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THE WILD WEST RIDES AGAIN

The Wild West is back in fashion again. Cowboy designs are bringing high prices at antiques sales.

The heavy wooden furniture made of pine or fir that was popular for Wyoming hunting cabins is being collected for houses and apartments in less-rural settings.

The best-known maker of cowboy furniture was Thomas Molesworth of Cody, Wyo., who often carved cowboy figures into the wood or upholstered the chairs with Indian blankets.

Molesworth pieces now are expensive. A dining room table sells for $5,000. A bed sells for $1,700.

There were also less-famous pieces of "cowboy" furniture made. Look for children's sets made of thick oak planks decorated with pictures of cowboys, horseshoes and rope handles.

The Western look was very popular from the 1930s to the '70s. It is just being revived.

Monkey business

Q: I bought a stuffed Steiff monkey with an original cardboard tag. The monkey is made of dark brown mohair and has jointed arms and legs, a swivel head, glass eyes and white whiskers. The Steiff button is no longer in the monkey's left ear, but there's a hole in the ear where the button used to be. The cardboard tag says "Jocko." Can you tell me more?

A: Monkeys were among the first animals Margarete Steiff made when she started her business in the 1880s. In the mid-1920s, Steiff introduced "Jocko" and other stuffed chimpanzees, most named after famous circus chimps.

Jocko has been made in several sizes, from 7 inches to 31 1/2 inches tall.

The design on the tag tells the age of your chimp. The first Jockos had plain yellow tags. The Steiff bear-face logo was printed at the bottom of the company's tags beginning in 1927. The bear's looks changed in 1950, but the red circle around the edge of the tag stayed the same. In the early '70s, the logo tag was changed to two half-circles, red below yellow, with the bear logo in the red half.

Steiff is still making Jocko stuffed toys.

Candlesticks from 1902

Q: You recently wrote about the "Ace of Diamonds" candlestick sets made in England after 1880. I have a pair of each stick in the set -- Ace, King, Queen, Prince and Princess. However, the style of the first three are different from the last two, and so are the marks on the bottom. My Prince and Princess are marked with the English registry number 385856. The others have no registry number.

A: More than one company made "Ace of Diamonds" candlesticks. You have parts of two different sets.

The registry number dates your Prince and Princess to 1902.

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