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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Feb. 23, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 23 February 2015 13:44

This unusual decanter is 14 inches long and 10 inches high, large enough to hold a bottle of wine and clear enough to show the deposit of sediment at the bottom. It sold in New Orleans at a Neal auction for $1,434 in November.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – To enjoy the wine lifestyle, the accessories must be as great as the vintage wine. Today, the status symbol is a wine cellar with bottles of carefully selected wine stored in racks in a room kept at the proper temperature.

To go with that wine cellar a collector must also have the proper glasses, vintage corkscrews, aerators, bottle stoppers, tools and, of course, a decanter. But collectors of decanters are often not interested in wine, just in the many bottles and containers that are used to decant wine. Open a bottle, pour the contents into the decanter, let the sediment settle, then serve the wine.

For centuries decanters have been glass bottles with long necks, but by the end of the 19th century, figural glass or pottery decanters became popular. Recent auctions have sold glass decanters with silver tops that are shaped like Bacchus, early musicians, dogs, waiters and even a walrus. Glass decanters shaped like large fish have been made since the 1900s.

Royal Doulton made a decanter shaped like mysterious man in a clock for Sandeman products. And some modern liquor companies make figural decanters today for colleges and special events. Add to your enjoyment of wine with a decanter collection.

A walrus-shaped decanter with gilt brass trim sold recently at a Neal auction in New Orleans for $1,434.

Q: I inherited my great-grandmother's Norwegian spinning wheel. The letters "TAD" are carved on the side and the date "1816" is painted on in black. The wheel is 22 inches in diameter and has 16 carved spokes. My great-grandparents brought it with them when they emigrated from Norway. Is it worth anything?

A: Spinning wheels date back to medieval times, but most found today are 100 to 200 years old. There are several different types. The most common is the Saxony Wheel, which has the wheel at one end and the flyer at the other end and usually has three legs. It's the traditional wheel pictured in fairy tales. A Norwegian Wheel is a horizontal wheel similar to the Saxony. It may have three or four legs and is often ornately carved. The Castle Wheel is a vertical spinning wheel with the flyer above the wheel. The letters "TAD" could be the maker or the initials of the person it was made for. The date and provenance make your spinning wheel interesting. Most spinning wheels sell for $100 to $250. They often are bought to use.

Q: I'd like to know how to sell Hummel figurines. I inherited 24 figurines from my mother. Some still have the price stickers on them. Are they worth anything, and if so, how do I market them?

A: Hummel figurines aren't as popular as they were years ago. As the older generation of collectors have died, large collections are coming on the market. Heirs are finding they are hard to sell and prices have dropped. Although some rare figurines still sell at auctions for high prices (one sold for over $900), most are sold in groups, with prices as low as $5 or $10 per figurine. The older figurines bring better prices. Age can be determined by the trademark on the bottom of the figurine.

Q: We have a Howdy Doody windup band made by Unique Art in 1950. Buffalo Bob moves back and forth at the piano and Howdy Doody is standing up and dancing. What is it worth?

A: The Howdy Doody windup band originally came in a box labeled "Doin' the Howdy Doody." Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob were characters in a children's TV series that originally ran from 1947 to 1960. The series became popular with college students in the late 1970s when Buffalo Bob began to lecture on campuses. The New Howdy Doody Show was produced from 1976 to 1977. This tin lithographed toy was made during the original series. The toy in good condition and in its original box sold for $741 at a recent auction. One without the box sold for $420.

Q: In 1954, my mother bought a new home and had furniture custom made. My bedroom dresser and desk was light wood with a white leather-like front and gold drawer handles. I had a Zenith tube radio that had a light wood case and a white front that matched the furniture. I don't have the furniture any more, but I do have the radio (still works) and would like to sell it. I'm wondering where I could sell it and what it's worth.

A: It's too bad you don't still have your furniture, because the fifties look is "in." The blond wood and sleek lines of furniture and accessories made in the 1950 and ’60s are experiencing renewed popularity today, particularly with young collectors, and prices are up. Your Zenith High Fidelity tube radio fits in with the "look" and is worth $85 to $140.

Q: I have a Reed & Barton sterling silver butterfly whistle pendant and chain my mother gave me. It's in a yellow felt pouch that reads "Butterfly whistle, Reed & Barton sterling" in red letters. I also have the original square white box. What is this worth?

A: Reed & Barton made this butterfly whistle-pendant in the early 1970s. The company also made an owl whistle-pendant and an Irish shamrock "good luck" whistle-pendant. Butterfly whistle-pendants without the packaging have sold online for about $30-$40, although sellers with the packaging ask, but don't often get, up to $200.

Tip: Never touch the surface of a daguerreotype or an ambrotype. The perspiration will stain the image.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows, national meetings and other events. Go to the Calendar at Kovels.com to find, publicize and plan your antiquing trips.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Baseball pen and pencil, bat shape, faux signature, Johnny Mize and Joe DiMaggio, Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger logo, 1940s, 5 inches, two pieces, $30.
  • Toothpick holder, elephant toes pattern, clear glass, gold, U.S. Glass Co., $35.
  • Parade staff, wood, carving, multicolor paint, circa 1905, 77 1/2 inches, pair, $180.
  • Razor, ivory handle, leather case, Joseph Rodgers & Sons, circa 1850, $210.
  • Animal trophy, hippopotamus, shoulder mount, Mozambique, 20th century, 41 x 50 inches, $570.
  • Cuff bracelet, pierced stylized hunting figures, Mexico, circa 1955, 2 3/8 inches, $625.
  • Limoges plaque, woman's profile, lace bonnet, dress trim, enameled, round, giltwood frame, P. Bonnaud, circa 1907, $685.
  • Sheraton table, bird's-eye, tiger maple, two graduated drawers, turned legs, circa 1810, 18 x 28 inches, $690.
  • Tiffany silver knife, Chrysanthemum pattern, marked, 1900s, 9 1/8 inches, 10 pieces, $815.
  • Trade stimulator, roulette wheel, official sweepstakes horse race, Rock-ola, 1 cent, circa 1933, $1,320.

