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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 14, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:44
The 'Hootch-Owl' is a combination corkscrew-bottle opener-nutcracker that's 6 inches long. It sold for $1,725 at a February Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates auction in Mount Crawford, Va.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - Wine spoils quickly if exposed to the air. It was not until the 18th century that glassblowers were able to make bottles with narrow necks that made airtight storage possible. The best seal for the bottle was a cork, and when the English began to bottle wine in the 1700s they also invented a corkscrew to open the bottle.

At first, corks were removed with an existing tool used to clean muskets. But soon other types of openers were invented. Early corkscrews were usually T-shaped devices that pulled the cork. It is said that the first patented corkscrews were made in England in 1795, France in 1828 and the United States in 1860. There are many types of corkscrews. The single-lever corkscrew and the double-winged-lever corkscrew, patented in 1930, both screwed into the cork. Raising and lowering the lever removed the cork. Hundreds of other clever designs can be found, so collecting is a challenge. By the 1970s, collectors could find books and clubs for corkscrew enthusiasts.

A corkscrew collector is called a "helixophile." Prices have been going up during the past 20 years as the supply of old, unusual corkscrews gets smaller and interest grows in wine and its necessary accessories.

A figural brass corkscrew named "Hootch-Owl," patented in 1936, sold for $1,725 in February 2014 at a Jeffrey S. Evans auction.

Q: I have a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Double R Bar Ranch metal lunch box that pictures Roy on Trigger, Dale Evans waving her hat in greeting, and their dog, Bullet, running alongside. The back and sides look like wood grain and there is a "brand" on the back. Can you tell me when it was made and what it's worth?

A: Your lunch box was made by the American Thermos Co. in 1953. A nearly identical box with blue or red sides and a wood grain back was made in 1954. It came with a matching thermos. It was the first completely lithographed steel lunch box made. The lunch box with thermos sells for $75 to $100 today; the lunch box alone for $50 to $80.

Q: I am stumped by a piece of wooden furniture I inherited. It looks like a three-drawer dresser, but the dresser's top and the hinged front of the top drawer lift up to reveal a trouser press next to a small storage bin. And the bottom drawer front opens on hinges, too. The only mark I can find is "Pat. No. 112843." It's impressed on both the press and the back of the dresser. The press can be unscrewed from the dresser. Can you tell me who made it, how old it is and what it's worth?

A: The patent number refers to a British patent, not an American one. The patent application was filed in England in 1917 by Frank Henry Miles, a "cabinet manufacturer, Crown Cabinet Works, Redcross Street, Bristol." The patent was granted on Jan. 31, 1918. It relates to Miles's invention of a "trouser press & cabinet combined." The patent application states that the press could be "adapted to any piece of furniture as desired or if required made as a separate press." It is likely that your combination trouser press-dresser dates from the late 1910s or early 1920s. The storage bin was meant to be used for "small wearing apparel" (such as collars, etc.). As a piece of furniture, your press-dresser might sell for $200 to $300.

Q: I found two Bevo metal trays in my great uncle's attic. They have a red border with the words "Bevo the beverage" at the top, "The All-Year-Round Soft Drink" at the bottom, and a center lithograph of a carriage pulled by six horses. A man in a suit is driving the carriage and a fox dressed in a suit is sitting backward at the rear of the carriage. I have never heard of this beverage. Do you know anything about it? Are these trays worth anything?

A: Bevo was a "near beer," a nonalcoholic malt drink, made by Anheuser-Busch from 1916 to 1929. It was popular during Prohibition. Reynard the Fox, the footman on the carriage, is an Anheuser-Busch mascot. The mischievous character first appeared in European folk stories 800 years ago. Because few people remember Bevo, there are not many collectors who would want buy the trays. The graphics are interesting, though, so each tray could sell for $75 to $100.

Q: I have a plate that has a stamp on the reverse that reads "J.K.W. Decor, Carlsbad, Bavaria" in an ornate circle of gold. There is a crown above the initials. The plate is 12 inches wide and has a gold rim circling a wide turquoise band with gold decorations. The picture in the center looks like a mirror image of the Jean-Francois Millet painting, The Angelus, showing a farm couple praying over their vegetables. Does this plate have any value?

A: The mark on your plate was used by the Josef Kuba Werkstatte, a porcelain factory founded in Karlsbad, Bavaria (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic), in 1930. The factory was occupied by German soldiers during World War II. After the war ended in 1945, the factory moved to Wiesau, Bavaria, Germany. After Kuba died, his son took over the business. The company closed in 1989. Many of Josef Kuba's plates feature transfer decorations based on famous paintings. The plates were made as inexpensive decorations and sell today for less than $20 each.

Tip: Never dip a piece of rhinestone jewelry in water. It will cause damage.

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 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.

  • Tea Leaf ironstone butter pat, round, Alfred Meakin, 3 1/8 inches, 8 pieces, $15.
  • Majolica umbrella stand, Art Nouveau, grapes, brown ground, 23 inches, $120.
  • Mobilgas toy tanker, tin lithograph, red, white, friction, Japan, box, 8 inches, $140.
  • Jacquard coverlet, blue, green, red, flowers, by William Ney, Meyerstown, Lebanon County, Pa., 83 x 83 inches, $210.
  • Weller Pottery vase, Sicardo pattern, green iridescent, tapered cylinder, paper label, 5 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches, $275.
  • Tiffany blotter ends, Bookmark pattern, stamped "Tiffany Studios, New York," 12 x 2 inches, $300.
  • Hattie McDaniel photograph, wedding, inscribed to Sister Etta, May 1941, $625.
  • Sterling silver platter, oval, monogram, Reed & Barton, 1942, 18 x 13 inches, $815.
  • Hooked rug, horse, flowers, tan and gray ground, circa 1850, 37 x 39 inches, $960.
  • Lap desk, sea captain's, rosewood, brass inlay, leather writing insert, folding surface, stand, England, c. 1810, 25 x 20 inches, $2,090.

