Question: I am attaching a picture showing the bottom of a handled Carnival glass candy dish received by my late mother at a bridal shower shortly before her 1963 wedding. Although she believed it was a new piece, I saw the same dish offered online as a "Signed Antique Imperial Nucut Nappy" for $120. Mother's dish is marked with an "I" over a "G" and information about its age, maker and value are appreciated. - C.S., Absecon
Answer: The mark you have described is one used by the Imperial Glass Co. of Bellaire, Ohio. Organized in 1901, Imperial issued its first products in 1904 and began successfully mass-marketing iridescent Carnival glass in 1909. Two decades later, the firm's colorful Carnival pieces continued to enjoy widespread popularity in America as well as Europe.
Another successful Im-perial line was its affordable "Nucut" molded pattern glass pieces which imitated the expensive cut glassware found in upper-class homes. Made from 1914 to 1932, Nucut items originally were produced only in crystal clear glass although some were offer-ed in iridescent colors during later years.
Your dish's "I" superimposed over a "G" mark, used by Imperial from 1951 to 1977, is found after 1961 on re-issues of early iridescent glass made by the company. The pressed hobstar and curved miters motif on your bonbon dish - also known as a nappy - as well as its mark and color suggest it is a 1960s re-issue.
Folks who collect Car-nival glass, Imperial Glass Co. items and bonbon dishes presently pay as much as $75 for iridescent nappies made by Imperial before the early 1930s. A re-issued example such as yours can bring $25 to $40 when mint, based on color. Similar nappies with scratches or chips, a damaged handle or discoloration usually sell for less than $10.
Question: My photo shows a 24-inch high figural lamp I paid $325 for at a local antiques show in 2010. The seller assured me it is a genuine Art Deco "Bakelite" item. However, an antiques dealer who recently visited my home to buy furniture told me he thinks it is a fake. Can you help? - V.L., Marmora
Answer: I believe the dealer's recent assessment is correct. The lamp that appears in your attachment was sold by reproductions manufacturers through their wholesale catalogs during the 1990s. Honestly represented as Art Deco-style items made of synthetic materials, such repros feature nude women in a variety of copied 1920's poses, each holding a light covered by a round, frosted glass shade.
Because all originals were cast in pot metal - never in Bakelite - hollow imitations such as yours are recognized by the black, matte-finish plastic material used to manufacture them, as well as their lighter weight.
While many authentic Deco-era metal lamps featuring a nude with global glass shade currently sell for $200 to $450 based on size, condition and original shade, your plastic copy is valued at $15 to $25.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email:
Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.