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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 27, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 27 October 2014 10:46
This 5-inch-tall witch-head jack-o'-lantern made in Germany is probably from the 1920s. Although the paint has been touched up, it sold for $1,121 at a 2014 Bertoia auction in Vineland, N.J.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Halloween is the second most popular holiday among collectors of holiday memorabilia. Christmas comes first. But Halloween decorations are in such demand today that there are even mail-order catalogs and pop-up stores that feature nothing but Halloween. The idea behind Halloween goes back centuries, but the first Halloween parties that resembled modern celebrations of the holiday were costume parties for adults in the 1880s and 1890s. Costumes from those parties – some of the earliest Halloween collectibles – were almost always homemade.

Pressed-paper "veggie people," jack-o'-lanterns and other Halloween decorations were being made by the 1900s, mostly in Germany. By the 1920s, jack-o'-lanterns were made of a composition material, holes were made for the eyes and mouth, and a hand-painted piece of paper was glued inside to create a finished face. By the 1950s Halloween decorations were being made of hard plastic, and in the 1990s a strange sponge-like plastic was popular for soft jack-o'-lanterns.

Pre-1950 Halloween memorabilia is scarce, so prices are high. But beware: Many reproductions of early paper jack-o'-lanterns and Halloween candy containers have been made in Japan. New mail order catalogs sell copies of old pieces along with new life-size witches, ghosts, skeletons and zombies, as well as tombstones, black cats and huge blow-up monsters and spiders. These too will be popular collectibles in a few years.

Q: I have a hand-stitched stuffed toy dog covered in a red felt-like material. It has a tag that says "Shaggy" and another tag that says "Stuffed Toys, Registration Number 1, Approved, Pennsylvania." I'd like to know how old it is. I think Pennsylvania had a law that regulated what kind of stuffing could be used in plush toys, but I couldn't find the date for that. Can you help?

A: Pennsylvania enacted a law regulating the manufacture of stuffed toys for retail sale in 1961, so your toy dog is less 53 years old. The law has been amended several times. It requires "All New Material" or "All New (Type) Material," free from dangerous or harmful substances. It must meet flammability standards and the parts and decorations must be securely fastened. Manufacturers get a certificate of registration from the state after they meet the standards and pay a fee. The registration number must be shown on the toy.

Q: I'm 65 years old. When I was a child, my grandfather bought a Ross two-wheel bicycle for me. I've never seen one since then and wonder if the company is still in business.

A: Albert Ross founded Ross Galvanizing Works in 1940 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The company made pipes and fittings for fencing and military parts during World War II. It became Chain Bike Corp. in 1946, moved to Rockaway Beach in the 1950s, then to Allentown, Pa., in the 1970s. The company name became Ross Bicycles Inc. in 1982. It has been estimated that the company made over 15 million bicycles before it went bankrupt in 1989. The name "Ross" was bought by Rand Cycles of Farmingdale, N.Y. Rand made Ross children's bicycles in Asia for a few years, then discontinued the bicycle brand.

Q: I have a small oil lamp that was used in our two-generation family home in rural Illinois. My family owned the home from 1867 to 1950. The lamp has an amber glass base embossed "Wide Awake." It's 9 inches tall and 3 inches wide at the base, which has a finger handle. The acorn burner is brass and the chimney is clear glass. Please share its history and value.

A: Miniature finger lamps like yours often were called "night lamps" or "night lights." The name "Wide Awake" was one of many given to these small lamps. They were sold in the United States between about 1875 and the early 1900s. A "Wide Awake" lamp with a cobalt-blue base sold for $184 earlier this year.

Q: Years ago, I was given an armless rocking chair by a friend. The seat is upholstered and the back has a vase-shaped splat. A label on the bottom reads, "Brumby Chairs, Since 1875, The Brumby Chair Co., Marietta, Ga." It's not in the greatest condition, but I'm wondering what the chair is worth.

A: Brumby Chair Co. still is in business in Georgia. It is best known for its "Jumbo Rocker," a large rocking armchair with a hand-caned seat and back. The company sells a new Jumbo Rocker for $995. Your chair, in a less-desirable style and in less than perfect condition, would sell as a used piece of furniture. You might get $20 to $40 for it.

Q: My large fancy perfume bottle is labeled "Uninhibited" and "Cher." It has never been opened and is nearly a foot tall. Age? Price?

A: Cher's "Uninhibited" perfume was marketed from about 1988 to 1998. Your bottle is called a "factice," the word for a perfume display bottle set on a store's countertop. A full Cher factice in mint condition, like yours, sells for about $125.

Tip: Don't sticky-tape a top on a teapot. The decoration may come off with the tape. Secure a top with dental wax or earthquake wax.

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.

  • Blue Bonnet creamer, Harmony House, 3 3/4 inches, $25.
  • Halloween candleholder, Yellow Kid-inspired, molded, painted, Germany, c. 1920, 3 1/4 x 2 inches, $160.
  • Egg basket, oak, woven, splint, kidney shape, double rim, arch handle, Appalachian, c. 1905, 4 x 5 inches, $430.
  • Clown riding pig toy, tin lithograph, windup, Gunthermann, 5 1/2 inches, $650.
  • Art glass vase, green, king on horseback scene, black enameled scrolls, wavy rim, c. 1900, 13 3/4 inches, $750.
  • Spittoon, iron, top-hat shape, painted porcelain lining, 8 x 10 x 10 inches, $1,005.
  • Banjo clock, Federal, mahogany, patriotic painted panels, gilt, inscribed "warranted L. Curtis, Mass.," c. 1820, 38 inches, $1,080.
  • "Play Football" game, coin-operated, oak, painted, Chester Pollard, c. 1930, 73 x 28 x 46 inches, $1,215.
  • Pier mirror, giltwood, eagle attacking serpent panel, twist-carved columns, c. 1890, 108 x 32 inches, $1,250.

