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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

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

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 15 December 2014 14:06
It seems odd that cherubs drinking wine, not beer, are carved on the outside of this ivory beer stein. It has a hinged lid and a handle. It sold for $5,760 at Fox Auctions of Vallejo, Calif., even though there are extra problems involved in selling old ivory.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Tradition claims that it was the bubonic plague in the 14th century that inspired the creation of beer steins. Many people had noticed that there were more deaths in filthy places in town than in clean sections, and that there were clouds of insects along with the illness in Central Europe. By the early 1500s, laws had been passed that all food and beverages served in public must be covered to keep insects away. The common drinking glass was a mug, so a hinged lid with a thumb-lift was added – and the stein was created. Since beer was already a common beverage and its taste was improved when lids helped prevent spoilage, beer consumption increased and so did the manufacture of steins. They were made of pewter, wood, stoneware and, for the very wealthy, ivory. Painted or carved decorations were added. A 1-liter stein made of carved ivory with scenes of cherubs drinking wine sold at a Fox stein auction in September 2014 for $5,760.

Q: I bought a Chinese lacquered cabinet from a friend who inherited it from her parents. Her father, a merchant seaman, bought the cabinet in Hong Kong years ago. It's 35 inches tall and 41 inches wide. The top opens up like a chest, and both the inside of the top and the outside of the cabinet are painted and inset with jade. Is the chest valuable?

A: Your chest probably would sell for a good price. Chinese antiques are "hot" these days – sought by collectors here and in China. Lacquered cabinets are especially desirable and can sell for prices into the thousands, as long as they're high quality and in great condition.

Q: I would like to know the value of a silver medicine spoon that belonged to my grandmother when she was a nurse at the turn of the 20th century. The handle curves back and turns under. There is a red cross on the back of the handle stamped, "Red Cross Medicine Spoon JB & SM Knowles, Prov., RI, USA." The gold-washed bowl ends in a pouring spout and is marked on the back "Pat. 1901, Sterling 925/1000." What's it worth?

A: Your medicine spoon, patented in 1901, was sold by druggists. The bent handle allows the spoon to rest level on a table so a teaspoon of medicine can be poured into it. J.B. & S.M. Knowles of Providence, R.I., was in business from 1875 until 1905. Your spoon is worth about $150.

Q: I have some Hess toy trucks from the 1960s and '70s. I think Hess Corp. releases a new toy nearly every holiday season. Are mine worth much?

A: The first Hess toy truck, sold in 1964, was a tanker-trailer that would sell today for about $120. Others from the 1960s and early '70s are even pricier. The 1970-'71 fire engine can sell for close to $500 if you have the original box, and the 1966 tanker ship with its box lists for well over $1,000.

Q: I have a Jim Beam decanter that's shaped like a baseball. It's 10 inches high, has a batter at the top and reads, "Professional Baseball's 100th Anniversary, 1869-1969." It has never been opened. What is it worth?

A: Jim Beam whiskey dates back to the late 1700s. The company started selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon in special containers in 1953. The bottles were made by Regal China Co. of Chicago, which made several series of collectible ceramic bottles. Your bottle is from the Sports Series. Jim Beam ceramic bottles are not as popular as they were years ago and are not easy to sell. Your bottle, full or empty, in excellent condition might sell for $80. In poor condition, it's worth $15 to $30.

Q: My father, born in 1889, worked as an electrician for the Sterling Bronze Co. of New York City. In 1916 he was working at a house in upstate New York, switching out a Sterling Bronze Co. six-light Colonial-style chandelier for a French Provincial model. He bought the Colonial model and left it to me in 1960. What do you think the chandelier would sell for today?

A: Sterling Bronze Co. was in business during the early decades of the 20th century. It made high-quality electric light fixtures, including chandeliers and sconces. We have seen pairs of Sterling Bronze Co. sconces auction recently for more than $2,000. Chandeliers may not sell for as much, though, because it's hard to find new light bulbs that work in antique fixtures. If you have bulbs for it that work and look attractive, ask a nearby appraiser to look at your chandelier in person to estimate its value.

Q: I would like to know if my picture titled Ulysses and the Sirens is of any value. It's 7 by 10 inches and is signed by Thomas Moran.

A: Thomas Moran (1837-1926) was born in England but moved to Philadelphia with his family when he was a child. He worked as an illustrator in Philadelphia before moving to New York City, where he became a magazine illustrator and landscape painter. His original landscape oil painting of Ulysses and the Sirens was completed in 1900 and is 28 by 40 inches. It sold at a 1999 Christie's auction for $178,500. Your small print of the painting would probably sell for under $20.

Tip: If two tumblers get stuck when stacked, try putting cold water into the inside glass, then put both into hot water up to the lower rim.

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

 

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • Cracker Jack box, Jack saluting, Bingo the dog, red, white, blue, 1920s, 6 x 2 inches, $25.
  • Hermes scarf, Luna Park, jacquard silk, pleated, multicolor, black ground, Joachim Metz, 35 x 35 inches, $265.
  • Texas longhorns, leather strap, 7 feet, 6 inches, $330.
  • Empire-style headboard, mahogany, gilt, arched crest, downturned swan's heads, 62 x 65 inches, $375.
  • Tiffany silver cake stand, engraved strapwork, shell border, molded shell rim, footed, 10 1/2 inches, $720.
  • Document box, domed, red, green, yellow flowers, leaves, berries, painted, tin, Connecticut, c. 1820, 10 inches, $720.
  • Doll furniture, Sheraton bench, tiger maple, shaped crest, plank seat, scrolled arms, 17 x 27 inches, $780.
  • Candy container, boy with snowball, bisque, googly eyes, cotton clothing, Germany, 5 1/2 inches, $830.
  • Stoneware pitcher, cobalt blue fruit and vines, oval, rim, base incised, Rockingham County, Va., c. 1866, 1 gallon, $980.
  • Irish Belleek mask, bulldog head, collar, brown, tan, black mark, c. 1885, 8 inches, $2,000.

