Reader’s spoons are a of a Russian model, however not essentially Russian-made | Residence and Out of doors Residing

John Sikorski

John Sikorski


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

5 Cash-Saving Hacks Our Readers Swear By

If your saving account feels a little trapped lately, you’re hardly the only one. As things open up again, the pandemic is still raging and the economy is still in the early stages of recovery.

While unemployment rates are falling, many of us are still looking for ways to save money. We turned to ours Readers on Instagram to get their preferred ways to save. Here are five reader-tested ways to save money.

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1. Stay home

According to one user, the pandemic was the ultimate money saver:

“Going through a pandemic … Minimizes trips ?” – zoeyschvan

While user zoeyschvan’s answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek, they aren’t necessarily wrong about the money-saving potential of staying at home. An evening of movies and popcorn at home can easily cost 10% of a movie night, even if you opt for the branded branded microwave popcorn.

Of course, just because you’re not driving into town doesn’t mean you need to have a quiet evening of introspection. A cooking evening with some close friends can be a great way to spend a Saturday – especially if you’re still getting used to being around the crowds again.

2. Cook your own meals

Several users praised the financial benefits of home-cooked food:

“I care about simple meals at home! We are allowed to save literally THOUSANDS by skipping the doorstep!” – lauren.vorreiter

“Eating at home is one of the easiest ways for us to save money! But we love to eat out! ?” – racheljoy4

It’s no secret that home cooking is a fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal – and often better for you, too. Visit your favorite recipe website or watch an how-to video online to perfect your gourmet skills, or just try something new.

If you feel like eating something you haven’t cooked, save money by ordering right from the restaurant and picking up your order. This helps you and the restaurant save expensive delivery charges. Oh, and don’t forget to use your cell phone Restaurant rewards credit card for a little extra savings.

3. Be your own bartender and barista

It’s not just homemade meals that make your savings account happy, as one reader pointed out:

“Drink at Home! ☕️?Pennies per ounce.???” ​​- be_in_sane

As most of us find out at some point in our twenties, it’s expensive to drink in bars and get our caffeine fix from coffee shops. Even the best happy hour special will likely cost you more an ounce than your favorite bottle from the local liquor store. And with the vast array of resources available online, you can learn how to expertly make any cocktail or specialty coffee.

If you miss the social aspect, invite some friends over for cocktails and snacks. With everyone bringing a bottle, you can get a selection of bar-quality spirits for less than you would spend on a bar tab at the end of the night.

4. Skip the expensive gym membership

To stick with the stay at home theme, a user suggests avoiding the gym as well:

“Use the gym in my apartment instead of paying for a gym membership” – skmaegdlin

Many modern apartment complexes nowadays have their own gym, even if it’s just a treadmill and a few free weights. Combine these basics with a free online yoga routine or exercises from your favorite workout app and you get a full body fitness program that doesn’t cost you an extra penny.

Even if you don’t have access to an apartment gym, you can work out at home inexpensively with minimal equipment. Resistance bands, for example, are space-saving (and pocket-friendly) alternatives to heavy dumbbells. And don’t underestimate the value of basic bodyweight exercise.

5. Recognize your needs versus your desires

It’s all too easy to make money if you haven’t thought through your purchases, as one reader pointed out:

“Rethink purchases. Don’t order an item when I think of it, put it on a list and check whether it’s really needed or useful. – mais_ouiii

Emotional buying is just as real as emotional eating, and the former can be just as bad for you Bank account since the latter is for your waistline. Before purchasing, give yourself a cooling off period to make sure you don’t have any Impulse buying You may regret it later.

It’s also a good time to make comparison purchases to make sure you’re getting the best deal. And don’t forget to double check that you have space for shopping in your budget before going to the checkout screen. A healthy budget is a happy budget.

