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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 30, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 12:32

‘A Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Hotel Emrich, 485 to 489 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.’ is the wording on the label under glass on this antique holiday gift flask. It once held a half pint of whiskey. The bottle sold for $468 at an online Norman C. Heckler bottle auction.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – New Year's Eve celebrations have long included alcoholic drinks. A toast to the New Year is part of the party, along with music, noisemakers and a New Year's wish and kiss. In the early 1900s, bars were the hub of much social activity. Neighborhood folks would eat, drink and talk as they do today, but of course without a sportscast on a nearby TV set.

Gifts from the saloon management to regular customers were expected. In the 1880s, a popular gift was a special small glass flask filled with whiskey. Its label read "Season's Greetings," and included the name of the giver – a hotel, bar or bartender. These holiday bottles are very collectible today. Price is determined by the shape and color of the bottle and the historic interest in the giver.

Norman C. Heckler & Co., which operates online bottle auctions, recently sold a circa 1900 gift bottle from the Hotel Emrich in Washington, D.C., for $468. It had a label under glass, which added to the value.

Q: My grandmother, who was born in the late 1800s, had some pieces of silverware that I now own. I would like to preserve them and display them in a shadow box for my children. Is there something I can put on the silver to keep it from tarnishing?

A: Silver that is going to be displayed, not used for eating, can be lacquered to prevent tarnish. It should be cleaned before treating. You can have it lacquered by someone who repairs and restores silver, or you can buy a product meant specifically for silver and do it yourself. This can be a difficult process if the piece has an intricate design. Every bit of the silver must be covered and the lacquer must be applied evenly. Lacquer will yellow over time and may crack. You can use Renaissance Wax, a microcrystalline wax, instead of lacquer, but it will not prevent tarnish for as long. Silver can't be polished once it is lacquered. The lacquer has to be completely removed first. The type of box the silver will be displayed in also is important. It should have an airtight lid, if possible. Don't display the silver on felt, velvet or wool.

Q: I have a dining-room set that includes a French Provincial table with three leaves, a china cabinet with glass doors, six chairs and one armchair. All the chairs have been re-covered. A tag on the bottom of one of the chairs says "B.F. Huntley Co." The entire set was purchased at an estate sale in the 1970s. When were these pieces made and what might their value be? I'm going to sell them before we remodel.

A: B.F. Huntley, an employee of the Oakland Furniture Co., established his own furniture company in Winston-Salem, N.C., 1906. Later he acquired the Oakland Furniture Co. and two other furniture companies. In 1961 B.F. Huntley Furniture Co. merged with the Thomasville Chair Co. and became Thomasville Furniture Industries. Your vintage furniture is worth what comparable new sets sell for today.

Q: I have a very old glass plate that my great-grandmother gave me when I was 10 years old. That was 73 years ago. It's decorated with cigar bands on the back with a man's picture in the center. The back of the dish is covered with a felt-like material glued over the bands and center picture. Can you tell me how old it is and if it has any value?

A: Cigar bands, the decorative strips of paper wrapped around cigars, were first made in the 1830s to identify brand names. Cigar bands made from the late 1800s until about 1920 are the most colorful and decorative. "Cigar band art," which is sometimes referred to as a form of folk art, was a popular homemade craft in the early 1900s. The bands were used to decorate dishes, coasters, bracelets and other items. Your dish was decorated by gluing the large picture, face down, to the bottom of the dish, then gluing cigar bands face down so they completely covered the rest of the dish's exterior. The bands were then covered with felt so that when the dish is turned upright, the bands can be seen but the back is protected by the felt. Old cigar band dishes are not hard to find. They sell for $10 to hundreds of dollars, depending on age, condition and the talent of the maker.

Q: I own a 1950s coin-operated bowling alley game. It's 14 feet long and was made by United Manufacturing Co. of Chicago. It has scoring displays for six bowlers and was made in two sections so it can be transported easily. The game is 11 feet 2 inches long, 28 inches wide and in good condition. Please tell me what it's worth and how marketable it is.

A: When bowling was at its peak of popularity in the 1950s, United Manufacturing made several coin-operated versions of the game for use in bars and restaurants. Some are now in the homes of collectors. United was purchased by Seeburg in 1964, but the United brand name continued to be used for years. Your game, depending on condition, could sell for $1,500 or more. We have seen the game for sale on eBay and on websites devoted to collectors of coin-operated machines.

Q: I have a cut glass vase that is 20 inches tall and very heavy. It was my mother's, and I'm wondering what the value would be. There are no markings to show who made it. It has a cracked handle.

