François-Xavier is best known as a creator of sculptural animals that were not only works of art but also furniture. Claude’s inspiration is drawn from vegetation and body parts, often combining the two to produce quirky surreal forms.
Claude created cast body parts in the 1970s, including the “Doigt” sculptures. “Doigt”, which means “finger” in French, are realistic copper plugs that can be slipped onto fingertips. They are each about 1 inch tall. Some of Finger’s sculptures included parts of plants, flowers, or insects to construct a new dreamlike being. The Lalanne sculptures are well known and widely collected.
Q: I have a wooden cheese board with an inlaid metal tile on one end and a slightly recessed part that holds crackers on the other end. The tile is gold, avocado green and white and features nine decorated squares, including a sun face in the center. It’s signed “Georges Briard”. Engraved on the back of the tray is “Woodland, Contemporary Elegance, Designed & Signed by Georges Briard”. Who is he? Is it worth anything?
A: Georges Briard is the name used on bar and service items made by Jascha Brojdo (1917-2005). He was born in Ukraine, lived in Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1937. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and served as a Russian interpreter in the U.S. Army during World War II. He started painting metal trays. At first they were signed with his name. He later began to use the name “Georges Briard” on serving pieces, glassware and barware, while continuing to use his own name on his works. Pieces by Georges Briard were popular in the 1950s to 1970s and sold in department stores. Woodland trays have been made in several styles and sizes. Your tray sells online for $20 to $25.
Q: I would like information on a sugar spoon I found in a box of silver cutlery at a charity store. The base of the bowl as well as the middle and the end of the handle are embossed with flowers. The back of the spoon is marked “Pat JAN2510” and “Oxford Silver Plate Co.” Can you tell me about the manufacturer and the value?
A: “Oxford Silver Plate Co.” is a trade name used by Wm. A. Rogers Ltd., a company that began as a small store in New York City in the 1890s. The company was purchased by Oneida in 1929. Your spoon design was patented on January 25, 1910. Your sugar spoon sells for less than $20.
Q: I heard that old Fisher-Price toys are collectible. We have a Fisher-Price School Days desk with a green magnetic chalkboard top and a pull-out tray filled with magnetic plastic letters. A compartment with a sliding lid holds additional letters and numbers, and an open section above holds 16 word or number stencil cards. You place the card on top of the board and fill in the spaces to form a word. The number “176” is on the side and there is a red carrying handle at the bottom. What is it worth?
A: Fisher-Price was founded by Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Schelle in East Aurora, New York in 1930. The company was purchased by Quaker Oats in 1969. It was established in 1991 and operated as an independent company until in 1993 when it was purchased by Mattel. Fisher-Price made the No. 176 School Days desk from 1972. It came with chalk and an eraser. Sets that are missing certain letters or cards now sell for just a few dollars. A complete set in good condition sells for around $25 to $30.
Q: Is Depression glass still collectible? I have a small collection and wonder what it’s worth.
A: Depression glass is inexpensive glassware made by factories in the United States in the 1920s and after. Machine-made glass in the 1940s to 1970s is also called depression glass. Over 100 designs were made in dozens of colors and clear glass, which the factories called “crystal”. Collecting Depression glass was popular in the 1970s, but interest has waned and many pieces now sell for less than $10. Only a few coins are worth more than $20 to $35. Because there are so many manufacturers and models, it is difficult to determine the price. It is an inexpensive but popular collector’s item. You can find prices for many Depression glass pieces on our website, Kovels.com. Even if you can’t find exactly what you have, it will give you an idea of the sale price of Depression glass models. You can learn more about the value at the salons and clubs listed on the National Depression Glass Association website, www.NDGA.net.
Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer reader questions sent to the column. Send a letter with a question describing the size, material, and what you know about the item. Include only two photos, the item and a close-up of any marks or damage. Make sure your name and return address are included. By submitting a question, you are giving full permission for use in any Kovel product. We do not guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. Questions that are answered will appear in Kovels’ posts. Write Kovels, (The Daily Times), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email [email protected]