Want a conversation piece for your living room? Look for a piece of Amphora pottery from Bohemia.
Several potteries in Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia, around the turn of the 20th century made large vases in the Art Nouveau style. Statuelike women in flowing dresses climbed the side of a tall vase. Or a mysterious, exotic vine with large blossoms crept up to the top. Designs also included animals, mermaids or birds, all with curved lines and pastel colors.
Some vases look more like strange sculptures. Early pieces were made by Eduard Stellmacher and are marked with variations of the factory name, Reisner, Stellmacher & Kessel, or with RStK, Amphora, Royal Amphora or an eagle. They also may be marked “Austria” if they were made before 1918, then “Czechoslovakia” until 1945, when the factory closed.
The most popular Amphora vases are large, at least 15 inches high and strikingly unusual. They are not at all like modern vases and many people do not like them, but today’s decorators like a unique piece to add interest to a room. Prices at shops can go from $100 for a small piece to $6,000 for a large one.
Q: I have a few top-quality handbags and wonder what they’re worth. One is a Chanel. Others are by Bottega Veneta, Pierre Cardin and Fendi.
A: The prices of high-quality vintage handbags can be quite high - into the thousands. Many national auction houses include handbags in their vintage couture sales. If your bags are in excellent condition, don’t sell them on your own until you consult a reputable auction house. You may get a lot more for them if they are sold by an auction house that advertises widely.
Q: My father gave me his favorite board game from his childhood. It is called “The Uncle Wiggily Game.” I have the board, the pieces and the box. The board shows a map with numbered spaces, houses, trees, a rabbit (probably Uncle Wiggily) and other animals. What is it worth?
A: Uncle Wiggily was a rabbit character created in 1910 for a series of bedtime stories. The game was introduced by Milton Bradley in 1916. In 1967 rights to the game went to Parker Brothers, which sold it until about 1971. All of the published versions of the game were similar. The board for the 1967 game pictures a “2 & 3 Cent Store.” Others have a “5 & 10 Cent store.” The game board also changed in 1923, 1949, 1955 and 1961. The rabbits were made of a composition material in early sets. From 1947 to 1953, they were made of metal. In 1988, Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers made different versions of the game. There is a new game today, by Winning Moves, that has a vintage look. Most Uncle Wiggily games sell for under $30.