A: You might be able to repair the handle, but the value is lower with the crack even if it's repaired. If in perfect condition, the vase could sell for $300 to $400, but with the crack it is worth much less.

Tip: Cranberry juice will stain stone, so be careful if you have marble-top tables. Other liquids will stain, but cranberry juice stains are especially bad.

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.

  • Postcard, Happy New Year, black cat, felt hat, 1907, $10.
  • Butter chip, white, Haviland, 1890, $10.
  • Ratchet noisemaker, jesters, tin lithograph, multicolor, U.S. Metal, 1950s, 4 inches, $10.
  • Lighter, Camel Cigarettes, Turkish Blend, silver, circa 1960, $75.
  • Match safe, woman seated next to barrel, porcelain, circa 1875, 7 1/2 inches, $90.
  • Coin Spot finger lamp, oil, opalescent glass, circa 1900, 13 inches, $195.
  • Bronze figure, black boy, seated, arm on knee, striped pants, painted, 2 1/2 x 3 x 3 inches, $360.
  • Mission bookcase, oak, brass knob, lock, 1900s, 58 x 41 inches, $595.
  • Scarf, 1876 Philadelphia World's Fair, cotton, 25 x 18 inches, $700.
  • Volkstedt ceramic group, children playing chess, seated at table, 19th century, 5 1/2 inches, $795.

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.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

‘A Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Hotel Emrich, 485 to 489 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.’ is the wording on the label under glass on this antique holiday gift flask. It once held a half pint of whiskey. The bottle sold for $468 at an online Norman C. Heckler bottle auction.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 January 2014 13:26
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 23, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 23 December 2013 12:21
This Noma Christmas-tree stand was made in the late 1920s or 1930s. The base is 14 1/2 inches in diameter. The stand is made of lithographed tin and pictures Santa's sleigh and reindeer. It sold for $270 at a November 2013 Rich Penn auction in Iowa.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Holiday-related collectibles are especially popular if they relate to Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and even St. Patrick's Day. But the most popular holiday for collectors is Christmas.

Families save tree ornaments, toppers, trim and lights, but it is harder to find a Christmas tree stand or fence. Early commercial tree stands were made of cast iron. Three or more legs held a tube large enough for the trunk of a tree and had large screws that dug into the tree trunk. The designs for the iron legs were much like the patterns found on iron stove feet or garden benches. The stands kept changing in style to match dominant furniture styles. By the 1920s, cone-shaped metal stands with lithographed tin pictures of Santa were popular. They resembled lithographed tin toys. Some of these stands were electrified for lights or hid a mechanism that made the tree revolve. Noma, the American company that made strings of Christmas tree lights and developed the bubble light in 1945, had started making stands in about 1926. By the 1960s, the Art Deco aluminum tree was popular, and stands with colored lights were made of shining metal to match. The most expensive antique stands are the early 1900 figural iron stands that look like a small Santa, a group of people or even reindeer. They sell for $200 to $750 each. Noma stands sell for about $200 to $300, and old aluminum stands with lights are $250 to $350. But beware. These have all been copied.

Q: I have a six-pack of 1955 Blatz Holiday flat-top beer cans. The pack has never been opened and it includes cans in all six colors. I think the cans, especially the pink and light blue, are valuable. What is the whole set worth?

A: There are many dedicated collectors of old and rare beer cans. Some would be eager to buy your rare set of 1955 Blatz holiday steel cans. In addition to light blue and pink, the set included green, chartreuse, dark blue and orange cans. Beer, previously sold in bottles, was first sold in cans in 1934. The cans were made of steel until 1958, when aluminum cans were introduced. Blatz Brewery opened in Milwaukee in 1846 and continued to operate under various owners until 1958, when it was sold to Pabst. The brand name is owned by Pabst today, too, but the original Blatz brewery has been converted to condos. We have seen a single green 1955 Blatz holiday sell for more than $250, so your complete set could top $1,000. To sell your cans, do some research and find the right market. Contact experts at the Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA.com) and at Breweriana.com.

Q: I have a 6-foot-tall silver metallic Christmas tree that's at least 50 years old. Does it have any value? Should I sell it?

A: Aluminum Christmas trees were popular in the 1960s. The first ones were made by the Aluminum Specialty Co. of Manitowoc, Wis., in 1959. The trees have wire branches wrapped with aluminum strips to represent "needles." Early trees had collapsible tripod bases. Later, revolving bases were made, some with music. The trees came in various sizes and colors, but silver was the most popular. Since lights couldn't be put on aluminum trees, most people used a lighted revolving color wheel at the base of the tree. Millions of aluminum trees were made in the 1960s by several manufacturers. They went out of fashion by the end of the decade and could be picked up at garage sales for just a few dollars. Reproduction and new aluminum trees are being made. Collectors have recently become interested in the old aluminum trees, and prices have risen. Some sell for over $100. If you like the tree, you may just want to keep it and display it during the holidays.