Kovels' A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate. Our new week-by-week record of the settlement of an estate, from your first days gathering legal papers to the last days when you're dividing antiques among heirs and selling everything else - even the house. How to identify pottery, jewelry and other popular collectibles. Tips on where and how to sell furniture, jewelry, dishes, figurines, record albums, bikes and even clothes. We include lots of pictures and prices and explain the advantages of a house sale, auction, selling to a dealer or donating to a charity. Learn about how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free current supplement with useful websites, auctions lists and other current information. Available only from Kovels for $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or write to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 4412

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 This unusual decanter is 14 inches long and 10 inches high, large enough to hold a bottle of wine and clear enough to show the deposit of sediment at the bottom. It sold in New Orleans at a Neal auction for $1,434 in November.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 17:00
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Feb. 16, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 13:56
This recamier is a little over 6 feet long. Its mahogany frame has a painted trim and brass casters. The estimated price was $2,000 to $4,000 at an auction last year, but the reserve bid was not met.

BEECHWOOD, Ohio – Furniture often has unexpected names that honor the maker or a connection to a famous person. A Chippendale or Sheraton chair is named for the designer. Larkin desks are named for the company that gave them away. The Wooton desk was named for the maker, Mr. Wooton. But the Recamier sofa is named for the woman who posed for a portrait on the lopsided bench. For many centuries there had been armless benches and window seats – small benches with arms at each end that did not block the view from the window. By the 1800s, there were long chairs with the French name "chaise longue," made so your feet were kept as high as the chair seat. But by 1800, the seats included the "meridienne," a bench with arms but no back made for lounging, not sitting. Madame Juliette Recamier had her portrait painted while stretched out on one of these. The portrait, by Jacques-Louis David, became so famous the Directoire piece of furniture was called a recamier by the public and the name stuck. The end of the story is strange.

When the portrait was almost finished, she hired another artist to do another portrait. David was so angry he never finished his picture. Part of the canvas shows in the background-her head was missing details and the artist did not glaze the painting. It was given to the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1826 and because it is unfinished, it has been a guide to the methods and brushwork used by the artist.

Recamier sofas have remained in fashion. A Regency-style mid-19th century example was offered at a New Orleans auction in the summer of 2014 with an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. Like many of these pieces, it has a cylindrical pillow tucked at the base of the scroll arm. But it also has a partially curved back.

Q: I have a heavy metal sign that reads "Railway Express Agency." It's a diamond shape, 8 inches on each side and 11 inches across the middle. I'm wondering if this was a forerunner of UPS or FedEx companies. Does it have any value?

A: In 1918, during World War I, the U.S. government took over the railroads and combined several express carriers to form the American Railway Express Co. to insure safe delivery of material during the war. The railroads were returned to their owners in 1920, after the war ended. In 1929, the assets of the American Railway Express Co. were acquired by the Railway Express Agency, a company formed by 86 U.S. railroads. In 1970 it became REA Express, Inc. The company went bankrupt in 1975. There is no connection between the Railway Express Agency, UPS and FexEx. Railway Express signs were made in several sizes and have been reproduced. A sign the size of yours sold for $27 online.

Q: My grandmother left me a cookie jar shaped like a barn. It's brown with some details in yellow. The farmer's wife is standing in the door to the barn, hands on hips, and the farmer is in the background. It says "Dutch Treat" in yellow across the front of the barn. There are no markings on it. Who made it and what is it worth?

A: This Dutch Treat cookie jar is said to have been made by McCoy between 1968 and 1973, even though there is no mark. It sells for about $50.

Q: I inherited a mid-19th century melodeon about 50 years ago. The woman who had it knew nothing about it. The cabinet is in pristine condition and the instrument itself in perfect working condition. It's marked "B. Shoninger, New Haven, Conn." How old is it and what is it worth?

A: Bernard Shoninger founded B. Shoninger & Co. in 1850. The company made melodeons, pianos and organs. The melodeon was invented by Jeramiah Carhart in 1835. He wanted to make an instrument with a softer sound than a reed organ. His sons took over the business in 1898 and only pianos were made after that. The company went out of business in 1929 but Shoninger pianos continued to be made by National Piano Corp. of New York until the 1960s. Melodeons are hard to sell because few people play them. Prices are in the low hundreds of dollars.

Q: I have a sugar container with ornate ear-like handles and no lid. I think it's pewter. It's marked with a circle and the words "Meriden B. Company" surrounding a shield with a balance scale inside it. It's dated 1836. Can you give me the history and value?

A: Your sugar container was made by Meriden Britannia Co. of Meriden, Connecticut. It was founded in 1852 and became part of International Silver Co. in 1898. The number on your sugar is not the date, the company was not in business that early; it's the catalog number. Your sugar is silver plate, not pewter, and was pictured in Meriden's 1886-'87 as part of a tete-a-tete set that included coffeepot, teapot, sugar and creamer with catalog numbers 1836 and 1837. A set of four pieces was originally $14.50. Value of your sugar today, about $25.

Q: I am giving my grandfather's antique brass barometer, circa 1930, to my sister for her birthday. Should I polish it, or does that detract from the value?

A: Don't polish it. If it needs to be polished, you should have a professional restorer do the job. Someone who repairs clocks might be able to polish it.