Kovels' Buyers' Guide to Modern Ceramics: Mid-Century to Contemporary: New! 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This 5-inch-tall witch-head jack-o'-lantern made in Germany is probably from the 1920s. Although the paint has been touched up, it sold for $1,121 at a 2014 Bertoia auction in Vineland, N.J.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:02
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 20, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 20 October 2014 12:32

This 19th century Dutch walnut secretary with inlay sold for $2,214 at New Orleans Auction Galleries. It is an example of the bargains that are now seen at auctions because of the drop in prices of what the trade calls 'brown furniture.'

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – What a bargain! Often an authentic antique sells for less than a modern copy. Since the price of antique wooden ("brown") furniture has dropped in the last few years, the good news is that there are many bargains for a buyer looking for an older style.

Fewer home sales mean fewer furnishings sales, and the prices of antiques have suffered.

Few Americans grew up with a 19th-century inlaid secretary from Holland in the house. Dutch designs were elaborate, with curved legs, domed cornices, mirrored door fronts, even a slant-front opening covered by a flip top that served as a desk. And of course there were drawers, candle slides and cubbyholes. It is the perfect piece for a period room or as an accent piece in a simple modern room. And the drawers furnish good storage space.

A new reproduction piece like this would have plain, not inlaid, surfaces and probably straighter legs and less trim. A top-quality copy would cost about $5,000. At a 2014 auction, a 7-foot-high secretary desk that could easily be moved into a modern room with the usual 8-foot ceiling sold for $2,214 at New Orleans Auction Galleries. More good news, an antique has a better chance than a copy to go up in value.

Q: I was 3 years old in 1937 when I was flower girl in my aunt's wedding. I wore a pale blue dress with pink trim and ivory lace at the neck. The tag inside reads "A Nannette Toddler Shirley Temple Brand" along with a picture of Shirley Temple. I still have the dress. What is it worth?

A: Shirley Temple was 5 when she made her film debut. Her 1930s and '40s retail dresses were designed like her movie costume dresses, in a toddler style even though she wasn't a toddler. They were made by Nannette Manufacturing Co. of New York City, a division of Rosenau Brothers. The basic design was a skirt with soft pleats and contrasting collar. Fabrics were cotton, organdy and dotted Swiss in prints, plaids, checks and embroidery. There wasn't much trimming, maybe a small bow, an appliqued figure or narrow lace edging. A 1936 newspaper advertised Shirley Temple dresses for $1.89 each. Dresses for older little girls were made by Cinderella, also a division of Rosenau. Shirley Temple dresses for sale in online shops are priced $30 to $60.

Q: I have a set of Norman Rockwell prints I received as a premium for subscribing to Reader's Digest in the early 1970s. They depict the four seasons. Each one is signed and numbered 2945. I was wondering if they might be collector's items.

A: You don't say what size the prints are, but they're probably small if they were sent to you as a premium. Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a hugely popular U.S. artist and illustrator in the middle decades of the 20th century. Respect for his work has grown again in recent years. Large Rockwell prints that were actually autographed by Rockwell sell for high prices. Your set might sell for $25 or so.

Q: I have a little bronze figure of a man wearing a turban and sitting on a donkey facing backward. He's holding the donkey's tail. The donkey is 3 1/2 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches long. I have had this for more than 25 years and nobody knows anything about it. What can you tell me?

A: You have a figure of Nasreddin Hoca (1208-1294), a Turkish philosopher and wise man. "Hoca" is Turkish for "teacher." Nasreddin is a popular folk figure in many countries, especially in the Muslim world, and humorous stories about him have been translated into several languages. He has been called "a master of the negative way." When people told him he was riding his donkey backward, he answered "No, it is not that I am sitting on the donkey backwards, it is the donkey that is facing the wrong way!" UNESCO declared 1996 "Nasreddin Hoca year." Your Nasreddin figure is worth about $25.

Q: I bought a set of Gerber Swiss Bells and it’s still in the original package. There are five plastic bells, each in a different color. It has the original price tag of $1 still attached. When was it made and how much is it worth?

A: Dorothy Gerber (Mrs. Dan Gerber of Gerber Products Co.) wrote about the bells in her popular newspaper column, "Bringing Up Baby," in 1965. But online sources that offer these musical bells for sale claim they are from the 1950s. A set of the bells in good condition but without the packaging recently sold for $20. Another set, in the original package, sold for $25.

Q: I have a ball-shaped, clear glass jar embossed "National Biscuit Company" in capital letters. I'm told it was in my family's restaurant in the early 1940s. The jar, with the lid on, is 11 inches tall. It's a little over 10 inches in diameter at its widest point. Please tell us its approximate age and value.

A: The National Biscuit Co. was founded in East Hanover, N.J., in 1898. We know the company as "Nabisco," which became its corporate name in 1971. It's likely your jar dates from the early post-World War II era. There are other versions of National Biscuit Co. glass jars. Yours sells for $65 to $75.

Tip: If you are remodeling or redecorating, think about antiques and collectibles displayed in the work area. A workman will hammer on a wall without worrying about shelves on the other side.

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.

