Q: A waiter at George Diamond's restaurant in Chicago gave me this ashtray in the mid-1950s. It has this "Royal China" mark on the bottom. Can you tell me who made it and if it has any value?
A: George Diamond operated a popular steakhouse in Chicago and another in Palm Springs, Calif. He died in 1982. The Chicago restaurant was located in the Dexter Building, a Chicago landmark on South Wabash Avenue that burned down in 2006, several years after the restaurant closed. The Royal China Co. was in business in Sebring, Ohio, from 1934 to 1987. The mark on your ashtray was first used in the 1950s. Ashtrays from the restaurant are plentiful and most sell online for $2 or $3. Interesting fact about the Dexter Building: It was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan and built in 1887. Before it burned down in 2006, it was one of the earliest surviving Louis Sullivan buildings.