My great grandparents were missionaries in Hawaii for many years during the late 19th century. When they returned back to the U.S. this quilt came with them. I recently inherited it and would like to know the value for insurance purposes. I was told the pattern name is “Flower vase of Iolani.” It is in good condition and made of cotton. It measures 80”x82.”

T.D. – Boynton Beach. FL.

 What a treasure! Your quilt pattern was influenced by the pattern on the doors of the Iolani palace. Hawaiian quilts didn’t use scraps but a large piece of white cotton and then appliquéd one big pattern from two pieces of cloth. One or two colors were used. The motifs were native flora such as pineapples and palm fronds, as well as flags. There has been a renewed interest and there are quilting kits and quilters reproducing old patterns. Since you have documentation of your quilt history, it could be insured for $4,000 or more.               


My late grandfather was a missionary in China in the early 20th century. He came back to America before World War II. This strange looking object was one of the items he brought back. It was overlooked when the estate was settled and I recently came across it in back of desk drawer. It appears to be silver with coral and turquoise. It measures approximately 3 3/8th inches. What can you tell me of the value and history? (See picture on PG. 1)

S.L. – Gary, Ind.

You have a Chinese fingernail guard Worn by noble women in the late 19th and early 20th century. However fingernail guards (talons} date back to the Han dynasty (206 BC/220 AD.

Historically women from the Chinese upper class didn’t work, like the peasants and wore elaborate nail guards as a status symbol. This continued through the Qing dynasty (1644/1912.) Over the years they have heavily reproduced. However, given your family history I believe your nail guard, could be 19th century. Similar era examples can sell in a retail setting for $400 or more. Since it is silver it has a hallmark that will help date it. Find a specialist expert.


This metal doorstop was in my late Parents lake front cottage, the paint job is good, since it has been wrapped up, in a closet since the cottage was sold. I plan to sell it at my next garage sale. What can you tell me about it and value?

V.M.C. - Lancaster, PA

Your cast iron doorstop was made in the 1920s by the historic Hubley Manufacturing Company. The Company is renowned for its 19th century toys. Figural doorstops were made in many forms from animals to ships and flower baskets. Prices for common examples can be as low as $25 on eBay. Yours is an exception, since it was made Hubley. A dealer price could be $300 or more. 

Do you have an antique or collectible item and need more information?  For a personnel reply send a photo, along with history, size and any signature, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $25 to Anne Gilbert, 1811 Renaissance Commons Boulevard, #2-319, Boynton Beach, FL. 33426.