Q: About 25 years ago, I bought an "M.I. Hummel" signed print of the Madonna for $12. It's 12 by 18 inches. My children had it framed for me. My daughter tried to search online for information about Hummel prints, but all she could find were figurines. Can you help?

A: Sister Maria Innocentia (Berta) Hummel (1909-1946) is most famous for the Goebel figurines based on her artwork. But before and after she became a nun in 1933, she drew and painted pictures that were also published as prints. The signature she used on yours is her convent name and means the original painting was done in 1933 or later. Your print would not sell today for much more than you paid for it, even with the frame.

Q: My husband's grandfather's uncle, named Otto Stark, was of German descent. He lived much of his life in the Indianapolis area and belonged to the "Hoosier Group." We have a few pieces of his artwork and wondered if they would be of any value.

A: The Hoosier Group was made up of five Indiana artists whose paintings, murals and portraits of Indiana people and places were featured in many exhibitions and public buildings in the "Hoosier State." The name "Hoosier Group" was first used to refer to them in 1894. Otto Stark (1859-1926) was born in Indianapolis and is known for his impressionist landscapes dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s. He started out as a woodcarver's apprentice and later worked as a lithographer. Stark studied art in France. He opened a studio in Indianapolis in 1894 and later taught art. His oil paintings are offered for $2,000 to $4,000, and his watercolors for $400 to $1,000.

Tip: Store fragile Christmas tree ornaments in plastic zip-lock bags. Be sure there is some air in each bag when you zip it. The air bubble protects like bubble wrap.

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.

  • Lefton Christmas girl figurine, muff & holly, 1950s, 3 3/4 inches, $20.
  • Hull Magnolia vase, footed, handles, matte glaze, c. 1946, 8 1/2 inches, $80.
  • Sevres inkwell, birds, branches, double well, black trim, 19th century, 3 x 8 1/2 inches, $120.
  • Mickey Mouse bowl, alphabet, Mickey on train, Bavaria, c. 1932, 7 inches, $170.
  • Flying Nun lunchbox, Sister Bertrille flying, children, metal, Thermos, Aladdin, 1968, $330.
  • Steuben glass owl, big eyes, 5 x 4 inches, $360.
  • Tea table, tilt top, Chippendale style, mahogany, Kittinger Furniture Co., 28-inch diameter, $450.
  • Porcelain group, four children collecting flowers, Meissen, 6 1/2 x 6 inches, $600.
  • Cane, wooden, ivory skull handle, 36 inches, $960.
  • Effanbee Patsy Mae doll, composition, muslin, sleep eyes, human hair, box, 1935, 27 inches, $1,570.

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 1 and 2 (12 episodes each, plus a DVD of the final episodes of Seasons 1-4.) Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com for $59.90 plus $4.95 postage, by phone at 800-303-1996; or mail to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This Noma Christmas-tree stand was made in the late 1920s or 1930s. The base is 14 1/2 inches in diameter. The stand is made of lithographed tin and pictures Santa's sleigh and reindeer. It sold for $270 at a November 2013 Rich Penn auction in Iowa.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 14:18
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 16, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 16 December 2013 11:53

This 19th-century American inkwell is topped by a 6-inch milk glass phrenology head. The head is marked with the 'organs' that were once thought to indicate a person's character. The inkwell was offered for $1,500 at a fall 2013 Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Hundreds of reproduction phrenology heads are sold online, although few understand what the word phrenology means. It was not a medical theory or a science, but rather a way to "determine" the character and temperament of a person.

In 1796 a German physician, Franz Joseph Gall, began teaching a discipline he called phrenology – the study of a patient based on the bumps on the patient's head. Gall said there were 27 different bumps, each caused by the brain mass inside the skull. He called each bump an "organ," and very soon prints and 3-D ceramic heads covered with "maps" of the brain were produced – all of them collectible today. From about 1810 to 1840, phrenology was widely accepted. From the measurement of the skull and the size of the "organ" inside, Gall claimed to identify character traits. For example, he said that all women had undeveloped organs for success as artists or scientists, but that their other organs indicated they were religious and good at childcare. Bumps also could indicate a criminal nature, risk-taking, combativeness, love of life or self-esteem.

Phrenology eventually was debunked as a pseudoscience and has few followers today. But the heads are popular conversation pieces. Phrenology items recently offered for sale online included an iron inkwell stand topped by a 6-inch-high milk glass head with appropriate marks, six different styles of busts marked with black lines showing the "organs," and charts old and new. You also can find instruments to measure the bumps, and even a bicycle helmet painted with the names of the bumps.

