This French window bench was in style the last half of the 18th century. Although it was made to use by a window, it is popular with decorators today as a hall bench or a seat at the end of a bed. This bench sold for about $1,600 at an auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This French window bench was in style the last half of the 18th century. Although it was made to use by a window, it is popular with decorators today as a hall bench or a seat at the end of a bed. This bench sold for about $1,600 at an auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

French window bench in style the last half of the 18th century

This Provincial Louis XVI fruitwood window seat was sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,625.

Everyone knows what a bench is, but what is a window bench? Many homes in earlier centuries had windows set in alcoves in a large open room like a hall or living room. The bench was narrow enough, and a seat low enough to avoid blocking the window. The typical French bench had curved or turned legs, a shaped stretcher, and the arms were more like raised handles on the sides. It is a low, wide chair without a back.

Most window benches were upholstered for comfort and to improve the look of the window. A Provincial Louis XVI fruitwood window seat was sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,625. It was 29 inches high by 43 inches wide. There are few rooms with window alcoves, but window benches are just the right size to stay at the end of a bed.

Q: I have a Red Riding Hood cookie jar and salt and pepper shakers, all in excellent condition. On the bottom it says “Little Red Riding Hood Pat. Des. No. 135889 USA.” They’ve been in my family for over 75 years. Can you tell me their value?

A: The Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar and salt and pepper shakers were designed by Louise Elizabeth Bauer of Zanesville, Ohio, and patented in 1943. They were made by A.E. Hull Pottery Co. of Crooksville, Ohio, and decorated by Royal China and Novelty Co. of Sebring, Ohio. Royal China made some cookie jars later. Cookie jars made by Royal are pure white; those made by Hull are creamy white. Several variations of the cookie jar were made, and they have been reproduced. Salt and pepper shakers were made in both large and small sizes. The cookie jars sell for about $40, less than the $70 to $145 they sold for a few years ago. Salt and peppers shakers are only $10 to $15 online.

Q: How can I find out if my majolica plates are authentic and what their value is? I have five majolica plates, each with a large raised leaf. Some of the plates are leaf shaped and some are round. They are yellow with green and brown or tan leaves.

A: The term “majolica” was first used to describe tin-glazed earthenware made in Spain in the 14th century. Designs look painted on. A different kind of majolica, with molded designs, was made in England by Minton beginning in 1851. It became popular during the Victorian era and was made by manufacturers in several countries. New, reproduction majolica has been made since the 20th century. Collectors look for Victorian majolica. Older pieces are heavier than reproduction majolica, the painting is more carefully done, and the body under the glaze is colored, not white.

Q: I’d like to know if an old “Roosevelt” pinback button is worth anything. It’s a round button, about ¾ inch in diameter. The top third is blue with three white stars. Below that is a white band with “Roosevelt” in blue capital letters. The bottom third is white with five vertical red stripes.

A: Two Roosevelts served as presidents of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt, from 1901 to 1909, and his fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from 1933 until his death in 1945. Your political button was made by Bastian Bros. Co. for one of FDR’s campaigns, probably in 1932 or 1936. Franklin Roosevelt was the only president to serve more than two terms in office. He won reelection to an unprecedented third term in 1940 and a fourth term in 1944, but he died in April 1945. Some rare political pins sell for high prices, sometimes over $100. Yours is a common pin, worth less than $2.

Q: My mother has a 10½-inch wooden box with “Pilkington Bro’s Ltd., St. Helens, England, British Glass” and an insignia marked on the top. There are three compartments. Can you tell me anything about it?

A: Pilkington Brothers is a British glass manufacturer that started about 1826 as the St. Helens Crown Glass Co. Investors included William Pilkington and his brother-in-law, Peter Greenall. They bought out the other investors in 1827, and Pilkington’s older brother joined the business, which was renamed Greenall and Pilkingtons. Greenall left in 1845. The company became Pilkington Brothers in 1849 and was incorporated as Pilkington Brothers Ltd. in 1894. It became a subsidiary of Nippon Sheet Glass of Japan in 2006. Your mother has a salesman’s sample box made after 1894. The compartments held samples of the company’s flat glass. A sample box like yours with samples sold for about $125 a few years ago.