"Kovels' Buyers' Guide to Modern Ceramics: Mid-Century to Contemporary" is our special report on contemporary, modern and midcentury ceramics made since 1950-hot collectibles today. The report identifies important pottery by American and European makers and 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
It seems odd that cherubs drinking wine, not beer, are carved on the outside of this ivory beer stein. It has a hinged lid and a handle. It sold for $5,760 at Fox Auctions of Vallejo, Calif., even though there are extra problems involved in selling old ivory.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 December 2014 14:26
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 8, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 08 December 2014 14:31
Postmodernist furniture is readily available to adventurous buyers who have modern houses that are simple enough to feature unusual pieces. This table, designed by Michael Graves in the 1980s, sold in October 2014 for $3,840 at Rago Arts & Auction Center of Lambertville, N.J.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - "Postmodernist" is one of the newest styles in the United States. Walt Disney World's Swan Hotel, with a 47-foot swan on each side of the roof, and its Dolphin Hotel with two 56-foot dolphins on the roof, are examples.

Michael Graves, the architect of these buildings, also designed kitchenware, furniture, jewelry and hospital furnishings in his unusual style. His teapot with the whistling bird is so well-known that he made a less-expensive copy with a whistling whistle.

Graves designed his first furniture in the 1970s, and by 1982 he was winning awards for his designs. His modernist furniture was made in geometric shapes with features added in colors that included blue, orange and brown. One 1980s table was made of maple, painted plastic, painted wood, brass and glass. It is unmarked, like many of his designs. In spite of signs of wear and a few chips, the table sold for $3,840 at a Rago auction in October.

Q: I have a teapot and two matching cups and saucers. The mark on the bottom is crossed swords with an "S" below. Can you identify the maker?

A: Samson & Co. of Paris, used a crossed swords mark with the letter "S" below the swords from about 1873 until about 1905. The use of crossed swords as a mark was started in about 1725 by the Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Meissen, Germany. It has been used by many other companies since then. Samson & Co. was in business in Paris from about 1873 to 1969. The company made copies of Meissen and other china, often used as replacements for older pieces.

Q: I would like to know if there's any value to Gone With the Wind playing cards. There is a picture of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler on one deck and a picture of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara on the other deck. The cards don't look like they have ever been used and are in a tin with a picture of the couple kissing on the front. The bottom of the tin is stamped "The Heirloom Tradition, No. 144109." There are three dates on the back, 1939, 1967 and 1989. Is there any value to these cards?

A: Your decks of cards were issued in 1989 to mark the 50th anniversary of the movie, Gone With the Wind. The movie, first released in 1939, was re-released in 1967. The only way to guarantee that the cards have never been used is if they are still sealed in plastic wrap. This set of two decks of cards in its tin often sells online for $4 to $10.

Q: I have a plate marked on the back "La Seynie, Limoges, P&P, France." There is another stamp, "Pat March 3rd 1909," and also the name "Dubarry." The plate has gold scalloped edges and pictures palms with a lake. How old is it?

A: The Paroutaud Freres company used the initials "P & P" (for brothers Pierre and Paul Paroutaud) and its location, "LaSeynie [the factory], Limoges [the city], France" as a mark from about 1903 to 1917. The patent date is the date the design was patented. Dubarry is either the pattern name or the decorator's name.

Q: I have a Hilda doll marked "JDK 1914." The doll has several other marks, one in German, and numbers on the back of her neck. Can you tell me about the doll and how I might go about selling it?

A: "JDK" stands for J.D. Kestner Co., a well-known German dollmaker that operated in Waltershausen, Germany, from 1805 until 1938. The company started making dolls in 1820. During the 19th century, Kestner made high-quality papier-mache doll heads and bodies, leather doll bodies, molded-hair china-head dolls with china limbs, celluloid dolls, kewpies and Bye-Lo babies. In the early 1880s, Kestner began to make dolls with bisque heads on jointed composition bodies. This is the type of doll that made Kestner famous, particularly since the company was the only German dollmaker that made both heads and bodies. The Hilda character doll was introduced in 1914. With peach-tinted cheeks, real hair eyelashes, a pug nose and an open mouth with two tiny upper teeth, Hilda dolls are wanted by doll collectors. They have sold for $900 to over $5,000, depending on the doll's size, details and condition. The numbers on your doll's neck are mold and size-code numbers, which will help further identify your Hilda. Old dolls in great condition sell quickly at auctions that specialize in dolls, such as Theriault's of Annapolis, Md.; McMasters Harris-Appletree Auctions of Newark, Ohio; and Frasher's Doll Auction of Oak Grove, Mo.

Q: I have a Firestone rubber-tire ashtray from the 1939 New York World's Fair. The tire is a Firestone Champion. A glass ashtray fits inside the rubber tire. The glass is etched with the Trylon and Perisphere and reads, "New York World's Fair." Does the ashtray have any value to a collector?

A: There are plenty of collectors of World's Fair memorabilia, and some specialize in a particular fair. Ashtrays like yours also are wanted by people who collect things related to cars and advertising. Firestone tire ashtrays like yours sell for about $25 to $30 today.

Tip: Keep dolls away from direct sunlight to avoid fading their hair and clothes.