The Kovels have navigated flea markets for decades. Learn from the best. "Kovels Flea Market Strategies: How to Shop, Buy and Bargain the 21st Century Way," by Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel, tells you about the latest smartphone apps and websites to help you shop, share and ship as well as what to wear, what to bring, and, most important, how to negotiate your way to a bargain. Also find tips on spotting fakes, advice about paying for your purchases, and shipping suggestions. Full-color booklet, 17 pages, 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 in. Available only from Kovels for $7.95 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
The 'Hootch-Owl' is a combination corkscrew-bottle opener-nutcracker that's 6 inches long. It sold for $1,725 at a February Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates auction in Mount Crawford, Va.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 10:23
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 7, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 07 April 2014 12:19

This 15-inch-high Amphora vase features a pheasant perched on a base. The vase is made to resemble a tree branch. It was offered last year at a Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J., where its presale estimate was $1,000-$1,500.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Want a conversation piece for your living room? Look for a piece of Amphora pottery from Bohemia. Several potteries in Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia, around the turn of the 20th-century made large vases in the Art Nouveau style.

Statue-like women in flowing dresses climbed the side of a tall vase. Or a mysterious, exotic vine with large blossoms crept up to the top. Designs also included animals, mermaids or birds, all with curved lines and pastel colors. Some vases look more like strange sculptures. Early pieces were made by Eduard Stellmacher and are marked with variations of the factory name, Reisner, Stellmacher & Kessel, or with RStK, Amphora, Royal Amphora or an eagle. They also may be marked "Austria" if they were made before 1918, then "Czechoslovakia" until 1945, when the factory closed. The most popular Amphora vases are large, at least 15 inches high and strikingly unusual. They are not at all like modern vases and many people do not like them, but today's decorators like a unique piece to add interest to a room.

Prices at shops can go from $100 for a small piece to $6,000 for a large one, but sometimes you can find a bargain at an estate sale where only the brave buy large, bold examples of design.

Q: I have a few top-quality handbags and wonder what they're worth. One is a Chanel that's covered in little suede patches. Others are by Bottega Veneta, Pierre Cardin and Fendi.

A: The prices of high-quality vintage handbags can be quite high – into the thousands. Many national auction houses include handbags in their vintage couture sales. If your bags are in excellent condition, don't sell them on your own until you consult a reputable auction house. You may get a lot more for them if they are sold by an auction house that advertises widely, sells on land and online, and attracts a lot of interested bidders.

Q: My father gave me his favorite board game from his childhood. It is called "The Uncle Wiggily Game." I have the board, the pieces and the box. The board shows a map with numbered spaces, houses, trees, a rabbit (probably Uncle Wiggily) and other animals. Who made it? When? What is it worth?

A: Uncle Wiggily was a rabbit character created in 1910 for a daily series of bedtime stories. The game was introduced by Milton Bradley in 1916. In 1967 rights to the game went to Parker Brothers, which sold it until about 1971. All of the published versions of the game were similar. Elderly Uncle Wiggily, who wore a top hat, was searching for medicine for his rheumatism. The board for the 1967 game pictures a "2 & 3 Cent Store." Others have a "5 & 10 Cent store." The game board also changed in 1923, 1949, 1955 and 1961. The rabbits were made of a composition material in early sets. From 1947 to 1953, they were made of metal. In 1988, Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers made different versions of the game. The Bradley version was a simpler, shorter game with 100 spaces instead of the original 151 spaces. There is a new game today, by Winning Moves, that has a vintage look. Most Uncle Wiggily games sell for under $30.

Q: My large, two-part, floor-standing spool cabinet has the words "The Leonard Silk Co." and "Warehouse Point" on the side panels. It has two rows of seven glass-front drawers above two stacks of four drawers. And it still has some of the removable pegs that held spools of thread. What is its age and value?

A: Leonard Silk Co. was a manufacturer of thread based in Warehouse Point, Conn. It started out as J.N. Leonard & Co. in the 1860s and became the John N. Leonard Silk Co. in 1891. In 1869 John Leonard invented a revolving display cabinet with wire rods to hold spools. He made spool labels with "ornamentally perforated" holes so they could fit over the rods and leave the printed labels intact. Leonard sold his interest in the company in about 1909 and its name was changed to Warehouse Point Silk Co. Spool cabinets were used by salesmen and dry goods stores to display spools of thread. Your spool cabinet was made between 1891 and 1909. Because your spool cabinet is so large, it's worth $1,000 to $2,000.

Q: I inherited close to 100 limited edition collector plates when my parents died. The plates were made by several different manufacturers. Most of them are in their original shipping boxes with their original paperwork. Who is buying these plates nowadays? How can I sell them?

A: Collector plates made in limited numbers were a huge collecting niche in the 1970s and ’80s. We look back today and consider them a fad – because most of the plates are now worth less than half their original "issue" prices. Many would sell for just a few dollars, if they can be sold at all. The earliest collector plates were Christmas plates made in 1895 by Bing & Grondahl. These and other early plates still sell for good prices. So while it may be daunting to open every box, you should. Check the issue date, maker and design of all the plates. Don't worry about what your parents paid. You can find current selling prices online. Then either try selling the plates online, as small groups or single plates. It's unlikely a dealer anywhere would offer to buy all of the plates, but you could ask. Or you might consider donating the plates to a charity auction in your area.

Tip: In addition to more visible mold, there is a critter called "dry rot," which can get into your wooden items after a flood. It's a silent killer. If the rot isn't killed, it will ruin your wooden items from the inside out throughout a period of 10 to 15 years. It gets into wooden furniture, floor supports and walls, and eats only wood. Take a tank sprayer with a borate solution and spray it into wall cavities and under floors.

