Question: I have an old cedar chest on casters in excellent condition, size 43 x 19 x 17, manufactured by Universal Cabinet Company, Chicago, Illinois. Can you tell me when it was made and its approximate value today? - D.A., Bartlett.
Answer: The Universal Cabinet Company was in business in Chicago during the 1910s to 1920s. It manufactured cedar chests, as well as hat racks, pedestals and floor lamps. Its cedar chests were made of Tennessee red cedar and was advertised as, "Moth Proof." Your cedar chest is worth around $500 today.
Q.: My grandmother gave me a R.S. Prussia chocolate pot with matching cups and saucers. The pot is 10 1/2 inches tall, stamped with the red Prussia wreath, marked 643. What can you tell me about the set? - G.R., Marietta.
A.: Any porcelain marked R.S. Prussia was made at one of two German factories (one in Tillowitz, Germany, the other in Suhl. Germany), owned by Reinhold Schlegelmilch. The red wreath mark with no other mark generally indicates that a piece was made between 1885 and 1910. The mark No. 643 indicates the mold was used to make other items, too, including a coffee pot, tankard syrup. creamer and sugar, milk pitcher and toothpick holder. Decorations vary, but they're all floral. Your pot with matching cups and saucers is valued at $750, in perfect condition.
Q.: My mother gave me a condiment set that includes the mustard pot, spoon, salt and pepper shakers. There's a dog on the front of them called "Bonzo." Do you know anything about the set? - C.T., Marietta.
A.: "Bonzo" was a British cartoon dog character of the 1920s. His image was used on commercial products and in ads for Crosley radios. Your set is worth about $35 to a collector.
Q.: I have a 12-inch "California Originals" Christmas tree cookie jar. Can you tell me what it might be worth? - G.H., Lowell.
A.: To a cookie jar collector, $200.
Q.: I heard old pocket calculators are worth money today. Is this true? - V.W., Parkersburg.
A.: Vintage pocket calculators from the 1970s are being collected today. Early examples were not pocket size until 1971. Early examples can sell for $450 or more. They used "LEDs" (light emitting diodes) until about 1976, when the more energy efficient "LED" liquid crystal display was introduced. Solar power was used after 1978.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send name and address, along with a complete description of the item, size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. No personal replies (do not include postage). All letters will be answered through this column.