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 Ridge bread and butter plate, Cattails, 6 3/8 inches, $10.
  • Indian Oil sign, oil can, Indian chief, tin lithograph, multicolor, 5 x 2 inches, $160.
  • Bank, Goodyear Zeppelin, Akron hanger, duralumin, Ferrosteel, embossed, c. 1930, 7 x 3 x 2 inches, $200.
  • Sterling-silver ink blotter, rocker, engraved, blue, enameled pink rose garlands, 2 x 5 inches, $230.
  • Coverlet, Lover's Chain, overshot, olive green, red, white geometrics, Virginia, c. 1875, 68 x 94 inches, $345.
  • Paul Revere Pottery bowl, green matte glaze, incised interior flower band, S.E.G., 1 1/2 x 5 inches, $375.
  • Louis XV-style settee, fruitwood, carved, flower crest, painted, upholstery, 53 inches, $625.
  • American Brilliant cut glass punch bowl, four flashed hobstars, vessicas, notched prism bands, Fry, 7 1/2 x 14 inches, $1,265.
  • Lalique vase, Aras, macaws, berries, thorns, frosted glass, green patina, clear, squat, round, c. 1935, 9 inches, $3,125.
  • Tabriz rug, pendant medallion, spandrels, gray, red, blue, taupe, palmette border, Iran, 12 feet 8 inches x 9 ft. 10 inches, $4,375.

"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 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 over 32,000 up-to-date prices for over 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
Postmodernist furniture is readily available to adventurous buyers who have modern houses that are simple enough to feature unusual pieces. This table, designed by Michael Graves in the 1980s, sold in October 2014 for $3,840 at Rago Arts & Auction Center of Lambertville, N.J.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 December 2014 14:47
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 1, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 01 December 2014 15:55
Antique cigar store Indians continue to be popular. This 19th-century figure of an Indian maiden, 68 inches high, sold for $42,550 at Cottone Auctions in March 2014.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Is an old barber pole or carved cigar store Indian worth as much as an oil painting of the same age? Some collectors today think so. One bidder paid $42,550 for a well-documented Indian maiden cigar store figure at a 2014 antiques auction.

The hand-carved figure was pictured in the 1970s book Treasury of American Design, which discusses a 1935 WPA project. Jobs were scarce during the Depression and the project gave jobs to artists who created watercolors of important American folk art. These original pictures can be viewed at the National Gallery of Art. You can see them online at www.nga.gov (search for "Index of American Design").

The wooden Indian was the accepted sign in front of a tobacco shop by the 1840s, but it was almost gone by 1900, replaced by flat signs with store names. The term "cigar store Indian" today includes all the wooden or metal figures used as store signs in the past. Most of them did represent American Indians and were dressed in traditional feathers and robes. Many held tobacco leaves.

The record price for a Santa Claus figure, set at Sotheby's in January 2014, is $875,000. The Santa Claus figure was made in 1926 by Samuel A. Robb, who also carved American Indians.

Even if a figure is a clown, dandy, Turk, soldier, young girl, Chinese man, Scotsman, Santa Claus or anyone else, all are referred to as "cigar store Indians."

Q: I was given a platter with a painted turkey in the center and a pink and green flower border. The platter is round, 2 inches high and 15 1/2 inches in diameter. It's marked with a green backstamp that reads "The Cowell & Hubbard Co., Cleveland, O" inside a shield-shaped cartouche. Can you tell me more about my platter and what it's worth?

A: Your turkey platter was sold by Cowell & Hubbard, but it wasn't made by that company. The Cowell & Hubbard Co. was founded in Cleveland in 1861 and was once Cleveland's oldest and most prestigious jewelry store. It sold a variety of luxury goods – jewelry, fine silver, china dishes, cut glass, clocks, lamps and engraved stationery. Cowell & Hubbard contracted with some of the best American and European ceramics manufacturers, such as Lenox in the United States; Haviland and Ahrenfeldt in Limoges, France; Cauldon, Minton, Wedgwood and Royal Worcester in England; and Rosenthal of Germany to buy dinnerware and decorative items that were sold exclusively by the store. Factories often printed the names or marks of retailers as part of a backstamp with and without the maker's own mark. It's not clear who made your platter, but it was probably made in the 1930s and is worth about $75 to $100, thanks to the turkey and every family's need for a Thanksgiving platter.

Q: We have a copy of the Nov. 23, 1936, issue of Life magazine. That's Vol. 1, No. 1. There is a picture of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana on the cover. It measures 8 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches and is in excellent condition. Is this a real original or a souvenir copy? It doesn't say "copy" on it anywhere. What would it be worth to a collector?

A: You have a replica of the first issue of Life magazine. It's an exact but smaller replica of the full-size issue. The Fort Peck Dam was built on the Missouri River as part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal projects. The cover photo was taken by Margaret Bourke-White. Life was published weekly until 1972. It was revived as a weekly newspaper supplement from 2004 to 2007. Full-size first editions of Life can sell for over $100, but online sellers offer the smaller replica for $10 to $15.

Q: I own a pine double-bed headboard and double dresser with mirror. A label in a drawer says "Hand Burnished Pine by Shockey." Could you give me a value?

A: Your two-piece bedroom set was made by Franklin Shockey Co. of Lexington, N.C. The furniture company opened in 1941 and appears to have operated into the early 1960s. Shockey made a line of mid-century modern pine furniture that collectors hunt for today. If your set is in the mid-century modern style and in good condition, you might get as much as $1,000.

Q: My husband and I knew the sculptor Edward Marshall Boehm and his wife when he was studying porcelain manufacturing in the 1950s. His earliest figurines were dogs and farm animals, made before he began creating the beautiful birds for which he became famous. I have a black and white Boehm cocker spaniel. What is it worth?

