Q. We have a rather large collection of African art, mostly wood carvings brought from Africa shortly after World War II. Where can we find information on such pieces and their value?

- Wanda Mallette,Gulfport, Miss.

Q. I'm enclosing photos of a solid brass, hand-forged collar-like necklace etched and embossed with an African design at the front. It was given to me by my mother whose grandmother had given it to her. How can I find out more about it and what it might be worth?

- Carolyn Feng,


A. Write Kip McKesson (who deals in old authentic African carved figures, masks, jewelry, and ritualistic items) c/o Global Imports Gallery, P.O. Box 4943, East Lansing, MI 48826; enclose clear photos of the pieces and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply.

Or, you can study and price such African artifacts in McKesson's booth at the prestigious Sixth Annual Sacred Heart School's Antiques Show, Oct. 22-25, at 6250 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago.

The show (chaired by Sara Lee Corp.'s CEO and Chairman of the Board John Bryan and his wife Neville) features a magnificent selection of 18th- and 19th- century furniture, jewelry, rugs, tapestries, textiles, paintings, prints, maps, posters, silver, porcelains, clocks, antiquities, and stunning decorative accessories of the greatest quality, which has given the show a reputation of being one of the best in the country attracting collectors from all over.

Phone 773-262-4446 for show details or travel directions.

Q. I've been collecting tobacco tins for approximately 20 years, and have quite a collection. I'm thinking of selling them. Where can I get a price guide on tobacco tins listing their values?

- Steve Muckenthaler,

Lakewood, Calif.

A. You'll find over 1000 different examples of such tins pictured in color, along with their descriptions and values, in "Tobacco Tins, A Collector's Guide - With Prices" by Douglas Congdon-Martin (Schiffer; 610-593-1777). It available for $33.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

Q. I've inherited numerous collector plates and other items ranging from figurines to bells to ornaments put out in limited editions by various firms. How can I find out more about such pieces and what they are currently worth?

- Maxine Reynolds,


A. Limited editions of every type and description (including bells, cottages, figurines, ornaments, plates, prints, steins and dolls and plush) can be found listed with their names, manufacturers, artists, dates when issued, prices when issued, and their up-to-date current values, in the new "1999 Collector's Price Guide to Limited Edition Collectibles," edited by Mary L. Sieber (Krause; 715-445-2214). It is available for $21.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

Q. My mother, who passed away in 1978 at age 92, had a huge button collection consisting of many varied and unusual buttons. One button came from a dress that belonged to Ida McKinley, President William McKinley's wife. We lived in Canton, Ohio, where the McKinleys lived and are buried. How can I learn more about buttons and their value, and who buys, sells and deals in them?

- Betty Jones, Davidson, N.C.

A. An intriguing book with gorgeous color photos, which pictures, prices and describes over 10,000 buttons, is "About Buttons, A Collector's Guide - 150 AD to the Present - With Values," by Peggy Ann Osborne (Schiffer; 610-593-1777). It is available for $83.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

Other button books published by Schiffer include:

- "Button Button: Identification and Price Guide," by Peggy Ann Osborne, which covers buttons of every type, price range and age; $20.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises;

- "Fun Buttons - With Price Guide," by Peggy Ann Osborne,which covers three centuries of buttons with animals, fairies, fruit, vehicles, sports, and other delightful and amusing designs, and which lists button clubs and organizations; $33.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises;

- "The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons - With Value Guide," by Sally C. Luscomb, which pictures thousands of buttons in color with updated prices from all periods, materials, and manufacturers; $28.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises.

Button collecting is fun for the whole family, and button sources, dealers, clubs, collectors, and contacts can be found listed in the fourth edition of "Maloney's Antiques & Collectibles Resource Directory," by David J. Maloney, Jr. (ATB; 319-588-2073). It is available for $33.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises.

Q. We have Little Red Riding Hood pieces including a cookie jar, sugar and creamer, and salt and pepper shakers - all of which are in excellent condition. How can I find out what such pieces are worth? Also, who can tell me the value of a crystal radio set complete with ear phones, that's marked Philmare Mfg. Co.?

- George Contray, Baden, Pa.

A. Such Little Red Riding Hood ceramic pieces can be found pictured in color, along with their listed prices, in the revised edition of "Collecting Hull Pottery's Little Red Riding Hood," by Mark and Ellen Supnick (Collector Books; 502-898-6211). It is available for $13.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.

To check out or sell old or odd radios and/or related radio or radio station memorabilia or material, write Barry Janov, 2454 Dempster St., Suite 416, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Enclose a clear photo or complete description of the radio or radio related items, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply, free evaluation, or cash offer.