Dear Gary

I have some French boules brought home from France by my Great Grandad in the 1st World War, have they any worth?

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your email.

Boules were used for games that involved rolling or throwing, and yours were probably used for the French game of Petanque. The goal was to toss or roll hollow steel balls as close as possible to the jack. The first Petanque tournament with the new rules was organised in 1910, so it was very possible your Great Grandad could have played with them in France.

Although financially they are not worth a great deal of money, they are a good memory of your grandfather. If you have his WW1 medals, photographs, war memorabilia as well as this quirky item, they are of historical interest and can increase the value immensely.

Hello Gary

I am contacting you following your column in the Yorkshire Reporter and was wondering if you could tell me if the 2 following items are of any value.

I have a silver pocket watch from H Samuel with a silver chain and a little man chain fob attached, these belonged to my dad who was given the watch when I was a child. I have attached the photos of the watch for you to hopefully be able to advise.

I also have a green paperweight for which I have also attached, this was also my dads who passed it onto myself when I bought a home.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Kind Regards

I am presuming that your pocket watch and chain are silver which can be checked by looking for the hallmark. The watch appears to have lost its second hand and we do not know if it is working. You can sometimes tell by shaking the pocket watch, holding it to your ear and listening for the movement. If it is not working it would probably only be worth scrap value. However the chain has an article value and would be worth more than scrap value. I cannot tell what the little figure guard is made of. If it is silver or gold, it would be worth far more than the pocket watch.

Repaired and in working order, I would expect a watch and chain like this would sell between £180 – 220 plus the value of the guard.

Your green glass paperweight is known as a Castleford dump.  They were produced in Castleford in various sizes and were most popular in the Victorian era. Many of the larger dumps were used by people as doorstops.

In the 19th century a number of glass-works were built in Castleford, the earliest one was founded in 1829 at Whitwood Mere. Castleford became the largest glass manufacturing town in Britain, and by the 1850’s, 20 million glass jars and bottles were produced every year.

Due to the quantity of glass dumps produced and their durability, there are still many around. Some of the better ones have intricate flower arrangements inside and can fetch up to few hundred pounds. Your example would probably retail between £40 – 80. You have a true piece of local history, which is its real value.

Hi Gary,

I recently found the attached oil painting that measures around 1ft by 1 1/2 ft in size, tried to research but could not find anything on the internet so would be grateful in knowing if it is of any value, was found in a skip by the way.

Kind regards

Gary Chambers

Dear Gary,

After much research, I have found the exact same painting, sold as one of a pair in 2014 through an auction room in Louth, Lincolnshire. The pair sold for £160.

Dear Gary

I am enclosing a photo of an old table that belonged to my Great Aunt.  She passed away over 35 years ago, and apparently the table had been in the family for many years prior to that.

When my parents passed it on to me, I remember my father saying that it may be of some value.

I can see no markings, dates or writing anywhere underneath the table.

The time has come for us to part company, and I wonder if you could help me in advising whether or not it is of any monetary value.

I saw your advertisement in the Yorkshire Reporter and did e-mail them in March.  However, I understand that you must be inundated with enquiries.

Thank you, Janice Gaunt

Dear Janice,

Thank you for your email. Apologies for your long wait, you are quite right this is a very popular column so it takes me a while to answer everyone.

Your tilt top tripod table appears to be made of mahogany, and this type of table was very popular in the 18th & 19th centuries. It looks like it has split down the middle which is quite common in those tables, and is caused mainly from the heat from central heating. It dries out the atmosphere and caused splits in the wood. This can be solved by keeping water or vases of flowers in the room.

Unfortunately these tables are just not popular at the moment and in today’s market may sell for £40 – 60.

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