A: Edward Marshall Boehm (1913-1969) was a veterinarian's assistant from 1945 until 1949. He made most of his dog figures between 1949 and the late 1950s. He opened a porcelain studio in his home in Trenton, N.J., in 1950 and began experimenting with different glazes. His wife, Helen, promoted the business and marketed the figurines. Boehm made cocker spaniels in several colors and in two sizes. An early version, with the dog's head turned slightly to the right, was made between 1951 and 1957. Two hundred black and white cocker spaniels were made. Value of your figurine: $200 to $300.

Tip: Be careful when you're eating at your Thanksgiving dining-room table. The hardest stains to remove from a tablecloth – or a blouse – are gravy and Merlot wine.

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 string-holder, rooster, wall mount, 6 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches, $90.
  • Wooden panel, carved, lacquered, reticulated, pheasants, sparrows, red, maroon, gilt, Chinese, 20 x 6 3/4 inches, pair $190.
  • Silver calling-card case, repousse, engraved, Philadelphia scenes, Leonard & Wilson, 3 1/2 inches, $240.
  • Fire screen, Art Nouveau, copper, cast iron, hammered edge, embossed leaves, c. 1910, 32 inches, $245.
  • Charm, Model T, 10K yellow gold, 20th century, 1 1/4 inches, $270.
  • Hans Wegner chair, Wishbone, oak, continuous arm, wishbone splat, woven seat, 1949, 29 inches, set of 4, $740.
  • Sign, Dr. Pepper "Good for Life," bottle image, tin lithograph, die-cut, 2-sided, 11 x 23 x 2 inches, $1,440.
  • Toy football player, running, holding ball, wearing helmet, celluloid, windup, marked Japan, c. 1935, 8 inches, $1,920.
  • Copeland plate, hunting scene, white border, painted, L. Edwards, retailed by Soane & Smith, c. 1930, 10 inches, 12 pieces, $4,065.
  • Uncle Remus mechanical bank, chicken coop, hen, policeman, painted, cast iron, c. 1895, 5 3/4 inches, $18,000.

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

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Antique cigar store Indians continue to be popular. This 19th-century figure of an Indian maiden, 68 inches high, sold for $42,550 at Cottone Auctions in March 2014.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 16:10
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 24, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 24 November 2014 11:59
This unusual chair is in the Egyptian Revival style. The carved wooden chair-back of a jackal-headed man-bird and the geometric trim are borrowed from ancient Egyptian art. It sold for $777 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans. BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A chair decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphics, stylized birds and sphinx heads can probably be dated from its Egyptian Revival style. But furniture designs have been through several Egyptian revivals. One started in about 1800, after Napoleon battled in Egypt. Another lasted from the 1830s to the 1850s following great archeological finds in Egypt. A third short revival, from 1895 to the early 1900s, combined Egyptian Revival with elaborate Victorian styles.

Egyptian-style furniture seen most often today dates from the 1920s-30s, after the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb. Art Deco designs joined Egyptian-inspired animals and symbols to create a totally new look. Although Egyptian Revival jewelry from that period has been going up in price, the furniture has lost favor and is selling at bargain prices. An early 1900s chair with bone inlay and a very Egyptian-looking carved wooden back shaped like an Anubi (the Egyptian jackal-headed man who was god of the dead) sold at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans for $777. Perhaps the symbolism of the Egyptian god was not wanted by many 2014 bidders.

Q: My grandmother, who was born in China, came to this country in 1953 and brought a stuffed bird-of-paradise with her. I have it stored in my cedar chest, and it is still in very good condition. Can I sell it in the United States or is this now illegal?

A: Most birds-of-paradise are found in New Guinea, although a few live on nearby islands and in eastern Australia. In 1522 members of Magellan's crew who sailed around the world brought back five bird-of-paradise "trade-skins." They were a gift for Emperor Charles V, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire, from the Sultan of Bacan. The birds' plumes were popular with European royalty, and by 1904 hats sporting feathers or entire birds were fashionable in the United States. Stuffed birds under glass domes were even displayed in homes of the wealthy. There are 39 species of birds-of-paradise. Some are endangered and it's illegal to hunt or export them, but local people are allowed to catch the birds for their plumes, which evidently are used in tribal ceremonies. You should contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to see if it's legal to sell your stuffed example.

Q: I have three Disney drinking glasses decorated with different scenes from "Cinderella" and a few lines of text from the story. The pictures are red line drawings with a few areas filled in with pale blue or yellow. I think I got the glasses in the 1950s. Are they of any value?

A: Walt Disney's animated musical feature film"Cinderella" was distributed by RKO Radio Pictures in 1950. It was a popular movie and many Cinderella items have been made. Your glasses are part of a series that included at least eight different scenes. They sell today for $12 to $20 each.

Q: My aunt gave me a Will Rogers and Wiley Post lamp. The bronze base has a globe with relief busts of Rogers and Post above laurel leaves on the front and their names at the base. There is a two-seater plane landing on the top of the globe. The lamp has a vintage glass shade. Who were these men? How old is the lamp?

A: Will Rogers was a humorist who performed in vaudeville, on the radio and in films, and also wrote a syndicated daily newspaper column. Wiley Post was the first person to make a successful solo flight around the world. He asked Rogers to ride along on a flight while he surveyed air routes from the United States to Russia. They were killed when their plane crashed on takeoff near Point Barrow, Alaska, in August 1935. Your lamp was made to commemorate the pair shortly after their deaths. Condition is important. Prices range from $250 to $500.

