Antiques: TV series increase the value of the gaming table | Catch My Job


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K My cousin recently bought this wooden inlaid chess table from a lady in Switzerland for the equivalent of 520 Canadian dollars. The lady originally bought it in France, but knew nothing about its origin. 60 cm diameter (23.5 inches). There are four identical markings on the top, and we do not know whether they are just ornaments or written. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and regards from my Swiss cousin and myself.

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THE Chess is very popular right now thanks to the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” and board games have been popular for quite some time. Your table is 20th century, but it is difficult to establish a more precise date. The contrasting marquetry (marquetry) is stunning and the “checkered” marquetry is reminiscent of Persian techniques, and I have an uneducated feeling that the four lozenges highlighted with dark wood may be the Persian script. The variety of exotic woods used is amazing. Its perfect condition testifies to its vintage age and helps its marketability. This is definitely a unique conversation piece. It won’t be a surprise to see this table with a $1,250 tag.


K I’ve had this little bottle for decades and forgot how I got it. I thought it was a perfume bottle until I recently watched a video that showed it was a Chinese painted snuff bottle. The artistic process is fascinating. The bottle is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall. The cork broke off, leaving the spoon in the neck of the bottle. I’m wondering about its age and value, and whether it could sit in the window with my other perfume bottles. Thanks.

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Sue, Guelph, Ont.

Painted snuff bottle.
Painted snuff bottle. Photo: Supplied

THE Your ‘inside painted snuff bottle with ovoid flattened sides was painted by a Chinese artist. This form is part of the highly sophisticated snuff consumption tradition of the Chinese – unchanged for more than 350 years. The bottles were carried in the large cuff of the recipient’s dress. These numbers were liked because they do not take up much space, but at the same time provide a huge amount of artistic “volume”. Only one or two bristle brushes were used for interior painting. It has a common scene that has been exported to the Western world in large numbers since the 1920s. The top is often some kind of stone and needs to be repaired. I have never heard of the sun fading these. Previous collection times have found these fetching higher prices than today’s markets. It’s a nice pattern that’s worth $65 today.

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K I have had this car for at least 70 years, bought by my parents when I was a child. I saw a lot of playtime riding my sister. Sold by Simpson’s, this “Hill ‘n’ Dale” was a heavy wagon, made of wood and a heavy steel frame, unlike today’s plastic ones. 101.5 cm (40 inches) long. It is in surprisingly good condition for its age. Thank you for your opinion.

Wayne, Cornwall, Ont.

THE Your heirloom dating back to the late 1940s or early 1950s probably cost eight dollars back then. Robert Simpson opened his first store in 1858 in Newmarket, Ontario. The business became a serious competitor for Canada’s Eaton’s. Toys still appeal to adults, and your car is a promotional item – a collectible category that’s very strong right now. The white wall tires add interest and the sloped bottom is unusual. It brings out the inner child for auction shoppers with a $125 trip.

Car from the Simpsons.
Car from the Simpsons. Photo: Supplied

John Sewell is an antique and fine art appraiser. To submit an item to his column, go to the “Contact John” page at Please measure your piece, tell us when and how you got it, what you paid for it, and list any identifying marks. A high-resolution jpeg photo must also be attached. (We only accept applications sent by e-mail.)

* Rating values ​​are estimates only.*


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