What’s it worth? Appraisal of Rodier & Fitzgerald Glass Sign

James asks:

Hello, I have a sign I would like appraised. The sign is an antique Aetna insurance sign (photo attached). It’s glass with a wood frame. There is a faded sticker on the back that say’s “Rodier & Fitzgerald Glass Signs 296 Pearl St. New York”

Thank You,


AW says

Rodier & Fitzgerald co. was a prominent New York signmaker of the victorian era. Because these were made of glass, many of them did not survive. Because they were expensive, even in their day, these were mostly commissioned by larger companies which could afford them. (J&P Coats, a large spool/cotton co) was also a majror client of Rodier & Fitzgerald Glass Signs.

A good portion of the value of your sign lies in the fact that it’s aesthetically pleasing and the artwork is attractive to decorators and collectors.

Circa turn of the 20th century.


  • signs
  • Rodier & Fitzgerald Glass Sign
  • glass signs
  • advertising
  • insurance advertising
  • victorian era

What’s it worth? Appraisal of antique pastel

Cliff asks:

Hello Wally,
   I bought this framed painting at a yard sell in Arkansas a few days ago.  The lady I bought it from said that it came out of an old plantation home in Mississippi.  I thought it was old because of the wooden backing.

 I took the backing off, and behind the wood was a news paper page from St. Louis dated July 18th, 1895. I am hoping it is by J.W. Waterhouse. He used the same verse from the poem that is on this picture. The verse is about virgins to not waste their time.

 The painting is 12 inches by 19 inches, the mat is 22 inches by 28 inches.  I have attached severael pics.
Thanks for your help,


antique printantique print w J W Waterhouse verse

AW says: This artwork is not by J W Waterhouse. What you have is a pastel, by an artist of some talent, but as it’s unsigned, (so far as we know, it could be signed under the matting) we must go on the merit of the work itself. It’s a work that was done based on the verse by 17th century poet, Robert Herrick.

Often famous poetry would inspire thousands of pieces of art all based on the same or similar themes. The work is circa late 1800s as indicated by the old newspaper you found in the back of the frame.

In short, it’s a very nice antique pastel, just not the masterpiece you wished it was.

Retail value: $225

Wholesale: $150

Quick sale: $75-$95

Keywords: Victorian, pastel, Robert Herrick, 19th century art

Antique oak rocking chair appraisal – whats it worth?

oak pressback rocker

Tamyra asks: What can you tell my about my antique rocking chair?

AW says: That’s an American Victorian era Oak press back rocker with bentwood arms. The term press back refers to the top of the back which was stamped or “pressed with a machine” many folks mistakenly refer to these types of chairs as being carved, but they are not.
Most rockers are unfairly undervalued in my opinion. The reason they are is because they are not popular with dealers due to the difficulty in packing them, and where the dealers tread, the market follows.


Date range: 1870-90

Retail value: $175 -$200
(top price)

Wholesale value: $95
(The midrange price you could expect to achieve at a well advertised live auction. The price that is most often realized)

Quick sale value: $45-$65
The price your likely to get if you have to sell your item immediately and your prospective customer is aware of this.

Common trade terminology: Oak press back rocker, bentwood arms, arrow back rocker, Oak rocking chair.

In most cases, I believe it would be beneficial for your to give the prospective buyer a link to this page, and to bookmark it via your favorite bookmarking service.

Care and storage tips: Old English scratch cover will work miracles on any dark wood that has surface wear. Be sure to use it according to the directions on the bottle.