'Stradivarius' is a fake


Q: We are interested in knowing the value of this violin. It is in very good condition and has a label inside reading "Antonius Stradivarius, Cremonensis, Faciebat Anno 1727."

A: According to the experts, all genuine Stradivarius violins have been accounted for. The truth is that almost all violins bearing these labels are factory-made fakes. At the best, they might be worth $150 for those of fine musical quality. Have your violin examined by a professional musician.

Q: What does this mark on a Minton jardiniere mean? Can you tell me when it was made and its value?

A: Minton china was made in Stoke, England. "Solar" indicates that uranium was used in the glazing process. Your jardiniere was made in the early 1900s and would probably sell for about $100 to $200 depending on size.

Q: My Dresden figurine of a dancing girl has a lacy skirt and is marked with an "N" under a crown. Can you tell me when this was made and its value?

A: Like most things that people refer to as "Dresden," this is not what it appears to be. Not only wasn't it made in Dresden, it isn't a very valuable collectible. It was made by a porcelain factory in Sandizell, Germany, during the mid-20th century. It would sell in a retail shop for about $50.

Send your questions about antiques with pic- ture(s), a detailed description, a stamped, self-addressed envelope and $1 per item to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. All questions will be answered; published pictures cannot be returned. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.

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