Q: I have three Beneagles figural bottles – a Loch Ness monster, a gray badger and a clown-headed chicken. How much are they worth?

A: Beswick, an English pottery, made flasks for Beneagles Scotch Whisky. Twenty different animal shapes were made between 1965 and 1987. Your clown-headed chicken is called the "Haggis Bird." The flasks vary in size and price. Most sell today for $10 to $30.

Q: We own an old violin with this label inside: "Heinrich Th. Heberlein Jr., Markneukirchen 1898, Imitation: Joseph Guarnerius." The back and sides are beautiful tiger maple and the instrument is in fine condition. The violin belonged to a woman who was once a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Can you tell us something about the violin's history and value?

A: Heinrich Thomas Heberlein Jr. (1843-1910) ran a violin-making workshop in Markneukirchen, Saxony, Germany – an area known since the 1600s for producing high-quality musical instruments. Heberlein styled many of his instruments after those of earlier makers. Yours is a copy of a violin by Joseph Guarnerius (1698-1744), a respected Italian violin maker also known as Giuseppe Guarneri. Women first joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1942, so the woman who played your violin used it in 1942 or later. Heberlein violins are well-respected instruments, but an expert musician would have to play yours to help determine its value. We have seen Heberlein violins sell for hundreds of dollars into the low thousands.

Tip: Do not dry clean vintage textiles.

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.

  • Worcester tea bowl and saucer, Milkmaids pattern, black and white, c. 1760, 4 1/2 inches, $94.
  • Weller vase, Dickens Ware, Bleak House, man holding child's hand, rusty glaze, 15 3/4 x 7 inches, $375.
  • Typewriter, Blickensderfer No. 5, roller ink, wood case, c. 1893, 13 inches, $510.
  • Pie safe, wood, two shelves, painted green, wire mesh sides, 1900s, 16 1/2 x 28 inches, $525.
  • Tramp art mirror, American flags, Red Cross merit medallion, c. 1960, 26 x 21 inches, $660.
  • Tole tea canister, chinoiserie, woman, yellow ground, cylindrical, England, 1700s, 18 inches, $690.
  • Weather vane, running horse, copper, zinc mounts, 16 x 38 inches, $1,875.
  • Pedal car, racer, Indy 5, Pennzoil, belt driven, radio-controlled, 1970s, 43 inches, $2,280.
  • Confederate flag, 11 stars, c. 1861, 12 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches, $7,380.
  • Stoneware crock, spotted stag, field, fence, cobalt blue, lug handles, J. & E. Norton, 1855, 15 inches, $11,400.

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. "Kovels" is the best book to own if you buy, sell or collect. The large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and includes 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 unusual chair is in the Egyptian Revival style. The carved wooden chair-back of a jackal-headed man-bird and the geometric trim are borrowed from ancient Egyptian art. It sold for $777 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 November 2014 12:10
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 17, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 17 November 2014 13:28

Look at the bottom of a vase to identify it. This vase has marks indicating it is a piece of Rookwood pottery made in 1883 by a talented decorator. It auctioned for $5,290 at Humler & Nolan of Cincinnati. Unmarked it would have sold for much less.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Rookwood pottery, made in Cincinnati since 1880, is perhaps the most popular American art pottery among collectors. The company not only made artist-decorated vases, molded bookends, art-deco figurines and commercial wares, but it also used marks that tell a collector exactly what it is. Until 1886 the mark was the year in numerals and the name Rookwood. In 1886 a new mark was chosen – a backward capital letter "R" leaning against a capital letter "P." A flame was added to a circle around the top of the mark each year until 1900. After that, a Roman numeral for the last two digits of the year was put under the mark. So 1904 was a flame mark with IV at the bottom. The company went out of business in 1967, but was later bought and sold several times.

In 2011 the business was bought by Martin and Marilyn Wade, Cincinnati real estate developers. Today Rookwood uses a new mark – the flame mark with the year in Roman numerals. So 2014 would be marked MMXIV. Other letter marks represent the color and type of clay, numbers 1 to 7301 tell the shape, and initials tell the name of the artist. All of these codes can be found in books or websites about Rookwood. It helps to know this history, but a collector should judge a piece of Rookwood by the quality of the glaze and the skill of the decorator, and then add extra value for condition, size, age, the fame of the decorator, and how much you like the piece.

Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati, sold a 14-inch-high vase with early Limoges-style decoration that was probably made by the founder of the pottery, Maria Longworth Nichols. It's marked "Rookwood 1883." Although it was chipped and restored, the quality of the decoration, large size and artist attribution attracted a bid of $5,290.

Q: My old porcelain figurine is a bathing beauty posed on her tummy under a turtle's shell. The woman's backside is exposed. My aunt gave me the figure years ago and I think she owned it since the 1920s. What can you tell me about it?

A: Your bathing beauty figurine, sometimes called a "naughty novelty," is a form familiar to collectors. Posed porcelain figures of partially clad women on or under turtle's shells have been around since the early 1900s. Figures made in Germany before World War I are well made and sell today for $100 to $400. Similar novelties made in Japan before or after World War II sell for less.

Q: I have a Polyphon music box from Germany that plays music from perforated metal discs. There are nine discs with song titles from the 1880s and '90s. I'm downsizing and would like to sell it. How much is it worth?

A: Disc music boxes were invented in 1870. Polyphon Musikwerke was founded in Leipzig, Germany, before 1890. Most Polyphone disc music boxes were made between 1895 and 1905. The company also made musical clocks and other items with musical mechanisms. Music boxes are measured by the size of the disc, not the height of the cabinet. Polyphon music boxes sell at auctions for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on size, rarity and condition. A Polyphon Excelsion tabletop single-comb music box and nine discs sold for $1,150 earlier this year.

