Trash or Treasure?

Trash or Treasure?


Resale value of antique cradles impacted by modern safety standards

Waterman1Q. I have a cradle which I found in my grandmother’s home in western Pennsylvania. I have used it for my two sons.  Can you tell me anything about it?
A. Cradles and cribs became a more common household piece of furniture in the 19th century. Before this time, most babies slept with their parents, since homes were just not big enough to accommodate them. Your cradle appears to be made of dark stained oak and is most likely from the early 20th Century, based on its Arts & Crafts shape and style. I did not find anything that was an exact match to your cradle, but some similar which sell in the $200 range. Note that modern safety standards influence the resale value of cribs and cradles.

Waterman2Q. I have a print which is signed “Rost” and “1890” in the corner. It has been passed down in my family. Could you tell me about the artist and what it is worth?
A. Your copper plate etching was done by Ernest C. Rost and is dated 1890. His early works were in oil but he later preferred etchings. The etchings depict bucolic scenes of rural landscapes in upper New York State. Ernest was originally from Mt. Vernon, New York; and many of his works are in the Library of Congress. Prices for Rost etchings sell at auction for around $200.

Karen Waterman is a fine art, antique furniture and decorative arts appraiser in the East Bay area and will answer as many questions your own “hidden treasures” as possible. By sending a letter or email with a question, your give full permission for use in the column. Names, addresses or e-mail will not be published and photos will be returned if requested. Send e-mails (digital photos are encouraged) to [email protected]. Send snail mail to East Bay Newspapers, Attn. Karen Waterman, P.O.Box 90, Bristol, RI 02809.