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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 30, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 30 March 2015 15:07
This strange brass object is an early stock ticker tape, an unusual collectible that can be displayed like a piece of sculpture. It sold at auction for $2,460.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Collectors are searching for antique and vintage items related to discontinued technology – old computers, transistor radios, early television sets, computer games, and even old typewriters, fans and ticker tape machines.

A recent auction featuring furniture, cigar cutters, stoneware crocks, Chippendale furniture and maps was also offering an antique stock ticker. The 11-inch-high machine had a metal label explaining that it was designed by Thomas Edison in 1870. It was used for about 80 years for getting stock and commodities quotes from exchanges. The estimated auction price was $1,000 to $1,500.

Printed letters could be sent by telegraph as early as 1846, but machines were fragile and difficult to use. Telegraphic printers were improved, and by 1867 a stock price ticker system was being used in New York City. Edison's invention came next. It was the first one to use letters and numbers, not Morse code. By the 1880s, thousands of stock tickers were in use in New York that made stock trades accurate and almost instantaneous. Ticker tape machines recorded information on long thin strips of paper that were discarded. When there was a parade in Manhattan to celebrate a holiday or championship, the tapes were torn and thrown at the parade from open windows. Soon the events were called ticker tape parades. The name still is used, although now the paper comes from the paper shredders.

An antique ticker tape machine attracted technology enthusiasts at a 2014 Pook and Pook auction in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Collectors bid until the rare Edison machine sold for $2,460.

Q: I have a large cedar chest with a curved lid and drawers along the bottom. It has two curved handles. It's marked under the lid "Roos Chests, Forest Park, Ill., Sealtite lid patented." It was my maternal grandmother's wedding chest about 1920. The chest is 44 inches wide, 31 inches deep, and 18 inches across. What are the best fabrics to store in a cedar chest? Does it have any value as an antique?

A: Cedar chests have been used to store things for hundreds of years. They are often called "hope chests" because they often were given to young women to keep linens and other household items before marriage. The cedar keeps out moths and other insects, but the oil in the wood will discolor fabric or paper. Before storing fabrics in the cedar chest, it should be lined with mylar or polyethylene sheeting. The fabric should be wrapped in white cotton sheets or washed unbleached muslin. Pictures and other paper objects should be placed in an archival box before storing in a cedar chest. Edward Roos Co. was founded in Chicago in 1916 and moved to Forest Park in 1918. At one time it made more chests than any other maker in the world. The company was sold in 1951 and it went out of business in 1953. Cedar chests are useful and sell quickly. Many Roos chests are found online and in shops. Plain chests go for $100-$150. Those with extra decoration or carvings can sell for $300-$500.

Q: I have a copper box with a hinged lid that is marked "Craftsman Studios" above a hammer striking an anvil. The words "Hand Made" are on the anvil and the words "Laguna Calif" are below it. There is a repousse long-stemmed rose bud on the top of the lid. When was this made and what is it worth?

A: Carl Wirths started Craftsman Studios in Brooklyn, New York, in 1919. Jewelry and desk accessories were made. Wirths moved to California and opened a studio in Los Angeles in 1920. Clyde Hall took over ownership in the studio in 1924. The studio was moved to Laguna Beach in 1929 and was in business until the 1950s. Hand-hammered desk accessories, vases and other items were made at the California studio. Variations on the name of the workshop were used, including "Studio" instead of "Studios," and "Craftsmen" instead of "Craftsman." The name and location marked on your copper box indicate it was made in 1929 or 1939. The realistic rose on top of the box is not a typical Arts and Crafts design, so your box is not a type popular with Arts and Crafts collectors. It would sell for $75 to $100.

Q: During the 1950s I attended an Italian Anti-Defamation League dinner in New York. I got a lot of autographs, and when I approached Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees for an autograph, he gave permission for the whole team to sign my book. Is it worth anything?

