Emerald Ash Borer:
Q: At a recent estate sale, I purchased an early TV set, a CBS Columbia, Model RX 90 console with a 15-inch screen. I paid $50, and bought it because I had never seen a CBS set before. Do you think I got a good deal? — Rob, Chicago
A: According to “Antique Trader Radio and Television Price Guide,” edited by Kyle Husfloen and published by Krause Books, you made an excellent buy. Your set was manufactured in 1954 and was of the first color TVs marketed. It is considered rare, and Husfloen values the set at $5,000.
Q: I have three Rover Boys novels: “Shipwrecked,” “The Struggle for the Stanhope Fortune” and “The Search for the Missing Bonds.” Are they valuable? — Henry, Conway, Arkansas
A: It depends on the edition and condition. Prices generally range from about $3 to $45 and above. A good reference and price guide is All About Collecting Boys’ Series Books by John Axe and published by Hobby House Press. This book may be a little difficult to find, but it is one of the better references for this field of collecting.
Q: I have a Victorian-era Majestic wood stove. Could you tell me how much it is worth? — Raymond, Albuquerque, New Mexico
A: Since 1973, Richard Richardson and his daughter, Sara, aka The Stove Princess, have been involved with vintage stoves and ranges. Their business, located in Goshen, Massachusetts, buys, sells, restores and appraises vintage stoves and ranges, and might be able to help you establish a value for your Majestic. Contact for the Good Time Stove Company is 413-268-3677, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their excellent Website at antiquestoves.net.
Q: I have an “Annie Mansion” in its original box. It was made by Knickerbocker Toys in 1982, and I assume the set I have is complete. What is the value of it? — Pat, Sun City, Arizona
A: I found your several sets at Amazon.com priced in the $300 to $500 range. Several weeks ago, I saw a set in its original box at an antiques mall in Phoenix. It was $90. A week later, it was gone.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Sunlight Can Zap Leather Furniture
Q: My sister-in-law said that my new leather sofa is going to be ruined because it’s in a room that’s too sunny. I’ve never heard of such a thing. What do you say? — Chad B., Denver
A: She’s right — sunlight can damage leather. The sun’s ultraviolet rays have a bleaching effect on leather — drying it out and causing the color to fade and cracks to appear in the surface. That goes for wood furniture, too. Even faux leather, cloth and other furniture materials are at risk from excessive sunlight.
At the same time, there’s nothing better than lounging on the sofa on a warm day with the sun streaming in. Having a house with a lot of natural sunlight in the main living areas also is nice, but creates a problem for keeping furniture looking good.
It’s not hopeless, though, even if your sister-in-law’s advice seemed a bit alarmist. There are a number of things you can do to protect your sofa from sunlight.
First, if you bought your sofa at a large furniture store you may have been offered UV protection as an extra feature. Or, the UV protection could have been added to the leather by the manufacturer. If you’re not sure, check your purchase receipt, or contact the store or the manufacturer to find out.
If it wasn’t included by the store or manufacturer, you can treat the leather with a conditioner that includes UV protection. Again, check first with the manufacturer (you can almost always find information on its website) to see if any leather conditioners should be avoided for your specific model sofa.
Even with a UV protectant on the leather, you still need to limit the sunlight that actually reaches the surface. It’s fine to let the sun stream in while you’re using the room that the sofa is in. You can place a throw or afghan over the parts of the sofa that are hit directly by sunlight. But when you’re not using the room, close the curtains on windows through which the sun is streaming directly. This not only keeps out light, it helps maintain the temperature of the room — another factor that affects the look and lifespan of your furniture.
TIP: Spilled water on your leather sofa? Blot it up immediately and let the area dry away from direct sunlight.
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© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.