Tip: The best place to store paintings is in a closet with no exterior walls. The temperature and humidity levels will be the best in your house.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Radio, Zenith, Consol-tone, model S-17697, plastic, tabletop, AM tube, 13 3/4 x 6 inches, $50.
  • Bookends, Indian, End of the Trail, spear down, paint, cast iron, Hubley, 6 inches, $270.
  • Civil War broadside, Robert E. Lee farewell address, April 10, 1865, printed, frame, 13 x 9 inches, $375.
  • Iron boot scraper, H-shape, scroll terminals, limestone block, southern, circa 1865, 12 1/2 x 18 inches, $375.
  • Adventures of Mickey Mouse book, no. 3, Walt Disney autograph, pencil, circa 1949, 8 x 6 inches, $750.
  • A. Walter, glass figurine, rabbit, resting, pate-de-verre, circa 1910, 3 inches, $985.
  • Candelabrum, three-light, Louis XV-style, gilt bronze, marble, putti, bouquet support, circa 1890, 22 inches, pair, $2,305.
  • Huckster, Toy truck, green, rubber tires, Kingsbury, windup, 1930, 14 1/2 inches, $2,370.
  • Baccarat vase, flowers, painted, white opaline glass, flared, rim, circa 1870, 13 3/4 inches, pair, $2,500.
  • Chair, Chippendale, mahogany, ribbon back, rosettes, serpentine apron, Phila., circa 1780, pair, $2,950.

Contemporary, modern and mid-century ceramics made since 1950 are among the hottest collectibles today. Our special report, "Kovels' Buyers' Guide to Modern Ceramics: Mid-Century to Contemporary" identifies important pottery by American and European makers. Includes more than 65 factories and 70 studio artists, each with a mark and dates. Works by major makers including Claude Conover, Guido Gambone, Lucie Rie, as well as potteries like Gustavsberg, Metlox and Sascha Brastoff, are shown in color photos. Find the "sleepers" at house sales and flea markets. "Special Report," 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 64 pp. Available only from Kovels for $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996, online at Kovels.com ; or mail to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This recamier is a little over 6 feet long. Its mahogany frame has a painted trim and brass casters. The estimated price was $2,000 to $4,000 at an auction last year, but the reserve bid was not met.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 14:12
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Feb. 9, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 09 February 2015 10:20
Dexter, the toy horse on a platform, is 9 inches long. The rare tin toy was made about 1880 by George Brown, a famous toy maker from Connecticut.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Old toys are expensive today because they are scarce. Children played with the toys, damaged them, scratched the paint, lost parts and eventually the toy was discarded because of its shabby condition. Today collectors of early tin toys pay premium prices for toys in good condition with most of the original paint. To repaint it lowers the value.

One of the most famous 19th century American toy makers was George Brown. He worked in Connecticut from 1856 to about 1880. The toys were made of tin-plated sheet metal cut into pieces, soldered together and hand painted. His partner was a clock maker and they made their own clockwork mechanisms. They made both push toys and toys that moved after the clockwork was wound.

A well-documented tin toy was made to represent the horse Dexter, a famous harness racing champion of the 1860s. A Currier and Ives print and many weather vanes pictured Dexter during his career. The horse was on a wheeled platform and originally had a removable rider but only one complete toy is known today.

A riderless horse was offered for about $1,500 at a past auction by Bertoia in Vineland, New Jersey. It would sell for much more today.

Q: I have a redwood rocking chair that has springs in the back for recoil. It was made by Vandy-Craft of Chicago, Illinois. How old is it and what is it worth?

A: The name "Vandy-Craft" was trademarked by Edward A. Vandy of Park Ridge, Illinois, in 1952. The trademark expired in 1994. The company was known for its redwood patio and garden furniture. Chairs, tables, ottomans, chaise lounges, settees and other items were made. A high-back rocker made by Vandy-Craft, originally $17.99, was advertised for $9.99 in a 1962 newspaper. The rocker came with thick foam cushions. The value today with cushions is about $100.

Q: I received six Wedgwood plates from my aunt, who was a great estate sale shopper and antique collector. The backs are marked with a vase with three stars under it. The words "Wedgwood," "England," and "Ovington Brothers" are below that. Is there a way to tell how old they are?

A: Wedgwood first used the Portland vase mark beginning in 1878. Three stars were added under the vase in 1900. Ovington Brothers were importers with showrooms in Brooklyn and Chicago. The company was started by Theodore and Edward Ovington in 1845. Some manufacturers made china patterns specifically for Ovington Brothers. The name of the company was changed to Ovingtons sometime after 1922. Your Wedgwood plates were made between 1900 and the 1920s.

Q: I have a songbook from the 1937 movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The cover reads "Souvenir Album, Words and Music of All the Songs from The World's Greatest Picture, Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." It was published by Irving Berlin Inc. The cover has a small tear and one corner is folded down. What is it worth?

A: Snow White was the first full-length animated picture made. Walt Disney won an honorary award at the 1939 Oscars ceremony recognizing the film as a "significant screen innovation." Shirley Temple presented the award, one large statuette and seven smaller ones. It's one of the highest grossing movies of all time. The movie has been re-released several times and was made on video for home viewing in the 1990s. Many souvenirs of the original movie were made. This souvenir album is fairly common and sells for $5 to $10. Your copy, with cover damage, is worth about $5.

Q: I own a bronze statuette of Rebecca at the Well that was cast in two sections. The two pieces have come loose and have to be tightened up. The woman carrying a water jug is separate from the stone steps. It's about two feet high. Can you recommend a restorer?

A: This should be a relatively easy repair since nothing is broken or missing. Any good antiques restorer should be able to fix it. The pieces just screw together. Contact a museum or antiques store in your area to see if they have someone who does restoration.

Q: I inherited a collection of over 100 records from my great uncle. Most of the records are from the early 1900s. The collection includes popular songs of that era and operatic solos by Enrico Caruso and others. All the records are in good shape and playable. Do they have any value? Are there collectors of such items?

A: The value of old records is determined by the fame of the recording artist, the sound quality and the condition of the record. Records made in the first half of the 20th century were made of shellac, a mixture of resin and fiber. The first 10-inch records were made in 1901 and the first 12-inch records in 1903. The most valuable records are not necessarily the oldest and it can be difficult to sell old records. Most sell for only a few dollars, usually $10 or less. You can find groups and publications online that will help you find collectors, or take your records to a store that buys and sells used records. They'll tell you if any are worth more than a few dollars and which ones are worthless. Remember, when selling to a dealer or shop, expect to get half of what they think they can sell the item for. They have to make a profit, too.