Q: I'm trying to find a current value for an unopened 1974 Lionstone Lonely Luke figural decanter. The figure is an old cowboy sitting on a stump with a bottle in his hand and cup on the stump. The decanter is 10 1/2 inches tall and is still filled with whiskey. All the original labels still are on and very readable. What is it worth?

A: Limited-edition figural liquor decanters were very popular in the 1970s but don't sell well today. Prices have gone down. Lonely Luke decanters were part of Lionstone's Old West series of decanters. They held whiskey, port or liqueur. Collectors like the miniature version, 4 3/8 inches tall, issued in 1975. It sells for about $5 today.

Q: I have a breakfast set of four place settings of Franciscan Strawberry Fair dishes. I would like to sell the set.

A: From 1980 to 1982, Franciscan made two strawberry patterns, Strawberry Fair and Strawberry Time, on the same shapes. Strawberry Fair has a cream-colored background and Strawberry Time a green-tinted background. Sets of dishes are hard to sell. You can find them for sale online on eBay and replacements.com. Sources that sell dinnerware usually will buy dinnerware, but you can expect to get about half the price they sell it for.

Q: My parents gave me their antique bedroom set. It includes a nightstand, twin beds, a dresser with a mirror and a chest of drawers. Each piece is stamped "West End Furniture Company, Rockford, Illinois." I was told the wood is golden oak. Can you give me information on the company?

A: West End Furniture Co. was in business in Rockford from 1890 to 1941. The company made bedroom furniture, bookcases, buffets, desks, folding beds, tables and other furniture and offered lines of "medium" and "fine grade" furniture. Many Swedish furniture makers settled in Rockford, and at one time it was the second largest center of furniture manufacturing in the world.

Tip: When freezing old clothes to kill any insects, check the buttons first. Pewter, painted glass or ceramic buttons may be damaged by the cold.

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.

  • Erector set, rocket launcher, Gilbert, box, 1959, $35.
  • Table, cast iron, marble top, cabriole legs, Britannia busts, shield, shelf, 30 x 28 inches, $95.
  • Delft tankard, hinged lid, loop handle, pewter thumb-rest, blue, yellow, red, green, signed, c. 1800, 9 inches, $230.
  • Model boat, Louisiana shrimper, fancy dancer, wood, painted, Angola Prison, 21 x 25 inches, $300.
  • Sampler, alphabet, numbers, floral urns, baskets, Mary Burton, aged 9, silk, linen, frame, 1827, 20 x 20 inches, $330.
  • Silver plaque, Mt. Rushmore, signed, 5 x 8 inches, $450.
  • Folk art diorama, hunter, dog pursuing deer, carved, painted, 10 x 16 inches, $480.
  • Doorknocker, Egyptian head clapper, iron, pyramid shape, Judd Co., 5 in. $510.
  • Veterinarian trade sign, horse's head, flowing mane, brown, c. 1900, 21 inches, $3,600.
  • Bronze centerpiece, Louis XVI style, divided carnation stems, flower candlesticks, clear vase, c. 1945, 21 inches, $5,000.

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 write to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Look at the bottom of a vase to identify it. This vase has marks indicating it is a piece of Rookwood pottery made in 1883 by a talented decorator. It auctioned for $5,290 at Humler & Nolan of Cincinnati. Unmarked it would have sold for much less. 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 13:40
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 10, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 10 November 2014 13:43

The hat comes off this Uncle Sam stein and his head can be filled with beer. This red, white and blue Schierholz example sold for $5,040 in 2014 at Fox Auctions of Vallejo, Calif.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Uncle Sam seems very happy, perhaps because he is 101 years old this year. Or perhaps because his likeness has been used on a beer stein. How did he become famous? The initials "U.S." were put on barrels of beef sent to the U.S. military during the War of 1812. Soldiers said the barrels' U.S. mark stood for "Uncle Sam." A newspaper reporter thought that was an interesting story and soon Uncle Sam became the nickname for the entire United States. But the picture of Uncle Sam as he looks today was not used until the 1860s, when Thomas Nast, the political cartoonist, created a man with a white beard and stars-and-stripes clothing.

A beer stein that looks like that Uncle Sam was made by Schierholz Porcelain of Plaue, Germany, in about 1890. The company, started in 1818, has undergone many changes in ownership and names, but it's still working. The Uncle Sam stein is rare – only a few colored examples are known.

Several porcelain reproductions were made from 1986 to 1995, some multicolored and some with allover "honey" glaze. A more recent reproduction is made of pottery.

In 2014, a colorful Schierholz Uncle Sam stein sold for $5,040 at Fox Auctions in Vallejo, Calif.

Q: I'm 85 years old. After Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, I started collecting and selling scrap iron. Using that money, I bought a $25 U.S. war bond dated Dec. 23, 1942. I never cashed it and still have it. Is it worth more as a collectible than it does as a bond?

A: If the bond has your name on it, you or your heirs are the only ones who can redeem it. You paid $18.75 for your $25 bond in 1942. It stopped accruing interest in 1982, but over 40 years it earned $81.20 in interest. So today it's worth $99.95. A collector would not pay anywhere near that price for the bond. If you like the way it looks, scan it in color and frame the image. Then go ahead and cash the bond.