  • Disney hooked rug, Mickey Mouse as train engineer, Disney characters, multicolor, 46 x 57 inches, $60.
  • Mettlach stein, No. 2005, 1600s tavern scene, four drinkers, signed "H.D.," 1901, half-liter, $270.
  • Paris porcelain vase, men, rowboats, waves, whale, bears, flowers, gilt highlights, c. 1850, 7 inches, pair, $480.
  • Belt buckle, silver armadillo pattern, overlapping links, Mexico, c. 1953, 4 3/4 inches, $530.
  • Cabinet, Arts & Crafts, oak, two panel doors, carved sides, iron hardware, 49 x 61 inches, $565.
  • Baseball jersey, New York Mets, World Series Champions, autographed, 23 players, 1986, $750.
  • Railroad poster, "Visit Washington, Symbol of Democracy, Pennsylvania Railroad," J. Collins, c. 1950, 46 x 29 inches, $1,250.
  • Toy truck, stake, black, yellow, rubber tires, Buddy L, Junior series, c. 1925, 17 inches, $2,370.
  • Bronze sculpture, hunter with bloodhound, signed "P.J. Mene," 1879, 18 11/16 inches, $3,125.
  • Vienna Porcelain urn, lid, egg shape, woman water carrier and man, indoor domestic scenes, multicolor on cobalt blue ground, gilt, beehive mark, E.L. Hermann, 43 3/4 inches, $11,250.

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 xompanion eBook with all of the book's 35,000 prices - ready for downloading to your eReader. "Kovels" is the best book to own if you buy, sell or collect. The large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This 19th century Dutch walnut secretary with inlay sold for $2,214 at New Orleans Auction Galleries. It is an example of the bargains that are now seen at auctions because of the drop in prices of what the trade calls 'brown furniture.'

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:03
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 13, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 13 October 2014 12:26

The fiberglass shade is a clue to the age of this lamp by George Nakashima. It was made in 1977 and sold for $6,875 at a Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - George Nakashima created a special type of modern furniture sometimes called "free-edge." He designed very simple legs and other furniture parts and created the famous tables topped by a slab of wood with original edges that often include the tree's bark. Parts of the top were held together with butterfly joints.

Nakashima was born in 1905, earned an architecture degree by 1929, then an M.I.T. master's degree in 1931. He went to Japan, worked for a famous architect and studied design. In 1937, while in India, he made his first furniture and in 1940 he returned to the United States to make furniture and teach woodworking. In 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was interned like others of Japanese descent. At the camp, he met a traditional Japanese carpenter and learned traditional Japanese ways of working with traditional tools and wood.

Nakashima was released from the camp in 1943 and moved to Pennsylvania, where he designed and made furniture. Some of his designs were used by famous furniture firms like Knoll and Widdicomb. His chairs and tables are well known, but he also designed a few lamps.

A favorite is a lamp made of rings of bent holly and walnut with a fiberglass shade. Each lamp is different, because the base is created from a piece of wood in its natural shape. One of these lamps made in 1977 sold for $6,875 at a 2013 Rago Arts auction. It is 29 inches high, with a small base and a tall cylindrical shade.

Nakashima received numerous awards and was even honored with the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Emperor of Japan. Nakashima died in 1990 and his daughter Mira Nakashima-Yarnall has continued the business using his designs.

Q: I recently purchased a dessert set of Susie Cooper china. The set includes 10 cups and saucers, cake plates, a sugar bowl and a milk pitcher. It's marked "Susie Cooper, Spiral Fern, C823." What is the set worth?

A: Susie Cooper (1902-1995) was a British ceramics designer whose career started in the 1920s and went on for decades. She opened her own earthenware business in 1929, and added bone china in 1950. Her Spiral Fern pattern, introduced in the 1950s, came in blue or green and was used on her Quail shape. The pattern was reworked and rereleased by Wedgwood in 1987 (Wedgwood acquired Cooper's business in 1966). If you recently purchased your dessert set, you can assume it's worth what you paid. If you're worried you paid too much, we can tell you that a single cup and saucer sells for about $50. The 1950s pattern is not easy to find.

Q: I'd like to know the age and value of a neon Blatz Beer sign. It lights up in orange and red on a black background. The back is marked "Designed and Produced for the G. Heileman Brewing Co. by Embosograph Display Mfg. Co., Chicago, IL 60614." The sign is 15 inches high by 22 inches long by 4 inches deep.

A: Your sign is not neon. The Embosograph Display Manufacturing Co. of Chicago made neon-like signs of plastic backed by fluorescent lighting. Blatz Beer was owned by G. Heileman Brewing Co. from 1969 to 1996. But Embosograph's patents for its "simulated neon sign display" weren't issued until the early 1980s. So your sign is no more than 35 years old. It might sell for $25 or more because it's so large.

Q: I have an old compass that belonged to my late husband. I think he inherited it from his parents. The compass is in a small wooden box with a hinged cover. Stamped on top of the box is "U.S. Engineer Department, W. & L.E. Gurley, Troy, N.Y., 1918." I'd like to know its history and current value.

A: Your compass was made for the U.S. Engineer Department (now the Army Corps of Engineers) during World War I. William Gurley and his brother, Lewis, began working together as W. & L.E. Gurley in 1852. The company made surveyor's compasses, leveling instruments, transits and other precision instruments. It was bought by Teledyne Corp. in 1968, sold again in 1993, and is now doing business as Gurley Precision Instruments. We found a compass like yours online priced at $125.

Q: My late mother-in-law collected antique silver, mostly serving pieces. We inherited a Reed & Barton pitcher with a porcelain lining. It's about 10 inches high. It's marked "Reed & Barton" on the bottom with three patent dates, Aug. 4, 1868; Nov. 17, 1868; and April 6, 1872. After that it says, "Extended 7 years." Is this a true antique? What is it worth?

