Appraising antiques is not an exact science

I am attaching three pictures of a statue that was handed down to me by my mother. This statue was created by an Italian named Folchi and was in my family’s possession for more than 50 years. I live in Ohio and would appreciate any ideas to estimate its value and where I may market this for sale. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you. — L.B.

This is a good example of why I cannot answer some inquiries I receive. I have no idea what size this marble statue is. Size can make a large difference in values.

Here is what I can tell L.B. I could find two artists named Folchi. Neither of them has any record of being a sculptor. The statue appears to be marble, though from a photograph I cannot be certain.

I assume the statue is marble and guess that it is around 16- to 18-inches high. I will also assume that it is in perfect condition.

As it is easy to see, any value conclusion I would reach is tenuous at best and could be off by 50 percent or more. This is a case where the owner should pay an appraiser who can actually see the statue, measure it, determine the material and see if there are any cracks or chips.

Actually examining the statue might enable an appraiser to determine the age. It could be only 50 years old or it could be Victorian, though it is more likely to be 20th century.

Appraising is not an exact science. It is an opinion based on research and experience. The appraiser needs as much information as possible in order to be as accurate as possible. I am referring L.B. to an Ohio appraiser so she will get a fair price for her statue when she sells it.

I have attached pictures of a three-piece set of porcelain that my husband bought from a German couple about 40 years ago. I have never been able to find anything out about them. I would appreciate it if you could tell me the value and any information on how old they are and origin. — E.D.

You have part of a dinner service including the gravy boat, covered sugar bowl, an oval and a covered vegetable bowl. Originally, the set would have included all the usual pieces of a dinner service, plates, cups, saucers and so forth.

Sets get divided up for many reasons. Family members divide the set among themselves so each will have part of the family dinner service or sets are frequently split up because the parts are often worth more than the whole.

The mark on the bottom is “Vienna.” I think this may be the pattern name. If the set was made in Vienna, Austria, the china would be marked Wien instead of the English name.

As individual pieces, the values are $25-$35 for the sugar bowl. The gravy boat does not have an under plate so it has a value of $35 to $40. The covered vegetable bowl is the best piece with a value of $65 to $80.

These are replacement values. Expect half if you want to sell them. If you want to know more about your china, I suggest you contact Replacements in North Carolina. They are on the web at or call them toll free at (800) 737-5223.

Julie McClure, who has 30 years of experience in the appraisal business, is a member of the Appraisers Association of America. Send queries and photographs via e-mail to Please include the measurements of a piece and a phone number.