A: The Italian Anti-Defamation League, which became the Italian-American Civil Rights League, was active in the 1970s and wasn't in existence in the 1950s. Mobster Joseph Colombo, a member of the Costa Nostra, was one of the founding members. The League got the producer of "The Godfather" to eliminate the words "Mafia" and "Costa Nostra" from the dialogue. Was Joe DiMaggio, who played for the New York Yankees from 1936 to 1951, being honored at the meeting? We wonder how you got the autographs of all the players, unless they were all at the meeting, too. Usually, sports memorabilia signed by an entire team is worth more than something signed by just a few team members. An expert on sports memorabilia and autographs would have to see your book in order to determine the value.

Q: A baseball team gave me a Falstaff beer clock for my birthday in 1957. The numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are on the clock face. There is a large shield-shaped Falstaff Beer logo and two beer mugs that move on the front. There is a light inside that lights up the clock face. What is it worth?

A: Beer was produced under the Falstaff name from 1903 until 2005. Several Falstaff beer clocks in a variety of styles were made over the years. Most of them sell for $50 to $60. Your "toasting" beer mugs make it more attractive, so it might be $150-$200.

Tip: Do not store papers near sunlight, heaters, radiators, furnaces, stoves, lamps, television sets, VCRs or any other heat-producing device.

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.

  • Buffalo pottery bowl, willow, cobalt blue, house, birds, footed, 1922, 4 x 8 x 3 inches, $50.
  • Bottle, soda, stoneware, cobalt blue dipped spout & neck, P. Pfannebecker, circa 1870, 9 1/2 inches, $60.
  • Coca-Cola, tray, 1916, girl, yellow dress, rectangular, 19 x 8 1/2 inches, $120.
  • Doorknocker, cast iron, shaped like ship, sail masts, 1929, 9 1/2 inches, $165.
  • Baccarat crystal ice bucket, faceted rim, indented center band, vertically paneled tapering sides, 9 x 7 1/2 inches, $185.
  • Silver-plate coaster, wine bottle, reticulated lion mask, gadrooned, England, circa 1860, 5 x 7 1/2 inches, four pieces, $405.
  • Ideal doll, Mary Hartline, hard plastic, blonde wig, red marching uniform, batons, hair curlers, box, 16 inches, $450.
  • Jewelry, cocktail ring, 18K yellow gold, square emerald, star, diamonds, circa 1940, size 7, $720.
  • Crown Milano vase, multicolor flowers, white, pink ground, pulled ear handles, Colonial ware, marked, 9 3/4 inches, $1,060.
  • Chair, Queen Anne, walnut, carved shell crest, slip seat, Philadelphia, circa 1780, 38 x 18 inches, $1,875.

The Kovels.com premium website is up and running. In addition to 900,000 free prices of antiques and collectibles, more than 11,000 with photographs, premium subscribers will find a dictionary of marks for silver and another for ceramics, with pictured marks and company histories. Premium membership also includes a subscription to the digital edition of our newsletter, "Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles," and its archives, where you'll find hundreds of articles about almost anything you might collect. Up-to-date information for the savvy collector. Go to Kovels.com and click on "Subscription" for more information.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 15:24
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 23, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 23 March 2015 13:33
This pair of busts of well-dressed children was made about 1860. They are 8 3/4 inches high and are marked with a beehive. The pair cost $676.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Looking for information on a piece you were told is "antique Royal Vienna porcelain"? You'll find it in Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide, and other online sources listed with "beehive" porcelain.

The first mark used by the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in 1744 was actually a line drawing of the outline of a shield. But when turned upside down, it looked like a beehive. Collectors today call the mark a beehive and the porcelain, "Royal Vienna."

The factory closed in 1864. But since then, porcelains have been made in Germany, Austria, Japan and other Asian countries that are reproductions of the expensive original antique pieces. Be very careful to examine any piece called Royal Vienna or any piece with a beehive mark before you buy it. A December 2014 auction by New Orleans Auction Co. sold a pair of Royal Vienna Porcelain "Kinderkopf" busts that were copies of figures designed by J.J. Kaendler at the German Meissen factory in the 1770s.

A figure made by Kaendler in the 18th century would cost thousands of dollars. The pair, sold in New Orleans, were made about 1860 at the Konigliche Porcelain Factory in Berlin and brought $676.