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.

  • Akro Agate flower pot, ivory, marbleized, scalloped top, 3 1/2 inches, $20.
  • Bank, baseball player, cast iron, painted, A.C. Williams, 5 1/2 inches, $90.
  • Candle box, hanging, mahogany, lift lid, lower drawer, England, c.1860, 19 x 8 1/2 inches, $185.
  • Art glass vase, green, tulip-carved overlay, gilt, pinched sides, Honesdale, Pa., c. 1900, 6 3/4 inches, $205.
  • Toy car, sedan, pressed steel, black & yellow paint, Schiebel, 18 inches, $330.
  • Chalkware doves, brown, white, branch, white leaf base, Pennsylvania, c. 1860, 10 3/4 inches, pair, $385.
  • Sasha Gotz doll, "Yamka" Gypsy, painted eyes, black wig, beads, pink dress, tube box, $540.
  • Man's corset, sateen, linen, lacing, brown, adjustable, c. 1845, $770.
  • Jugtown Pottery vase, turquoise blue, mottled, red veining, handles, marked, 8 3/4 inches, $885.
  • Sheraton bureau, mahogany, carved, bowfront, four drawers, beaded, columns, c. 1810, 44 x 41 inches, $1,415.

New! The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect - and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. The new "Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2014," 46th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and more than 35,000 up-to-date prices for 700-plus categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year, plus 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 send by mail to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 This 15-inch-high Amphora vase features a pheasant perched on a base. The vase is made to resemble a tree branch. It was offered last year at a Rago Arts auction in Lambertville, N.J., where its presale estimate was $1,000-$1,500.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 12:32
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 31, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 31 March 2014 12:12

This early 19th-century beaded pouch bag pictures ladies at tea on one side and around a piano on the other. The beading, fringe and silk lining are in excellent condition. It sold recently for $1,026 at a Theriault's auction in California.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Beaded purses of various shapes were in fashion for all of the 19th and 20th centuries. Shapes went in and out of fashion. Colorful and sparkling glass beads imported from Europe added to the knit and embroidered purses that were in style.

In the early 1800s, the reticule or drawstring bag was "in." It was knitted with a bead in each stitch. And each bag had a drawstring closure and a long tassel at the bottom. By the 1840s, glass beads were used as trim on dresses and hats. The reticule was out, and rectangular beaded purses were made with geometric or pictorial designs and fancy metal frames.

Early 1900s fashions went back to the earlier beaded purses, and sometimes old frames were reused. Metal beads came into use in the 1840s and were especially popular in purses. The beaded purses of flapper days often had deco designs, metal beads, fringe and a maker's label inside. In the 1970s and ’80s, beaded purses were back for cocktail parties but again lost favor by 2000.

Now is the time to look for antique glass beaded purses. Prices have gone up during the past 10 years, but the bags are still bargains if you want a special purse. A collector today must examine a purse carefully to determine its age and quality.

Q: I have a Featherweight Singer sewing machine that has a seal on the right side of the top that reads "Golden Gate Exposition 1939." I also have the original attachments, black case and instruction booklet. I would like to sell it all. Do you know what the set is worth and where I can sell it?

A: Singer was founded in New York City by Isaac Merritt Singer in 1851. The company still is in business. The Featherweight, Model No. 221, was introduced at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 and was made until 1964. It's smaller and lighter in weight than earlier models because parts were made out of aluminum instead of cast iron. Machines with the "Golden Gate Exposition 1939" badge were made in October 1938. Not many were sold and machines in working condition with attachments, case and manual do sell today, often to be used. The Exposition badge adds a little to the machine's value. Most vintage sewing machines sell for a few hundred dollars.

Q: My old earthenware pot with two handles stands 6 inches high and holds about 3 1/2 quarts. The base is unglazed and the lid has reddish-brown glaze. The front of the pot is impressed "Red Wing, Provincial Ware, 29." My oldest sister used to make baked beans in it for our family of seven. Is it worth anything?

A: The number "29" on your pot is the style number Red Wing gave to its four-quart stock pot. It's sometimes advertised as a bean pot. The Provincial Ware bean pot came in quart and 1 1/2 quart sizes. Red Wing Pottery was in business in Red Wing, Minn., from 1878 to 1967. The company started out making stoneware jugs and canning jars and other utilitarian pottery, and later made dinnerware, vases and art pottery. Its Provincial Cooking Ware was introduced in 1941. Pieces from the line were reintroduced in 1963 and are marked on the bottom, not the side. The value of your stock pot is about $30 if it's in good condition.

Q: I'm trying to find a value for my Dunhill lighter. It's 14K gold with brushstrokes. Can you tell me what the lighter is worth?

A: The value of your lighter depends on the gold content and the price of gold when you sell it. The value of 24K gold is the highest because it is almost pure gold. Gold marked 14K is made of 58.33 percent gold and 41.7 percent other metals. Gold is mixed with copper, silver and zinc to make it stronger and less likely to show scratches. Prices for gold fluctuate, but you can find the current price online. An ounce of 14K gold was worth about $725 in January 2014. Gold lighters sell at auction for prices ranging from $150 to $500.

Q: I have a matchbook from the Stork Club that pictures a stork wearing a top hat and smoking a cigarette while standing on one leg. The words "Smoke Fatima" are written in the cigarette smoke. Only one match has been removed. Would this be of interest to a collector? If so, how do I contact one?

A: The Stork Club was in business in New York City from 1929 to 1965. Fatima was a popular brand of cigarettes made from a Turkish blend of tobacco. Most collectors want unused matchbooks. They usually take the matches out before storing or displaying them since they are only interested in the cover - unless the matches themselves have printing on them. Matchbook covers are sold online and at collectors' swap meets and conventions. Most sell for just a few dollars. There is a club for matchbook cover collectors, the Rathcamp Matchcover Society, Matchcover.org.

