Feedback encouraged on ivory situation

Published: Friday, May. 30, 2014 - 10:25 am

An heirloom bronze elephant with ivory tusks, great-grandmother’s piano with ivory keys, a vintage ivory chess set, or an antique silver teapot with a small ivory inset in the handle to keep it cool may be “endangered” by proposed laws that could be in place in June.

Buying, selling or importing ivory from recently killed African elephants is illegal and has been for about 25 years. An executive order issued by President Obama would extend the ban to include all antique ivory harvested from elephants that died before 1914. There would be a law forbidding sales, even gifts to museums, of any ivory, including antique pieces.

Express your opinion in this controversy. There’s still time to contact your U.S. senator, representative or the Fish & Wildlife Service.

My bedroom suite has a chest of drawers and dresser made of light wood. They are marked “Birchcraft by Baumritter.” Does the suite have any value other than as used furniture?

Baumritter Corp. was founded by Theodore Baumritter and his brother-in-law, Nathan Ancell, in New York City in 1932. The company sold housewares. Baumritter and Ancell bought a furniture company in Beecher Falls, Vt., in 1936. It introduced a 28-piece line of “Ethan Allen” furniture in 1939. The name of the company became Ethan Allen Industries in 1972. Furniture with a modern look and light color is bought by those wanting a 1950s look and sells for a little more than other used furniture.

I bought a heavy glass vase at auction several years ago. It’s 141/2 inches tall and 7 inches wide. The signature on the back is “Legras.” The vase is decorated with trees around a lake. The orange-colored sky and reflection in the lake look like it is sunset or sunrise. When light shines through the glass, it looks like the sun is shining through the trees. Can you tell me anything about the maker and the vase’s value?

Auguste Legras founded his glassworks at St. Denis, France, in 1864. Legras is known for its cameo glass and enamel-decorated glass in Art Nouveau designs. The company merged with Pantin in 1920. Legras vases sell for a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. A vase with a similar scene sold at auction for $355 this year.

My mother left me her complete set of Salem China. She may have used the china once or twice through the years. I have used the dishes a couple of times since she gave them to me. All the pieces are perfect. They’re decorated with a central bouquet of colorful pastel flowers. The mark on the bottom is a small circle with the word “Salem” inside it and a coffee cup in front of it. Under that are the words “Princess Margaret, 23 K Gold, 51 Y.” Please estimate a value for the set.

Salem China Co. manufactured dinnerware in Salem, Ohio, from 1898 to 1967. The mark on your dishes dates the set to 1951, the year before Princess Margaret’s older sister, Elizabeth, became queen of England. The Princess Margaret pattern is not a common one. A 12-piece set of dishes in the pattern recently sold online for $225.


Write to Terry Kovel at King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. For more information: www.kovels.com.



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