Q: We inherited an oak bookcase from my grandmother. It has five shelves that can be separated from each other. Each shelf has a lift-up glass door. The bookcase is labeled, "Mission Bookcase Unit, manufactured by The Globe-Wernicke Co., Cincinnati, O." Please tell us its value.

A: Globe Furniture Co. of Cincinnati bought Wernicke Co. of Minneapolis in 1899 to form the Globe-Wernicke Co. Otto Wernicke had patented his sectional bookcase in 1892 and it became a best-seller for the company. The bookcases, made in oak, ash, walnut or mahogany, became known as "barrister bookcases." They were sold not only to lawyers, but to libraries, government offices and storefronts. Today, the bookcases are sought by collectors. A five-shelf unit in excellent condition would sell for more than $1,000.

Q: I have a hardbound book titled Walter Keane, part of the Tomorrow's Masters Series by Johnson Meyers. It's a first printing by Johnson Meyer Publishing Co., Redwood City, California and has a copyright date of 1964. Is there any collectible value to this book because of the 2014 movie, Big Eyes, depicting the scandal about Walter Keane not painting the pictures sold as his work? I also have the book MDH Margaret Keane with the same copyright date.

A: These books originally were sold as a boxed two-volume set. Margaret Keane signed some of her paintings with her initials, MDH, and her last name. Some of these are in the book about her. Walter claimed credit for her paintings of big-eyed children, and those paintings are included in the book about him. The couple divorced in 1965, but it was not until a 1970 radio interview that Margaret revealed that she was the real painter of the "big eye" pictures. The movie has generated interest in the Keanes, and online sources are asking high prices for the books, but they probably will not sell for much more than other used books. A set was offered for sale online for $700, but hasn't sold yet.

Q: I bought a brass plate at a tag sale for a very inconsequential amount, thinking it might have a Hitler connection. It has a shield-shaped coat of arms and the word "Berchtesgaden," and a coat of arms with crossed keys and trefoils with a smaller shield in the middle. The back of the plate has a date scratched on it, "015-05-1838." The plate is 9 inches across and looks hand-hammered. Can you tell me the age and value?

A: The date doesn't seem to be important in the history of Berchtesgaden but would indicate it was long before it was a retreat for Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Your plate does have the Berchtesgaden coat of arms in the center. Since the numbers on the back of the plate are scratched in, the date probably commemorates something meaningful only to the person who originally owned the plate. A 9-inch plate, with handwork, sells for about $50-$75.

Q: We inherited a silver coffeepot marked "Redfield & Rice, New York" and "August 1866." It's 14 1/2 inches high. We think it's silver plate. Can you tell us something about the maker?

A: James H. Redfield and James Rice were silver manufacturers who worked with various partners in the 1850s. In 1863 they started Redfield & Rice. The company became Redfield & Rice Manufacturing Co. in 1866 and was in business until 1872, primarily making flatware but also making some hollowware. Hollowware pieces often were "bought in the metal" from other manufacturers and then plated. Some of the hollowware plated by Redfield & Rice was made by Reed & Barton and some by other manufacturers. The company went bankrupt in 1872.

Q: I have a cylindrical vase signed "Troika, Cornwall, England." Can you tell me something about the maker, age and value?

A: Troika Pottery was in business from 1963 to 1983. It was founded by Benny Sirota, Leslie Illsley and Jan Thomson, who took over a pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall, England, in 1963. "Troika" is a Russian sled pulled by three horses and can also be used to describe a group of three people managing a business. The pottery moved to Newlyn, Cornwall, in 1970. By 1980, Illsley was running the pottery alone. Business declined and the pottery closed in 1983. Pottery was made in modern shapes with both textured and glossy finishes. Pieces with the rough textured finish are more often found than those with the smooth finish. Vases sell for $150 to $500. Few are found outside England.

Q: Years ago, I purchased an oak A & P service counter from a corner grocery store in Clifton, N.J. It's 36 inches high and 10 feet long and has 21 drawers and 21 glass-enclosed pasta displays. Do you think it's valuable?

