Need help identifying these items

aadbMarch 24, 2010

Hi I am a newbie to this forum and have just started buying older/antique furniture. I have a few items that I have no idea about age/value, though I am not really concerned about the value. I have lurked on these forums for awhile and finally decided to join. I would really appreciate any help you guys could offer with these pieces.

The first one is an old hinged box that my grandmother had owned since atleast the mid 1960s. I have had it for the last few years. It has no markings and from the construction does not look like it is much older. It still has a store tag for 199.95, but she is such a bargain shopper I suspect she probably got it at a yard sale. It appears to be sculpted brass(?) on the outside wrapped around a wooden frame. The wood is unfinished and darker naturally. I have tried to look for something similar but haven't seen anything. Here are some pics

The front:

The top:

The bottom:

The back:

The inside:

Outer hinge:

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The next item is a brass cup or water ladle with a long handle. I found this in a cart of junk at the GW. It only cost me a dollar so it won't hurt my feelings if it is nothing. It has some markings that I have also taken picture of:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 5:30PM
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Don't know about the box. The cup thing looks Turkish, like a coffee pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turkish Coffee

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:29AM
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One of the flat decorations on the box appears to be embosed copper sheet.

About the ladle. It might help if we knew the size. I can guess a bit by comparing to the wood grain of the table on which it sits. It reminds me of a ladle for pouring molten lead into a shot mold, e.g., make shot balls for a muzzle loader or musket. However, this one is too clean to have been used for a lead pour. I do think it was designed to hold a liquid to be heated over a hot flame.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 2:08AM
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The bottom of the ladle/cup is around 4 inches across if that helps any.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:49AM
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The box is, as jem says, embossed brass. I don't know how old it is nor where it was made, but they used to be used by a fire place to keep kindling or newspapers in. Or perhaps I have just seen them used that way.
The dipper I believe is Dutch. Not that I know that mark but in that it looks like other dutch marks I have seen. I remember once seeing a similar item and being told that it sat outside the house in or near the rain barrell and was used to dip water to wash the steps and to fling at the windows to wash them. Every good Dutch housewife washes her stoep every day.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:30AM
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Thanks for all of your replies! Thank you Linda. I googled "brass fire box" and came up with a few examples like the box I have, a couple on Ebay and a couple on antique auction websites. None of the ones listed had an age or approximate age listed though, and they all were different in the design on the brass. It was also referred to as a "coal hod" which is funny because we have always used it for extra bed linens. The little ladel/cup is a bit harder because I have seen older coffee pots that look similar but most have a hinged top of some sort, but I have also seen other things like what you described. I just found it interesting because of all the different marks on its handle.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:14PM
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The type of work on the box is called 'repousse' (pronounced re-poo-say), and is done by tracing a design on thin sheet metal and then working it in with tools, front and back. It's not exceptionally difficult work, but it is time consuming, and therefore, is generally faily expensive. Hence the $199 tag... The design looks Dutch to me (no surprise), and repousse work was not uncommon in Holland.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Nice to know what the box was originally used for. The little cup has a strong smell almost like pennies. I have a chest of drawers I bought a couple of weeks ago. It is not in the best shape, but I got it for very little. The outer wood coating chipped off a little in transport, as my husband and brother don't have the same appreciation for older items. What would you guess is the approximate age of this piece? I am thinking 1920s-40s maybe. It has been badly refinished, since it is chipping I can't do anything as far as stripping right? The back has a stamping of "FOR" but maybe it was for initial delivery? Like for so and so.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 2:24PM
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That's an early 20th century, about 1910 to 20..golden oak bow front oak veneer dresser. Machine made...and if the veneer hadn't been chipped in transport would be very very nice cleaned up....sort of like the picture linked.
Perhaps I had a mirror? I can't tell from your pictures.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 3:55PM
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Thank you again Linda! I still have the piece of veneer that broke off. I was reading up and there was a suggestion to reglue it. Is there anything I could/should do to repair and prevent future damage to the veneer. Perhaps I will look for a mirror for the top of it. I have seen them by themselves for sale but have not seen any that matched. Do you think a clear coating would do anything for the dresser?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:03PM
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If you can re glue the broken veneer....that would be good. Is this on the front or the back?
This is one place where Formby's Restore a Finish would do wonders.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:41PM
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