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Metal used affects value of statue

Question: I would like to determine the value of a metal statue I acquired about 45 years ago. The statue is 22\ inches tall and has the name Rousseau engraved near the base on the back. There also is a small circle on the back with the words "Made in France" inside the circle on the bottom and "Fabrication Francaise" above.

Answer: Richard T. Nelson, assistant vice president of furniture and decorations at Sotheby's Chicago, says your statue dates from the late 19th century and looks as though it is made of patinated white metal. It probably was called something like "The Firewood Gatherer."

Some of these were made as working models and, if a sculptor gained renown, a foundry would add the item to its production. If it were bronze, it would be worth $2,000 to $3,000; if it is white metal, it is worth $300 to $500.

Bronze candlesticks

Question: I purchased a pair of bronze candlesticks about 25 years ago. They are 20 inches high and are held together in various places with screws.

Can you date or put any value on them? I can find no identifying marks.

Answer: John Hanzel, the director of furniture and decorative arts at Butterfield and Dunning in Chicago, brightened when he saw the photo of your gilt and black patinated bronze candlesticks.

"Those are really nice," he said, and identified them as "typical French (bronzes) from 1860 to 1890." They are salable, he added, and might bring $1,500 to $2,000 at auction.

Send photos of objects with identifying marks visible (sorry, we can't return them), your daytime phone number and a brief history to Home & Garden, Chicago Tribune, 435 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, Attn: Antiques Sleuth.

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