A: A&P, a chain of grocery stores that was once the largest in the country, started out as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. By the end of the 19th century, it had become the first grocery store chain in the United States. The value of your counter depends on its age and condition. If it dates from the early 1900s and is in great condition, it could sell for more than $1,000 - perhaps much more. But there is always the issue of shipping. If you want to sell, contact an auction house that deals with early advertising and store items.

Tip: Store Barbie dolls without the metal earrings. Eventually the metal will discolor the ears.

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.

  • Royal Bayreuth, candy dish, clown, red, white, hands up, 6 1/4 x 7 inches, $40.
  • Table, drop leaf, European, oak, oval, drawer, wooden pulls, 19th century, 30 x 53 x 18 inches, $60.
  • Cut glass cordial, Elmira pattern, double teardrop stem, Hobstar, American Brilliant, 3 1/2 inches, $125.
  • Tea caddy, lozenge shape, quillwork, swags, medallion, inlaid trim, circa 1825, 5 x 8 inches, $240.
  • Van Briggle pottery plate, repeating leaves, green matte glaze, incised, 1907-12, 13 x 6 inches, $345.
  • Moorcroft vase, Pansy, cream ground, silver plate rim, marked, Macintyre, circa 1912, 4 inches, $380.
  • Game table, pine, painted checkerboard, folding, circa 1920, 36 x 20 inches, $390.
  • English silver sugar tongs, egg-shape terminal, 1803, 5 1/2 inches, $405.
  • Toy airplane, red, embossed, Lucky Boy, Dent Mfg., 1930s, 10-inch wingspan, $770.
  • Travel poster, Hawaii Pan American, boat scene, lei border, A. Amspoker, circa 1950, 35 x 22 inches, $1,250.

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 Companion eBook with all of the book's 35,000 prices – and 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.

© 2015 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This pair of busts of well-dressed children was made about 1860. They are 8 3/4 inches high and are marked with a beehive. The pair cost $676.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 13:47
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 16, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 16 March 2015 13:41
This caged glass and iron vase is 9 3/4 inches high and clearly marked by Majorelle and Daum. It sold at auction last fall for $1,244.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Daum, Lalique, Majorelle, Delatte, A. Walter, and Schneider are some of the famous glassmakers working in Nancy, France, in the late 19th and 20th centuries. A few still are creating quality glass vases and sculptures.

Many of the makers used their names and the word "Nancy" in their marks. Daum and Majorelle worked together to make an early 20th-century type of vase that is easy to recognize and known as "caged."

Louis Majorelle was a famous furniture designer and decorator. He made many types of metal railings, hardware and exterior trim. He made decorative iron frames that were used by Daum. Mottled glass was blown into the empty spaces in the frame so that the glass was slightly raised between the metal parts. The finished piece looked like the glass was trapped in a cage. A purple and pink Art Deco caged vase was auctioned in November by James Julia for $1,244. It was signed "Majorelle Daum Nancy" with the Cross of Lorraine. Look for names with the word Nancy on Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass, especially on large vases. But beware: There have been many fakes and copies made since the 1960s. Some even say "Galli" hoping you will misread the mark.

Q: I bought a home with a large, complete 1920s soda fountain, dispensers, stools and the rest. I'm looking to remove it and sell it, but I'm having trouble finding what a complete setup with seven seats is worth. It's made by Liquid.

A: Soda fountains were in almost every corner drugstore from the early 1900s to the late 1950s. Soda fountains are sold at auctions, usually sales of advertising. You can contact an auction house. If it is an original old soda fountain, they will sell it for you and even arrange to get it to their auction site. Your Liquid fountain was made by Liquid Carbonics Manufacturing Co. in Chicago. The company made liquefied carbon dioxide. It test marketed its first soda fountain in 1903 and sold its first "iceless" soda fountain in 1906. The company name became Liquid Carbonic Corp. in 1926, so your fountain was made between 1906 and 1926. The company merged with General Dynamics in 1958.

Q: I have a blue glass mug with a picture of Shirley Temple on it. Her signature is underneath her picture. The mug is 4 inches high. How much is this worth?