Q: My father was stationed at Schweinfurt, Germany, at the end of World War II. He didn't smoke, so he used his ration of cigarettes to trade with locals for various items. One of these was a series of 15 drawings, 15 by 19 inches, of workers doing various tasks at the Schweinfurt Ball Bearing factory. The drawings were done in 1934 and 1935 and are in a linen presentation case with the letters "SFK" above "F&S" in a circle in the upper left corner of the cover. Since the Allied bombers heavily bombed Schweinfurt during the war, I have no idea if  many of these drawings still exist. What would be the approximate value of this set of drawings?

A: Most of the ball bearings used by Germany's Nazi forces were made in the city of Schweinfurt in 1939. The Allied bombing raids in 1943 were conducted in an effort to destroy Germany's ability to produce airplane parts. "SKF" stands for Schwedische Kugellagerfabriken, a Swedish company that had a division in Germany that made ball bearings. "F & S" stands for Fichtel & Sachs, another major ball-bearing manufacturer. Drawings of working factories sell well today. The price would be determined mainly by the fame of the artist.

Q: I bought a vase at a thrift store for $2. It's metal, has a raised tree design and is marked "McClelland Barclay" on the bottom. I learned he was an illustrator, but found no information about his metalwork. Can you help?

A: McClelland Barclay (1891-1942) worked in New York City as a commercial artist and magazine illustrator. He was a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and famous for his war posters, Saturday Evening Post "girls" and Ladies Home Journal covers. He designed jewelry for the Rice-Weiner Co. from 1939 to 1943. He also designed household accessories, such as metal bowls, bookends, vases, ashtrays, desk sets and lamps, all signed with his name. Barclay was a U.S. Navy officer during World War II. He died when his ship was torpedoed near the Solomon Islands. Your vase is worth about $175.

Q: I have a pair of antique Bohlin chaps. They say "Made in Hollywood, California." They have stainless-steel conchas and buckles on them. They were owned by my grandmother, who claimed they originally belonged to Roy Rogers. Are they of any value?

A: Emil Helge Bohlin (1895-1980) was a Swedish immigrant who came to the United States in 1912. By 1916 he was working with a blacksmith in Cody, Wyo., making buckles, bits and spurs. In 1920 he opened a shop and made leather goods as well as buckle sets. He moved to Hollywood in the early 1920s and opened Hollywood Novelty and Leather Shop, where he made silver and leather goods. The business was renamed Edward H. Bohlin Inc., by 1926, and he started marking his pieces, "Bohlinmade, Hollywood, California." Many Hollywood stars, including Roy Rogers, bought silver and leather goods from Bohlin. Bohlin's company, still in business, is now in Los Angeles. Bohlin chaps have sold at auction recently for prices ranging from under $500 for a simple pair with no decoration to over $2,000. More elaborate pairs sell for much more. So would a pair once owned by Roy Rogers – but you would have to prove it

Tip: Avoid hanging your sports pennants in direct sunlight. They fade rapidly. Even indirect sunlight can fade felt. Display pennants in frames under UV glass. Avoid thumbtacks, which leave rusty holes.

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.

  • Circus mallet, metal, wood, inscribed, Ringling Bros., 1898, 31 inches, $90.
  • Hutschenreuther figural group, Bremen town musicians, three animals on top of each other, 7 1/2 inches, $150.
  • Doorstop, drum major, holding baton, red, white, Littco Products, 12 3/4 x 3 5/8 inches, $236.
  • Bohemian glass beaker, enamel, gilt flowers, tapered, cylindrical, 4 1/8 inches, 8 pieces, $260.
  • Popeye tank, rollover, tin lithograph, die-cut figures, windup, Linemar, Japan, 4 inches, $265.
  • Mason's fraternal medal, District Deputy - Grand Masters, silver gilt, J. Bennett, 3 1/2 inches, $350.
  • Movie poster, The Killers, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, 1956, 27 x 41 inches, $750.
  • Watercolor, cowboy tumbling off horse, steer, L. Reddy, c. 1945, 15 x 18 inches, $840.
  • Bookcase, Regency style, mahogany, carved, reeded surround, Anglo-Colonial, 89 x 55 in. $955.
  • Sterling-silver meat platter, Maintenon pattern, laurel border, oval, Gorham, 1925, 18 1/2 inches, $1,188.

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 hat comes off this Uncle Sam stein and his head can be filled with beer. This red, white and blue Schierholz example sold for $5,040 in 2014 at Fox Auctions of Vallejo, Calif. 

Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 14:01
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 3, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 03 November 2014 13:47

Cherry-Fizz was a drink made from soda water and cherry-flavored syrup. Although the first soda fountains opened in the United States in the early 1800s, they were most popular in the 1940s and 1950s. This Cherry-Fizz dispenser sold for $19,200 at a 2014 Morphy auction held in Denver, Pa.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Ice-cream scoops, soda fountain syrup dispensers and urns, advertisements, even old soda glasses and sundae dishes are selling quickly. Nostalgia has kept the prices high for things that bring back memories of the old-fashioned drugstore soda fountain. A white ceramic Crawford's Cherry-Fizz syrup dispenser with gold, orange, green and red lettering and nine cherries as decorations auctioned for $19,200 at Morphy Auction's August 2014 sale in Denver, Pa. It was just one of the 130 syrup dispensers in the auction. Seventy percent of them sold for more than $1,000. Prices were high because the syrup dispensers were in good to great condition and had their pumps and all other parts. A record price for a dispenser was set at the same auction: $69,000 for a Pepsi-Cola syrup urn in excellent condition that we think resembles pieces of 1904 Roseville pottery by Frederick Hurten Rhead.

Q: Years ago, I bought an old wooden dictionary stand. It's about 3 feet tall, has angled sides and two lower shelves. There's a small metal plate on the bottom shelf that reads "Baker Office Furniture Co., Pittsburg, Pa." There is no "h" in Pittsburg. Can you tell me something about it so I can pass it on to younger family members? Does it have any value?

