ANTIQUES AND COLLECTING: Look online for modern, contemporary furniture

By Terry and Kim Kovel

The marble chair is cold and hard but is not meant to have cushions. It is so deep that a short woman’s feet will not touch the floor. (Kovels)

If you like unusual or unique furniture, try going to online auctions of modern or contemporary furniture. The pictured pair of art moderne chairs sold at a Neal auction in New Orleans for an overbid of $6,100. They are carved from a block of white marble. A similar set made from black marble was also sold. The chairs are barrel-shaped, 28 inches high, 25 inches wide and 27 inches deep.

The first marble furniture was sold in the 16th century. Many modern pieces of marble furniture were made in the mid-1900s and after. A dining room table with an off-center top made of black marble, a bed, dresser, chest, sofa and many bathtubs and sinks were sold and used in modern homes. They are usually special-order pieces.


Q: Fifty-five years ago, I bought a cabin with a stove in the garage. I kept it because I thought it might be valuable. It’s a Variety No. 54. Can you give me any information on this stove?


A: Potbelly stoves were used from the 1800s to the early 1900s to heat parlors, railroad stations, schoolhouses and other buildings. The heavy cast-iron stoves were fired by wood or coal. The round “belly” shape radiated enough heat to warm a large room. Some models had a ring around the middle to keep people from bumping into it and getting burned, nickel-plated decorations and trim, and a flat cooking surface on the top.

Potbelly stoves have become popular again for cabins and places that don’t have a furnace. We contacted Good Time Stove Co. (, which restores antique and vintage stoves, to verify our information. They said it was made between about 1900 and 1920 by the Brigham foundry in Georgia. The foundry closed in the 1940s. Potbelly stoves like yours sell for $200 to $400. Those with nickel trim and ornate decoration sell for more. Stoves that are in poor condition or don’t work can’t be sold.



Steuben glass compote with lid, verre de soie, squat shape with melon ribs, clear foot, red pear and stem finial, signed, Steuben, F. Carder, 9 1/2 x 6 inches, $105.

Kitchen, maple syrup cauldron, copper, round, rolled rim, bail handle, American, 15 x 23 inches, $280.

Automobile hood ornament, Atlas, holding world on shoulders, inset orange jewel, nickel-plated chrome, Lucite base, streamlined style, 8 x 9 x 3 inches, $460.

Sports, baseball, stamped Official Ball, American League, autographed on sweet spot in ink by Mickey Mantle, acrylic case, $610.


TIP: Wash silver as soon as possible if it has touched salty or acidic foods, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, olives, salad dressings or vinegar.


Learn about the record-setting prices scores of items have brought in recent years in the new “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2022.” It is the ONLY antiques price guide that empowers collectors with the most up-to-date price information based on actual sales and market data. Available in stores and online, it makes a great gift.


© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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