A: Shirley Temple (1928-2014) was a movie star most famous for her roles as a child star. She made her first movie in 1932. Your mug is part of a breakfast set that included a cobalt blue glass bowl, mug and pitcher. They were made by Hazel Atlas Glass Co. and U.S. Glass Co. from 1934 to 1942 and were given away as Wheaties and Bisquick premiums. Some pieces were decorated with the picture of a very young Shirley, others used a picture of Shirley in her 1936 Captain January costume. Millions of the dishes were made. The mug sells for about $10.

Q: I have inherited a Rishell phonograph that was originally purchased between the late 1920s and early 1930s. It's in great condition and still works. I have a few records that work on the machine, too. Does it have any value?

A: Your phonograph was made by Rishell Phonograph Co. of Williamsport, Pa. Rishell was in business from about 1916 until at least 1924, but it is not a well-known brand even among collectors. We have only seen floor models by Rishell. A Rishell floor model in working order could sell for $200 to $300.

Q: What is a posset pot?

A: Posset is a hot drink that was popular in Britain from the 15th through the 19th centuries. It's also a pudding-like dessert that is made today. The drink typically included curdled milk and wine, ale and spices. That was topped with layers of spicy custard and foam. Posset pots were made of porcelain, silver or other material and have a handle and a short spout. The top layers of the posset were eaten with a spoon and the bottom layer drunk through the spout of the pot. Posset was thought to be a cure for colds or fevers and was also drunk as a toast at weddings. It's even mentioned in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

Q: I have a button collection given to me by my husband's grandmother. Some are brass, copper, glass and ceramic. I must have about 800 to 1,000 buttons and no two are the same. These are very old buttons and in excellent condition. Where can I sell them?

A: Button-collecting has been popular since the 19th century. People used to snip the buttons off old clothes and save them for future use, but somewhere along the way button collecting turned into a hobby. The National Button Society was founded in 1938. You can find local button clubs, shows, and contacts on the society's website, www.nationalbuttonsociety.org. The easiest way to sell a large collection might be to go to a button show and talk to the dealers. Old buttons can be worth 5 cents or $500 each. It takes an expert to determine the price. Mixed bottles of buttons often sell at flea markets for $10-$25.

Tip: Don't wrap jewelry in a tissue. You may accidentally throw it away. My aunt once threw a tissue-wrapped diamond ring out the car window.

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.

  • Cowan pottery vase, Arabian Nights glaze, deep blue, aquamarine overspray, marked, 6 1/2 inches, $25.
  • Irish silver serving spoon, cut out fish, pierced stars, engraved scrollwork, Dublin, 12 1/4 inches, $375.
  • Sign, Drink Hires, two ladies drinking with straws, tin, self-frame, circa 1915, 19 x 23 inches, $510.
  • Tiffany pen, ball point, bamboo style, 14K yellow gold, signed, blue box, 4 1/4 inches, $530.
  • Chinese Export pottery bowl, Famille Rose, arms of Box impaling Smith, bouquets, circa 1880, 12 1/4 inches, $600.
  • Desk, Federal style, mahogany, two tambour doors, four drawers, circa 1950, 48 x 36 inches, $750.
  • Worcester porcelain urn, lid, Irish landscape reserves, hexagonal, gilt dolphin handles, circa 1850, 18 3/4 in., pair, $1,625.
  • Paddy riding pig toy, tin lithograph, windup, Lehmann, 1920s, 5 1/2 inches, $1,780.
  • Knife box, George III, mahogany, slant lid, cross banded, England, circa1790, 15 x 12 inches, pair, $2,125.
  • Binoculars, tortoiseshell, gilt bronze, Carpenter & Westley, England, 1835-1914, 5 x 4 inches, $2,705.

