My grandmother recently gave me a beautiful and valuable antique pocket watch. My question is ultimately: Should I get a safe deposit box and keep it locked away, or should I wear it? More inside. [more inside]
My grandfather purchased this gold-and-black lacquered box decades ago while doing business in east Asia, and now that he's passed away we realize none of us know how to open it. There's a key in the lock but it doesn't seem to unlock the box. Is this possibly a trick box that we have to open some other way? Is there a way to try and pick the lock if it's broken? [more inside]
That's to you guys we're going to Madrid for two weeks in mid Janurary. Since it's our first time we plan on doing on the standard touristy things, but what are some things we might miss out on otherwise? We enjoy fine dining, touring impressive feats of engineering, unusual or highly specific museums, the gothic or macabre, antiques, high end second hand mensware shops, and all types of ruins. Day trip advice very welcome.
My sisters and I inherited our grandmother's old china. We believe it dates to the early 1920s, and has the Fraureuth name and logo on the bottom. Sadly, while it's lovely china and a very extensive set, none of us want it. Rather, we'd prefer to sell it. It was appraised some years ago for around $4K, but we're more interested in minimizing muss and fuss than maximizing the sale price. My question is: Where do we stand the best chance of selling it? (If it matters, the china is currently in Northern Virginia.)
I'm going to be in San Francisco for a week, and I'm looking for some stores that specialize in antique fine arts (prints, drawings, paintings, etc) and antique decorative arts (ceramics, jewelry, crystal, silver, etc.). [more inside]
My son spent several hundreds of dollars a few years ago on a shopping trip in France, buying these unique lidded blue glass jars with porcelain labels. His decorating needs changed, and I inherited these unique and lovely jars, but I have no idea what they are, what they might be worth, and how to turn them into cash. (Craigslist, eBay, etc,?) Can anyone advise? [more inside]
I have a Victorian house in Southern California and am interested in restoring it using period-appropriate house parts. These are in short supply in my area and most architectural salvage places are not so internet-savvy, so I'm wondering if there might be a part of the country within road trip distance where the pickings are better. [more inside]
I bought this thing from an antique dealer's yard sale in Philadelphia about 20 years ago. Around 10 years ago I incorporated it into an art installation, and I dug it out of storage today for a new exhibition, but I still have no idea what it is. Here's a bunch of photos (ignore the electronics and wooden framing I added to the back). [more inside]
Found a very old, crusted (possible) handgun with my metal detector. What should I do now in terms of cleaning it up / restoring it? [more inside]
Meet "Razzles" (our name for him). My son brought him home from a local (Connecticut) antique/junk shop last Christmas as a gift for his mom. [more inside]
Looking for advice on how, if possible, I might clean a vintage beaded purse. The beadwork was done on a loom; it's not beaded to the fabric underneath. I'm wondering if there's a safe way to clean the beadwork, and am finding contradictory and possibly specious advice online. [more inside]
I have a cool dragon choker that looks just like the one this page. How can I find out more about it? [more inside]
I've come into possession of a 1914 Lester upright piano - with provenance - and need help finding resources to determine its value. [more inside]
I'll be living and working in one of both. I want to buy a pepperbox revolver replica, because I always was fascinated by those , likely percussion based, and maybe take it to a shooting range once in a while. Do I need to fill out any kind of paperwork? What if I move from one state to another? What if I have the gun in my car as I cross state lines? Can I have the gun and ammunition with me in the car?
Does anyone know of an antique gun, specifically rifle, dealer in southeastern Mass.? I have googled and can find none in southeast ma. but I'm sure there must be a few out there. I've called several gun shops and none of them know of any people that are qualified appraisers. Any help would certainly be appreciated. Thanks.
Pursuant to cleaning out my parent's storage basement, I have been charged with finding the value of, and selling, a small collection of what appear to be antique coins and paper currency. Who is a good dealer to show this cache to? [more inside]
An actual help-me-with-my-story question: I've got a group of characters who need to ride around in an eye catching, iconic vintage automobile. It was orginally going to be a VW bus for the Mystery Machine echos but it turns out that's not actually street legal in the US. So, what's an old-fashioned auto that seats four or more, can be driven on US roads, and is antique/unusual enough to attract attention from car people but not enough that it sticks out like a surreal visitation ( like say, a Model T would.)
I need some help in translating further a curio I purchased recently - a short handwritten legal document (approx. 100 words) from Toulouse France, dated year 1672. My paid help has given up, so I am appealing to you! [more inside]
Aside from the standard stops ( etsy, eBay, etc ) where should I be looking to find a breadbox-sized, working radio from the 1930s-40s? Ideally Bakelite but not a deal breaker. Ideally shipping from the U.S? A period shell over modern electronics/cords is fine.
I am in a remote rural area of Atlantic Canada. There is as much old collapsing shit here as a person could want, I have only been here a short while and already have more salvage than I know what to do with, it's an embarrassment of riches! [more inside]
I'd like to try setting up a small booth in a Pittsburgh flea market or antiques mall, but where? [more inside]
I have an antique label from a Spanish olive oil producer. The printer's name is at the bottom of the label in minuscule print. Even with a pretty good magnifying glass, the name is difficult to make out. It looks like "Huryabo" or "Hunyabo" or "Hursabo" or something like that. The name is followed by the place name "Jerez". I would like to know what the correct spelling of this printer's name is and when this print shop was in operation. Thanks. The label is probably from sometime between 1930 and the 1950s.