A: You have a silver-plated ice-water pitcher. According to the patent, the porcelain lining works like a thermos to keep the water cold and prevents condensation of moisture on the outside of the pitcher. The name "Reed & Barton" has been in use since 1840. The company started out as Babbitt & Crossman in Taunton, Mass., in 1824 and has operated under various partnerships and names. It is still in business. Recently a Reed & Barton ice-water pitcher with a ceramic lining sold for $180.

Tip: When replacing lost hardware with matching new pieces, put the new handles on the lowest drawers. The difference in patina will be less visible.

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.

  • Bottle, soda, cobalt-blue neck and shoulder, stoneware, stamped "JE Ferris," c. 1870, 10 inches, $85.
  • Rug, Baluchi, geometric, diamond medallions, red, brown, green, saffron, fringe, 3 feet 7 inches x 6 feet 7 inches, $205.
  • Coffeepot, pewter, tankard shape, scroll handle, Issac Lewis, Meriden, Conn., c. 1840, 11 1/4 inches, $275.
  • Doll, Joel Ellis, mannequin type, wood, painted, jointed, Springfield, Vt., 1870s, 15 inches, $425.
  • Store sign, 136 Steamship Yacht Supplies, Marine Hardware, Pumps, wood, green and yellow, 42 x 20 inches, $570.
  • Mug, mochaware, brown, orange, blue slip twigs, green, black bands, creamware, England, c. 1820, 3 1/2 inches, $660.
  • Window bench, Edwardian, satinwood, low openwork back, painted, caned seat, 22 1/2 x 36 inches, $815.
  • Candelabrum, five-light, gilt bronze, scroll arms, porcelain base, painted scenes, 22 1/2 inch pair, $1,250.
  • Bible box, pine, carved, black over red paint, stylized leaves, Connecticut, c. 1690, 24 x 17 inches, $8,400.
  • Dinner plate, White House, Abraham Lincoln, Alhambra pattern, scalloped rim, eagle, shield, purple band, Limoges, 9 1/2 inches, $9,200.

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 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The fiberglass shade is a clue to the age of this lamp by George Nakashima. It was made in 1977 and sold for $6,875 at a Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:01
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 6, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 06 October 2014 14:57
These small 6-inch-high pink Dada Baby speakers are rare bits of technology made in 1996. The seated baby figures are sound speakers that went for $3,277 at an Absolute Auctions online sale. Only 100 were made and half were lost in a fire.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – What kind of antiques collector are you? Some collectors search for pieces from a past era; some want pieces with a connection to a famous person or event. Many collectors are furnishing a house or apartment and want antiques that are useful and well-priced.

Younger collectors today seek useful things from the '50s era that are colorful, well-designed and in excellent condition. Telephones, electric fans, telephone insulators, large metal and wooden machinery, steel school lockers, and jewelry made from computer parts sell quickly at shows. At a recent Absolute Auctions & Realty online auction, two pink "Dada Babies," figural speakers only 6 inches tall, sold for $3,277.

Their bases are marked "Dada Baby Art by B & W [Bowers & Wilkins], Handmade by Blueroom Loudspeakers." Their modern shape and color may have attracted bidders, but many technology collectors must have wanted these rare speakers. Bowers & Wilkins is an audio-equipment company founded in England in 1966 by John Bowers and Roy Wilkins, who wanted to make better sound speakers. They met an artist who thought music would sound better if played through speakers with rounded, not straight, edges and the company started making speakers in several abstract modern shapes. In 1996 B & W created its Blueroom Dada Babies. The wire for each speaker connected to the figure like an umbilical cord. The seated baby has a head that rotates to send the sound in several directions. Dada Babies originally came in five colors: blue, red, yellow, black or pink. Only a few still exist because half of the 100 speakers made in 1996 were lost in a fire. Examples are occasionally offered online or at live auctions.

We wonder whether the just-purchased "babies" now exhibited on a living room table as works of art. Or are they on a shelf with other unusual well-designed pieces of technology?

Q: I'm trying to learn something about my chest of drawers. It has three drawers with original knobs, a beveled mirror and rolled feet instead of legs. Inside a drawer there's an old emblem with "HL" in the center surrounded by the name "Harris Lebus." The chest is in very good condition. Can you tell me something about the maker?

A: Harris Lebus was a family-run business that became England's largest furniture manufacturer in the 1890s. Louis Lebus, a German immigrant, opened a furniture shop in London in about 1857. Sometime after 1879, when Louis died and his son, Harris, took over the business, the name of the company became Harris Lebus. It made quality furniture inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. During World War I, the company made airplanes, gliders, tent pins and other military equipment. Furniture manufacturing resumed after the war. During World War II, production switched to munitions, and the factory was involved in a top secret government project. Two or three wooden tanks, exact replicas of Sherman tanks, were built. They were meant to be used as decoys to fool German bombers. Harris Lebus became a public company in 1947 and later made inexpensive furniture using particle board and other woods. The company went out of business in 1969.

Q: I have a bronze sculpture of a chubby Greek god sitting on a donkey. The god has a wreath on his head and is carrying an animal pelt. It was acquired by one of my relatives, who said he was the first Allied officer to enter Hitler's quarters at Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. It came from Hitler's long desk in front of the large window overlooking the front of the building. The sculpture in 10 1/2 inches high and is mounted on marble. What is it worth?