Tip: When a house floods, special care is required. Save the things that are undamaged first, not the items that are soaked. Move furniture with metal legs off Oriental rugs. Rust leaves a permanent stain.

Sign up for our free weekly email, "Kovels Komments." Terry Kovel writes about the latest news, tips and questions and her views of the market. If you register on our website, there is no charge.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Purse, velveteen, black, petit point medallion, gold tone frame, Michel Swiss, France, 6 x 6 1/2 inches, $70.
  • Barnacle Bill waddler, tin lithograph, windup toy, Chien, 6 1/4 inches, $150.
  • Asian plate, blue, white, man, woman, standing, landscape, porcelain, Chinese, circa 1790, 10 inches, $300.
  • Mexican silver spoon, serving, fiddle handle, long oval bowl, Wm. Spratling, circa 1967, 12 1/4 inches, $310.
  • Royal Copenhagen dessert plate, flower spray, pierced basket weave rim, circa 1900, 8 inches, 12 pieces, $380.
  • Coffee table, cherry, lazy Susan top, pedestal, Charak Modern, Boston, 1957, 18 x 48 inches, $405.
  • Vase, North Dakota School of Mines, Dutch boys and girls, green, tan, brown matte glaze, Florence Gregoire, circa 1951, 3 3/4 inches, $545.
  • Choker necklace, faux Baroque pearls, four-strand, Chanel, 1980s, 15 x 1 3/4 inches, $870.
  • Proctology model, latex, Medical Products Corp., Skokie, Ill., circa 1950, 24 x 16 inches, $3,180.
  • Music box, singing bird, clock, tree, rocky outcrop, waterfall, plants, silk, wool, France, 1860s, 24 x 12 inches, $11,500.

Keep up with changes in the collectibles world. Send for a free sample issue of our 12-page, color-illustrated newsletter, "Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles," filled with prices, news, information and photos, plus major articles and opinions about the world of collecting. An important tool for anyone who buys or sells antiques and collectibles. To subscribe at a bargain $27 for 12 issues, write Kovels, P.O. Box 8534, Big Sandy, TX 75755; call 800-829-9158; or subscribe online at KovelsOnlineStore.com .

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.




ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Dexter, the toy horse on a platform, is 9 inches long. The rare tin toy was made about 1880 by George Brown, a famous toy maker from Connecticut.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 February 2015 10:45
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Feb. 2, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 02 February 2015 13:02

Berries had their own special dishes at a Victorian dinner party. This berry set, made with Mt. Washington Burmese glass bowls and a silver-plated stand sold for $3,220 at auction last spring It is 49 inches high.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Some serving pieces used in the 19th century are no longer needed or made. Victorian table settings were very elaborate – lace or other fancy cloths, at least six or seven special dishes for every course, like a service plate, then fish, soup, dinner, salad and butter plate, and a sauce dish. And of course there was silverware to match each course. The minimum was about eight pieces – usually a fork, fish fork, salad fork, dessert fork, spoon, soup spoon, dinner spoon, knife and butter knife. Each type of dessert also required special dishes and serving pieces.

A berry bowl set for a dinner sold at Early's Auction in Milford, Ohio, in April 2014 for $3,220. It was a Pairpoint silver plated stand with boys riding on turtles and a candlestick held by a cupid. Added to this were two crimped, pink shaded to yellow Mt. Washington Burmese glass berry bowls decorated with enameled daisies. The top of the candlestick was 49 inches high, so with a candle it was an elaborate tower that had to be noticed. Of course, the berries were served with cream from a pitcher and eaten with special berry spoons.

Q: I bought a mahogany bachelor's chest with four drawers and a pullout shelf at an estate sale. It was made by Biggs Furniture of Richmond, Virginia. Does it have any value as an antique?

A: Biggs made high-quality Colonial reproduction furniture. The company was started by J.F. Biggs, who began selling antiques in Richmond in 1890. A 1912 ad claimed the antiques shop was Virginia's largest dealer of "old mahogany furniture, old brass, cut glass, copper plate, old china, engravings, paintings, etc." The company began making high-end reproduction furniture when the supply of antique furniture dwindled. In 1969 it became part of General Interiors Corporation, which also owned Kittinger. It was listed as a division of Kittinger in 1975. Biggs was out of business by 2010. The value of your chest is about $500.

Q: I have a silver plated creamer with a hinged lid marked "Albert Pick Co. Inc." The silver plate is quite worn. Is it worth anything?

A: Albert Pick, an immigrant from Austria, founded Albert Pick Co. in Chicago in 1857. The company bought E.H.H. Smith Silver Co. of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1919 and incorporated as Albert Pick & Co. Your silver-plated creamer was made after that. In the 1920s, family members established the Pick Hotel Corp., which operated a chain of hotels until the 1960s. They used tablewares made by Albert Pick, sometimes with the hotel name on the side. Albert Pick creamers have sold recently for $14-$22.

Q: I still have a Disney charm bracelet that was given to me in 1945 or '46. It's 6 inches long and has five charms – Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey, Louie and Jose Carioca. Please help me figure out what it's worth.

A: Walt Disney introduced Donald Duck in 1934, his three nephews in 1937 and Jose Carioca, a cigar-smoking Brazilian parrot, in Saludos Amigos, a 1942 Disney animated feature. Jose showed up again in "The Three Caballeros" in 1944. Several kinds of Disney character figural charms were made in the 1940s. You don't tell us if your charms are plastic or metal. And if they're metal, whether they're silver, gold, filled or enameled. A bracelet like yours with plastic charms would sell for under $50. A sterling-silver bracelet with silver or enameled charms would sell for more, and so would characters from Disney's more popular films.

Q: When I was tearing down an old building 50 years ago, I found a poster picturing Jack Dempsey. It's a headshot and he's wearing a suit and tie. His signature is across his left shoulder, but it doesn't look like a real autograph. I remember seeing the same poster, framed, at Jack Dempsey's Restaurant on Broadway in New York City. Do you think it's worth anything?

