Q: I own a white linen tablecloth with 12 matching napkins. The tablecloth is rectangular and measures 80 by 64 inches. The napkins are 21 inches square. The set is in its original box and has never been used. The box is labeled “Trousseau Linen Outfitters, Inc., Originators of the Famous Trousseau Linen Outfit, 187 No. LaSalle St., Chicago 1, Ill.” I have been told linen tablecloths are no longer made. Please tell me how old the set is and what it’s worth.
A: A big clue to the age of your set is the address. The use of a single-digit postal code means your set was made between 1943 and 1963. It probably dates from the 1940s or early 1950s. Linen tablecloths and napkins are still made both here and around the world. They have to be ironed once they’re laundered, which makes them less appealing to many people. Plain white linen tablecloth and napkin sets the age of yours sell for about $50.