I was talking yesterday with Big Chuck about antiques. He had an old French horn that dated back generations in his family and, despite its condition, was worth $700.

Which got me thinking about the old antiques from my grandmother's home, some of which I kept after her passing. One of those items is pictured above. Do you know what it is?

I thought the the "Union" logo referred to Union Railroad, so I scoured the internet to find Union Railroad antique gear. Not surprisingly, I didn't find this item.

More research yielded the discovery that the item I have dates back to the 1880s! It's called a sad iron heating stove. It was made by the Union Stove Company in Gardner, Mass., sometime just before the turn of the century.

People would fill the basin with kerosene and use it to heat the bottom of a sad iron. A sad iron is a flatiron that is pointed at both ends. In the 1880s, of course, these irons didn't self heat, so a portable stove was made to do the job.

And that is what I have in my home today. As far as I can tell, all the pieces are there, including the very fragile mica windows. Of the images I found online, my piece is easily in the best shape.

The next question is what's it worth? The same item in a poorer condition sold for around $100 in an eBay auction. What do you think it's worth?

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