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Be wary of reproduction netsukes



Question: I have three netsukes which my dad purchased in Japan during the 1950s. Can you tell me more about them and is there a local appraiser who can help me determine fair market values? – Conrad, Tucson

Answer: A netsuke is a toggle or glorified buckle.

These miniature carvings were made with two holes that were either channeled or within the carved design. Since kimonos generally had no pockets, these highly valued accessories acted as a toggle to secure both the outer clothing and to attach other daily necessities from the waist sash. Although most were crafted of ivory, others can be found made of other materials including bone, wood, porcelain and metal. Some are inlaid and others lacquered.

According to the most recent edition of Schroeder’s Antiques Price Guide, edited by Sharon and Bob Huxford and published by Collector Books, careful examination by an expert is vital in determining the value of netsukes. Many have been made in Hong Kong in recent years, and reproductions are plentiful. Values listed in the collector guide include a netsuke in a design depicting a fox from the 19th century, $100; frogs on a lily pad from the same period, $325; and a monkey climbing on a sleeping child, $350.

To find out the value of your collection, I suggest you contact a local expert, M.J. Halper. His address and telephone number are 2930 N. Swan Road, No. 124; and 323-6250.

Question: I recently inherited a partial set of dinnerware marked “Old Rose.” Since I am missing pieces, I need help finding at least four plates, six cups and three saucers. Can you help me? – Susan, Tucson

Answer: First, let’s identify your china. Old Rose was manufactured by the Edwin M. Knowles China Co. at its plant in East Liverpool, Ohio. The company began in about 1900, but most of its production occurred during the 1930s and ’40s. Finding missing pieces may be difficult, but I recommend you contact Replacements, P.O. Box 26029, Greenboro, NC 27428. The toll-free telephone number is (800) 737-5223.

Question: You recently referred someone with toy soldiers to a couple of dealers. I wanted to let you know about an excellent reference book on the subject, “Collecting American-Made Toy Soldiers” by Richard O’Brien, published by Books Americana Inc., P.O. Box 2326, Florence, AL 35630. I have the third edition, which features brief bios of the various toy manufacturers, copious illustrations and current market values. – Jeff Albiniak, Tucson

Answer: We always love hearing from our readers. Jeff Albiniak is one of our region’s better military dealers. When he recommends a military price guide, it gets our atten-shun!

I found this guide on amazon.com listed for $21.75, a saving of over $10 off the list price. It does, indeed, look like an excellent guide, and we appreciate Jeff for giving us a heads up. Jeff is the owner of Mysiques Militaria at Copper Country Antique Mall, 5055 E. Speedway. His addresses and telephone number are P.O. Box 17389, Tucson 85731; CWBUFFSTER@aol.com and 326-0167.

Question: I have an old banjo that needs new strings. Where can I take it locally? – Art, Tucson

Answer: Paul Blementritt is the owner of The Folk Shop, 2523 N. Campbell Ave., and he is one of the region’s experts at restoring and servicing acoustic instruments. His telephone number is 881-7147.

Question: My dad’s birthday is in June and I would like to purchase some original Glenn Miller 78 rpm recordings for him. I have visited almost every thrift store in town but can’t seem to track down a single disc. – Beth, Tucson

Answer: But have you visited PDQ Records at 2342 N. Dodge Blvd.? This wonderful shop specializes in out-of-print 45s, 33s and 78s and is a collector’s haven. The telephone number is 881-2681. I recommend you visit during a weekday because the store can get jammed on weekends.

Do you have questions about your antiques or collectibles? Larry Cox has the answers. E-mail him at larrycox@tucsoncitizen.com

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