Tip: Use a magnet to test the beads on vintage beaded bags. The best beads are steel, and steel sticks to a magnet. Do not soak a beaded bag in water to clean it. The knit threads will weaken and may break. Use a damp cloth and little pressure.

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.

  • Mesh purse, gold-tone, chain handle, 6 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches, $65.
  • Tea leaf pitcher, morning glory, Portland shape, Elsmore & Forster, 9 inches, $70.
  • Kitchen grater, yellow pine, drawer, c. 1890, 5 x 13 inches, $80.
  • Dollhouse, Victorian, two stories, porch, railing, steps, balcony, carved accents, painted, c. 1900, 20 x 19 inches, $230,
  • Silver-plated candlestick, tapered standard, Sheffield, c. 1800, 10 1/2 inches, $240.
  • Mechanical bank, "I Always Did 'spise a Mule," cast iron, J. & E. Stevens, c. 1880, 10 inches, $280.
  • Daum Nancy vase, blue, green flowers, vines over frosted ground, squared cylinder, 6 1/2 inches, $360.
  • Terra-cotta garden seat, elephant, trunk down, brown, multicolor blanket seat, 17 inches, pair, $365.
  • Sampler, verse, flowers, butterflies, eight-point stars, potted trees, stepped riser, silk on linen, 1815, 16 x 12 inches, $600.
  • Library steps, Regency, mahogany, leather, four treads, adjustable, 28 x 27 inches, $3,320.

Ralph and Terry Kovel, syndicated newspaper columnists, best-selling authors, avid collectors and national authorities on antiques, hosted the HGTV series "Flea Market Finds with the Kovels." Watch the Kovels' HGTV shows to become an expert on almost anything you see at a flea market. DVD sets of Seasons One and Two (12 episodes each), plus a DVD of the final episodes of Seasons 1-4) are available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com for $59.90 plus $4.95 postage; by phone at 800-303-1996; or mail your check to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This early 19th-century beaded pouch bag pictures ladies at tea on one side and around a piano on the other. The beading, fringe and silk lining are in excellent condition. It sold recently for $1,026 at a Theriault's auction in California.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:50
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 24, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 24 March 2014 12:21

A tobacco jar was used to make this memory jar. Decorating it are campaign buttons and badges, a war service shipbuilding medal, a Duluth, Minn., shipbuilding visitor's badge, a china shoe, small anchor and other items from the 1930s. It sold at Old Barn Auction in Findlay, Ohio, for just $72, probably because it had a chip on the lid.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – "Ugly jar" is just one of the names for an antique memory jar – and it often is an accurate description. But a homemade memory jar is of interest because it tells a story.

Memory jars can be any shape, but the most popular with collectors today are jars made from 19th-century jugs or bottles. The jug or bottle was covered with a sticky material. It could be plaster, clay, putty or mortar. New ones are often covered with modern epoxy glue. The creator placed small objects like stones, buttons, broken glass, small figurines, watch parts, jewelry, doll heads, coins or even framed daguerreotypes in the plaster. Since the original idea of a memory jug is said to have started in Africa and related to water spirits, shells have long been popular. Traditionally the shells are broken to release the spirit of the deceased who inspired the jug. Today the jugs are considered folk art and sell for $50 to $300 at shows, but a few exceptional antique examples have brought up to $3,000.

Most jugs can be dated by examiningthe things stuck in the plaster. Campaign buttons, coins and toy parts often suggest a date, but remember that new jugs can be made using old parts. A small percentage of old or new jugs are finished with a coat of gold paint or lacquer. Many are pictured online. They may be called forget-me-not jugs, memory vessels, whatnot jars or even by the French name "pique assiette."

Q: I'm thinking of selling an old Steinway upright piano and I'd like to give the buyer as much information as possible. It says "Pat Nov 21 1893" with the serial number "79386" inside the flip-down panel. On the right side there is a gold stamp with gold "coins" that read "Piano manufacturers to H.M. the Queen of England, H.R. Highness the Prince of Wales and H.R. Highness the Princess of Wales." What can you tell me about my piano?

A: Steinway & Co. was founded in New York City by Henry E. Steinway, a German immigrant. He was born Heinrich Steinweg and changed his name when he immigrated in 1850. He and his sons began making pianos under the Steinway & Co. name in 1853. The Nov. 21, 1893, patent is for "improvements in string-frames for upright pianos," and was granted to Henry Ziegler, a member of the Steinway family. The gold "coins" show that the company held royal warrants, which meant that they made pianos for members of the royal family. Queen Victoria granted the first royal warrant to the company in 1890. The serial number indicates that your piano was made in 1893. Steinway was bought by Paulson & Co. in September 2013.

Q: My ceramic mantel clock is about 15 inches high and 13 inches across at the base. It has an ornate shape and is painted in vivid pink, yellow, green and white with large flowers and greenery. There is gilt trim around the dial, which has Roman numerals. The clock chimes and is key-wound. The back opens. The clock is marked "Ansonia Clock Co., New York, USA, Patent June 14, 1881" and also "Royal" above a crown over a shield with "FAM" and "1755" inside it and the words "Bonn, Germany" beneath it. What can you tell me about this clock and its value?

A: Ansonia Clock Co. was in business in southeastern Connecticut from 1850 to 1929. Royal Bonn is the trade name used on pottery made by Franz Anton Mehlem. He operated a pottery in Bonn, Germany, beginning in 1836. The number "1755" is the first year a pottery operated on the site. Villeroy & Boch bought the pottery in 1921, but it closed in 1931. The mark on your clock was used from 1890 to 1920 for clocks with Ansonia works and Royal Bonn cases. There are many Ansonia Royal Bonn clocks available. They sell for $500 to $750, depending on condition and the quality of the case and decoration.