A: Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), one of the America's most famous boxers, was world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. His restaurant on Broadway was a popular nightspot from the time it opened in 1938 until it closed in 1974. Assuming your poster was not signed by Dempsey, it would sell for under $10.

Q: I've been collecting Sebastian Miniatures since the 1940s. Is the company still in business? I'd like to sell my collection. Are there any certified appraisers of Sebastian Miniatures?

A: Sebastian Miniatures were first made by Prescott W. Baston (1909-1984) in 1938. At first he worked out of his basement in Arlington, Massachusetts. In 1946, he moved his studio to Marblehead, Massachusetts. From 1946 to 1976, Sebastian Miniatures were made in Hudson, Massachusetts, in cooperation with Lance Corporation. Lance closed in 1976. Baston's son, Prescott W. Baston Jr., began designing figurines in the 1980s. Sebastian Miniatures have been made by Wayland Studio in Wayland, Massachusetts, since 1998. More than 400 different designs have been made, and collectors search for the out-of-production models. Most sell online for under $10, but some early figures sell for much more. Some appraisers are listed on www.sebastianworld.com/services/appraisals/index.htm.

Tip: Never use chlorine bleach on ironstone dishes. It will cause the glaze to flake off.

Need prices for your antiques and collectibles? Find them at Kovels.com, our website for collectors. You can find more than 900,000 prices and more than 11,000 color photographs that help you determine the value of your collectibles. Study the prices. Go to the free Price Guide at Kovels.com. The website also lists publications, clubs, appraisers, auction houses, people who sell parts or repair antiques, show lists and more.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

 

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Soda bottle, cobalt-blue spout, neck, Laubenheimer & Kohl, c. 1875, 10 1/4 inches, $60.
  • Ring, Kellogg's premium, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, portrait, silver luster, c. 1952, $100.
  • Mettlach Stein, no. 812, relief, figures, horn shape handle, pewter lid, 1 1/2 liter, $420.
  • Inkstand, Rococo, sterling, cut glass, oval, two wells, pierced feet, Thomas Bradbury & Sons, Sheffield, c. 1854, 12 inches, $440.
  • Rocking horse, wood, gray, white, red paint, hair tail, leather saddle, bridle, 1800s, 25 x 32 inches, $480.
  • Cabinet, Arts & Crafts, oak, two-panel doors, carved sides, iron hardware, legs, c. 1900, 49 x 61 inches, $565.
  • Mechanical bank, Paddy & the Pig, sitting, J.&E. Stevens, 7 x 8 inches, $610.
  • Rug, Kerman, red ground, medallion, spandrels, stylized flower borders, 10 feet 2 inches x 15 feet 8 inches, $615.
  • Carnival glass, Morning Glory, funeral vase, marigold, 12 1/2 inches, $625.
  • Humidor, monkey head shape, hat lid, bow tie pipe holders, multicolor, pottery, 1800s, 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, $715.

New! Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2015, 47th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. It's available now and includes a special bonus section that helps you determine prices if you're downsizing and selling your collectibles and antiques. If you order directly from the Kovels, you'll receive our free Companion eBook with ALL of the book's 35,000 prices – ready for downloading to your eReader. The large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs of 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on record prices, and helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available for $27.95 plus $4.95 postage. Purchase directly from the Kovels if you want the eBook Companion. Visit KovelsOnlineStore.com, call 800-303-1996, or write to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Berries had their own special dishes at a Victorian dinner party. This berry set, made with Mt. Washington Burmese glass bowls and a silver-plated stand sold for $3,220 at auction last spring It is 49 inches high.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 13:19
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 26, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 26 January 2015 13:56
Charles Hart carved this 9 1/2-inch-high wooden penguin in about 1937 to be sold as a souvenir. It sold 76 years later at an Eldred's auction in East Dennis, Mass., for $501.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Carvings of birds, especially ducks and other wild species, are collected by those who consider the best examples to be art, while other examples are to be used as decoys when hunting. While both types of decoys can be found at antiques auctions and shops, most are sold in auctions or shows that specialize in decoys, wood carvings and related pieces.

The best of the 20th- and 21st-century carvers are famous, and collectors can name the most talented. A stone carver named Charles H. Hart (1862-1960) hunted and made decoys for his brother and friends. At first Hart specialized in just a few species, including black ducks, Canada Geese, goldeneyes and mallards. About 1900, he started making a stick-up black duck that had detached wings that flap and a head that could be turned. Hart was soon selling his birds to stores in Boston. In the 1930s, when the country was fascinated by the explorations in Antarctica, he began carving penguins. Most had applied flippers and color showing at the neck of theblack and white birds. He made them in all sizes from about 6 inches to 4 feet high.

Today, because of the movies Happy Feet and Madagascar featuring penguins, there is renewed interest in the penguins and the work by Charles Hart. The 8-inch-high birds have been auctioning for $400 to $750.

Q: I bought a secondhand Ethan Allen drop-leaf side table back in 1967. It's still in very good condition. It's maple and in a typical Early American style. It's marked "Ethan Allen" and "Baumritter." Why Baumritter? And what is the table worth?

A: The furniture company we know as Ethan Allen was founded in 1932 as Baumritter Corp. The owners were Theodore Baumritter and his brother-in-law, Nathan S. Ancell. The company, based in New York City, made and sold housewares and decorative items the first few years. It didn't start manufacturing and selling furniture until 1939, three years after the partners bought a closed furniture factory in Beecher Falls, Vermont. The company named its Early American line of furniture "Ethan Allen" after the Revolutionary War hero from Vermont. The company's name was changed from Baumritter Corp. to Ethan Allen Industries in 1972. Your table is an early one if it's marked "Baumritter," but it's not an antique. Still, the table is well-made and solid and could sell for $100 to $250.

