mainly interested in the beautiful figural statues that were made during the late 19th and early 20th century.

I suggest you pass your set on in the family if possible. Dollar value of your pieces is based on interest in the china pattern replacement market.

If you are determined to sell, contact Replacements Ltd, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The phone number is 1-800-REPLACE (737-5223).

Dear John: My grandfather gave me this rocking chair. Can you give me any information on it? — K.W., Internet 

Dear K.W.: You have a platform rocking chair. It was a 19th century idea in rocking chairs to place the chair on a platform, thus reducing wear and tear on carpets and flooring.

Yours was made in America during the late 19th century. The style is Renaissance Revival. Potential dollar value is $100, perhaps more on a lucky day.

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.