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THE KOVELS | Antiques and collecting For dining-room storage, sideboards proved popular



Published: Sun, September 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Storage in the kitchen is easy -- there are cabinets and drawers.

But storage in the dining room for silverware, table linens and serving pieces is always hard to find.

In the late 18th century, the sideboard was made to solve this problem.

It is a long piece of furniture on four to eight legs. The top of the piece could be used to hold dishes filled with food. There were two to six drawers and several cabinets. Sometimes the cabinets were fitted to hold wine bottles and wine coolers. The drawers held silver.

Designers changed the look of the sideboard in each furniture period.

Sheraton pieces made around 1800 had a straight or curved front. Inlay of many types created decoration. Empire sideboards favored paw feet and pillars at the sides. Victorian pieces had added carvings and trim. Some even had built-in knife boxes on the top.

By the Arts & amp; Crafts period, sideboards were usually made of oak and were very plain, with square legs.

The Art Deco period called for simplicity, so a serving table or a simple line of cabinets was used.

In the 1930s, there was a Colonial Revival, so early-style sideboards were again being made.

Revival pieces can be identified because they were machine-made. Their boards are thinner and of a standard size, and the dovetails on their drawers are narrow and of a uniform size.

Q. A light-blue vase I bought at a flea market looks like Wedgwood. But it's marked & quot;Ecanada Art Pottery. & quot;

A. Ecanada was a pottery founded in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1926 by an English immigrant named George Emery Sr. (1881-1959). Emery had worked at the Wedgwood Pottery in England for 14 years before moving to Canada in 1912. While he was working at different potteries in and around Hamilton, he started making what he called & quot;Ecanada & quot; art pottery in his basement. Pieces were fired at the Canadian Porcelain Co. in Hamilton until 1944, when Emery started his own factory. The factory closed in 1953. Ecanada pottery looks like Wedgwood. It is usually found in light blue, medium blue, dark blue, pink, green or white, with applied white decoration.

Q. I have a miniature jug about 31/2 inches high that reads & quot;Motto Jug, Eat drink and be merry & quot; on the side. Can you tell me about it?

A. Your motto jug is one of 12 different jugs given away by Detrick Distilling Co. as a promotional item. The Dayton, Ohio, company gave a free jug when a customer bought a gallon of its liquor. The jugs were made with two different tops. The 12 mottos included such familiar sayings as & quot;A friend in need is a friend indeed & quot; or & quot;To err is human, to forgive divine. & quot; There were others that were more related to drinks in a bar, such as & quot;Rye on Toast & quot; or & quot;If you try me once, you will try me again. & quot;

Q. I have a mottled brown vase that is engraved & quot;Chicago 1933 & quot; on the side. There is no maker's mark. I suspect it was a souvenir of the World's Fair, but can you tell me any more about it?

A. Yes, the vase was from the Chicago World's Fair. It was engraved with the city and date in the Brush-McCoy exhibit, where pottery was being made. The 61/2-inch-high vase is selling today for about $120 with the engraving. A plain vase is worth about $35.

Q. I have a greeting card with a silhouette of a colonial woman. It was supposedly made by Wallace Nutting. I thought he made tinted photographs of colonial interiors and landscapes.

A. Wallace Nutting did sell hand-colored photographs. He also made reproductions of 18th-century furniture and wrote many books, including the & quot;States Beautiful & quot; series and & quot;Furniture Treasury. & quot; His company also made silhouettes that were sold plain, framed and later as greeting cards. A 1927 silhouette card called & quot;A Somerset Highway & quot; was one of the first. Others followed. The cards sell for about $30 each.

Q. In 1962, my grandmother gave my mother a pair of Staffordshire dog figurines that she said were 300 years old. They look like greyhounds. Each one is 9 inches tall and unmarked. The dog is sitting on a white, oval base with a painted gold line around the bottom. A dead rabbit hangs against a support column under the dog's front legs. I always thought the dogs were ugly, but someone told me they're worth a great deal of money. Are they?

A. Your dogs are whippets, second only to spaniels as the favorite dog of Staffordshire artists. Figures like yours were made in the mid-19th century, making them about 150 years old. Many recent reproductions have been made. An antique pair would sell for $1,000 to $1,500.

Tip

Treat your furniture the same way you treat your face. Wash it to remove the dirt. You do not want to remove the & quot;skin. & quot; Don't sand too much or use a dip strip.

XThe Kovels answer as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for its use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names and addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, The Vindicator, King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.

& copy; 2002 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.




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