The Windsor chair was first made in the late 17th century in England and about 1730 in America. The chairs are similar, but the English chair legs are less splayed and only the English chair has a splat (a shaped piece of wood) as part of the back. American chairs are made with spindles for the back and to hold the arms.
There are many kinds of Windsor chairs with descriptive names like brace back, hoop back, arrow back, fan back, bow back, low back, comb back and scroll back. And some have added parts like rockers or writing arms.
Early chairs usually were painted because several types of wood were used. "Brown furniture" from the 18th and 19th centuries is selling for low prices today. The best have original paint, but watch out for repainted items. The chair with a nine-spindle back probably is older than one with four spindles. The more spindles on an antique Windsor, the earlier and better the chair. Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C., sold a comb back Windsor with some repairs in 2015 for $1,003.
Stereo Realist viewer
Q: I have a Stereo Realist viewer in a green case that's 14 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 2 inches deep. It has two snaps to keep it closed. What is it worth?
A: The Stereo Realist was made between 1947 and 1972. It was designed by Seton Rochwite, who worked for the David White Co. of Milwaukee. The camera originally sold for $160 and the viewer for $20. Stereo Realist viewers sell online today for $40 and up.
Molly Pitcher chest
Q: My Lane cedar chest pictures Molly Pitcher firing her husband's cannon after he collapsed. The serial number is 2575150. Can you tell me when it was made?
A: You can find out when your Lane chest was made by reversing the serial number. Your chest was made on May 15, 1975 (05/15/75) at factory No. 2. Lane cedar chests made before 1987 have the old style locks that can latch shut and trap a child inside. If you haven't already replaced the lock, you should contact the manufacturer and they will send you a new replacement safety lock. You can find the form to request a replacement at www.lanefurniture.com/about/product-safety.
Terry and Kim Kovel will answer as many letters from readers as possible through the column only. Write to: The Kovels, c/o King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The website is kovels.com.
Prices are from shows nationwide.
Silver plate cup, jester handle, monogram, spiral rim, saucer foot, 5 inches, $35.
Toy car, Turbo-Jet, plastic jet car, metal lithograph launch station, Ideal Toy Corp., 1950s, 13 1/2 inches, $70.
Architectural lock set, ram's horns, scrolled penny ends, eyelets, wrought iron, about 1900, 24 inches, $75.
Crock, salt glaze stoneware, cobalt blue leaf, impressed mark, 1800s, 4-gallon, 11 by 12 inches, $180.
Art glass vase, Art Nouveau, green iridescent, white, gray, orange, pewter stylized mounts, 13 by 8 inches, $300.
Caster set, five bottles, cut-glass cruets, heraldic design, metal center post, Charles Thomas Fox, 1840, 9 3/4 inches, $470.
Barrister's wig, horsehair, gray hair, mesh foundation, pen and ink label, England, about 1900, $720.
Candelabrum, three-light, silver plate, twisted reeded arms, gadrooned shell bobeches, Sheffield, 1800s, 23 inches, pair, $1,075.
Umbrella stand, Piero Fornasetti, stylized face transfer, enameled metal, brass, 1960s, 23 by 10 inches, $1,125.