Dear Harry: ns inherited an oak table v two leaves and five chairs that my aunt purchased in Chicago. At the time, the dealer told her the table and chairs date from the 1920s. One old label on the bottom the the table and also a chair reads: "Mersman Bros. Brand, The Table Makers, Celina OH." What information can you provide about the company and potential value of my table?

J.M., e-mail question


Dear J.M.: In 1876 J.B. Mersman started Mersman Tables, originally located in Ottoville, Ohio. Previously, Mersman activate sawmills. As soon as the wood supply in Ohio grew scarce, Mersman switched to manufacturing headboards, footboards and also slats because that beds.

You are watching: What do the numbers on mersman furniture mean

Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Mersman was approached by representatives of Celina, Ohio, and also offered incentives to build a plant in that city. Within 6 months, a new plant was constructed employing more than 25 people. The company"s product inventory expanded to encompass library and also dining room tables.


Mersman marketed his agency to his two earliest sons, Edward H. And Walter I., and also Henry Lenartz, a local banker. The consist of of Albert Mersman, J.B."s youngest son, as soon as he became of period was part of the deal. The brand-new company was known as "Lenartz and also Mersman Brothers."

In 1906 the Mersman brothers, in addition to Edmund Brandts, bought the end Henry Lenartz. The company became "Mersman Brothers, Brandts Company." when the firm was integrated in august 1906, it employed close to 125 workers and 10 traveling salesmen. The firm now focused virtually exclusively ~ above the manufacture of medium- and high-quality dining tables.

In October 1927, Walter Mersman, currently president the the company, announced yet one more name change, this time come "Mersman brother Corporation." throughout the depression that the 1930s, the firm expanded that product line to include bedroom suites and radio cabinets. During people War II, Mersman Brothers make wooden workdesks for the Treasury Department, benches and also mess tables for the Navy, and also plywood because that the lend Lease program. When the battle ended, Mersman brothers Corp. Change to the production of living room tables.

Congoleum Industries obtained Mersman brothers Corp. In 1963. In 1977, Congoleum marketed the firm to Somers Corp., a group of private investors. By this time, the company"s surname had adjusted to the Mersman Tables Co. In the 1980s Mersman manufactured occasional tables, wall surface units and curio cabinets. Through this time, several of its assets were made in ~ a southern plant in Eupora, Miss. Mersman Tables Co. Ceased operations in 1995.


A consistent change in a company"s name is really helpful in dating a company"s products. I want you to take one more look at her label. I suspect it really claims "Mersman Bros. Brandts " If ns am correct, this method your table to be made in between 1906 and 1927.

Mersman Bros. Brandts had a full-page advertising in the Furniture Dealers referral Book, 1927, compiled through the American residences Bureau. The advertisement pictures a number of Colonial revival Davenport and occasional tables in Tudor, Chippendale, and also Hepplewhite styles.

While I found no evidence that Mersman Bros., Brandt Co. Made chairs to complement its tables, it provides sense the it would. The truth that your table and also one the the chairs have the exact same label strongly argues that they did. However, i am no dismissing the possibility that lock contracted out the production of the chairs.

Obviously, over there were 6 chairs initially. Americans acquisition dining room chairs in even, quite than weird number sets.

I note your table and also chairs are oak. Unfortunately, you did not provide me v their design style. Ns am walking to i think a generic oak dining table and matching chairs and also that no restoration job-related is needed. The value of her table and chairs is between $500 and also $600.

Dear Harry: I own two swans. The first is approximately 5 inches wide and 51/2 customs high. It has a yellow body and also is marked on the bottom: "Holly Ross / differentiated China / 22K yellow / LaAnna, Pa." The 2nd measures 13 inches wide and 10 customs high and also has a white body trimmed with gold. That is marked on the bottom "41." ns am curious regarding whether over there is any type of value to these 2 swans.

D.M., Allentown

Dear D.M.: I think your an initial swan is significant "Holley Ross." Holley Ross is a ceramic outlet situated in LaAnna, Monroe County. Its net site is www.holleyross.com. Besides manufacturing its very own products, Holley Ross likewise buys discontinued merchandise from various other manufacturers and also offers it in ~ discount prices.

Gold-decorated ceramic accessories and also dinnerware were very popular in the so late 1950s and early 1960s. Instances still space being do today. The Holley Ross net site pictured a full display of gold-decorated ceramic accessories that the firm is giving for sale.

Do not be fooled by the 22K designation. It is a sales gimmick. The worth of the gold supplied to decorate the object is worth only a fraction of a cent. You cannot eliminate it indigenous the piece and take it to the bank.

Your Holley Ross yellow swan is worth between $2 and $3. Return your second swan is larger, its value is likewise under $10. There space swan collectors, however their number is limited and the sector is flooded.

Dear Harry: I discovered a Goebel figurine featuring a young boy and two sheep. The base is marked "Goebel / W. Germany / 200/0 / 1948." Is that a Hummel figurine and what is the value?

L.R., e-mail question

Dear L.R.: Hummel 200 is a figure known together the little Goat Herder. Master sculptor Arthur Moeller very first modeled the number in 1948. Initially, the number was made just in the 51/2-inch in come 53/4-inch size and also given the number 200. In 1956, a smaller size, measure up 41/2 to 43/4 inches, was introduced and numbered 200/0. The large-size figure was reduced slightly in size and renumbered 200/1.

As always, "I. M. Hummel" requirements to appear on the base of the figurine because that it to it is in an yes, really Goebel Hummel. Based ~ above the mark, your tiny Goat Herder was made after ~ 1979.

See more: Water Condenses Onto The Grass In The Early Morning When The Air Is Clear Because

Although the book value of this figurine is roughly $200, its real an additional market value is closer come $50. Instances sell frequently at this price and less ~ above eBay.

Harry L. Rinker welcomes inquiries from readers about collectibles, those mass-produced items from the 20th century. Selected letters will certainly be answered in this column. Rinker can not provide an individual answers. Photos and also other material submitted cannot be returned. Send your concerns to: Rinker on Collectibles, 5093 Vera Cruz Road, Emmaus, PA 18049. You also can e-mail your questions to rinkeron