Q: Years ago, my mother gave me two Roseville vases telling me they were a "find" and quite valuable. I kept them all these years for sentimental value but now I'd like to know more about them. Each one is a cornucopia standing on its end with a day lily on either side. They are marked on the bottom "Roseville, USA, 203-6." What is their history and value?

A: Roseville Pottery Co. was in business in Roseville, Ohio, from 1890 until 1954. The pottery opened another plant in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1898. The pattern of your cornucopia vase is called Zephyr Lily, which was first made in 1946. The pattern was made in Bermuda blue, Evergreen and Sienna Tan. The numbers on the bottom refer to the shape number (203) and the size (6 inches). Value of a single vase is about $50. The pair is worth about $125.

Q: I have a great number of toys from three generations. My mother was born in 1899, I was born in 1926 and my daughter was born in 1964. The toys were stored in an unoccupied basement apartment. Unfortunately, one of the apartment's concrete walls leaked, the hot water heater leaked and the basement carpets got soaked. The toys include three large furnished wooden dollhouses, many dolls, doll clothing, games and other toys made of wood, metal or cloth. Most have a musty smell. Is there a way to eliminate the odors?

A: Special products that kill mold and mildew or prevent them from forming are available at hardware and home improvement stores. Move the toys into a dry room. Wash surfaces that smell moldy with a mild detergent solution. If that doesn't get rid of the odor, try using vinegar, water with a little chlorine bleach in it, or a commercial product meant to kill mold. Doll clothes and other textiles should be washed and dried in the normal way. Stuffed toys should be laundered and dried in a dryer at low temperature or dried in the sun. Sunlight helps remove the smell. Store the toys in a dry place that is not exposed to temperature extremes. Basements, attics and garages do not make good storage places for anything of value.

Tip: Never leave a note outside explaining that you are not at home.

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.

  • Peachblow vase, jack-in-the-pulpit shape, pink shaded to white, 9 x 4 1/4 inches, $80.
  • Sasha doll, Ruth, painted eyes, red wig, short plaid skirt, plane ticket, Gotz, tube box, $310.
  • Tea caddy, mixed wood, oval shell lid inlay, lift top, two-part interior, England, circa 1750, 3 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches, $355.
  • Stoneware crock, cobalt-blue flowers, lug handles, impressed "Lyons," circa 1860, 9 inches, $360.
  • Match holder, boar's head, open mouth, brass, 7 inches, $390.
  • North Dakota School of Mines vase, flower band, blue, purple, tapered, squat, Flora C. Huckfield, 1935, 4 x 5 3/4 inches, $440.
  • Northwest Coast Indian rattle, raven shape, mother-of-pearl inlay, red, green, black, 8 1/2 inches, $590.
  • Desk, walnut, chromed steel, four drawers, Jens Risom, 1960s, 30 x 66 inches, $625.
  • Jugtown vase, blue, wine red highlights, shouldered, tapered, circa 1930, 6 1/4 x 6 inches, $650.
  • Antonio Prieto vase, stylized birds, gunmetal glaze, signed, midcentury, 6 x 13 inches, $1,125.

The Kovels have navigated flea markets for decades. Learn from the best. Kovels Flea Market Strategies: How to Shop, Buy and Bargain the 21st Century Way by Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel tells you about the latest smartphone apps and websites to help you shop, share, and ship as well as what to wear, what to bring, and, most important, how to negotiate your way to a bargain. Also, tips on spotting fakes, advice about paying for your purchases and shipping suggestions. Full color booklet, 17 pages, 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 in. Available only from Kovels for $7.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or mail to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A tobacco jar was used to make this memory jar. Decorating it are campaign buttons and badges, a war service shipbuilding medal, a Duluth, Minn., shipbuilding visitor's badge, a china shoe, small anchor and other items from the 1930s. It sold at Old Barn Auction in Findlay, Ohio, for just $72, probably because it had a chip on the lid.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:48
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 17, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 17 March 2014 12:22
This wistful boy with the blue googly eyes is a dresser box. The 1920s German porcelain box, 8 inches high, sold for $171 at a Theriault's auction held in Newport Beach, Calif.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – "Googly eyes" is a term that can mean two slightly different things. The meaning online refers to small, plastic pieces that look like round sandwiches with clear tops and a small, loose, round black piece inside. They are used to represent moving eyes in toys, dolls and puzzles. But to a collector of vintage dolls, toys and figurines, googly eyes means oversized, side-glancing eyes painted onto the piece. Or it can be the name for a doll with the googly eyes. The eyes give the face a comic look, and since most dolls with googly eyes have chubby cheeks and tiny mouths, the dolls seem friendly, even lovable. They were made starting in about 1912, and most were made in Germany. The bulk of them date from 1915 to 1925.

Grace Drayton's drawings of children with googly eyes were published earlier and were used in cartoons, comic strips and children's books. Doorstops, dolls, figurines and tableware also pictured her googly-eyed children. Her most famous characters with big, round eyes are Dolly Dimple, a paper doll, and the Campbell Kids.

Googly-eye dolls started to go up in price in the late 1990s, and kept rising in the early 2000s. A few bargains can be found today.

Q: I saw a large wooden storage cupboard labeled "Rare, Hornbeam" at an antique show. No one was nearby to tell me what that meant.

A: Hornbeam is the name of a tree that grows in England and central Europe. Similar trees grow in North America and Japan. United States hornbeam is sometimes called ironwood, musclewood or blue beech. But 40 types are grown in East Asia. They grow slowly, up to 75 feet high. The wood is light-colored, almost white, and has a patterned grain with flecks. Because it is so hard, it is rarely used for furniture. Instead, it's used to make wheels, carving boards, tool handles and sometimes pegs, screws and even parquet flooring. The bark can be boiled and used as a medicine to relieve pain. Furniture made from hornbeam is expensive because the wood is rare, difficult to work with and has an attractive grain.

