Q: I have a lamp I inherited from my grandmother. I always remember it being in her home so I do not know when or where she got it. It has a night light and is stamped "Accurate Casting" in the metal base. Any information would be helpful.
A: There was a lot of useful information left out of this letter. But the phrase "it has a night light" made the light bulb go on over our heads.
We looked at the photographs and saw a ball shaded lamp some people erroneously refer to as a "Gone With the Wind" (or "GWTW") lamp. But if it has a night light in the base, it has to be electric and way later than Scarlett O'Hara's era.
Then we looked up "Accurate Casting" and found a variety of stories available about this particular company, all of which put the lamp's manufacturing into the years significantly after the end of World War II. We think it was probably made and purchased when early American furniture was a craze in the late 1950s to early '60s.
Lamps of this type with this kind of marking are not rare and dozens can be found online for sale. Your lamp appears to be attractive in the photograph with its mahogany red top and bottom bracketing a white center section decorated with transfer-printed flowers in shades of blue, gold and pink.
The glass is also embossed with 3-D roses. Originally the lamp might have been one of a pair, and its single status keeps its value down just a bit. For insurance replacement purposes, this vintage lamp should be valued in the $75 to $125 range.
<PARAGRAPH style="Text_Body_NoIndent">Q: Is there any information you may have pertaining to these books?
A: We have photographs of four or five books, but we decided to discuss the tome that appears to be the oldest and the one in the best condition. It is titled "The Hanging of the Crane" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).
This is not one of Longfellow's better known works such as "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Song of Hiawatha" or "Evangeline," and it is a bit too sentimental for many 21st-century readers.
The tale is about the installation of a fireplace crane, a sort of bracket attached to the brick wall of a fireplace from which a Dutch oven (and other household utensils such as kettles) was suspended over hot coals for the purpose of cooking or heating. The poem was supposedly based on a visit Longfellow made to a newlywed couple living on Pinckney Street in Boston.
Longfellow is said to have observed how the couple's dining room table had no leaves and was suitable for two. As the family grew, table leaves would be added, and the table and the couple's world would be expanded. But as the years passed and the children left home, the leaves would be taken out and the table shrunk until it was just the table for two once again.
The poem was first published in 1874, and the book in today's question was printed in 1875. The company that published the book was James R. Osgood and Co. of Boston with a notation underneath that it was — the best we can read in the photograph — the late Ticknor and Fields and Fields, Osgood, and Co.
Osgood began his career as a clerk at the publishing firm of Ticknor and Fields but became a partner. And after a reorganization in 1868, it became Fields, Osgood and Co. The James R. Osgood and Co. itself was founded in 1871 and dissolved in 1878. For a short time, Osgood was partnered with Henry Oscar Houghton, but in 1880 when the firm became Houghton, Mifflin, Osgood refounded James R. Osgood and Co.
With its black and gold stampings against what appears to be a green ground, the book is truly lovely. But we cannot see enough of the condition of the book to judge its true retail value. However, retail prices for examples that seem to be in like condition range in price from $100 to $250. We think the book should be valued in the lower portion of the range because of the sentimental subject matter.
Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson have written a number of books on antiques. Do you have an item you'd like to know more about? Contact them at Joe Rosson, 2504 Seymour Av., Knoxville, TN 37917, or e-mail them at treasuresknology.net. Please include a high-resolution, in-focus photo of the subject.