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Giant screws, filing cabinets as home decor

Antiques and collectibles are named for their age. Antiques must be more than 100 years old to be legally called "antiques." Collectibles can be anything made less than 100 years ago. The quality of the design or the material does not matter.

At today's shows, you can expect to find porcelain, silver, toys, furniture and pictures. But you'll also see large wooden gear molds, filing cabinets and factory work tables, pallets and lockers. They are all used to decorate homes these days, whether the home is traditional, modern or created from unexpected space in a loft or an old school.

At a recent antique show, we saw some old hand-carved wooden screws that were once part of a cider press. The largest, about 7 feet tall, was mounted on a base and being sold as piece of sculpture." The asking price topped $7,000. A wooden filing cabinet with the brass label "Shannon Filing Cabinet, manufactured by Schlicht and Field, Rochest, N.Y., Patented March 30, 86," sold for $375.

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Q: I have four teapots in light blue, dark green, gold and maroon with the word "Lipton's" stamped on the bottom of each one. I'm told they're from the 1930s and were given out as premiums. Are there any other colors? Should I be on the lookout for matching creamers and sugar bowls? What are they worth?

A: Lipton teapots were made by Hall China Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio, and were given out as premiums beginning in 1935. The teapots were made in light blue, dark green, mustard, maroon, black and light yellow on the company's "French" shape. Your gold teapot is probably the same as mustard, so you are missing black and light yellow. Matching sugar and creamer bowls were not made. If your teapots have a strainer inside the spout, they are early versions. Later versions didn't have the strainer. Hall China Co. was founded in 1903. The company made dinnerware, kitchenware, institutional ware and other wares. It merged with Homer Laughlin China Co. in 2010. Value of each of your teapots: about $25.

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Q: I inherited a number of Pfeffer Porcelain figurines from Germany. Most are dogs, but I also have a full-size parrot and dancing figures. Tell me something about the maker.

A: Fritz Pfeffer established the Fritz Pfeffer Porcelain Factory in Thuringia in 1892. The company made decorative porcelain. Animal figurines were introduced in 1900. After Fritz died in 1922, his son Max took over the business. The firm went bankrupt in 1934 but was revived by Max's wife and continued to operate until 1942. The porcelain figures sell for $75 to $250.

> Tip

Lead garden sculptures should not be cleaned. The dirt and discoloration add to the beauty of the piece.

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