Q: I bought a set of 21 Hummel spice jars. They have a Hummel picture and the name of a spice on the front and a legend about the spice on the back. The bottom of each jar is marked "M.I. Hummel, ARS AG, Cham, Switzerland, 1987." Below that is a symbol that looks like a lowercase "d" over "m" and "Made in Japan." What is their value?

A: Danbury Mint sold Hummel spice sets from 1987 to 1992. The "d over m" mark is the Danbury Mint mark. The jars were made in Japan using designs by ARS AG, a Swiss company that holds rights to Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel's original pictures and to illustrations of the figurines. The complete spice set includes 24 spice jars and a wooden spice rack. Danbury Mint sold the jars by mail on a subscription basis. The customer received one or two jars per month, and the spice rack was included with the set. In 1991 the company offered the jars for $19.75 each. A set is very difficult to sell, especially if some jars are missing. A complete set might bring $50. Your partial set would be worth less.

Q: My Parker 51 pen-and-pencil set is in its original black box. The caps are 14K gold. The set is in good condition. How old is it?

A: George Safford Parker founded the Parker Pen Co. in Janesville, Wis., in 1888. The Parker 51 pen was developed in 1939, the company's 51st year. After testing it in other countries, it was introduced in the United States in 1941. The pen has a Lucite body and 14K gold nib. It was made in several colors, with slight design changes throughout the years. The Parker 51 was made until about 1972, and became the best-selling pen in the world. The company was bought by Gillette in 1993 and became part of Newell Rubbermaid in 2000.

Q: Is there a market for old used jeans? My sentimental mother kept the jeans I wore when I was a toddler, and I'm now 64 years old. They have an 18-inch waist and 14-inch inseam. The Levi's tag is red, not orange, so I wonder if these are the real thing.

A: Jeans were first made in 1873 by Levi Strauss & Co. Most Levi's have a red tab, or tag. The orange tab was used on a line of Levi's made from 1969 into the 1970s, and recently was re-introduced as a retro line. Levi Strauss established a wholesale dry-goods business in San Francisco in 1853. He and Jacob Davis were granted a patent on a method of fastening pocket openings with rivets in 1873, and they began making denim "waist overalls" (jeans) with copper rivets. If the name "Levi's" on the tab on your jeans is in all caps, your jeans were made before 1971. This is known as the "Big E" tab. Some vintage jeans have sold for high prices in the past, especially in Japan, but there is not as much interest in children's jeans.

Tip: Wash your hands or wear cotton gloves before handling books, textiles or paper artifacts.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antiques 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.

  • Gathering basket, woven splint, white oak, round, ribbed, bentwood handle, patina, 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches, $70.
  • Fire helmet, aluminum, high eagle, blue, red painted metal front shield, Ladder 1, lieutenant, Cairn's, circa 1897, $315.
  • KPM lithophane lampshade, five panels, embossed women, children, black, white, circa 1890, 6 1/2 inches, $355.
  • Irish silver ladle, scalloped shell-shape bowl, circa 1762, 13 3/4 inches, $500.
  • Carpenter's plane, walnut block, whalebone inlay, 10 1/2 inches, $560.
  • Hilda baby doll, Kestner 245, bisque head, sleep eyes, teeth, composition, white lace bonnet, dress, 16 inches, $790.
  • Kalo silver bracelet, flowers, three green stones, 6 inches, $815.
  • St. Patrick's Day candy container, composition, standing man, red hair, top hat, pipe, suit, cane, 10 inches, $950.
  • Umbrella stand, iron, standing man, top hat, holding shillelagh, Ireland, circa 1865, 29 x 16 inches, $2,090.
  • Music cabinet, lift top, carved front, hinged handles, green interior, C. Rohlf, 36 x 11 inches, $9,375.

"Kovels' A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate" is 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. 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 and donating to a charity. Learn about how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free current supplement with useful websites, auction lists and other current information. Available only from the Kovels for $19.95, plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at www.kovels.com; or write to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This wistful boy with the blue googly eyes is a dresser box. The 1920s German porcelain box, 8 inches high, sold for $171 at a Theriault's auction held in Newport Beach, Calif.
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:49
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 10, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 10 March 2014 14:14

A gladiator and a maiden surrounded by a design of columns and drapes are shown on this Burgen, Schverer & Cie vase. The 9-inch vase was offered at a 2013 James Julia auction in Fairfield, Maine.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Cameo glass is popular with collectors. Galle, Thomas Webb, Mount Washington and Daum are well known, but some smaller companies that worked at the same time are almost unknown. Burgun, Schverer & Cie (son) was founded in 1711 in Meisenthal, France.

The company always made top-quality glass and survived by changing methods and designs to attract new customers. It made blown glass, watch glass, eyeglass lenses and tableware. By the 1860s, it was famous for its understanding of glassmaking. Emile Galle was an apprentice there before he left for his father's company, and the two companies had a working arrangement for about 10 years. In 1895 Burgun, Schverer & Cie produced cameo glass by the new and less expensive method of painting layers of colored and clear glass and then carving them. It also made other art glass, including enameled and gilt vases, often with silver mounts. Burgun, Schverer & Cie won many awards for its glass, and in 1901 it became a public company.

It is now called Verrerie de Meisenthal. Its glass has long been marked with a hard-to-understand emblem that includes the Cross of Lorraine, a thistle and the letters BS & C on a banner. Look for cameo glass by Burgun, Schverer & Cie. It may be overlooked by those with less information about the glass's quality and mark.

