Q: I have a whale's tooth with a scrimshawed engraving of a sailing ship and the date 1821. How can I find out what it might be worth? Our library has many books on collectibles but nothing at all on scrimshaw. Where can I get such a book?
A: You may write to Nina Hellman, a dealer in scrimshaw and nautical antiques, at Marine Antiques & Americana, 48 Centre St., Nantucket, Mass. 02554. Enclose a sharp photo of the tooth and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply.
An outstanding book on scrimshaw is "A Mariner's Fancy -- The Whaleman's Art of Scrimshaw" by Nina Hellman and Norman Brouwer, available for $25.50 postpaid from Nina Hellman.
Q: Where can I find information on old milk bottles and their value? I have one marked "one quart liquid -- O.A. Steffan, 105 Hamilton St., MTC." How can I contact collectors?
A: Write the National Association of Milk Bottle Collectors, 4 Ox Bow Road, Westport, Conn. 06880. The association offers an annual membership and a monthly Milk Route newsletter for $18, or $2 for a current or back issue that lists collectors, ads, shows and sources; or you can send a self-addressed stamped envelope for information, or phone (203) 227-5244.
Q: I have various sets of glass dishes, glasses, goblets, trays, plates, sugar and creamer set and serving pieces decorated with flower and leaf patterns, which my mother acquired in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Where can I sell such Depression glass pieces, and how can I find out their value? Are there any price guides on the subject, or collectors' clubs, or buyers I can contact?
A: The most popular book on Depression glass, which pictures such pieces in color along with their descriptions and current values, is the 11th edition of the Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene Florence, available in hardcover for $21.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, Ill. 60659.
Also write the 20-30-40 Society, P.O. Box 856, La Grange, Ill. 60525 enclosing $12 for an annual membership and Society Page monthly newsletter, and $10 for the club's fabulous cookbook.
Send your questions to Anita Gold, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, Ill. 60659. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Due to the high volume of mail, not all letters can be answered, but priority will be given to those that include a copy of the column and the name of the paper it ran in.