What’s it worth? Appraisal of carved ivory or bone chess set

David says:

I did a lot of searching, and I noticed your blog.  I liked your honest responses to the inquiries, the frequency in which you update and thought your price for a general appraisal was more than fair.

 My grand mother went to Hong Kong in the early 70’s for a few years.  She bought a whole house full of stuff and had it shipped back.  When she died I was given my pick of anything in the house.  I chose (among other things) an ivory chess set. I have tested the ivory with a hot pin and nothing melted. Each piece is intact, it is stored very well. The pawns are about 2.5” tall, and the king and queen are almost 6” tall. The Black side seems to be stained, possibly with tea.  

The King and Queen on both sides have small stones that are turquoise and red. I’m not sure what kind of stone they are. I have attached photos.  I don’t know if you can receive large attachments, but I have photos of the front and back of each piece. You can download a zip file at http://www.pixelkarma.com/chess_lowres.zip. I have full size (15mp) macro images if you need to see them.

I’m not sure if this is your specialty, but I think you may be able to give me enough information to answer my question:  Is this something that is worth looking into in a serious way, or, should I just enjoy it and not waste time trying to (potentially) sell it?

 I appreciate your time and advice,

David

ivory chess set signed bottom

ivory asian chess

asian chess piece

 

AW says: Thanks David, I try. 

The White ones represent the Ming Dynasty, the brown represents the Qing Dynasty.

This is a great vintge Asian Chess chess set which is artfully crafted. Although pics on the net can be hard to see, a look at the forms and details of the pieces indicates a skilled craftsman. 

That and the stones, likely Turquoise and (I would not know what the red stone is from here) indicate a sincere appreciation for the job and effort presented.)

That said, I also have to say note the second pic down, the shape and lines of the hand and the lines on the inflex of the base, I’d have to say that at least some of the work on these was done with automatic-machine assisted tools. (Not uncommon for a lot of vintage Asian carvings)

 This is a wonderful set no matter what the process.

Circa 1940s to 1970

  • Retail value: $1,250
  • Wholesale: $450
  • Quick Sale: $300

Keywords:

  • Chess set
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Historical Ivory (You should identify it as such when you sell it. This simply means it was carved before the ivory ban)
  • Bone (not likely bone, but if you were selling this, it would be beneficial to enter bone as a keyword)
  • hand carved
  • machine assisted

What’s it Worth? Appraisal of Antique Brass Candlesticks

  

Bridget asks:  

Attached are several pictures of a pair of tall candlesticks. I believe them to be brass? They measure 27 1/2” tall. I have no knowledge of age, manufacture, or original origin? No markings that I can find.

Thank you,
Bridget

AW says: Those are lovely. They are likely brass and copper or brass and bronze. Take a magnet to them, a magnet will not stick to brass, bronze or copper, but will stick to steel or iron if they are plated.

These were likely for use in a large home or temple, they are uncommon in size and that certainly ads to their value.

They are European, likely English and are well done. I see evidence of machine assisted work, so they were done after 1830.


Date range: 1830-1890

 

 

 

Retail value: $600-$800
(top price)

Wholesale value: $250
(The mid range price you could expect to achieve at a well advertised live auction. The price that is most often realized)

Quick sale value: $125
The price your likely to get if you have to sell your item immediately and your prospective customer is aware of this.

Common terminology, nicknames, keywords: Brass candle sticks, large brass candle sticks, Edwardian, Victorian, European

Care and storage tips: Never polish these, you will ruin the patina.

 

 

What’s it Worth? Appraisal of cedar chest

  Tina asks:

 

 Hi,

Here is my second item for appraisal. It is a cedar-lined Stewart Safe Seal hope chest that we believe is from 1937. One of the rear legs is broken and is almost removed from the piece. This needs to be repaired but otherwise the piece is in excellent condition. I am attaching photos of the piece as well as the labels inside. Thank you for your help in determining the value of this item.

Tina

 

 

 

AW says: That’s a Queen Anne style Mahogany face or veneer cedar chest. These elegant chests are desirable to newlyweds and Bed & Breakfast owners, as they are beautiful and offer practical storage at the end of a bed for sheets & blankets etc.

 

 


Date range: 1935-38

 

Retail value: $175 (This value reflects the current condition, it could increase depending upon scope of damage to the back leg and the quality of the repair.)
(top price)

Wholesale value: $125
(The mid range price you could expect to achieve at a well advertised live auction. The price that is most often realized)

Quick sale value: $75
The price your likely to get if you have to sell your item immediately and your prospective customer is aware of this.

Common terminology, nicknames, keywords: Queen Anne Style, cedar chest, mahogany,

Care and storage tips: When moving any antique that has legs, always lift, never drag, the legs will snap much easier than you may think. Old English dark scratch cover is perfect for an item like this that accumulates scratches and scuffs.