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Antiques: Tureen takes on form of guinea fowl

No, it’s not a turkey. This tureen is in the form of a guinea fowl. It sometimes is eaten in the United States, but it usually weighs less than 4 pounds and is much too small to feed the crowd at Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey for Thanksgiving is an American idea, promoted in the 1860s when Thanksgiving was declared a holiday by President Abraham Lincoln. There are many legends that say wild turkey was part of the menu for the feast at Plymouth Colony in 1621. But written reports say the Wampanoag Indians brought five deer (venison) and the colonists brought wild birds (probably tasty ducks or other water fowl, not tough turkeys) or passenger pigeons, shellfish and vegetables including dried corn and squash. Turkey wasn’t a popular part of the colonists’ diet until about 1800. The feast was probably a political meeting between neighbors with about 90 male Indians and 50 male Pilgrims, and no women. They probably did all the cooking. The beautiful African guinea hen tureen was made in France and sold for $5,412 at a New Orleans auction.


Q: I recently inherited a single-door oak china cabinet in the Mission style. It has side shelves supported by corbels on each side, arched top, and three interior oak shelves and is 58 inches high, 44½ inches wide, and 16½ inches deep. It’s marked “Limbert” on the back and “452.” Can you tell me the age and value?

A: Your china cabinet was made by the Charles P. Limbert Co. Charles Limbert (1854-1923) was a furniture salesman before he started his own company in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1894. The company moved to Holland, Mich., in 1906. It closed in 1944. Mission furniture was popular from the early 1900s to about 1920. The number “452” is the model number. Your china cabinet probably was made about 1910. Depending on condition, it would have been appraised at about $8,000 five years ago but today it’s down to about $5,000.


Q: I’d like to know the value of a 1915 album of sepia tones from the Panama Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco. It says “Official Publication” on the cover.

A: The 1915 Exposition was a world’s fair that ran from Feb. 20 to Dec. 4, 1915. It celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 and the renewal of the city after the devastating 1906 earthquake. Dirt was brought in to fill in part of the San Francisco Bay to create the 635-acre site for the Exposition in an area now known as the Marina district. Souvenir booklets of photographs from the Exposition sell for $20 to $30 online.