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 caged glass and iron vase is 9 3/4 inches high and clearly marked by Majorelle and Daum. It sold at auction last fall for $1,244.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 13:57
 

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

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 09 March 2015 12:50
It cost $23,940 to buy this googly-eyed doll at a Maryland auction. It is 13 inches high, dressed in a period costume, and signed with the names of Oscar Hitt and George Borgfeldt and the date 1927

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Dolls seldom look like real babies or children. Today there are dolls with oversized heads, exaggerated bodies, or monster or cartoon shapes. There were many earlier dolls that had unusual features or expressions. Googly-eyed dolls were popular in the 1920s. One type was made under the 1927 copyright of Oscar Hitt, an American illustrator and cartoonist. Some of his characters were turned into dolls by George Borgfeldt in Germany. The bisque head has a flanged neck. The face has side-glancing eyes with thick dark eyeliner and curly eyelashes, a tiny nose and either painted hair or a wig. These dolls are rare and one sold in January 2015 at a Theriault's auction in Annapolis, Maryland, for $23,940.

Q: I recently bought a dining-room set that includes an octagonal table, six chairs, and a buffet. The buffet has two drawers over four louvered doors. The owner said the set is oak and belonged to her mother 50 years ago. Inside the buffet drawers it indicates it was made by A. Brandt of Fort Worth, Texas. Can you tell me something about the maker and age of this set?

A: August Brandt founded A. Brandt Co. in 1900. The family sold the company in 1986. It went out of business and the remaining inventory was auctioned off in 1988. The company's popular Ranch Oak line of furniture carved with western designs was introduced in 1938. It was sold nationwide and also was made for lodges in the national parks.

Q: I've been collecting lady head vases for about 25 years. I would like to know what they are worth.

A: lady head vases, usually showing a pretty woman from the shoulders up, were used by florists primarily in the 1950s and 1960s. They are often decorated with imitation jewelry and other accessories. They became a "must-have" for a few years – collectors books were written, clubs formed and prices went up. Then the collectors lost interest and prices fell to the present low level. Most head vases were made in Japan and the United States. Lady head vases of a famous person or with imitation jewelry or other added accessories sell for the highest prices. Common lady head vases sell for $25 or less, while a Jackie Kennedy lady head vase has sold for over $100.

Q: I recently restored a 150-year-old Italianate-style home. It has a pair of brass and metal gas-powered chandeliers made by Christian Cornelius of Philadelphia. Each has six glass globes. They are original to the house. All my antiques friends have given their opinions as to the value, but I'd like to get your expert advice.

A: Christian Cornelius was a Dutch silversmith who immigrated to the United States in 1783. He began making lamps in 1825 and started Cornelius & Co. with his son in 1827. It became the largest manufacturer of lighting in the U.S. Christian died in 1851. Family members ran the company under various names until 1900. Lighting fixtures made by Cornelius & Co. and its successors were used in many state capitol buildings in the U.S. and in countries around the world. One can sell for several thousand dollars today. A six-light Cornelius & Co. chandelier could sell for as much as $7,000 to $10,000, but the price depends on condition and the design details.

Q: In 1952, I bought an antique map at Marshall Field in Chicago. It shows the Western and Eastern hemispheres, with Australia identified as New Holland and the center of Africa as "parts unknown." At the bottom, in small print, it reads: "London, published by J. Cary, engraver and map seller, 181 Strand, 1819." The map is 22 by 36 inches. Value?

A: Many of our readers may not realize that large department stores like Marshall Field had specialized departments where antique maps were sold to collectors. Your 1819 map was engraved by John Cary (1754-1835), a well-regarded London engraver and mapmaker. An 1819 Cary world map the same size as yours auctioned a few years ago for more than $500. The value of yours would also depend on its condition.

Q: When my father moved into his house in 1957, he discovered the previous owner, a physician, left an old examining table. I think the table was old even then. It's made of wood. One side of the tabletop can be lifted up to serve as a backrest, and there are stirrups that can be extended from the other end. A shelf is below the top, close to the floor. It is labeled, "W.D. Allison Co., Indianapolis, Ind." Is the table of any value?

A: W.D. Allison Co. started out as G.H. Clark & Co. in 1882. Its name became W.D. Allison in 1893. The company became a large manufacturer of medical and dental chairs, tables, cabinets, bookcases, instrument tables and wheelchairs. Allison grew to have branches in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. Your table, if in good condition, could sell for a few hundred dollars.

