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They built a room around it

The large "library table" is a form not often seen in modern furniture. It was created in the 18th century to be used in the newly popular home libraries in huge English homes. The library was a very large, high room with massive cabinets and bookcases surrounding the walls, and the heavy library or writing table was placed in the center of the room. Thomas Chippendale pictured 11 designs for library tables in his famous design book of 1762. The huge, heavy table went out of style about 1800 when less massive furniture and architecture became fashionable. Ornate Victorian furniture appeared in the 1850s, and the library table appeared once again.

A library table should not be confused with a dining-room table. The library table has a drawer on the side and the carvings and legs are placed so that it is difficult to have more than one or two people seated at it.

Plaster cleaning

Question: What is the best way to clean an old painted plaster composition figure like a John Rogers or a Hennecke?

Answer: An old catalog for the statuary gave specific directions. Dust regularly with a soft clean duster or brush. Do not handle the figures with your bare hands because you could leave marks. Just dust to remove stains. Then sponge, using the lather from soap plus warm water. Rub gently. Wash upward to avoid staining. Rinse with clean water. Blot dry with a clean cloth.

Blue dishes

Question: I know blue has been a popular color for dish designs for centuries. When did the technology make it possible for average people to afford blue-and-white dishes for everyday use?

Answer: Blue was used on 17th- and 18th-century dishes made in China and Europe. The discovery of transfer printing made it possible to make less expensive white earthenware with blue designs. Transfer printing was known in England by 1772, and by the early 1800s potters were mass-producing transfer printed wares to be sold in other countries. Thousands of different patterns were made.

McKee glass

Question: What did the McKee Glass company make? I thought they were known for dinnerware. My friends tell me that they made kitchenware.

Answer: McKee glass started in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1853. The glassworks made almost every type of glass during the past 137 years. They made flint and non-flint pressed glass tableware in the early years and colored glass dinnerware in the 1920s and through the 1940s and also made opaque and black glass dishes, bowls, vases and gift-store items. They made Sunkist reamers (orange juicer) and some other kitchen pieces. The company was purchased by Jeanette Glass in 1916.

Current prices

Watt pitcher, Starflower, 53/8 in.: $19.

Pin, cat, sterling silver, Jewelart Art Moderne: $25.

Stuffed animal, Beulah, Elsie's daughter, celluloid: $78.

Tiffany salt, gold, pink highlights, ruffled edge, signed, 1 in. h., 2{ in. diameter: $195.

Hula doll, mechanical, black hair, brown glass eyes, c. 1957, 36 in.: $295.

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