Q: Do you believe the run on silver will eventually hurt the antiques market? A: It has already hurt the market. Too many people fail to think about the treasures they are selling that rightfully belong to the coming generations. Some of the world's finest silver pieces have already been melted down. It's a shame! Q: Where did the book desk get its name? A: Because the top of the desk was so slanted that it could not be used for writing, it was used for reading in a standing position. It was invented in the early 15th century. Q: I have a small vase with birds in raised form and the name of Verlys on it. Explain? A: Verlys was a product of the Heisey Glass Co. in Newark, Ohio. It was copied from Verlys in France, and is one of America's most beautiful glasses, circas 1845 to 1955. Q: What is meant by the term champleve? A: It was enameling on cut or engraved metal like cloisonne from China. Q: How can we go about buying antique and collectibles on a small budget? A: First read at least one price guide on antiques. Then go to house sales, flea markets and antique shows. Chances are you will find something of interest. Then buy collectibles. They will rise in value eventually. Q: Where did the Blue Willow pattern originate? A: This famous pattern originated in the Canton and Nanking pottery and porcelain factories in the early 17th century. Other countries copied the Chinese pattern, changing the picture somewhat. The original is in blue and white. Q: What is a spool salt? A: It was a salt dip made by the sandwich Glass Co. in the 1830s. It was shaped to resemble a flattened hourglass. Q: Can you give me some information on an earthen vessel from Japan marked Haas Bros.? A: It was an earthen shipping carton for fine wares and was patented in Japan in 1891. The carton is now collectible. Q: Why is some furniture referred to as country furniture? A: Many pieces of furniture were made on the farm using any available wood. Sometimes as many as five woods would be used in a single piece. It is considered primitive now and fetching high prices. Q: What can you tell me about a bowl with the words Nippon hand painted in a circle and made in Japan? A: It would have been made about the time of 1885 to 1920 and was hand painted in the factory in Japan before it went on its way. It is good. Q: We have some beautifully carved chairs made in Jamestown. That is the only marking. Can you identify? A: They would have been made in the Jamestown, N.Y. area, possibly in the 1865 to 1895 period. They are high priced. Q: We have a portable player piano with some new rolls. It uses the same rolls as other pianos. Can you help? A: It is one of those treasures one finds once in a lifetime. The piano was made in the early 1900s and, if in good playing condition, has a value of upwards from $500. Q: What does the term Standish mean? A: It refers to an inkstand formed from a rectangular plate on four feet with a carved front and a ledge with drawers underneath for quills and pens. It's rare and expensive. Q: Please epxlain the single twist stem in glassware. A: It was a type of stem found in drinking glasses in the last part of the 18th century. The stem contained colored glass, air or enamel in a twisted form for extra decoration. The secret is apparently lost. Q: What is meant by the marker's mark on plated silver? A: It was a marker's mark rather than a marker's. And it was the mark required on every piece of gold plate sold from a particular goldsmith in London in the 13th century. Q: Am I passing up a good thing that might be valuable if I don't buy Maxfield Parrish prints at $4? A: If you can get Maxfield Parrish prints for that amount, you are passing up the chance to retire in the South on the proceeds when you sell the prints later on. They are hot items. Q. We've found many pieces of ware made from carved chalk. Are they valuable, and when were they made? A. If these are figurines of fowl or animals, they are from Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana at the time the states were first settled. They got there from Pennsylvania and are quite expensive. Q. How was wallpaper made before we had printing on a large scale? A. The paper was made by stenciling. Waterproof paper was cut in the desired designs, and different paints and inks were used to paint in the designs. Most surviving designs are from the second half of the 19th century. Q. We have a platter with an all-over blue pattern of a bird or turkey with a long neck. It's called the Phoenix bird in flight. Can you identify? A. This is known as the Phoenix or turkey pattern. It's quite collectible and was made in Japan in the period from 1890 to 1915. Q. We have just received Tigerware from an estate in England. Can you identify? A. It is mottled, brown, glazed ware made in Germany in the 17th century and exported to England. The tiger-striped pottery is hard to copy and expensive now. Q. My mother left me a parure. It looks like a set of jewelry to me. Explain? A. It's a full set of matching jewelry, usually carved, and expensive now. If yours is like this, you have a choice set.