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Nineteenth-century still bank, Dewdrop glass, Victorian sculpture

Created date

November 7th, 2016
 (At left) Dewdrop glass, (top right) Victorian sculpture, (bottom right) Nineteenth-century still bank

(At left) Dewdrop glass, (top right) Victorian sculpture, (bottom right) Nineteenth-century still bank

Q: I have my grandmother’s, then my father’s 3- by 2 ½- by2 ½-inch cast iron child’s bank with a slot opening in the top for coins and a combination lock on the door. Rather than numbers for the combination, there are tiny figures of a rabbit, duck, elephant, donkey, camel, and dog around the double dial. To open the door, one must rotate the dials, separately selecting two figures (duck and donkey) in the correct order. I have wondered who the manufacturer was. When I inherited it, it was full of Civil War period 2-cent coins, U.S. gold pieces, and very old Canadian provincial coins. —Richard

A: This is one example of a still bank. The mechanical and still banks were a favorite of every child and father in the late nineteenth century. This particular model could have been manufactured by J. E. Stevens Co. In Connecticut, there is mention of these banks as early as 1877, truly Civil War; whereas, the patent was filed later. Still banks do not bring as much money as mechanical, but since this still bank has characterization to it, it will sell better at auction. I would say that it might bring $200–$400.

Q: I am helping my mom and dad as they get ready to downsize and they are looking to sell some items. The first is a large collection of panel dewdrop glass. It was collected over time by my great grandmother. There are 101 pieces and I’m including one photo of the entire collection. There are two tables—one an Empire drop leaf dining table that has a leaf and four chairs, the other a card table that my father thinks is Hepplewhite, but he’s not really sure. —Liz

A: The glass collection is very nice. Collectors for that are a smaller group today, but those who do collect American glass will pay good money for a pristine collection. With 101 pieces, I would think you could realize $1,000–$1,500 at auction. The furniture, on the other hand, is identical to furniture in the homes of many people who are downsizing.  There is an overabundance and not much interest or demand. They would sell well at a home tag sale for a few hundred dollars only. 

Q: I needed to get an idea of value for this statue that came from the Isle of Capri over 100 years ago. Can you help determine the value and possible artist and history? The base dimensions are 15 by 7 by 1¼ inches with a 16-inch height. —Brian 

A: This is a beautiful Victorian sculpture of a female head and bust. The craftsmanship is superb. Italian artists are well known for their artistic skills in Carrera marble. This bust, even though not signed, would bring at least $400–$800 at auction.


Ask the expert

Carolyn Remmey is the principal appraiser of Remmey Antiques & Fine Art, an international appraisal, personal property consulting, and brokerage firm. She is a lecturer and writer as well as an expert on downsizing, estate sales, and auctioneering.  Remmey has been a participating appraiser on The Antiques Roadshow and the History Channel and is a member of the Appraisal Association of America.  

Do you have a family heirloom or special keepsake you think has value? Please send your inquiries with photos (photos cannot be returned due to the time limitations of the staff) to Remmey Antiques & Fine Art, P.O. Box 197, New Vernon, N.J. 07976, or email remmey@remmeyappraisers.com.  

Please note: Because of the high volume of inquiries, only a few will be selected for publication each month.

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