Dear John: We got the silver spoons in the attached photos from a gentleman who brought them to us from Russia as a wedding present 49 years ago. Can you tell us about their history and their worth? Thanks very much. —ZL, Beverly Hills
Dear ZL: The tablespoons were likely made in the mid to late 19th century. In your photographs I discovered an impressive little square with the number 80 inside. This indicates that they are made of very inferior silver. They are Russian in style but have no markings as one would expect if they were made in Russia. In addition, the Russians did not use the number 80 in their silver hallmarking system. The potential dollar value for the six is under $ 100.
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Dear John: I have an antique display table that seems quite unique. I can’t take a picture as it’s in storage, but you might recognize it from my description. All wood paneling is black, as are the legs. The deep sides are made of glass, consisting of eight beveled sheets of glass; four are doors. The top has a tray with two handles that stands out. The table is about 30 cm high.
Was this piece made for any purpose or for general display of art objects? When would this type of piece be made? Any information that you could provide us would be greatly appreciated, especially what the value might be. – RB, internet
Dear RB: According to your description, the piece of furniture you have is a chocolate cabinet. The black finish is known as the ebonized surface, which gives the appearance of ebony, an exotic, expensive wood that was previously used in furniture.
Chocolate pots were made in silver and silver sheet as early as the 17th century. In the Victorian era, beautifully hand-painted porcelain chocolate pots with cups and saucers on matching trays were all the rage. Chocolate cabinets made from mahogany, walnut and other woods with decorative carved surfaces were created to accommodate complete sets inside, with a lift of the top tray for serving.
Chocolate cabinets generally sell between $ 150 and $ 600 depending on quality and condition. Without a photo, it is impossible to give an idea of what your chocolate cabinet might be sold for.
John Sikorski has been a professional in the antique business for 30 years. Send questions to Sikorski’s Attic, PO Box 2513, Ocala, FL 34478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.