Q: I have four bentwood chairs that came from an old seminary. Underneath the seats there is a label that reads "J.S. Ford Johnson Co., New York, N.Y., 33 E. 47th St., Chicago, Ill., San Francisco, Calif." They were patented in March 1910 and are in good solid condition. Can you tell me something about the history?

A: J.S. Ford Johnson Co. was founded in 1867 by John S. Ford and Henry W. Johnson. The company started out in Columbus, Ohio, moved to Indiana a year later and moved to Chicago in 1872. The company made Mission furniture, including some pieces similar to Stickley furniture. It was one of the largest manufacturers of chairs in the United States. The company went bankrupt in 1913 and was sold. Your set of bentwood chairs is worth about $600 if the chairs are in excellent condition.

Q: Is a rectangular yellow planter marked "Cookson 923" of any value?

A: Gerald Cookson founded Cookson Pottery Co. in Roseville, Ohio, in 1945. Garden ware, planters, vases and florist ware were produced. Cookson's molds were made by Ungemach Pottery, another Roseville company, and the glazes were applied at Cookson Pottery. Cookson's son took over the business in 1966. The business was sold in 1982 but continued to operate until 1995. Value of your planter: about $20.

Q: I have a pewter stein marked "F & M" over "N." It's 11 inches tall and has raised decorations of classical figures picking grapes from a vine. Can you tell me who made it and what it's worth?

A: The mark was used by Felsenstein & Mainzer, a pewterer in Nuremberg, Germany. The company was founded by Simon Felsenstein and Sigmund Mainzer in 1886. Gebruder Bing bought the company in 1918 and made Felsenstein & Mainzer products until the 1930s. Felsenstein & Mainzer steins have sold at auction recently for $85.

Q: My Brownie Target Six-20 camera is in excellent condition, never used, with the original box it came in. The camera is metal and the front is black and white with vertical lines. I'd like to find out how old it is and if film still is available. And how much is the camera worth?

A: Eastman Kodak Co. made the Brownie Target Six-20 from July 1946 until May 1952. The front of your camera is known as the Art Deco face. The camera originally came with a roll of 620 film. The film was discontinued in 1995, but rolls may be available from sources for out-of-production film. You can also use a roll of 120 film rewound onto a 620 spool, which is larger than a 120 spool. It takes two 620 spools to do this and must be done in a darkroom or darkbox so that no light touches the film. You can buy spare 620 spools online. The camera originally sold for $3.50. Today it sells online for $10-$25 without a box and $15-$40 with the original box.

Q: When I was rehabbing our garage, which was built in about 1917, I found a large piece of colorful cardboard in the old insulation. It looks like it was an advertising sign or perhaps the side of a breakfast food box of some kind. There's a child's face on it with the phrase "Toddy builds health and strength." Can you help identify the ad? Does it have any value?

A: Toddy was a brand name for a "meal in a glass" sold by a Buffalo, N.Y., company named Maltop Inc. The milk-based drink, apparently meant for children, was heavily marketed in the eastern United States and Canada in the late 1920s, so your garage may not be quite as old as you think it is – or it was insulated a decade after it was built. The drink was sold in cans in grocery stores. Your cardboard piece may have been the side of a carton that once held Toddy cans. The most common Toddy-related collectible is a mixer-style drinking glass embossed with the brand name and a child's face. The glasses sell for $10 to $20 online. Your ad would sell for only a few dollars. Why not frame it and hang it in your garage or kitchen as part of your house's history?

Tip: Don't wear jewelry while in a swimming pool. Chlorine makes it dull. If you are in the ocean, the glimmer of metal may attract unwanted fish.

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

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • The Mike Roy Cookbook, No. 2, Los Angeles radio host & chef, "Everyday Recipes," 147 pages, 1969. $10.
  • Coca-Cola bottle opener, 50th anniversary, 3 3/4 inches, $85.
  • Fishing hook display, folding, various sizes, Mustad & Son, Norway, 69 1/2 inches, $195.
  • Folk art spirit house, stand, red removable pediment roof, gold-painted house, baskets, circa 1910, 51 x 26 inches, $240.
  • Barometer, Admiral Fitzroy's, oak, mercury tube thermometer, atmospheric gauge, 1800s, 40 1/2 inches, $295.
  • Tiffany glass bowl, cobalt blue iridescence, lobed, scalloped rim, marked L.C.T., 3 x 8 inches, $325.
  • Satsuma vase, women in garden, embossed gold, cylindrical, 36 inches, $450.
  • Bucket bench, blue paint, arched apron, cutout slab ends, New York, 1800s, 23 x 44 inches, $815.
  • Danish silver tankard, embossed flowers, Jacob G. Fabritius, 8 1/2 inches, $960.
  • Milliner's head, papier-mache, blue eyes, black, cream paint, circa 1850, 15 inches, $1,070.

New! 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A gladiator and a maiden surrounded by a design of columns and drapes are shown on this Burgen, Schverer & Cie vase. The 9-inch vase was offered at a 2013 James Julia auction in Fairfield, Maine.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:49
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 3, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 03 March 2014 11:45
In the 19th century, this wooden cart was used on a farm. The goat wagon has iron-banded wooden wheels. It is 21 inches wide and 40 inches long. The cart sold for $236 at Conestoga Auction Co. in Manheim, Pa.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Energy use and cost are big problems today, but our ancestors found some simple solutions. Conestoga Auction Co. in Pennsylvania sold a goat cart in 2013 for $236. Was it a toy? A farm tool?

Animal power was important in past years. Of course, there were horse-drawn plows and wagons. But there were also dog- and sheep-powered treadmills used to help churn butter. Donkeys, mules – and, in other countries, elephants and camels – furnished power for farm work and transportation. But goat carts have been popular not only for pulling wagons of farm products, but also as entertainment for children.

