Q: Explain what is meant by the term Republican Calendar. A: It was a directory calendar introduced in 1805 that eliminated all pagan and or religious holidays from the year. And all the names of the months were left out, with only the number of the month listed. Q: We bought a silver mesh bag that says Sterling on the frame. Are these becoming expensive? A: According to all the price guides, these mesh purses and beaded bags are rising rapidly in value. Example, a Sterling bag, four by five inches, is $150 in most price guides. Q: We have a fancy garden statue that is called lead ware. Can you explain? A: In the very early 1800s, lead was used with tin to form a kind of pewter from which garden ornaments were made. The practice lasted 50 years. It proved to be expensive. Many of these ornaments were melted down during the Civil War to make bullets for the Confedercy. Q: If melodeons are widely sought collectibles, what about a Melophine instrument? A: The melophine is not as important as the melodeon because it was made later. It was thought at the time to be an improvement. Q: We have some hand-operated gas pumps from the 1900s. Do you think there would be a market for them? A: There would probably be a market for them, but it might be a little difficult to sell them. They are being used, along with barber poles, etc. in recreation and family rooms now. I don't know about the value. Q: What is a runford case? A: It was a case of leather and tin made to look like a closed and wellbound book for holding bottles of spirits. It was possibly the first of the disguised drinking vessels. The owner could slip into the library, grab a drink and rejoin his guests without anyone's being the wiser. They are expensive. Q: I have a violin called Cremonae, Anno 1726, made in Germany. Can you identify? A: Like the Stradivarius violins of the turn of the century, Sears and Wards had hundreds of thousands of them made for sale. The two words "made in" preceding Germany would indicate it was made after 1891. Q: When was the graal, a wooden serving bowl, used? A: It was a large bowl used in early America, and was taken on the trek west by settlers in the 19th century. Q: We bought a very old clock in England with the name of Pinchbeck traced on the works. Identify? A: Christopher Pinchbeck (a father-and-son team) started making clocks in 1695 and stopped in 1763. It would be a wonderful find.