A: Hitler's quarters were bombed by the British and burned by retreating SS troops before Allied troops entered. If you can prove the bronze sculpture came from Hitler's desk, it will be of interest to collectors. Without provenance—a letter from the officer who found the sculpture or some other proof of Hitler's ownership—the value is the same as for any other unsigned bronze sculpture.

Q: I'm clearing out a friend's house, and found an 8-inch-high black figural decanter. The figure is wearing a cloak and wide-brim hat and holding a red torch. The stopper is the top of the hat. The only marking on the bottom is "Wade, England." Can you give me any information about this decanter?

A: Your decanter is called "The Don," made for Sandeman port and sherry. The Don is holding a glass of wine, not a torch, and he's wearing a black cape similar to those worn by Portuguese university students. The image first appeared on posters made for Sandeman by George Massiot Brown in 1928 and has been used in Sandeman ads and on bottle labels for many years. The company claims it was "the very first iconic logo for a wine." Sandeman was founded in London by George Sandeman in 1790 and still is in business. The Wade group of potteries was founded in Staffordshire, England, in 1810. The pottery still is in business, now as Wade Ceramics Ltd. of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Wade made your decanter in about 1960. Figural decanters of The Don were also made by Royal Doulton and Wedgwood. The value of your decanter is about $15. Bottles by the other more famous makers sell for about $25.

Q: I have an iron doorstop shaped like a stagecoach pulled by two horses. There are two coachmen, one sitting in front holding the reigns and one in the back blowing a horn. It's embossed "GR and London Royal Mail, N17" and "Patent Pending." Can you give my any information about my doorstop?

A: Most old cast-iron doorstops sold today were made from about 1890 to 1930. Many have been reproduced. The design for your coach and horses doorstop was patented by Charles Tuteur of Chicago in July 1930. Value depends on condition. Your doorstop usually sells for about $100 to $200.

Tip: If your stainless-steel knife blades stain in a dishwasher, rinse them, then dry or clean them with silver polish.

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.

  • Depression glass bowl, Woolworth pattern, stippled grapes, pink, Westmoreland, 6 inches, $5.
  • Match safe, hunters, game, deer head, hunting horn, cast iron, 10 1/2 inches, $95.
  • Club chair, green upholstery, rounded arms, Mayo, 1957, 34 x 28 inches, $200.
  • Toothpick, 14K yellow gold textured case, retractable, 1 3/4 inches, $205.
  • Swastika Keramos vase, green trailing edge, gold ground, white beading, three handles, 7 1/4 inches, $230.
  • Violin, tiger maple, silver, mother-of-pearl, Germany, bow, case, student's, c. 1900, $300.
  • Toy bus, Royal Blue Line Coast to Coast Service, tin lithograph, Chein, 18 inches, $365.
  • Purse, pony hair, deer print, faux tortoiseshell chain-link strap, 11 x 12 inches, $415.
  • Silver claret jug, mounted glass, lion & shield finial, cylindrical, Elkington & Co., England, c. 1890, 11 inches, $875.
  • Chinese export plate, famille rose, millefiori, footed, flared wide border, gilt, 10 inch pair, $1,060.

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 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. Visit KovelsOnlineStore.com , call 800-303-1996, or write to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
These small 6-inch-high pink Dada Baby speakers are rare bits of technology made in 1996. The seated baby figures are sound speakers that went for $3,277 at an Absolute Auctions online sale. Only 100 were made and half were lost in a fire.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:03
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Sept. 29, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 29 September 2014 14:19
This 19-inch-high fruit stand, sometimes called a berry set, is made of silver-plated metal with Burmese glass bowls. It sold in the spring of 2014 at an Early's Art Glass auction in Milford, Ohio, for $3,220.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Is it called a fruit bowl, berry bowl, fruit stand, fruit dish, epergne, basket or bride's basket? A search of 1880s and '90s catalogs of silver and glass tableware manufacturers had similar pieces called by any one of these names.

A formal Victorian dinner party served multiple courses with special serving pieces for each one. The many-named stand was used at the end of the meal. A typical dinner had up to nine courses. First was raw oysters, then soup, meat, poultry, salad, dessert, then fruit and perhaps cheese, followed by coffee and tea in the drawing room. The table was cleared between courses and sometimes even fresh tablecloths were used.

The bowl with many names often was the centerpiece for the dessert and fruit courses. There were small berry bowls and berry sets that held strawberries or raspberries or similar fruit served with fresh cream and sugar. Elaborate stands that held colored glass bowls probably held fruit like bunches of grapes, or apples that are easier to serve since the bowl and stand would be too heavy to pass around the table. The silver-plated stands were decorated with three dimensional figures, animals, flowers or strange groupings like a cupid driving a chariot pulled by a peacock or the Greek god Poseidon with his spear poised to catch a piece of fruit from the bowl below. The bowls were sometimes silver but more often were colored art glass like Amberina, Burmese, Peachblow, Pomona, satin glass, or pressed or cut glass.

Because collectors since the 1960s have preferred colored glass, art glass pieces found in stands today often are replacements for the original old clear glass bowls. An all-original "berry bowl set" on a silver-plated stand with two Burmese bowls decorated with flowers sold recently. The silver stand featured young boys riding on turtles. It sold in 2014 at an Early's Art Glass auction in Milford, Ohio, for $3,220.

Q: A family member has a coffee table and two end tables that are stumping us. The tables were purchased in Germany in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The tops are hand carved, stained and painted, and covered with a piece of glass that can be removed. The legs are screwed in. They are marked on the bottom "D.B.G.M. Geschutzt." I hope you can help with some information and a value.

