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what’s it

worth? Could you please give me some information on the pictured item. First of all, is it bone or ivory? It has a lovely light gold colour to it but age could have this as it has never been cleaned and it belonged to my grandmother who was born in the late 1880s. She travelled a lot and I think the item is at least 100 years old, if not more.

It is Japanese or Chinese? The artist’s signature is on the bottom and I hope you can decipher it. Is it a netsuke or something else? It measures 37mm wide and the same height. The base at the widest point is 20mm so you can see it’s not very big, but the detail in the carving is exquisite. You can even see the heels and stitching of the shoes on the base. There appears to be a fault in the rear, near the donkey’s haunch. I say fault, because this has not opened to expose the inner material. I was told it was a carving of a sage who would travel from village to village telling fortunes. Do you think this is the truth? And last but not least, please could you give me a valuation as I haven’t a clue as to its worth. Yours sincerely, Barbara S., Medowie, New South Wales. IAN ARMSTRONG REPLIES: You have what is an obviously

old netsuke-like piece, Barbara, with an interesting provenance. It is more yellow than I would have expected, but from your photo of the base I believe I can see the astragal grain typical of ivory. Having said that, it will need to be seen by an expert for verification. Netsukes were Japanese made and designed as toggles for costume fastening. They should have two holes for insertion of a cord, and I don’t believe yours has these. As a nice piece of old carving I value it at around $300, if it is ivory. We have had this item for some while now and were wondering about its value. We’re calling on you to find some answers please. We do know a little

about the item: we know that it’s Maling and it is marked with the numbers 5353. The mark is faded gold but it does suggest Maling. It has two big dragons around the side and enameling to both the inside and the outside. It’s 25cm and has a grand shine. It’s in perfect order. Thank you, Brad and Justine via email. DOUG MULLEY REPLIES: Your bowl is a nice example of Maling’s excellent design and craftsmanship, Brad and Justine. The pattern was introduced c.1930-32. Some background on the pottery: Maling began as North Hylton Pottery on the River Wear in 1762. Production was transferred to Newcastle-on-Tyne, where

Our panel of experts assesses items sent in by readers for evaluation. This is a free service available to all our readers. it remained until the pottery’s closure in 1963. Maling specialized in earthenware (as opposed to fine bone china). In earlier times their output was quite traditional and even tame, but when the Art Deco craze hit, Maling really excelled. They exported huge quantities of lustre ware, novelty items and hand decorated products, often on embossed/low relief items such as your bowl. Many were extremely colourful and are keenly collected to this day. Although much Maling Ware, along with almost all other brands, has seen a price dip in the last several years, I’d value your dragon bowl at around $250 to $300. I have a figure of Camille by Royal Doulton and would like to know its value please. There is a hairline crack on it. Regards, Chris O. via email. KEITH McDONALD REPLIES: Your figurine Camille HN1596 was designed by Leslie Harradine, Chris, and produced by Royal Doulton in England from 1933 until 1949. The height of the figure is 16.5cm. The book retail value four or five years ago was $1500, but due

76 Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure & Profit

to the price decrease for Royal Doulton in the last few years (along with most of the retail market), the current value of this figure in perfect condition would be $750. With the slight damage you describe to your figure, the value would be considerably less than this. Sorry the news isn’t good, although Camille is a good early model. Please could you tell me something about this toy? I would like to know how old it is, was it made in Australia and would it have any value. Thank you, anon via email.

IAN ARMSTRONG REPLIES: Your child’s rocking toy appears to be Australian made and featuring the TV character Fred Bear, who originated in South Australia. He operated for around 40 years, from the 1960s to the 1990s. The condition of the toy is not good and as is I would give it a value of $140. Please could you give me a valuation on this vase that was given to me with the antiques my grandmother left me in 1950? It is about 50cm high and 35cm at its widest, and it’s in pristine condition. Regards, Jan via email. DOUG MULLEY REPLIES: Your vase is hand painted earthenware from

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