Q. Am I passing up a good thing which 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: 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 which rightfully belong to the coming generations. Some of the world's finest silver pieces have already been melted down. It is 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: 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: 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: Please explain 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. 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.