Tip: Veneered furniture should not be placed near steam radiators, open windows, or groups of potted plants. The veneer eventually will "bubble" from the moisture.

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.

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.

 

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.

  • Carnival glass bowl, Blackberry Wreath, green satin, 16 panels, crimped rim, Millersburg, 2 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches, $60.
  • Pembroke table, Federal style, mahogany, bow front drawer, tapered legs, Kittinger, 20th century, 38 inches, $240.
  • Dr Pepper fan pull, Drink a Bite to Eat, pumpkin head man, two-sided, cardboard, 1930s, 7 inches, $300.
  • Sterling silver bowl, pierced, reticulated, monogram, Graff, Washbourne & Dunn, circa 1945, 2 1/2 x 11 inches, $345.
  • Gumball vending machine, coin-operated, dome glass, Vendex Co., circa 1927, 12 1/2 inches, $390
  • Pin, micro mosaic, Pantheon, Rome, onyx tablet, gold frame, C-hook bar pin, 2 x 1 1/2 inches, $405.
  • Redware charger, slip design, cream, green zigzag border, Bristol, Connecticut, circa 1850, 13 inches, $600.
  • Picture, watercolor on board, Edge of Night, signed, Viktor Schreckengost, frame, 39 x 49 inches, $1,380.
  • Pedal toy car, open, red body, spoke wheels, wood frame, Brighton Mfg., 1907, 45 inches, $1,440. Tole tray, mermaid, courting sailor, ships, whales, sea, cutout handles, paint, M. Cahoon, circa 1980, 15 x 20 inches, $2,640.

Keep up with changes in the collectibles world. Send for a free sample issue of the 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
It cost $23,940 to buy this googly-eyed doll at a Maryland auction. It is 13 inches high, dressed in a period costume, and signed with the names of Oscar Hitt and George Borgfeldt and the date 1927
Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 13:47
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 2, 2015

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 02 March 2015 13:20

This stool has an upholstered needlepoint top set in a burled walnut stand. It is one of a pair of mid-19th-century stools or tuffets, 11 inches in diameter, that sold for $312.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Nursery rhymes may not make sense to the 21st-century child. What's the tuffet that Little Miss Muffet sat on when the first copies of the rhyme appeared in England in 1553? A chair, a stool, a plant, a stone or maybe a small animal? And what are the curds and whey she is eating?

The food is our familiar cottage cheese. Curds are the cheese, whey is the liquid. The tuffet is more difficult. Official definitions say a tuffet is like a footstool with no feet. Modern ones are padded balls, flattened at the top and bottom to make a comfortable seat. But because tuffets are so much like stools, decorators and casual collectors and those on Pinterest use either word to describe a small padded footstool with tiny feet.

But there also is another tuffet – a rounded clump of grass that might make a comfortable seat for Miss Muffet. Children's books often have drawings of Miss Muffet on a stool, not a tuffet. And even antiques auction houses sometimes use the language of their customers. A pair of “tuffets” sold at a Neal Auction in New Orleans recently for $312. But a careful look at the picture shows the tiny faux ivory feet.

Q: I have what I've been told is a Floradora doll that is 105 years old. My grandfather bought it for my mother when she was born in 1909. The doll has a bisque head and hands, a long curly wig, sleep eyes and an open mouth. She's about 22 inches tall. I'm 82 years old and have no children who would be interested in the doll. I'd like to sell it to someone who'd take care of it and enjoy it. Can you give me an idea as to how to proceed?

A: Floradora dolls were made from 1901 to 1921. Armand Marseille made the bisque heads. The doll bodies were usually made of kid, but composition, cloth, and imitation kid bodies were also made. Armand Marseille also sold the bisque heads to other companies. The dolls were made in several sizes. A 14 1/2-inch Floradora doll with bisque shoulder head and hands, sleep eyes, wig and kid body could be bought at a department store for 50 cents in 1909 (when the average worker made 22 cents an hour). Floradora dolls have sold at recent auctions for $50 to $70.