Q: I have a gasoline ration card from July 10, 1942, that belonged to my husband's grandmother. It has a large capital letter "A" and the words "Basic Gasoline Ration, United States of America, Office of Price Administration" on the top. My grandmother's name and address and the make, model and date of her car are written in ink. Is this worth anything or just a piece of the past?

A: During World War II, gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, shoes and other items were rationed. Gasoline rationing began in 1942 and lasted until World War II ended in August 1945. Gas rationing was meant to reduce driving so the supply of rubber and gas could be used for military needs. The car owner received a ration book with coupons that had to be redeemed when buying the gas. A sticker with the appropriate letter was displayed on the car's windshield. Most people were issued the "A" sticker and card, which allowed three or four gallons of gas a week. People working in the war effort who needed to drive to work were allowed up to 8 gallons a week and had a "B" card. "C" was for doctors, nurses, ministers, mail delivery, farm workers, construction workers, and several other groups, "E" for emergency vehicles, "R" for nonhighway farm vehicles, "T" for truckers, and "X" for members of Congress and other special groups. Gasoline ration cards sell for $1 to $3.

Q: I have a signed Phoebe Stabler brass Madonna and child statue that was my great-grandmother's. Is this of any value?

A: Phoebe Stabler (1879-1955) was an English sculptor best known for her pottery figures. She also made figures in bronze and stone. Bronze figures made by Stabler have sold for over $1,000 at auction. A 13-inch bronze Madonna and child with John the Baptist, made by Stabler in 1907, sold for $3,686 in 2012.

Q: I have a pewter chick and cracked eggshell figural napkin holder that's been in our family well over 80 years. Can you tell me who made it and its value?

A: Napkin rings were fashionable from 1869 to about 1900. Most were made of silver plate, though sterling silver, porcelain, glass, wood and other materials were also used. Silver-plated figural napkin rings are popular with collectors today. Several companies, including Derby Silver Co., made figural chick and egg napkin rings. Most figural rings with silver plating in good condition sell for $100 to $300.

Tip: It can be hard to thread a needle, especially with the old pure cotton thread that should be used for repairing old fabric. Put hairspray on the end of the thread to stiffen it.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Cracker Jack toy, Zephyr train, red paint, Tootsietoy, 1930s, 2 1/4 inches, $25.
  • Razor, horn handle, pearl escutcheons, twisted silver edge, Morocco leather case, Wade & Butcher, 1800s, $210.
  • Louis XV-style commode, walnut, inlay, metal mounts, marble top, 3 drawers, c. 1975, 33 x 36 inches, $470.
  • Sterling silver place-card holders, fishermen, fish, basket and cage carriers, Japan, 2 1/4 in., 10 pieces, $590.
  • Paperweight, pink flower, black ground, Paul Stankard, 1972, 1 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches, $625.
  • Bohemian wine glass, cranberry flash, gilt designs, c. 1910, 7 1/2 inches, 10 pieces, $705.
  • Chanel purse, satin, black, flap closure, gold-tone metal CC, braided metal chain strap, 6 1/2 x 5 inches, $835.
  • Grueby Pottery tile, entwined geese on island, green trees, cuenca, metal mount, 4 x 4 inches, $1,080.
  • Match holder, Great American Tea Co., woman holding basket, die-cut cardboard, 10 x 6 inches, $1,610.
  • Toy car, Stutz Roadster, nickel-plated parts, yellow, green, Kilgore, 1920s, 10 1/2 inches, $1,780.

Order the special reports set: "Buyers' Guide to 20th Century Costume Jewelry," Part One and Part Two. Only $34.95. These reports identify the most popular makers and designers of costume jewelry. European and North American costume jewelry, Mexican silver jewelry and mid-century jewelry. Recognize Hobe and Sigi jewelry and rare pieces of Bakelite. For the serious collector and the beginner. Available only from Kovels for $34.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or mail to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Charles Hart carved this 9 1/2-inch-high wooden penguin in about 1937 to be sold as a souvenir. It sold 76 years later at an Eldred's auction in East Dennis, Mass., for $501.
Last Updated on Monday, 26 January 2015 15:42
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 19, 2015

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:07
This sterling-silver teapot has a handle and finial made of pear wood and a silver border with floral engravings. The side has an engraved heraldic design possibly identifying her customer. Auction price, $2,832.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – In 18th-century England, most women married when young, had children and learned to cook, take care of the house and children, make textiles or at least create bedding or clothing, and be her husband's helper when needed.

Hester Bateman was an exception. She married a man who made gold chains. He died after they had six children. He left the metal-working tools to his wife in his will so he must have known what a skillful silversmith she was. Hester became a registered silvermaker in 1761 using the mark "HB" in script. By 1774 she was in her own business with two of her sons. They used the latest methods and made their silverware from thin sheets of silver rather than the Sheffield plate-type made by others. They stayed with traditional styles and made everything from tea caddies to inkwells. Hester retired in 1790, and died in 1794. She was the first well-known female silversmith in England, and her work has always been popular with today's collectors.

I knew about the pioneering woman. While in college I looked for, bought for $15, and still have a pair of Hester Bateman silver sugar tongs. It was one of my first antiques. Brunk Auctions in Asheville, N.C., sold a Bateman teapot in the fall of 2014, for $2,832.

Q: In 1960 we bought a queen-size birch bed and dresser marked "Cal Shop." I can't find any information about the maker or value. Can you help?

A: The trademark "Cal Shop" was owned by California Furniture Shops Ltd., which was based in Los Angeles. It was in business from at least the late 1940s into the 1970s or '80s. Your bedroom set would sell as used furniture if it's in excellent shape. Try selling it locally, though, so shipping costs will not be high.

Q: I have a 300-400 pound iron anvil that was given to me almost 40 years ago. I sprayed it black because it was rusting, and it's rusting a little bit again. The anvil is dated 1917. I used it as a decoration in the past, but I have no use for it anymore. Can you give me some idea of its worth?

