Question: My photos show an heirloom set of cut glass candlesticks, 10 inches high and perfect except for slight wear on the underside of each base. "Clark" is etched in script on one piece but the other is unmarked. I would appreciate anything you can tell me about them. - L.E., Galloway Township
Answer: The mark on your candlestick indicates the set was made by T.B. Clark & Co., established at Honesdale, Pa. in 1884 and closed in 1927. The etched cursive "Clark" mark appears on many items made at the firm's glass cutting shop. It is not unusual to find a maker's mark on only one item that is part of a cut glass candlestick, beverage, desk, boudoir or condiment set.
Your set's cut decoration features a central pinwheel and fan arrangement with raised center hob star on a kite-shape field framed by crossed, curved miter cuts. It is enhanced with collar thumb-prints and fine notching as well as a radial motif under each base. The design is indicative of heavy, well cut items made by Clark during the American cut glass transition from brilliant to flower patterns circa 1899 to 1915.
Recently, T.B. Clark signed cut glass pieces have brought from $65 for a relish dish to $1,200 for an elaborate vase. Although asking prices for a set such as yours are as high as $800, most sell for $160 to $225.
Question: I have a carved wooden plaque, 7 inches in diameter and bought at a flea market, that shows a flying angel with two babies in her arms. The seller said it is Danish Victorian art representing the Angel of Death. Can you provide more information? - H.L., Egg Harbor Township
Answer: You have described what appears to be a late-Victorian relief reproduction of Danish sculptor Albert Thorwaldsen's original marble plaque entitled, "Night with Her Children Sleep and Death." The art is part of an 1815 night-and-day set featuring a companion sculpture, "Aurora With the Genius of Light."
Born in Copenhagen, Thorwaldsen (1770-1844) spent most of his life in Italy where he established a large workshop in Rome. His neo-classical style, which attracted admirers and patrons throughout Europe, is evident in his plaque featuring Nyx, winged Goddess of the Night, carrying her children Hypnos, God of Sleep and Thanatos, God of Death, across the night sky.
The motif became popular following the 1861 death of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Consort Albert, when she ordered a fine Italian shell cameo pin featuring Thor-waldsen's "Night" art that was copied by jewelers for mourning commoners. Commence-ment of the American Civil War the same year spurred creation of many more copies that included carved shell, etched jet and vulcanite pins worn by widows of American soldiers.
A Victorian era wood plaque featuring Thorwaldsen's "Night" theme would attract folks who are interested in his art as well as those who collect items associated with mythology and mourning mementos. Such a piece is valued at $35 to $60 based on condition.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist whose consulting firm, Treasures Unlimited, is based in southern New Jersey. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email: email@example.com
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