John Sikorski

John Sikorski


Dear John: I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this wrought iron and glass Wardian case. I can find the history of them and modern ones for sale, but I would like to figure an approximate date and value for this one. I also wonder what I should do to remove the surface rust on it. Thank you. — E., internet

Dear E.: A Wardian case is a sealed protective container for plants. Some folks refer to them as a portable greenhouse — a forerunner to the terrarium. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, 1791-1868, a Londoner, invented the Wardian case in the 1820s. They were very popular during the Victorian era and were often ornately decorated.

The one you have was made in the 20th century. Potential dollar value is $100 to $200. If you plan on keeping it, you might consider having it sandblasted and powder coated.

Dear John: My father has some snapshots he took of Marilyn Monroe many years ago when she performed for the troops in Korea. She was on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio. Do you think anyone might be interested in buying this type of thing? — A.A., internet

Dear A.A.: The category your snapshots are in is called Pin-up Art. Currently, it is a rapidly growing area of interest in the marketplace, with post-World War II to late 1950s being the hottest spot. I wish you had sent us some copies of your Marilyn Monroe snapshots. I am sure many of our readers would have enjoyed seeing them. Are they with Joe or is she by herself?

Without photographs to see what you have, all I can say is the dollar value would be below $100 each.

Dear John: I have a Herschede grandfather clock. It is a Bellini model, triple chime, with moon dial and acacia burlwood. We bought it quite a few years ago. We plan on selling our house here and moving to South Florida. None of our children have interest in owning it, so we want to sell it before we move. Can you give me some information about it and its value? — E.B., internet

Dear E.B.: The Herschede Clock Company is widely recognized by clock collectors and their clocks are highly prized. They were located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and are no longer in business. The photograph is not very clear. Depending on overall condition, the potential dollar value is below $2,500.

Dear John: I bought this wall plate in an antiques shop about 20 years ago in New Orleans. It is marked Royal Doulton. I hope you will be kind enough to let me know what it is worth. — F.K., internet

Dear F.K.: The photograph is out of focus. However, here is what I can tell you. The Royal Doulton Company is widely recognized in the antiques marketplace. The decorative wall plate you have is part of their Series Ware line known as Famous Ships. On the back is the title of the specific ship depicted, yours being the H.M.S. Victory. The plate was produced in the middle part of the 20th century. Potential dollar value is below $100.

John Sikorski has been a professional in the antiques business for 30 years. Send questions to Sikorski’s Attic, P.O. Box 2513, Ocala, FL 34478 or

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