What’s it Worth? From buffalo horn furniture to tin cups – OregonLive.com

Carved horse
Q. I have a “carousel” horse piece that I recently obtained from a family member. All we know is that it has been in a living room for the last 30 years. There are no markings anywhere. It shows signs of age. It measures 48 inches long and 36 inches tall.
S. and T. K, Lodi, CA

A. Your horse is Chinese, hand carved and polychromed wood, in the style of the Tang Dynasty, which flourished from 617 to 907. During this period, China became the most prosperous, powerful and influential country in the world. Arts included highly sophisticated painting, sculpture, woodblock printing, ceramics and metalwork. While in the style of the Tang Dynasty, based on your photographs it appears to date to the second half of the 20th century. Based on this, at auction, you might expect an estimate of $250-$400. A dealer may ask $1,000-$1,500 in a specialty decorator shop.

buffalo chair and footstool.JPGBuffalo horn chair and footstool 

Buffalo horn chair and footstool
Q. I inherited this chair and footstool a few months ago. They were left by a renter at a relative’s house in the 1960s and have been stored ever since. My relative was told this is a Sioux ceremonial chair dating from the 1880s. The chair measures 40 inches high, 27 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Two of the buffalo horns have fallen off and we still have them.
T. F., Lincoln City

A. Your chair and matching stool do appear to date from circa 1890. While most horn furniture from this period incorporates steer horn, yours is buffalo (American Bison). It was manufactured by an American company, and not used by Native Americans. This type of furniture was very much in style in the U.S. from the late 1870s to around the end of that century. In the 1980s and 1990s, interest in this furniture saw a revival and collectors are still paying premiums. At auction, you might expect a sale price of $3,000-$5,000 for this chair and stool. However, with a bit of restoration, in a retail gallery specializing in the American West, a dealer might well ask $10,000-$15,000, or perhaps more.

table and chairs (1).JPGGrand Rapids furniture  

Grand Rapids furniture
Q. This dining room set belonged to my grandmother and was purchased sometime in the early 1900s. I’ve tried to identify the style, but have not had any luck.  It is in excellent condition and includes five chairs plus one arm chair, each with original leather seat covers. The table measures  53 inches by 45 inches and 72 inches by 45 inches with its two extensions. If you can identify the style and approximate value I would be most appreciative.  
T. P., Gladstone

A. Your dining room furniture set dates from the 1920s, and appears to be American, most likely manufactured by one of the factories in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, or perhaps in Rockford, Illinois. Grand Rapids became famous throughout the country for its many furniture makers, beginning as far back as 1840. By 1876 it had become the world’s top furniture manufacturer, and today it remains the leading manufacturer of off! ice furniture. Your furniture is probably most appropriately described as in the “William & Mary Style,” referencing elements of furniture design seen in England during the William and Mary Period (1689-1702). At auction, it might sell for $250-$350. In a shop selling vintage furniture, it might be priced at $500-$800.

Army tin cup (1).JPGArmy tin cup 

Army tin cup
Q. Here are pictures of an old metal cup. It says “US” on the handle. How old is it? What was it used for? Height is 4 inches. Anything you can tell me will be appreciated.
J.L., NE Portland

A. Your cup is a circa 1874 U.S. Army issue cup. It is made of tin, with soldered seams and riveted handle. These were issued through the Indian Wars up to the Spanish American War. They were used daily and are rare today. You could expect an auction price of $80-$120 for a cup in this condition. A dealer specializing in military collectibles might ask $200-$250.

Satsuma cups and saucers
Q. I was cleaning out my grandmother’s attic and came across a covered box containing pottery. After further research I found that these are Japanese satsuma pottery from the Meiji period, I believe. The condition is flawless with a shiny crackled glaze on every piece and the pictures are very detailed with a high relief. I have a total of six cups and five plates, which I’m assuming belonged to a tea set. I would love an appraisal from you because I think they could be worth some money. Any knowledge on this would be appreciated.
C. L., SE Portland

Satsuma cup and saucer (1).JPGSatsuma cup and saucer 

A. Your ceramics are Japanese Satsuma ware, probably dating from the late Meiji Period, which ran from 1868 to 1912. Satsuma takes its name from the area in Japan where Korean potters first established kilns in the 16th century. Satsuma ware during the Meiji Period was produced in several cities, with Kyoto being the most prolific. Your pieces are in what is often called the “Thousand Faces” pattern and are hand decorated, with moriage, a slip decoration of raised enamels. The mark bears the Shimazu Clan crest, which is often included in Satsuma marks, and also states that the pieces were made in Great Japan, by a potter or workshop named “Houou” (which translates to “phoenix”). Satsuma ware was made primarily for export to the western market. Yours are nice quality. As a partial set, you might expect $40-$80 at auction. A dealer may ask $120-$150 for this set.

ABOUT COLLECTIBLES: The values of items featured in this Collectibles column are estimated by Portland appraiser Jerry l. Dobesh, ASA, an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers. He is specifically accredited in Antiques and Decorative Arts. 

To find an appraiser, contact the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America. Estimates suggested in this Collectibles column are for general information purposes only and cannot be used as a basis for sale, insurance, or IRS purposes.

If you have a rare, very old and/or unusual item of furniture or home decor you would like considered for inclusion in the column, please send us your high-quality images, preferably at least 300 dpi and in jpeg format. Photos must show the object in its entirety and must be clearly focused and well lighted to show detail. If there are any maker’s marks, please include an image of those. Include measurements and information about the condition of the piece.

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