weather icon Clear

Antique furniture often had specific purpose

Go to an antique show and you might see a pie safe, jelly cupboard or sugar chest. But most beginning collectors would call each a “cupboard” or “chest” with no idea how the furniture was originally used.

A pie safe, also called a kitchen safe, is easy to identify. It is a rectangular cupboard, usually with two doors that have pierced tin panels. Pies and other food items were safe behind the metal doors and kept fresh because air could circulate through the pierced holes. Popular from the mid-18th century to the early 20th, it went out of use when refrigeration arrived.

A jelly cupboard is a Midwestern term for a two-drawer, two-door kitchen cupboard used for storage. In all other parts of the country, it is known as a cupboard.

A sugar chest looks like a large storage chest on feet. It has a lift lid and a lock. It is a Southern piece of furniture used to store sugar and was not used in other parts of the country. The inside was divided into sections, one for brown sugar, the other for more expensive white sugar. It was locked because sugar was expensive.

See if you can identify some of these outdated pieces of furniture on your next visit to a show or flea market. They still are popular with collectors, who often use them to store clothes.

Q: My mother left me an 8-inch-high jardiniere she told me was in Roseville’s Cherry Blossom pattern. It’s brown with a tan trellis around the bottom and white floral vines around the top. The trouble is that it’s not marked except with a crayoned number. Could it really have been made by Roseville? I know it’s at least 60 years old.

A: You can believe your mother. Roseville Pottery introduced its Cherry Blossom pattern in 1933. Pieces were brown and tan, like yours, or green and pink. Cherry Blossom pieces were marked with only a foil label — and by now most of those labels have been lost. Some pieces, like yours, had hand-crayoned shape numbers on the bottom.

An 8-inch Cherry Blossom jardiniere in excellent condition can sell for more than $500.

Q: I have a child’s Mickey Mouse ring. I think it’s sterling silver and from the 1930s. Could you tell me what it’s worth?

A: The only sterling silver Mickey Mouse rings on the market before the 1980s were made from 1947 to 1949 by Ostby & Barton of Providence, R.I. One of those rings sells for about $50 today. But many other silver Mickey rings have been made in recent years. You have to do some research to be sure you have an old ring.

Terry Kovel’s column is syndicated by King Features. Write to: Kovels, (Las Vegas Review-Journal), King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Right lighting can elevate your home

Lighting can be broken down into three parts: ambient, accent and task. Once those utilitarian needs have been assessed, it’s time for layering to create comfort and style.

Container trees have problems retaining water, fertilizer

Trees grown in containers are more finicky than those planted in the ground because the roots don’t have access to as much soil mass. The limited soil volume in containers makes watering and applying fertilizers more complicated; the tree runs out of both more quickly.

Designers focus on creating healthy homes

Architects and interior designers are realizing the importance of designing spaces with people’s well-being in mind.

Uncarpeted floors are great but still need area rug

Tile or hardwood floors are beautiful and practical, but you must have area rugs to make them more usable and comfortable.

Screen or mesh will keep dog from fitting through gate

Screening or mesh will prevent your pet from escaping through your gate. It is available at a home center for less than $20, and you can choose from a few different colors. If you have an extra-large gate, you might have to buy a few pieces.

Select desert plants for privacy hedge

My Saturday, four-week class, “Fix Your Landscape” will start Oct. 26 in North Las Vegas. This weekly landscaping class will show you design tricks that save water and electricity, plant selections that work, planting methods that are successful and how to fix problems, and irrigation installation and how to water.

Dos and don’ts in eclectic design

Regardless of whether you’re averse to trying your hand at eclectic design or are daring enough to throw wrenches into design threads throughout spaces in your house, designers shed light on some dos and don’ts when it comes to eclectic design choices.