Q This unusual spinning silver bracelet features two miniature paintings and comes with an original case marked “Savage, Lyman & Co., Jewelers & C. Cathedral Block, Notre Dame Street, Montreal.” The cameos depict relatives—a reverend and his wife—whose church was in Clarenceville, Quebec, near Montreal. The couple’s son, a businessman involved in North American heavy industry and the cotton trades, had two daughters who lived in England, and we believe my mother inherited the bracelet from those cousins. I would like to know who had the bracelet made and where.
A. I consulted jewelry specialist Don McLean of Toronto’s Waddington Auction House. He identified this unusual silver example (most were gold or gold-plated) as a typical 1860s style. The finely textured wire is applied entirely by hand. We can date the bracelet between 1868 and 1878 – the dates of the company’s operation. The detailed cameos could be priced separately at around $200 each. Better to leave it in a bundle, it will have no trouble ordering $1,000 or more.
Q While dealing with my parents’ estate and personal effects, I discovered this bowl in a dresser. I have no idea where they got it from. It has a shimmering color inside and out and is quite striking. The glass is very thin on the outer edge, and on the underside there are etched markings, including the initials “LC T”. It measures approximately 23 cm in diameter (9 inches). Can you tell me something about it and its value?
A. Fabulous find. You have an original work of the famous artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Working from the late 1800s until around the 1930s, Tiffany also reflected Art Nouveau tastes as in your fluted bowl, which is a true example of its famous Favrile (handmade) glass. It also has a special iridescent finish. The exterior design resembles waves. A contestant named Durand used the same design and called it “King Tut”. Tiffany items are desirable today, and the immaculate design and good condition will cost $2,000 or more on the open market.
Q This is a table or shelf that I “saved” from the trash. It measures 66 cm long by 38 cm wide and 61 cm high (26 x 15 x 24 inches). It bears the words “Canadian provincial furniture, Old Canadian”. I have since done it again. I would appreciate knowing what it was used for and where it came from. Thanks.
A. With the peeling paint, it looks like a bucket bench from the early 1850s. However, what you have is a side table made by Quebec furniture company Vieux Canadien, which specialized in making furniture in tastes of yesteryear that could be called a “century-old” piece or a reproduction likely made in the 1950s. former inhabitants of Quebec” which was offered with various finishes. Your bench was selling for $41.50 at the time. Believe it or not, with the peeling paint, it was probably worth $200. Refined, and with the interesting story, it will still be worth $125.