Readers reply: Struggle homelessness, poverty with cash

When you look around Portland, there are signs of abandonment everywhere affected by poverty, disease and homelessness. It’s not a new topic, and it’s not strictly limited to that particular Oregon subway area, but it does seem to get a lot of talk and little movement. Rising crime, addiction, graffiti and tents lining every inch of concrete are not signs of a thriving city. It is not a problem that we should ignore as a society; it requires sympathy and legislation. Housing, infrastructure, jobs and rehabilitation need innovative improvements to help people living in poverty and homelessness. Just spend the money on it. It may be an over-simplification of what is required, but money is the greatest contributor to policy and problem-solving. So just do it as Oregon’s most famous native son might say.

The current poverty we see in our city should inspire not only our domestic but also our foreign agenda. In Oregon we have a Senator, Jeff Merkley, who sits on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit developing countries hard: children forced out of school, people are losing their jobs, and hunger is rising. These problems can be resolved and will help America stabilize nations and open up new economic markets. Less than 1% of our budget is spent on development aid. We should all email our senators to increase the budget for international affairs. Spend the money back.

Ryan Ratzlaff, Portland

When readers cannot learn | Arts & Leisure

Ah. It’s not just me – it’s you! Or many of you.

Nearly 100 people took the time to reply to my recent column that I was almost unable to read for several weeks over the winter due to the combination of the pandemic, lockdown, tense politics, and everything else over the winter. I worried that was it; my career was over; Time to retire. What is left if a book editor can’t read books?

But it turns out that many of you are struggling with the same cause.

“I thought I was the only one,” wrote Sunny Floum from Minneapolis. “Thanks for opening this hidden topic.”

Lynn Mathis of Burnsville wrote, “Thank you for letting me know I’m not crazy. I can’t read now and haven’t been since Christmas. It’s scary. I have a pile waiting for me, but I’m leaving instead . Maybe I can read again by spring. “

While most of you haven’t given up on books, what you’ve read has changed. Jackie Maas from Plymouth turned to the dream material: travel books and gardening books and “books with beautiful photos of sheds and conservatories”.

Some turned to old favorites for convenience. “The books I have loved most over the past year are well-known authors, old favorites, quick reads, and neatly drawn stories,” said Anne Twiss of Glencoe, Minn.

Krista Finstad Hanson of St. Paul has spent lockdown reading from her own shelves. While requesting and receiving some anti-racism books for Christmas, “my stacks of books, which span six bookshelves, have asked me to read what I have and what I no longer want,” she wrote.

And secrets – secrets were a godsend. “Like others, I read lighter fiction and mystery, books I used to avoid, but now I see that entertainment has value too,” wrote Karen Storm of Minneapolis. “The biggest change I’ve made is reading magazines for about an hour before bed. I’ve read all of May Sarton’s and I can attest that ‘Journal of a Solitude’ is one of their best.”

Sheri Kump from Apple Valley is fighting her shorter attention spans with podcasts and audiobooks. “I strongly recommend listening to the ‘No Stupid Questions’ podcast, episode 30 (Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar?),” She wrote.

Laura Zlogar, a retired literature teacher in River Falls, Wisconsin, has found that her reading time and attention is focused almost entirely on the news. And when she picked up a book, “I couldn’t concentrate on challenging reading,” she wrote.

“I’ve spent a lot of time reading mysteries, mostly British, and watching police proceedings on Acorn and Netflix. I even found a fascination with those from Iceland, Sweden, Poland, France and elsewhere. Perhaps by looking into different cultures as well.” Languages ​​deepened into actions and characters in which ambiguities are sorted to the end, this has made our own political and medical crises viable. “

Barbara Ankrum from Vadnais Heights keeps a diary of the books she reads every year. “After the entries in March, I wrote, ‘Then COVID hit and I couldn’t read for months,'” she said. “It was so unexpected, confusing and disruptive to me. In late fall when I picked up books again, they were what I call ‘fluff’ books – easy reading, entertaining topics, somewhat predictable, endings all well tied together.”

But things are getting better. “I never finished the first three books I started in January,” she said. “I have a feeling, however, that the routine of reading itself, no matter what topic is right, is back and that’s a great relief. I couldn’t imagine never wanting to read again.”

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