I have 5 quilts, handmade in PA in the early 1930s. They are in perfect condition, never used. I'd like to sell them. Can anyone tell me how to sell them and where I might get the best price?
I've had this painting for many years. It belonged to my grandfather. He owned an antiques store and he traveled a lot in China. I'm not sure where it came from/how he obtained it. [more inside]
My dad has a unique coffee table that his father (a geologist) made, in which the top surface is a copper plate once used by the USGS to print topographic maps. I was curious if I could find any more of these plates out there somewhere. [more inside]
As mentioned before, we live in an old house. One of the many interesting (ahem) design choices of the previous owners was to craft kitchen cabinets out of wood taken from the attic - thick hard pine at least 250 years old. The wood is gorgeous, the cabinets, not so much. [more inside]
Please help me find a replacement lamp globe for an antique floor lamp. [more inside]
Twenty or so years ago Grams passed on and I got some very nice looking plates and cups made of china with gold trim, (I don't know if it's real gold but it looks nice) Since Gramps gambled most of his pay away I reckon the stuff was passed on to her as well. I've used it twice and its time for me to downsize (vinyl LPs go last). Can anyone recommend a place in the tri-state area (NY-NJ-Conn) where there are parties interested in such ware?
I've come into possession of an antique oak filing cabinet, and need help figuring out how to make the interior of the drawers functional. Restoration advice needed, please. [more inside]
I have an olive oil label printed in France by A. Oliveau & Fils graveur in Bordeaux for a grocery store or outfit in Mexico City, Cia. Abarrotera. The label looks like it is from the very early 1900s. I would like to know when Cia. Abbarrotera and/or A. Oliveau & Fils graveur was in operation.
I have a Challenge to all antique hand tool buffs. I'd really appreciate knowing what this tool is and what it was used for... The tool consists of a brass piece mounted to a wooden handle. The tool measures 6 3/4 " in total length. At the high point of the brass forefront, it is 1 15/16 ". The brass piece is 1 5/8 " wide. It has a tool stamp of 'IDEAL TOOL COMPANY' in raised letters on the reverse side of the upright brass fixture. I could not find anything like it on the Ideal Tool Company Antique website... I would greatly appreciate your expert opinions as to what it is and was used to accomplish. Thank you for your professional and generous offer to identify this hand tool piece !
Any idea what this mechanical antique table would have been used for? Photo of the side. Photo of the top.
I am planning to buy a jewelry cleaner for my brother-in-law who sells antique jewelry (and other antiques). Will an ultra-sonic cleaner be more useful than a steam cleaner or visa-verse. Or, does one need both to be effective?
I'm looking for a replica of this antique watch (or something similar to it) that I can purchase online. My mother has an antique watch from her grandmother that is very small. It's less than the width of a finger and it has a "jewelry clasp" on the thin leather straps. Is there a name for this style of watch? Or, is there a similar style that you have happened across online? I'm not looking for this exact watch, per se, just something this small and of the style.
I need to have repairs done on an antique clock in the Los Angeles area, but I'm unsure who would be reputable. Does anyone have any recommendations regarding a good place to get an initial estimate? Or is there a way to find good reviews for this kind of sevice? [more inside]
Can someone tell me the model and year on this old stove? Is it worth anything? picture [more inside]
What was this spigot attached to? It was found underneath the floorboards of part of a late 19th century luxury hotel in Montana (operating from 1889 to about 1940), along with many champagne and beer bottles and other alcohol-related paraphernalia. I can't find any examples of spigots that have similar valve hardware. I was thinking it was a beer or wine tap, but I have no evidence to support that.
What the crazy heck is this rusty antique yard implement a friend found under their house? [more inside]
Can anyone figure out the language/writing on the bottom of this teapot? If it helps, it was probably purchased in the NYC area between 1940 - 1970.
I need a more in-depth guide on the proper care of my old (1800-1960) books. I know the basics, (no sun, no moisture, no dirty hands) but I have some questions whose answers I cannot find. [more inside]
Looking to buy an old gas stove and old electric chest freezer (pre-60's). Advice wanted! [more inside]
Recommend jewellers in the Toronto area where I might be able to find an antique/vintage pearl ring to give my partner for our 5th wedding anniversary! [more inside]
My parents were eating in a Cracker Barrel last night and saw this thing hanging on the wall. What the heck is it? [more inside]
Ideas for refinishing an old dining table without stripping it? [more inside]
Two charcoal drawings were left behind when both my parents recently transitioned. We are attempting to establish their value. Both appear to be very old, Dutch in nature and both feature large sailboats and people "working" on shore. Each is about 36 inches long and about 30 inches tall. The artists name appears to be Janssam or Janssau...the "end-swirl" of the last letter of the name curves up and hovers over the name, back to the first "s". I have a photo of one drawing but haven't yet figured out how to post a picture on this site. Any help or suggestion toward identifying these pictures is greatly appreciated.
I would like to buy a semi-famous typewriter. [more inside]
French speaking friends on Ask Mefi - Can you please tell me what the text on this drawing says? Full drawing. Close up.
Does anybody know the term to describe this particular style of vintage kitchen/dining room hutch? It came in many forms but was generally made from a blonde, plainly figured wood and had bright red accents. I remember seeing examples in nearly every Toronto junk shop was ever in. [more inside]