Q: Around 45 years ago, when my son was 10, he was given an autographed picture of Joe DiMaggio. It is 5-by-7 inches and is signed at the bottom. Joe is wearing a New York Yankees cap and uniform. What is it worth?
A: Pricing of autographs depends on the category: a signature by itself or in an autograph album; a signed letter or document; a photograph, engraving, painting or woodcut that has a signature; or -- most valuable -- a letter written and signed by a celebrity.
Your signed photo of Joe DiMaggio would probably be worth about $70 to $80.
Q: I have two Bristol glass vases that have been in my family since before 1900. They are opaque white and decorated with enameled flowers. Each is 12 inches high and has a scalloped rim.
What can you tell me about them?
A: Bristol glass was first made in the 17th century in Bristol, England. It eventually became the accepted term for glass that was copied by European and American companies during the Victorian period. The glass was semi-opaque and decorated with enamel. Decanters, scent bottles and vases were some of the most widely produced objects.
Your vases were made in the late 1800s. Each would probably be worth about $125 to $145 in excellent condition.
Q: I have a pint flask with Washington on one side and Jackson on the other side. It is olive-amber in color and has a pontil mark on the bottom. The condition is perfect. Could you tell me what its value is?
A: In the 19th century, flasks were blown in molds. Pontil scars were the result of a process used after a piece was blown. A pontil rod was attached to the glass to allow the glassblower to continue the forming of the hot flask. A rough pontil is an indication that the piece was made before 1845.
An iron pontil dates a flask from about 1845 to 1860. The value of your flask would probably be about $130.
Q: My grandfather purchased a phonograph made by Victor Talking Machine Co., Camden, N.J., years ago. It is the "Granada" model.
It has four doors in front, the speaker is behind the two middle doors, those at either end are for storage. A lid lifts up to reveal the turntable.
Could you tell me what it is worth?
A: Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. By 1900 several companies were manufacturing them. Early models had morning-glory horns. Disk records replaced cylinder players around 1910. Hand-cranked models give way to the electric phonographs in 1925. Your floor-model Victor Talking Machine
would probably be worth about $300.