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Dear John: Does this painting, photos attached, by French artist Charles Cobelle have any value? I have been told that it is an original painting.
I doubt if this next piece has any value, but today while going through stored boxes I found a 1985 last stapled issue of Playboy magazine. It still is in the original mailing wrapper. — R.M., Citrus Springs
Dear R.M.: Charles Cobelle, 1902-94, was a prolific French artist who produced a wide range of paintings, original prints, and watercolors of landscapes, Paris street scenes, circus subjects, harbor, marine scenes and more. His paintings have sold as high as $2,500; most sell in the mid-hundreds. If your woodland landscape picture is a painting, it would sell below $500 currently. There is a good chance interest in his pictures will increase over time.
Playboy magazines are a category of collector interest. It is good the issue is still in the wrapper; it will make a difference relative to potential dollar value in the future. Keep it safe for now.
Dear John: I bought the pitcher in the attached photo last year on a trip to Amsterdam. It is 8 inches high and 7 inches across the widest part. On the bottom it says Bergen.
The antiques dealer said it was about a hundred years old and made in Holland. I think it has an Art Deco feel to it and the colors are really vibrant. I thought it made a perfect souvenir. I paid 50 euros for it, or about $70.
No matter what, I will always love it, but did the dealer tell me the truth? What can you tell me about it? — L.F.R., Internet
Dear L.F.R.: Yes, your attractive Art Deco pitcher is close to if not 100 years old. It was likely made in the Gouda area of The Netherlands. From the 17th to well into the 20th century, Dutch potters produced brightly decorated hollowware that has been a category of interest for a long time. Stylized florals, birds, and geometrics were popular subjects. To get such a decorative piece for less than $100 was a good buy and a real Dutch souvenir.
Dear John: I have a painting given to me about 10 to 15 years ago and would like to know if it has any particular value. I am not good at reading signatures. A short while ago you suggested I send a photo, I hope this helps.
The frame has a stamp, “Hecho en Mexico.” The painting is 20 by 24 inches. I am downsizing and would like to sell it if there might be a market for it. — B.S., Internet
Dear B.S.: I was not able to interpret the signature on the painting. Impressionist French paintings of street scenes are popular. I think the one you have was produced within the past 40 to 50 years, long after the original period. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.
Dear John: My husband and I have been reading your column in antiques and collectibles for a long time. We recently sold our homestead in Ohio and moved some things down here to Crystal River. After opening one of the boxes, we discovered several pieces of jewelry purchased on a visit to Taxco, Mexico.
My husband seems to recall that you have mentioned Mexican-made sterling silver jewelry in one of your articles, or perhaps it was on your radio show. Anyway, we wonder if you can tell us if there is any interest or not. — N.M., Internet
Dear N.M.: Quite a few years back I spoke about the future potential interest in Mexican-made sterling silver jewelry. Since then, the collecting interest has continued to increase.
Most of the jewelry is marked and often signed by the designer. I would be glad to help you further. Take good, clear photos and make sure to examine the back side of each piece and include all the information you find.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.