A: Cast-iron anvils have been made in different sizes and shapes for different uses. Anvils weighing several hundred pounds were primarily used in industry, while smaller ones were used by farmers. Someone who collects old tools or vintage farm equipment might be interested an old anvil, but a large, heavy anvil could be harder to sell than one that's easier to pick up and display. The date on your anvil adds interest. Recent prices include $192 for a 115-pound anvil and $380 for a 160-pound anvil.

Q: I have several figurines (resin, I think) that range from 3 to 5 inches tall. Each is marked with "KFS" on the back. They also are marked on the front of its base with a character name, including Hans, Fritz, Prince Valiant, Popeye, etc. One of them is a man in a sailor suit and is marked "Tim Tyler." Can you tell me something about him, how many different figurines were made, and if they are collectible?

A: The initials "KFS" stand for King Features Syndicate, who owned the comic strips and the rights to the characters. A series of 24 figurines was made by Syroco for King Features Syndicate in 1944. Twelve of them, including Tim Tyler, were offered as Pillsbury Enriched Farina premiums. Tim Tyler was a cartoon strip that debuted in 1928 and was featured in newspapers, comic books and movies. The last strip ran in 1996. The figurine is shown in a Navy uniform because it was issued during World War II. Most of these figurines sell online for $15 to $30 each.

Q: I have a mug that reads "Ovaltine's Golden Annie-versary" in black, gold and white letters on one side. It has a big gold number "50" with a picture of Little Orphan Annie and her dog, Sandy, inside the zero. What's the anniversary and what is the mug worth?

A: This mug was issued in 1981 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ovaltine's sponsorship of the Little Orphan Annie radio show. Ovaltine sponsored the show from 1931 to 1940. Their advertising agency wrote the scripts for the show, which promoted Ovaltine. Ovaltine was first made in Switzerland in 1904 and originally was called Ovomaltine because it included eggs and malt. The name became Ovaltine in English-speaking countries in 1909. Ovaltine's Annie-versary mugs sell for $5 to $15.

Q: I'm trying to find out something about a picture of Giuseppe Verdi I inherited from my grandparents, who emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. Verdi is looking to the left in the picture. It's 10 inches high and 7 inches wide. I've seen this picture before, but this one is woven in what looks like silk. Along the bottom left it reads "Nato a Roncole (Bufseto) il 10 Ottobre 1813" and on the bottom right "Morto a Milano il 27 Gennaio 1901." Any information would be appreciated.

A: Giuseppi Verdi was an Italian composer best known for his operas, including "Aida" and "La Traviata." Memorial pictures like yours were made after Verdi died. Your picture lists his birth and death dates and places. He was born Oct. 10, 1813, in the village of Roncole, commune of Busseto, and died Jan. 27, 1813, in Milan, Italy. Large silk memorial pictures like this sell for $200-$500.

Tip: Stains on crystal stemware sometimes can be removed by rubbing the stain with a cut lemon or a cloth dipped in turpentine.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows, national meetings and other events. Go to the Calendar at Kovels.com to find, publicize and plan your antiquing trips.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

 

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial token, portrait, 1929-1968, "Free At Last, Free At Last," silver-tone metal, 1 1/2 inches, $15.
  • Louis XV-style table, parquetry inlay, metal mounts, quatrefoil, shell decoration, cabriole legs, 30 x 25 inches, $125
  • Roseville vase, Pine Cone, fan shape, green, marked, 6 5/8 inches, $175.
  • Silver bracelet, Hector Aguilar, splayed links, box clasp, Mexico, c. 1940, 8 3/4 inches, $310.
  • Ship's compass, brass, domed cylindrical case, oil lamp compartment, 10 1/2 inches, $375.
  • Chandelier, 5-light, Louis XVI style, gilt metal, beaded glass, c. 1950, 34 x 15 inches, $565.
  • Sled, pine, painted sunflower, iron runners, 1800s, 15 inches, $840.
  • English silver nutmeg grater, George III, engraved, hinged, interior screen, W. Robertson, c. 1790, 2 1/2 in., pair, $1,125.
  • Sampler, verse, trees, flowers, silk on linen, Hetty Ann Kennedy, frame, Pennsylvania, 1822, 20 1/2 x 21 3/4 inches, $1,680.

“A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate,” our new week-by-week record of the settlement of an estate, from your first days gathering legal papers to the last days when you're dividing antiques among heirs and selling everything else – even the house. How to identify pottery, jewelry and other popular collectibles. Tips on where and how to sell furniture, jewelry, dishes, figurines, record albums, bikes and even clothes. We include lots of pictures and prices and explain the advantages of a house sale, auction, selling to a dealer, or donating to a charity. Learn about how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free current supplement with useful websites, auctions lists and other current information. Available only from Kovels for $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or write to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This sterling-silver teapot has a handle and finial made of pear wood and a silver border with floral engravings. The side has an engraved heraldic design possibly identifying her customer. Auction price, $2,832.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:30
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 12, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 12 January 2015 11:48
This unusual 'sculpture' held a slot machine representing a woman. It sold without the slot machine for $3,000 at a recent Morphy auction.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Mysterious antiques and collectibles often appear in shops and shows. Price is then decided by how unusual the collectible is, how attractive it is and how it can be used.

A recent auction offered this statue of half of a woman, from the waist down. The statue is life-size, 3 1/2 feet tall. The legs are dressed in tights, boots and a cloth skirt. There is a purse that has jewelry and brothel tokens from the Silver Dollar Hotel in Denver. Those who go to casinos probably know that this is an old base for a special type of slot machine. The base-and-slot-machine pair is known as the Prairie Rose Saloon Brothel Lady. She is dressed in 1880s style, but Prairie Rose was a famous cowgirl from the early 1900s, known all over the world. She performed in the Irwin Brothers' Wild West Show. In 1917, she went out in a blizzard to check on her animals, got lost and died. Her body was found years later.

It is not surprising that the Lady was sold at Morphy's Victorian Casino Antiques auction along with many other gambling collectibles. Price: $3,000.

