Danielle Arnet

The contemporary 21-Karat gold and garnet Kiddush cup from Israel brought $20,000 at Sotheby's last winter.

The contemporary 21-Karat gold and garnet Kiddush cup from Israel brought $20,000 at Sotheby's last winter.

Q: Here are images of an old Jacobean chest that has been in the family for a long time. I want an appraisal and info on it. Do you think that "Antiques Roadshow" will be interested in it the next time they come to my area?

A: Images and dimensions sent indicate the reader has a carved square oak chest 41 inches high by 50 inches long. Four square timber feet are almost 15 inches high.

Erika Denn at WGBH-TV, the Boston PBS station that produces "Roadshow," told us that production for 2010 is over. She recommends that readers check www.pbs.org/antiques in January 2011 for a list of six cities where filming will happen next year.

"In each of those cities we will be looking for large pieces of furniture to appraise," Denn adds. Look for rules on submitting photos and descriptions on the website at that time. Big pieces seen in segments are pre-selected. They don't just walk in.

If you cannot wait until filming comes your way (if it does), appraisal is always an option. Perhaps a local dealer who knows very old furniture will do a verbal appraisal at less cost than a written, formal appraisal. Can't hurt to ask.

Be aware that very old, authentic Jacobean chests are very rare, and never in the fine condition of this chest. Riding waves of popularity, most recently in the early 1900s, early English furniture has been widely reproduced, including carved pieces made with square pegs and handmade hinges, such as this. Many even have fake wormholes.

Q: I found two Levi jackets from when I was a teen. One has the big E. The other does not. How can I sell them?

Q: Around 1970, I bought a pair of big E Levi 501 jeans and rinsed but never washed them. I also narrowed the inseam.

I always bought men's Levis because they were narrow in the hips and then I just pegged the legs. How do I sell them?

A: Because vintage denim collectors hunt online, I'd post the denim on eBay or any online auction. Another plus of online is that it is where foreign buyers hunt. Levis, especially vintage versions, are huge overseas.

Remember that jackets are not as popular as jeans. But there are still buyers. Pegged legs on the 501s may be a problem, perhaps not. When you list, clearly state the altered measurements.

Q: Any info on a porcelain cardinal by Edward Marshall Boehm? We need a value for insurance purposes.

A: We've said it here before: Almost all collectibles, such as Boehm porcelain birds, are covered by a regular household policy. Ditto for general antiques. Separate coverage is advised only for highly rare and/or valuable pieces. Such coverage is very expensive.

An American sculptor known for porcelain figures of birds and wildlife, Edward Marshall Boehm founded his studios in Trenton, N.J., in 1950. The reputation and popularity of Boehm's hard-paste porcelain bird sculptures comes largely from the tireless marketing of his widow, Helen (Boehm died in 1969).

As with many luxury names, separate lines produced for the public are made in quantity. It is signature pieces specially made for presentation to the famous, the royal and celebrated that burnish the brand.

Key www.liveauctioneers to see auction results for an astounding variety of cardinal figurines made by Boehm. Depending on design, prices there range from $175 to $400.

We found a result on eBay for the reader's exact model at $66. Replacements.com also sells secondary market Boehm figures.

Q: I have a jade pin made for my mother by the founder of Kraft Foods, who knew her from a club her godfather owned. I believe he mined the jade. Does the fact it was made by the founder of Kraft Foods make any difference in its value?

A: When provenance matters, proving linkage is essential. But the reader states there is no official authentication other than a note from the mother written in 1935. Nor is there any proof the jade was actually mined by (or for) the giver.

The pin itself is basic, a roughly one-inch oval. Seen in an image, there is no way to know the metal composition of the simple bezel.

Unless linkage can be verified, the stone itself is fine, and/or the setting is remarkable in some way, value is simply that of the materials used.

Remember that in simpler times, corporate bigwigs often handed out varied small mementoes to gift people they met.

AUCTION ACTION: Standing almost 4 inches high, a 21-karat gold Kiddush cup created in 1980 by Israeli artist Yaacov Yemini brought $20,000 as part of a Judaica sale at Sotheby's New York in winter 2009. Weighing 9 ounces, the cup is decorated with garnets.


QUESTION: Which of these items is NOT a vintage Barbie collectible of today?

a. Barbie booklets included with dolls

b. Teen dream bedroom kit

c. Makeup

d. Ribbons fabric

e. Jumbo trading card

ANSWER: Makeup was not a Barbie product, though dresser sets, cosmetic cases and jewelry were. Source: "Encyclopedia of Barbie Doll Family and Friends Licensed Products 1961-1971" by Alva Christensen and Laurel Schwing (Collector Books, $34.95).