A: Your tables are in the style called "Black Forest," a term used to describe the elaborate, naturalistic wood carvings of animals, plants and landscapes thought to be made in the Bavarian Black Forest region of southwest Germany. But most pieces were really made in Brienz, Switzerland, where the carving style started in the early 1800s. From the mid-1880s to the 1940s, Brienz wood carvers made rustic clocks, benches, hall trees, smoking stands, chairs, tables and other furniture they sold to tourists. It was popular with Americans. The mark on your tables stands for Deutsches Bundes Gebrauchsmuster (German Federal Registered Design) and was used in West Germany from 1948 to 1985. So your tables were probably made in the 1950s. Black Forest carvings from Brienz are from the 1880s to 1920s are sought after and sell for a lot of money. Most midcentury Black Forest style pieces made for tourists in Germany or Austria, are machine-made and worth much less. Your tables could sell for $50 to $100.

Q: Please tell me the value of a 1939 San Francisco World's Fair woman’s compact. It has an image of a tall building on the front.

A: The Golden Gate International Exposition was held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939-40. Among the many souvenirs of the fair are several different styles of compacts. The building pictured on your compact is the Expo Tower at the fair's main entrance. Any compact from the fair sells for about $10-$20.

Q: I have an antique doll that reads "Dainty Dorothy, Germany" on the tummy. It has yellow hair, a bisque head, open mouth with teeth, and a kid body. It is jointed but is missing a hand. It has shoes and socks and a new dress. The doll is about 21 inches tall. Can you tell me how old it is and what it might be worth?

A: Dainty Dorothy was a line of dolls sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and by T. Eaton Co., a Canadian department store, from 1910 until; at least 1922. Kestner, Simon & Halbig, Armand Marseille, and Gebruder Heubach made bisque heads for the dolls. If you find a manufacturer's mark on the doll's head on the back of the neck, you can identify the maker. Dolls with composition forearms and lower legs were made beginning in 1912. An all composition version was sold by Eaton in 1918. Not having the original dress doesn't affect the value very much but the value of your doll is lower because it's missing a hand. Your doll is worth $50 to $75.

Tip: Cover the nose of your hammer with a piece of felt to protect the wall when you are putting up picture hooks. If the wall is smooth, some of the new stick-on hooks might work.

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.

  • Match safe, Odd Fellows, fraternal symbols, metal, Hendrick Hudson Hotel, Troy, N.Y., $120.
  • Sign, Dontophile toothpaste, black man, showing off white teeth, tin, France, 18 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, $150.
  • Mahatma Gandhi figurine, seated, crossed legs, Royal Dux, 10 inches, $220.
  • Coca-Cola postcard, woman, seated, large black hat, frame, 1910, 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches, $390.
  • Sterling-silver flask, embossed, men drinking around table, R. Wallace & Sons, c. 1900, 5 1/4 inches, $470.
  • Butler's desk, Hepplewhite, cherry, mahogany banding, six drawers, c. 1810, 47 x 22 inches, $515.
  • Toy car, Edsel, convertible, cream, light green, box reads "New Edsel," "Child Land," Haji trademark, Japan, box, 10 3/4 inches, $3,894.
  • Contemporary glass basket, "Untitled No. 1," green lip, mottled designs, signed D. Chihuly, 1988, 17 x 12 1/2 inches, $4,750.
  • Walking stick, maple, patriotic relief-carved scenes, Zachariah Robinson, c. 1865, 35 inches, $4,890.
  • Boneshaker bicycle, transitional high-wheel ordinary, bronze oiler cast pedals, rear brake, coaster pegs, c. 1870, $6,145.

New! "Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2015," 47th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. It's available this month and includes a special bonus section that helps you determine prices if you're downsizing and selling your antiques. It's the best book to own if you buy, sell or collect – and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and more than 32,000 up-to-date prices for more than 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year and helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available for $27.95 plus $4.95 postage. Purchase online at KovelsOnlineStore.com ; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your local bookstore; or write to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This 19-inch-high fruit stand, sometimes called a berry set, is made of silver-plated metal with Burmese glass bowls. It sold in the spring of 2014 at an Early's Art Glass auction in Milford, Ohio, for $3,220.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:03
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Sept. 22, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 22 September 2014 13:21

A man's face is a clever decoration on a bellows used to fan flames in a fireplace. The rare 19th-century bellows sold at auction for $2,700.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – In past centuries, fireplace tools consisted of a poker and tongs to rearrange burning logs, a small shovel to remove ashes, perhaps a whiskbroom to sweep up leftover fuel and ashes, and a bellows to encourage flames to burn brighter. The fireplace was the main heating source for small houses before 1900, so a bellows to coax a flame from a dying fire was important.

Early bellows probably were a bag made from the skin of a small animal and a piece of metal, usually brass, to direct the gust of air created by squeezing the bellows. Later examples had stiff wooden boards and leather sides. Nails rust, and leather and wood dry out, crack and have to be replaced, so most of the antique bellows found today are repaired or made in the 19th century. Many were hand-decorated, and some even had wooden sides carved by cabinetmakers. Many antique bellows have attractive folk art decorations and are wanted for the art, not for use with a fireplace. Most new and many old bellows sell for under $100, but in April 2014, an unusual 1800s bellows with original leather painted to look like a man's face had a bid of $2,700 at a Showtime auction in Michigan.

Q: I inherited a framed painting that hung in my grandfather's living room since at least the 1920s. It's a painting of a gondola with a few passengers and a standing gondolier. But they're not riding on a canal; instead, they're floating down what appears to be an underground cave. The painting is signed "M. Gianni" in the lower left corner.