From the late 19th century into the 1930s, traveling photographers took goat cart pictures. A child sat in the cart and the photographer took the cute picture and printed a photograph or a postcard. Dozens of these vintage goat cart pictures, most from Midwestern towns, can be found on the Internet. Iron and tin toys made from about 1890 to 1940 are replicas of children or men in goat carts.

This old idea may be coming back. There is now a dog-powered wheelchair for injured veterans.

Q: My dresser belonged to my mother. She gave it to me many years ago. One drawer is marked "Kroehler, world's largest furniture manufacturer, Permanized furniture." I would like to sell it, but I don't know how to go about it and how much to ask for it.

A: Peter E. Kroehler started out as a clerk at the Naperville Lounge Co. in 1893 and bought the company in 1903. He founded P.E. Kroehler Manufacturing Co. in Kankakee, Ill., in 1911. He merged the two companies with two other furniture manufacturers in 1915 to form Kroehler Manufacturing Co. The "Permanized" finish was advertised as moisture-proof. The company was sold in 1981. A new Kroehler double dresser and mirror sold for about $175 in 1957. Value today, if it's in great condition, is about $200.

Q: I have a vase that my mother owned for many years. The top edge is gilt and scalloped and the vase has two handles. The mark on the bottom is "Usona" over a standing dragon with "Goodwin" underneath it. Unfortunately, one of the handles broke off so I'm sure it isn't worth much, but I'd like to know who made it and how old it is.

A: The dragon mark was used from about 1906 to 1913 by Goodwin Pottery Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio. The company was in business from 1893 to 1913. You are right – the missing handle destroys the value.

Q: I have a battery-operated roller-skating monkey called Clancy that was one of my favorite childhood toys. It's hard plastic and is about 22 inches tall. Batteries fit into one of his shoes. His head moves from side to side and he moves forward when you put a coin in his hand or into his hat, which can be attached to his hand. What is Clancy worth today?

A: Clancy the Great, a roller-skating monkey, was made by Ideal Toy Co. in 1963. It was designed by Marvin Glass & Associates, a toy design company in Chicago. The toy came with two metal "coins." If it's in good working condition and you have the original box, the toy sells for about $100 today.

Q: My mother bought me an Elvis Presley overnight case in 1956. The copyright date of 1956 is on the bottom. The case has pictures of Elvis and his autograph on the cover and sides, blue trim and a blue handle. She paid $7 for it at W.E. Walker 5 & 10 cent store, where she worked. Can you tell me the value of it now?

A: Elvis Presley's first records were produced by Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn., in 1954. His rock ’n’ roll-style and suggestive moves made him a popular but controversial figure back then. In 1956 he began recording for RCA and appeared in his first movie. Although he died in 1977, he remains one of the most popular recording stars of all time, with more than a billion records sold. The overnight case was made with blue or brown trim and handles. They have sold at auction for $200 to more than $400

Q: I have an 11-inch frosted glass wine bottle with a music box built into the bottle's recessed bottom. The bottle is marked "Bols" around the bottom, but the wooden bottom of the music box is marked "Bottle made in France, Musical unit made in Switzerland." When the bottle is picked up, the music box plays. There's a little pin on the bottom that winds the music box and stops the music when the bottle is set down. What is the history and value of this bottle?

A: The Lucas Bols company, based in Amsterdam, is the oldest distillery in the world. It traces its history back to 1575. But its glass music-box bottles, including examples with a dancing ballerina inside, date from the middle of the 20th century. They usually sell for $20 to $50.

Q: I inherited my grandmother's set of china. The dishes are decorated with red and yellow roses. Each one has an octagonal mark with "Semi W.M. Co. Porcelain" inside it. Can you tell me who made this china and how old it is?

A: Willets Manufacturing Co. of Trenton, N.J., made your dishes. The pottery was in business from 1879 to about 1912. It used the octagonal mark on semi-porcelain made between 1879 and 1909.

Tip: To clean an old teddy bear, cover it with cheesecloth and vacuum it on the low setting. Use a small amount of foam carpet cleaner or foam from Woolite and water. Rinse. Let it dry out of sunlight. Vacuum again. Do not soak the bear in water. The stuffing will be ruined.

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.

  • Black jockey hitching post, cast metal, red and cream paint, circa 1910, 35 3/4 inches, $75.
  • Bread slicer, cast iron, wood, circa 1920, 9 x 15 inches, $80.
  • Pewter coffee urn, brass spigot, Roswell Gleason, Mass., 1822-1871, 16 3/4 inches, $120.
  • Dancing bears pull toy, tin, black, yellow paint, wheel platform, Germany, 6 inches, $355.
  • Atwater Kent radio, No. 246, table model, wood, six tubes, knobs, circa 1933, 18 inches, $360.
  • Hooked rug, diamonds, sawtooth design, red, blue, tan, 37 x 23 inches, $540.
  • Sewing box, pine, three tiers, pincushion on top, spool pegs, painted designs, salmon ground, 8 x 8 inches, $590.
  • Bohemian glass compote, roses, violets, cranberry overlay, gilt high waist, bell-shape base, circa 1910, 14 inches, $1,065.
  • Staffordshire lion figurine, standing, red brown, gilt, 11 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches, $1,600.
  • Georgian secretary, mahogany, fretwork, drop front, two glass doors, four drawers, circa 1800, 90 x 38 inches, $2,500.

New! The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect – and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. The new Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2014, 46th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and more than 35,000 up-to-date prices for 700-plus categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year, plus 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 send by mail to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

 

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
In the 19th century, this wooden cart was used on a farm. The goat wagon has iron-banded wooden wheels. It is 21 inches wide and 40 inches long. The cart sold for $236 at Conestoga Auction Co. in Manheim, Pa.
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 12:49
 
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