Q: I have my parents' kitchen table. I've used it all my life. Markings under the table and leafs look like "Abraham-Richardson Mfg. Co., Beaver Falls, Pa." I can't find any information on the company. Can you help?

A: Your table was made by Ingram-Richardson Manufacturing Co., not Abraham-Richardson. The company was founded by Louis Ingram and Ernest Richardson in 1901. It made porcelain enameled signs, sinks, refrigerator linings, walls, license plates and other items. The company was sold in 1965 and closed in 1967. Kitchen tables with enameled tops were very popular in the 1930s-'50s. They are still very useful, and sell for about $350-$500 if the enamel is not chipped.

Q: I own a tennis racket that belonged to my uncle, who served in the military during World War I and died at age 26. One side of the handle is marked "Greenwood," and the other side, "A.G. Spalding Bros." Please tell me what it's worth.

A: Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) played major league baseball from 1871 to 1878. He and his brother, J. Walker Spalding, founded their sporting goods company in Chicago in 1876. By the mid-1880s, the company's products included tennis rackets. Spalding introduced its Greenwood model racket in 1905. Antique and vintage wooden rackets are collectible. We have seen the Greenwood model for sale at prices ranging from $90 to $190. Spalding still is in business, but it no longer makes tennis rackets.

Q: I have an antique scale made by the Computing Scale Co. of Dayton, Ohio. It has a barrel-shape top with a glass dial. The numbers from 1 to 60 are on the bottom of the dial. There are numbers for pounds and prices in the dial. There is a flat, round glass "tray" that the item can be placed on to weigh it. Can you tell me anything about it?

A: Your scale has a history that connects it to IBM. Julius Pitrat of Gallipolis, Ohio, invented the first computing scale in 1885. It figured the price of an item by combining the weight and the price per pound. Edward Canby and Orange Ozias bought the patent and founded the Computing Scale Company in 1891. The company merged with two other companies and was renamed the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. in 1911. The name became IBM in 1924. Your scale was made between 1891 and 1911. You may be able to date it by researching the serial number. Your scale with the glass tray is a butcher's scale.

Q: Forty-one years ago, a member of the Martell family of France gave me a Baccarat decanter filled with Martell cognac. It's still sealed. How can I sell it?

A: Martell's history dates back to 1715, but its Cordon Bleu cognac wasn't created until 1912. The cognac's special Baccarat glass decanters appear to date from the early 1970s. A full sealed decanter with its presentation box auctioned for nearly $3,000 in 2013. Without the box, it would sell for less. You should contact an auction house that holds special sales of bottled wine and liquor.

Q: I have a Lady Squeezy Beauchamp figural cookie jar, marked "The Last Elegant Bear, Dennis Kyte, Sigma, the Tastesetter" and with a copyright date of MCMLXXXV (1985). The bear is wearing a yellow dress and is holding a fan. Is it of any value?

A: Lady Squeezy Beauchamp was one of the bears in the book "The Last Elegant Bear: The Life and Times of Abiner Smoothie," by Dennis Kyte, which was published in 1983. Your cookie jar is one of a series of cookie jars made by Sigma, a division of Rockville International in Garden City, New York. Sigma is no longer in business. The value of your cookie jar is $100-$300.

Q: I bought a "Fiji Mermaid" at auction a few years ago. It looks old and has been handled quite a bit. Please tell me something about it and what it's worth.

A: The original Fiji Mermaid was the feature of a 19th-century P.T. Barnum circus sideshow. It was a mummified concoction combining the top half of a monkey and the bottom half of a fish. Since then, versions made of resin, plastic, clay or some combination of materials have been created for sale around the world. We have seen the "mermaids" offered for sale from $15 to $400.

Tip: Make sure your nightstand, the small table next to the bed that usually holds a lamp and a phone, is large enough. Find a vintage or antique table that is 28 to 31 inches high to use next to the bed. A small desk also will work.

Sign up for our free weekly email, "Kovels Komments." Terry Kovel writes about the latest news, tips and questions and her views of the market. If you register on our website, there is no charge.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

 

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

  • Holt-Howard mustard jar, yellow flat head, annoyed face, spoon, c. 1958, 4 1/2 x 4 inches, $60.
  • Peking glass vase, blue, fruit, flowers, branches, carved, Chinese, 11 inches, $120.
  • Blushing Frankenstein toy, tin lithograph, vinyl, cloth, battery-operated, Mod Monster, Japan, 1960s, 13 inches, $180.
  • Thermometer, Whistle orange soda, "Any Time, Any Weather, Thirsty? Just Whistle," boy, bottle, chalkware, 1950s, 12 inches, $300.
  • Sewing tape measure, winking devil's head, porcelain, orange, early 1900s, 1 3/4 inches, $330.
  • Neoclassical chair, mahogany, tablet crest, conforming slat, scrolled supports, saber legs, c. 1810, $360.
  • Movie poster, My Fair Lady, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Warner Bros., 1964, 39 x 55 inches, $375.
  • Porcelain tureen, underplate, Meissen style, painted, flowers, couples, applied flower handles, 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, $485.
  • Silver creamer, beaded rim, square base, Christian Wiltberger, Philadelphia, c. 1795, 7 1/2 inches, $1,440.
  • Northwood Glass vase, swirled blue, yellow, white pulled feathers, folded, scalloped rim, 3 x 4 inches, $2,240.

Keep up with changes in the collectibles world. Send for a free sample issue of our 12-page, color-illustrated newsletter, "Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles," filled with prices, news, information and photos, plus major articles and opinions about the world of collecting. An important tool for anyone who buys or sells antiques and collectibles. To subscribe at a bargain $27 for 12 issues, write Kovels, P.O. Box 8534, Big Sandy, TX 75755; call 800-829-9158; or subscribe online at KovelsOnlineStore.com.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This unusual 'sculpture' held a slot machine representing a woman. It sold without the slot machine for $3,000 at a recent Morphy auction.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 12:00
 
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