A: Your dictionary stand was made between 1891 and 1911. Pennsylvania's city of Pittsburg was chartered in 1816 and the spelling of the name changed a few times. In 1891, the United States Board on Geographic Names ruled that the official spelling was without an "h." The decision was reversed in 1911. Edward Enzer Baker opened the first office furniture store in the country in 1889. In 1913 Baker Office Furniture Co. advertised a reorganization sale, offering old office furniture for sale and offering to buy used office furniture – or taking it as partial payment for new furniture. The company was still in business in the 1920s. The value of your dictionary stand: $95 to $250.

Q: I have a cast-iron Dutch oven and lid. It's embossed "Griswold No. 8 Tite-Top Dutch Oven" around the lid and "Erie Pa., U.S.A." on the bottom. Value?

A: Griswold's history dates back to 1865. But the company was not named Griswold Manufacturing Co. until about 1884. It operated in Erie until 1957. Griswold made a few different "Tite-Top" Dutch ovens marked "No. 8." Yours could date from before or after World War II, depending on its size and style. Most of them sell for $150 to $200. Griswold cast-iron cookware is popular with both collectors and cooks.

Q: I have a lamp with a pillow base that has a cast-bronze cat sitting on it. The cat's tail forms the lamp's stem. On the pillow is a medallion that has a fleur-de-lis inside a square and the words "Collection Francaise, Made in U.S.A." I bought the lamp at an auction. A man has now offered me double what I paid. Should I sell?

A: Your lamp isn't bronze. It's made of spelter, a zinc alloy less valuable than bronze. It's also called "French Bronze." In 1907 J.B. Hirsch, a Romanian metal-smith, started the New York Metal Art Bronze Works in Manhattan to import pieces from French foundries. After World War I, he traveled to Paris, bought the company's molds and opened J.B. Hirsch, his own casting foundry, in the United States. During the 1930s, J.B. Hirsch made figural "French Bronze" lamps. From 1948 to 1963, Hirsch and his son Abraham reassembled hundreds of original bronze molds hidden during World War II. J.B. Hirsch is still in business in New Jersey as a division of Richmond Lighting. Your lamp probably was made in the 1960s or 1970s and is worth about $200. Now you can decide whether to sell the lamp.

Q: I bought six silver spoons at a garage sale a couple of years ago. They are 5 1/2 inches long and have a dragon on the front. They are marked on the back with "DK" in a diamond and "E.P." I tried to find information on these but had no luck. Can you tell me how old they are and how much they're worth?

A: The letters "E.P." stand for electroplate, a method of coating metal with a layer of silver that uses electric current. The mark "DK" may be for D.K. & Co., a company in Japan. Dragons are popular Japanese decorations. We found a pair of silver seafood forks marked "DK" decorated with pagodas for sale online for $30. Your spoons probably were made after 1930. Value of your set of six spoons: about $75.

Q: I discovered some old wooden tennis rackets while going through some old things. They're from the 1970s and are in good condition with no broken strings. Are they are collectible?

A: Almost anything associated with tennis is collected, including vintage rackets, metal cans that held balls, covers, presses, programs, etc. Early tennis rackets were made of layers of wood glued together and strung with gut. Metal rackets became popular in the late 1960s. Some collectors look for rackets made before 1920, some for racquets from a certain maker or endorsed by a professional player, and some for endorsed racquets that include a photo decal of the player. Wooden racquets should be kept in a wooden press or frame to prevent warping. You can find old rackets at garage sales and house sales, thrift stores, online, or at auctions. They sell for prices from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on desirability, rarity and condition.

Tip: The acid or sulfur in eggs, onions, mayonnaise, tart salad dressing and salt will corrode the surface of silver or silver plate.

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.

  • Trunk, campaign, painted, metal banded corners, hinged, footed, 1900s, 36 x 19 inches, $70.
  • Decoy, Canada goose, feeding, glass eyes, Delaware Valley, c. 1910, 26 x 7 inches, $280.
  • Hampshire Pottery chamberstick, green matte glaze, Keene, N.H., 1904-16, 6 1/2 inches, pair, $330.
  • Figurine, John F. Kennedy in rocker, Kamar, box, 11 inches, $380.
  • Clock, Schwinn ad, lights up, blue & red face, white rim, electric, Dualite Corp., 16 inches, $700.
  • Necklace, fish, champleve enamel, silver, Margot de Taxco, Mexico, c. 1948, 21 in. $810.
  • Sterling-silver tea service, Solitaire pattern, gilt, crested, scroll supports, fruit finial, c. 1873, 5 3/4 inches, 3 pieces, $835.
  • Howdy Doody band, Howdy dancing, Bob Smith at piano, tin lithograph, key wind, Unique Art, 5 inches, $945.
  • Bookcase, Art Nouveau, fruitwood, oval open compartment, flower detail, 2 glass doors, 63 x 34 inches, $1,600.
  • Carousel figure, camel, stander, outside row, carved, painted, Charles Dare, c. 1890, 43 1/2 x 55 in. $5,400.

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. "Kovels" is the best book to own if you buy, sell or collect. The large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 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

Cherry-Fizz was a drink made from soda water and cherry-flavored syrup. Although the first soda fountains opened in the United States in the early 1800s, they were most popular in the 1940s and 1950s. This Cherry-Fizz dispenser sold for $19,200 at a 2014 Morphy auction held in Denver, Pa. 

Last Updated on Monday, 03 November 2014 14:00
 
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