Q: I have a silver tea service that has a teapot, sugar and creamer marked "Tiffany & Co., quality 925-1000." The tray is marked "Dixon & Sons, Sheffield." Can you tell me the value of this tea set?

A: The tray was not originally part of this set, since it was made by a different company. Charles Lewis Tiffany opened a store in New York in 1837 and the name "Tiffany & Co." was used beginning in 1853. The company still is in business. In 1852, Tiffany & Co. set the standard for sterling silver in the United States, which is 92.5 percent silver. James Dixon began working in silver in Sheffield, England, in 1806. The company was called James Dixon & Sons by 1835. The company made Britannia, nickel silver and silver-plated ware. It was out of business by 1992. The quality numbers on the teapot, sugar and creamer indicate they are sterling silver, but the tray is silver-plated. The name Tiffany adds value. Your set might be worth $1,000, depending on the weight of the silver.

Q: We own a Coca-Cola upright dispenser with a water dispenser on one side. We had it fixed and it still runs. I plug it in sometimes to keep drinks cool. The price on the front advertises a Coke for 10 cents. What is its value as a Coca-Cola collectible?

A: Coca-Cola made many different shapes and styles of coolers and dispensers. Yours dates no earlier than the 1950s – the decade when the price of a Coke increased from a nickel to a dime at various times and places across the country. If you're interested in selling, do some research online to check on similar dispensers. If yours is in great condition, it could be worth a few hundred dollars.

Q: I have a bronze sculpture titled Trooper of the Plains, by Frederic Remington. It has a marble base and is 13 inches high by 13 inches long. What is it worth?

A: Frederic Remington (1861-1909) created 22 sculptures that were cast in bronze at New York foundries. Some of the original bronze castings were authorized by Remington's wife, Eva, after the sculptor died. An original Trooper of the Plains bronze sculpture of a post-Civil War cavalry officer on his horse is 24 5/8 inches high by 25 1/2 inches long. One is owned by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which lists the date of the sculpture as 1908, and this particular sculpture's casting as "before 1939," which was the year the bronze was given to the Met. Remington's original molds were destroyed after his wife died, so anything cast after that is not "original." The copyrights on Remington's bronzes expired in the 1960s. Copies of his bronzes have been made in various sizes. Your bronze is a copy. Still, it could sell for $250 to $350 if its quality is good. An original Remington bronze would sell for tens of thousands.

Tip: If a marble tabletop is damaged, a good repair is preferred to a new top. If there is a lot of damage, an old top from another piece is the best replacement.

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. Kovels.com adds to the information in this column.

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.

  • Shaving mug, Odd Fellows, symbols, 3-link chain, initials F.L.T., E. Hitchcock, 1900s, 3 1/2 inches, $35.
  • Match safe, gold washed sterling, Swedish coat of arms, azure enamel, circa 1920, 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches, $75.
  • Bradley & Hubbard lamp, candle sconce, patinated metal, smoke caps, circa 1900, 14 x 6 1/2 inches, pair, $100.
  • Rochester Root Beer sign, mug shape, girl looking through glass, paper cutout, 1920s, 15 inches, $150.
  • Bohemian glass ewer, etched white flowers, red ground, circa 1875, 13 1/2 inches, $345.
  • Blanket chest, hinged top, drawer, cutout apron, miniature, 1800s, 10 x 15 inches, $420.
  • Rocking horse, wood, gray, white, red paint, hair tail, leather saddle, bridle, 1800s, 25 x 32 inches, $480.
  • Judith Leiber purse, minaudiere, Panda, multicolor crystals, gold tone chain shoulder strap, 5 x 3 1/2 inches, $980.
  • English silver salver, gadrooned, engraved armorial shield, footed, marked WB, circa 1812, 10 inches, $1,320.
  • Broiler, revolving, iron, ogee edge, heart handle, acorn finial, Continental, 1800s, 25 x 14 inches, $1,845.

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 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

 This stool has an upholstered needlepoint top set in a burled walnut stand. It is one of a pair of mid-19th-century stools or tuffets, 11 inches in diameter, that sold for $312.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 13:37
 

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
 
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