October 16, 2021

Antiques & Collecting: Place window bench at end of bed

Everyone knows what a bench is, but what is a window bench? Many homes in earlier centuries had windows set in alcoves in a large open room like a hall or living room. The bench was narrow enough and the seat low enough to avoid blocking the window.

The typical French bench had curved or turned legs, a shaped stretcher and the arms were more like raised handles on the sides. It is a low, wide chair without a back.

Most window benches were upholstered for comfort and to improve the look of the window. A Provincial Louis XVI fruitwood window seat was sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,625. It was 29 inches high by 43 inches wide. There are few rooms with window alcoves, but window benches are just the right size to place at the end of a bed.

How can I find out if my majolica plates are authentic and what their value is? I have five majolica plates, each with a large raised leaf. Some of the plates are leaf shaped and some are round. They are yellow with green and brown or tan leaves.

The term “majolica” was first used to describe tin-glazed earthenware made in Spain in the 14th century. Designs look painted on. A different kind of majolica, with molded designs, was made in England by Minton beginning in 1851.

It became popular during the Victorian era and was made by manufacturers in several countries. New, reproduction majolica has been made since the 20th century.

Collectors look for Victorian majolica. Older pieces are heavier than reproduction majolica, the painting is more carefully done and the body under the glaze is colored, not white.

The metal drawer pulls on my antique dresser are marked “RD 769778, Made in England.” I can’t find anything about this online. What can you tell me about it?

This number is an English design registry number and indicates the design for the hardware was registered in 1905. This helps date your dresser since it could not have been made before 1905.

Look on the bottom or the back of the dresser for a maker’s name or mark. It may give a better idea of age. The handles are copies of a 19th-century style.

Current Prices

Bookends, Old Salt, fisherman, yellow slicker, rain hat, cast iron, painted, 7 inches, pair $95.

Fenton carnival glass water pitcher, Fluffy Peacock pattern, ruffled rim, applied green glass handle, c. 1910, 9 3/4 inches, $200.

Advertising thermometer, We Recommend Ex-Lax for Constipation, The Chocolated Laxative, tin, blue ground, 39 x 8 inches, $360.

Tip: Fasten hooks and eyes before washing vintage clothes.

Terry and Kim Kovel

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.