Trash or Treasure?


Q. I inherited this from my grandmother and do not know what it is. The handles appear to be silver and the rest looks like ivory. Can you tell me what it is and what it may be worth?

A. All of you who have been watching “Selfridges” or “Downton Abbey” may recognize this. This is a glove stretcher. Popular in the 1800’s, this one is from the latter part of the century due to the celluloid tip. Celluloid was created as an inexpensive substitute for ivory in the 1860’s and became widely used near the turn of the century. The handles are sterling silver and due to its good condition, this one would sell for around $75.

Q. I have this lovely clock which I have had restored but know nothing about. Can you tell me how old it is and what it is worth?

A. Your clock is an Ansonia “Royal Bonn” porcelain clock, circa 1910-1920. The Ansonia Clock Company originated in Ansonia, Connecticut in 1850. An additional factory opened in Brooklyn, New York in 1879. Ansonia’s novelty clock sales peaked in the early 1900’s at which time they produced 440 different styles of clocks and exported them all over the world. By the 1920’s sales suffered due to the onset of World War I, and the factory closed in 1929 after going into receivership when the stock market crashed.

The clocks have brass movements and an access panel in the back. They come in all sorts of colors and usually have beautiful hand painted flowers on them.

You mentioned you have had it professionally serviced which adds to its value. Your clock would sell in the $300- $400 range.

Karen Waterman is an antique furniture and decorative arts appraiser in the East Bay area and will answer as many questions about your own “hidden treasures” as possible. By sending a letter or e-mail with a question, you 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 Names, addresses or e-mail will not be published and photos will be returned if requested.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 Send snail mail to East Bay Newspapers, Att. Karen Waterman, P.O. Box 90, Bristol, RI 02809.

karen waterman


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