A: Here are a few things to do to learn more about your painting: First, make sure it really is a painting and not a print. If you can't tell, take it to an expert in your area. Then check online artist databases. You can find some information online, but you can learn more if you go to your local library and ask someone there to help you search databases that the library subscribes to. "M. Gianni" may be an Italian artist named Maria Gianni, who was born in the 19th century but worked into the 20th. She painted using watercolors and gouache. If you have an original painting, its value depends on its condition and size. Some Maria Gianni paintings have auctioned for prices in the low hundreds, but others have topped $1,000.

Q: I have a 6-foot-tall cardboard cutout of Elvis Presley wearing his black leather outfit. I've had it for 20 years. What is it worth?

A: Life-size cardboard cutouts of Elvis still are being made and sell for about $20-$30 today.

Q: I bought some green frosted pressed-glass dishes at an estate sale. They are clear glass on the inside and frosted green-blue on the outside. The frosting looks green from the front and bluish from the back. The plates have "KIG Indonesia" in raised letters on the surface on the outer edge. Can you tell me anything about them? Are they safe to eat from?

A: Most frosted glass dishes are safe to use. Frosted glass is made by acid-etching or sandblasting clear glass. Since the "inside" of your dishes are clear and are the surface the food touches, you can be sure they are OK. "KIG" stands for Kedaung Industrial Group, which was founded in Jakarta, Indonesia, by Agus Nursalim in 1969. The company started out making glass and tableware for Indonesia but was soon exporting goods throughout the world. Eventually the Kedaung Industrial Group included more than 30 companies that made glassware, enamel cookware, ceramic housewares, stainless-steel flatware, glass blocks, ceramic tiles and other products. It claimed to be one of the world's largest manufacturers of glass, and had retail stores in several cities. The company also made reproduction early-American glass. In the United States, products were sold at Walmart and other stores.

Q: We have an oak hanging map cabinet that's 51 inches wide by 21 inches high. It holds seven large pull-down canvas maps printed by W. & A.K. Johnston of Edinburgh, Scotland. They include maps of Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, the United States and a couple of the two hemispheres. The maps of Europe show the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire, not the Soviet Union. The map of Africa is barely recognizable. There's a large country in the center of the continent labeled "Congo Free State." How old are the maps, and what is the full cabinet worth?

A: Look for a copyright date on the maps to date them more precisely. They predate World War I, which ended the Austro Hungarian Empire and saw the formation of the Soviet Union. The Congo Free State existed from 1885 to 1908, so the maps can more precisely be dated as pre-1908. William Johnston (1802-1888) and Alexander Keith Johnston (1804-1871) were partners in a printing business that they founded in Edinburgh in 1826. Alexander became a respected geographer, and the brothers' firm eventually printed and sold maps, atlases, guidebooks and globes. Some very old maps can sell for millions. Your maps, designed for educational purposes, are not worth that much, but your cabinet and maps could sell for hundreds of dollars if the maps are in excellent condition.

Tip: When rewiring an old Arts and Crafts lamp, use fabric-covered wire that looks very much like the silk-wrapped cord used at the turn of the 20th century.

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.

  • Coal scuttle, tole, painted landscape, cutout handles, France, 12 inches, $70.
  • Wooden egg crate, J.G. Cherry Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, stenciled, bail handle, lid, c. 1900, 11 x 12 inches, $120.
  • Chompy the Beetle toy, lithographed tin, windup, red, yellow, orange, Marx, Japan, box, 1965, 6 inches, $180.
  • Medical spring bleeder, silver plate, engraved "Dr. Holiday," slip case, c. 1835, 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches, $185.
  • Empire-style chair, wood, gilt trim, ormolu mounts, Sphinx front legs, griffin mounts, upholstered, 40 x 28 inches, $520.
  • Sign, "Eat Chicken Dinner," "Candy," tin, painted, 71 x 37 1/2 inches, $645.
  • Amish quilt, Trip Around the World, blue, red, green squares, black border, Lancaster, Pa., c. 1830, 72 x 75 inches, $900.
  • Electric lamp, Venus in shell, waves base, alabaster, Italy, 16 inches, $1,125.
  • Studio camera, steel, mahogany case, adjustable wood stand, Swift & Son, London, c. 1890, 58 3/4 inches, $1,250.
  • Silver coffeepot, George II, repousse, leaves, treen handle, William Holmes, England, 1767, 12 inches, $1,625.

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 and 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A man's face is a clever decoration on a bellows used to fan flames in a fireplace. The rare 19th-century bellows sold at auction for $2,700.

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:04
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Sept. 15, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 14:42

When this toy is wound, four Chinese men in colorful hats wave the canopy to toss the child. It recalls the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. The 5-inch-high toy sold for $14,800 at a Bertoia auction in Vineland, N.J., in 2013.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Sometimes an antique toy tells an almost-forgotten story. The Tammany Hall bank with a well-dressed man taking the penny is a criticism of corrupt politicians in New York City in 1871.

A 1940s blond doll wearing ice skates probably is not recognized today as Sonja Henie, a world-champion ice skater from 1923 to 1936 and star of a dozen Hollywood movies.

A rare clockwork toy has four Chinese men tossing a child in a blanket. Each of the men has a brightly painted hat that represents a European country. The toy, made in the early 1900s by Lehmann in Germany, is a comment on the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, when England, Russia, France and Germany occupied China. A Chinese secret society, the Boxers, led a rebellion against the European countries, killing foreigners and Chinese Christians, and destroying property. An international army that included Americans subdued the uprising. The rebellion ended in 190l, and China paid $330 million in reparations. It seems like a strange idea for a toy. It is claimed that only four of the toys still exist because the action required a complicated mechanism that broke easily. So in recent years, one of these toys in good working condition sold for $14,800.

