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In England, don't offer to give someone a lift

People who live in England and those who live in the United States often have different names for the same thing.

Most Americans know that in England an elevator is called a lift. How many know that a davenport in England is not a sofa but a desk?

If you use the Internet to bid on an overseas auction or you do research with books written in Europe, you must know some of the differences. Silver plate in England is solid sterling silver and not white metal or copper covered with a thin layer of silver.

A four-post bed is sometimes called a tester in England since it always has a top, or a tester, attached to the four posts. Most people in the United States think that a tester is not a bed but the cloth or netting draped on the posts. An English night table always held a chamber pot. A canterbury is a music or magazine holder.

One confusing term is "loo table." Loo is a card game that was popular in England in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was played on a round or oval table.

The table was usually made so the top could be flipped to be parallel with the wall, which meant it could be stored against a wall and would take up little space. The top was frequently decorated because it was so often kept in the tilted position.

In the United States, this form is called a center table or flip-top table. The name "loo table" might have misled some people because "loo" in England is also the name for a lavatory.

Boston terrier doorstop

Question: I have an old cast-iron doorstop that is shaped like a Boston terrier. It is 9 inches tall. The black-and-white dog is standing on four legs, with his head looking over his right leg.

Can you tell me when it was made and what it is worth?

Answer: Original Boston terrier doorstops were made from the 1920s through the late '40s. Hubley Manufacturing Co. of Lancaster, Pa., and National Foundry of Whitman, Mass., were among the manufacturers.

Most doorstop designs were not patented. Different companies felt free to copy each other. Modern reproductions of your doorstop are still being made.

If your doorstop is original, it is worth from $100 to $200 depending on the condition. A Boston terrier looking to the left is a rare variation and is worth more.

Thumbelina dolls

Question: I recently discovered my old Thumbelina doll in my parents' attic. I remember receiving it the first year it was made. I am hoping that you can tell me what year it was made and what it is worth today.

Answer: Thumbelina was introduced by Ideal in 1961. She came in a 16- or 20-inch size. She has a vinyl head and limbs, and her cloth body has a mechanism inside. If you wind the knob on her back, she wriggles like a real baby.

She was very popular so Ideal made several variations and sizes during the next three decades. If your doll is in excellent condition, she would sell for about $150.

The going rate

Clarabelle Cow book, story of Clarabelle Cow with adventures of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, Whitman Publishing, 1938, 94 pages, 5 by 5{, $50.

Hand-woven wool blanket, 2 panels of orange-and-blue checkerboard, 1850, 85 by 81 inches, $110.

Postcards, days of the week, depicting mama bear and baby bear doing weekly chores (washing, ironing, sewing, baking, sweeping), visiting and church on Sundays, circa 1907 by Wm. S. Heal, New York, $125.

Handwerck doll, No. 99, bisque socket head, sleep eyes, open mouth, four teeth, circa 1900, 22 inches, $910.

Baker's table, double possum belly, sheet metal drawers, cutting boards, pine, 1880s, $575.

Victorian silver wine cooler, campana shape, square fluted base, floral stem, acanthus below fluted decoration, reed handles, London, 1849, 12\ inches, $610.

Tiffany bowl, enameled silver, squares and stylized flowers interior, circa 1925, 9 inches, $690.

Alice in Wonderland movie cel, Alice swings a paintbrush brimming with red paint, 1951, 10 by 12 inches, $1,610.

Lladro figurine, Adoring Mother, No. 2235, 13\ inches, $400.

Send questions to Antiques, Ralph and Terry Kovel, c/o the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

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