Rose carvings bloom on Rococo Revival furniture
Q. This antique sofa is part of a set that includes two matching armchairs. It was purchased in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1865 and has remained in our family ever since. The set has carved roses and leaves at the top and has been reupholstered several times. The frames are all in excellent condition, and the finish is original.
I am not interested in selling the set but would like to know more about its history and value.
A, Your sofa and matching chairs are examples of Victorian sub-style Rococo Revival. The Rococo Revival period is also known as Louis XV Revival. It began around 1840 and lasted until 1870. The set was factory-made during the Industrial Revolution. Victorian periods of design consisted of several sub-styles that were inspired by earlier pieces. The sub-styles include Gothic Revival, Cottage, Rococo Revival, Renaissance Revival, patent furniture, Eastlake, the Aesthetic Movement and Golden Oak. Your sofa and chairs' carved serpentine back with a continuous wood carved top rail, rose and foliate carving, upholstered back and arms, finger carved seat rail/apron, cabriole legs and canted back legs all characterize Rococo Revival. These sets were often made of black walnut, occasionally made of mahogany and sometimes made of native hardwoods. Many sets included a sofa or settee, a gentleman's armchair and a smaller lady's chair. Frequently, the sets were accompanied by matching side chairs.
Your circa-1865 set would probably be worth $1,500 to $1,900.
Q. This mark is on the bottom of my beer stein. It is in the shape of a man's head. It holds 1/2 liter, stands about 7 inches tall and is in mint condition. His helmet is the top and is opened by a pewter thumb lift. He has a bushy mustache, and his helmet looks militaristic.
What can you tell me about my stein?
A. Your beer stein is the image of Prussian Minister-President Otto Von Bismarck. He was born in 1815 and died in 1898. He was appointed to chancellor by German King Wilhelm in 1871. Bismarck became known as the "Iron Chancellor" who unified Germany in the late 1800s.
"Musterschutz" is the German word for "copyrighted" and is not the name of the manufacturer. A plethora of Bismarck steins were produced by several factories, and not all were marked by the maker.
Your stein was made around 1900 and might be worth $150 to $400.
• Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.
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