Q: Can you tell me anything about a clear pressed glass serving bowl left to my husband by his grandmother? The inside is marked "Mountain City Mills, patent, flour."

A: A grain-milling company, or two different companies, named Mountain City Mills was in business in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Frederick, Md., in the early 1900s. It's unusual to find a piece of pressed glass marked like yours. It is possible that Mountain City contracted with a glass manufacturer to make pieces either for employees or as a premium for customers. Pressed glass is not as popular with collectors as it was 20 years ago. Depending on the pattern and size of your bowl, it could sell for $25 or more.

Q: My mother has had a mint-condition alligator purse since about 1940. The inside is labeled "Cuba." Can you tell me what it's worth?

A: Back in the 1930s, '40s and early '50s, Cuban manufacturers sold a lot of goods in the United States. Those were the same decades when alligator purses were at their peak of popularity. If the purse is in excellent condition, it probably would sell for $20 to $50. If it had a high-end designer label, it could sell for many times that.

Q: I inherited an antique stove and would like to sell it. It's a standing, round stove, and I assume it's a wood-burning model. It's black with metal accents and is marked "Great Western Stove Co., Leavenworth, Omaha, Denver." Where can I sell it, and how much can I get for it?

A: We receive many questions about antique stoves. The history of the Great Western Manufacturing Co. of Leavenworth, Kan., dates back to 1858. The related stove manufacturer, Great Western Stove Co., was formed in 1875 and operated into at least the 1930s. We have seen Great Western stoves offered for $100 to more than $1,000. Take a look at the website AntiqueStoves.com to get an idea of the types of stoves collectors are looking for and selling. Then you might want to try selling locally through a dealer or via Craigslist so the buyer doesn't have to worry about shipping costs.

Q: I have a tea set that I can find nothing about. It has a teapot, sugar and creamer and eight cups and saucers and is in mint condition. The pattern name is "Hawthorn" and it looks like Belleek, but I can't find any other information. Can you help with age and value?

A: Your tea set was made in Ireland by the Donegal Parian China Co. The company was formed in 1985 in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, by a group of former workers from the more-famous Belleek Pottery, just five miles away, across the border in Northern Ireland. Donegal China made marble-like Parian tableware and giftware in the Belleek style decorated with shamrocks, roses, hawthorn and other Irish designs, but the intricacy of the pieces was never that of traditional Irish Belleek. In 1996, Donegal China became a subsidiary of Belleek Pottery, which closed the Donegal China factory in 2005, dissolved the brand completely in 2012 and discontinued the Donegal Parian lines. Your tea set is worth about $250.

Q: I have a milk glass rolling pin with wooden handles that my mother got in 1931, and I got it when I married in 1954. I use it all the time and love it. Does it have any value?

A: Rolling pins were first used over 1,000 years ago. Early pins were handmade of wood. Rolling pins made of wood, glass, porcelain, marble, tin, and other materials were mass-produced beginning in the mid-19th century. In 1864, a rolling pin with a central rod that didn't turn with the rest of the rolling pin was invented by John W. Reed, a black American inventor. Rolling pins that are decorated, carved or have advertisements on them sell for more than plain pins. A milk glass rolling pin without decoration but with a brand name sells for about $15.

Tip: Repairs made to cut glass can be seen with a black light. It also will show most added plastic repairs. Look at where the foot, knob or handles might have been reattached. Many auctions have a black light available at the preview.

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.

  • Street sweeper toy, metal, painted silver, yellow, black tires, Schuco Piccolo, 2 1/4 inches, $35.
  • Armoire, Art Deco, painted white, mirrored door, applied designs, 1920s, 42 x 17 x 54 inches, $80.
  • Gullah basket, coil, dyed bands, oval hand opening, flared, South Carolina, c. 1880, 8 x 18 inches, 115.
  • Telephone, candlestick shape, brass, 5-cent local calls, pay box, key, 12 1/4 inches, $180.
  • Buddy Lee doll, railroad engineer uniform, cap, circa 1925, 13 inches, $300.
  • Washing machine, Perfect Washer, domed, mixed woods, tin, iron, W.H. Whetzel, Lantz Mill, Va., circa 1870, 44 x 36 inches, $345.
  • Bracelet, silver, ball and twisted scroll links, pin and chain closure, Hector Aguilar, Mexico, circa 1940, 6 inches, $435.
  • Bronze sculpture, Roman gladiator, combat pose, shield, sword, yellow marble base, 6 1/2 inches, $815.
  • Mirror, over-mantel, Louis XV style, carved garlands, leaves, arched plate, 76 x 52 inches, $1,250.
  • Clamp, wrought iron, gilt tulip and bird terminals, initials, heart-shape base plate, circa 1810, 9 inches, $4,560.
New. Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2015, 47th edition, is the most accurate source for current prices. It's available this month and includes a special bonus section that helps you determine prices if you're downsizing and selling your antiques. It's the best book to own if you buy, sell or collect – and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and more than 32,000 up-to-date prices for more than 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record-setting prices of the year and helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available for $27.95 plus $4.95 postage. Purchase online at KovelsOnlineStore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your local bookstore; or write to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

 

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

When this toy is wound, four Chinese men in colorful hats wave the canopy to toss the child. It recalls the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. The 5-inch-high toy sold for $14,800 at a Bertoia auction in Vineland, N.J., in 2013.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 17:01
 
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