Antiques

Federal-Era Road Signs! Sheraton Blanket Chests!

Learn about these and other treasures in the latest installment of our appraisal series.

BY VIRGINIA M. WRIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BENJAMIN WILLIAMSON
antique Craigie's Mill road sign

This sign was found patching the roof of an old Cape in Hebron. Craigie’s Mills was the original name for the town of Oxford. Any idea how old the sign is? — Annie Lord, Pueblo, Colorado

Craigie’s Mills is the namesake of Andrew Craigie, the Continental Army’s first apothecary general and a land speculator with holdings in the Oxford Hills. Font style and surface weathering suggest your terrific directional sign was made between the 1790s, when Craigie began his development interests, and 1829, when Oxford was incorporated, says John Bottero, vice president of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries. Based on the mileage, it was likely hung around Mechanic Falls.

Bottero’s appraisal: $2,000–$3,000

sheraton blanket chest

I bought this pine chest at a garage sale more than 30 years ago and use it to store linens. We’ve always been curious about where it might have been made and when. — Jon Beekman, Fayette, Maine

This is a six-board blanket chest or, as it was sometimes called, a dowager chest. It has a ditty box for storing small items and turned feet that are typical of the Sheraton period. “It’s probably 1820-–1830 — certainly no later than 1840,” says Bruce Gamage, of Rockland’s Gamage Antiques. “It’s amazing those cotter-pin hinges, or snipe hinges, are still there because they often break.” Original color would give more value, but the chest appears to have been scrubbed.

Gamage’s appraisal: $375

1927 map of Mount Desert Island

I purchased this Deer Isle linoleum print on eBay 18 years ago. The date is 1927, and there is no bridge to the mainland — the car is being ferried across. Do you know the artist and how many prints were made? — Joyce Kramer, Deer Isle, Maine

Linocutting is generally a low-quantity printing process, but without more information, we can’t say who made this map. It was likely intended as art, not a functional representation, with “the Ha’bor,” the only developed area depicted, as the focal point, Bottero says. The image of a person carrying a touring car across Eggemoggin Reach is consistent with the date (the Deer Isle bridge wasn’t completed until March 1939).

Bottero’s appraisal: $100–$200

Eastport watercolor by Dougal Anderson

My mother purchased this watercolor at auction in Eastport many years ago. It’s not signed, but she was told it was likely a Dougal Anderson. What do you think? — Meredith Jones, Belfast, Maine

Your watercolor, with its interesting perspective of dock and harbor, was likely painted around 1900, when Eastport artist Dougal Anderson was painting waterscapes and village life in the Passamaquoddy region. Anderson received his training at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, however, and this painting appears to be the work of an unschooled hand, Gamage says. That doesn’t mean it’s not an Anderson, but without a signature or other evidence, it’s impossible to know for certain.

Gamage’s appraisal: $125

SUBMIT YOUR ITEM! Have a Maine-y curiosity you’d like to know more about? Send a photo and description to [email protected] and we may feature it in an upcoming column.

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