Q: The metal drawer pulls on my antique dresser are marked “RD 769778, Made in England.” I can’t find anything about this online. What can you tell me about it?

A: This number is an English design registry number and indicates the design for the hardware was registered in 1905. This helps date your dresser since it could not have been made before 1905. Look on the bottom or the back of the dresser for a maker’s name or mark. It may give a better idea of age. The handles are copies of a 19th-century style.

Tip: Fasten hooks and eyes before washing vintage clothes.

On the block

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Bookends, Old Salt, fisherman, yellow slicker, rain hat, cast iron, painted, 7 inches, pair $95.

Fenton carnival glass water pitcher, Fluffy Peacock pattern, ruffled rim, applied green glass handle, circa 1910, 9¾ inches, $200.

Advertising thermometer, We Recommend Ex-Lax for Constipation, The Chocolated Laxative, tin, blue ground, 39 by 8 inches, $360.

Toy, Howdy Doody Delivery wagon, tricycle with wagon on back, Clarabell drives, celluloid head and legs, tin lithograph, friction, Linemar, box, 5½ by 5 inches, $780.

Steuben glass vase, mirror black over alabaster, acid cut-back, pussy willow tree design, Corning New York, 6½ by 6 inches, $825.

Barber chair, horse’s head, brown, light green, leather seat, marked, Emil J. Paidar Co., Chicago, circa 1910, child’s size, $1,375.

Phonograph, record player, Victor III, original oak spear tip horn, exhibition reproducer, felt turntable, circa 1915, 32 by 16 inches, horn 21¾ inches, $1,600.

Furniture, table, tole and wrought iron, painted classical decoration, Greek key frieze, swan mounts, shaped stretcher, 17¾ by 37½ inches, $2,125.

Bank, mechanical, tiger, sticks out tongue, red box back, tin, Sallheimer & Strauss, 5¼ by 3 by 2 inches, $7,200.

Talk to us

More in Life

Nazaré hugs its wide beach on the Atlantic. (Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli, Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves on seaside traditions in Portugal’s fishing town

Perched on a far corner of Europe, Nazare is one of the traveler’s favorite beach towns in the world.

The pandemic has put pressure on Waste Management's recycling program because we are disposing of more waste at home than ever before. Here are some ways you can help fix the problem. (Waste Management)
How to fix the COVID recycling mess at apartments and condos

Waste Management shares best practices to help get your multifamily recycle system back on track.

Eight ways to help you weather winter during the pandemic

As the rain and cold returns, many of us are worried about how we will manage COVID-19 indoors.

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Plant "Carsten's Wintergold" in front of your garden's border or nestled near some rocks for winter interest. (Getty Images)
Plant these three pines to brighten up the winter garden

Conifers are the framework of borders and beds in the wintertime, helping to articulate these gardening spaces.

Wintergreen barberry's bright red leaves in the fall will deepen in tone to burgundy as winter approaches. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Berberis julianae aka wintergreen barberry

The round shrub’s bright red leaves in the fall will deepen in tone to burgundy as winter approaches.

Hanging houseplants have returned in a big way as demand for plants has skyrocketed in the pandemic. (Getty Images)
The 10 best hanging plants for creating an indoor jungle

Jump onto the pandemic plant trend with these houseplants that will do well in baskets and macrame hangers.

The top photo of Mount Stuart reflecting in Lake Ingalls near Cle Elum was taken with film, the bottom one with an iPhone. (Christina Hickman)
Slow down: Film photography grounds us in challenging times

If you’ve been wanting to revert back to film, now’s the time. The hobby provides normalcy in COVID life.

Washington Virtual Academy, a free public school option in Washington state, sends out kits of materials to help supplement online learning. Pictured here is the sixth-grade kit. (Jennifer Bardsley)
For some kids, virtual schooling is actually an improvement

Her daughter needed a tutor to stay at grade level, but now she’s excelling with at-home instruction.

Most Read