A bump over the top of the front of the right ear, just about where the sidepiece of your eyeglasses would sit, indicates acquisitiveness, a trait needed by every collector.

Q: I have two chairs that I’d like to sell. Each has a metal plate underneath that reads "Made in England by Jaycee Furniture Ltd., Brighton, Sussex" and another that reads "Made in England expressly for Carson Pirie Scott and Co." Can you tell me what they're worth?

A: Jaycee Furniture made reproduction furniture in traditional styles. The company was founded by Jack Cohen in 1947 and closed in 1998. Carson Pirie Scott & Co. was a furniture store headquartered in Chicago. It started when Samuel Carson and John Pirie founded a dry goods store in Amboy, Ill., in 1854. The company moved to Chicago during the late 1860s. It became Carson Pirie Scott & Co. when Robert Scott became a partner in 1890. The company still is in business, now operating under the name Carson's. The labels on your chairs suggest they were sold after 1950. The chairs would sell as useful pieces of furniture, but not as antiques. The price probably will be less than half the cost of a similar new chair.

Q: I have a couple of vintage issues of a French comic book titled "Les Pieds Nickeles." Is there a collecting club for this sort of thing?

A: The French comic strip titled Les Pieds Nickeles (loosely translated as The Nickel-Plated Feet Gang) was first published in 1908. The strips must have been collected later for publication as comic books. Several U.S. auctions specialize in selling old comic books, although yours is not well-known here and won't be high-priced. One club for collectors is the Comic Book Collectors Club (ComicBookCollectorsClub.com).

Q: In 1973, I was working for the post office in Whitewater, Calif. When the post office moved into a trailer, all of its furniture was sold or tossed. I was lucky enough to buy a wooden postal sorting table for $5. It includes a mail-sorting case with 100 small cubbyholes - four rows of 25. The table is 70 inches long by 26 inches deep. Including the case, it's 64 inches high. The case is stamped on the back: "516-B Carriers Routing Case & Table, Property of the Post Office Dept., from Corbin Cab't. Lock Co., New Britain, Conn., 1929." We consider it a family heirloom, but would like to know what you think of it.

A: Corbin Cabinet Lock Co. was founded in 1882 and still is in business. Today it's owned by the Eastern Co., based in Wheeling, Ill. Corbin sold all sorts of locks, post office boxes and postal furniture to the U.S. Post Office Dept. (now called the U.S. Postal Service). The 1929 date on the back of your case probably is the date the piece was made. Collectors hunt for old post office furniture like your case-table. It could sell for more than $1,000 if it's in excellent condition.

Q: Can you give me any information on an Effarsee Midget Antenna? It's built into the back of a nice picture of a tall sailing ship.

A: The Effarsee Midget Antenna is a radio antenna made by the Fishwick Radio Co. of Cincinnati. The name "Effarsee" comes from spelling out the initials (FRC) of the company's name. Most radios made today have a built-in antenna, but early radios required an outdoor or indoor antenna to receive radio signals. Fishwick advertised an indoor antenna in the "Citizen's Radio Call Book" of March 1927. The ad said the antenna was easy to install, didn't require climbing on the roof, wasn't likely to be hit by lightning and could be hidden behind a picture or drapes or under a carpet. The antenna was about the size and shape of a picture, and the wires were covered with plain parchment. Condensers at each end provided tuning, range and volume. It sold by mail for $4. Your antenna combined with a picture was probably made in about 1927.

Tip: Don't buy a collector something to add to his or her collection unless you know they want it. Instead, buy a book about the collectible or something related to the collection, like a T-shirt picturing a bank for a bank collector.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows, national meetings and other events. Go to Kovels.com/calendar 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.

  • Humpty Dumpty figurine, porcelain, Wade, 1 1/2 inches, $10.
  • Cowan Pottery candlestick, stepped scalloped base, marigold luster, c. 1924, 3 inches, pair, $40.
  • Betty Boop pin, curtains in background, Fleischer Studios, 1 1/4 inches, $190.
  • Jules Jurgensen wristwatch, man's, gold-filled, lizard strap, manual wind, 1950s, $195.
  • Letter opener, sterling silver, ring end, inscribed, Paul Revere pattern, Tiffany, 1958, $285.
  • Coca-Cola menu board, wooden, "Drink Coca-Cola," hanging chain, 1940s, 13 x 24 x 5 inches, $420.
  • Hall tree, oak, beveled mirror, backrest, lift seat, 1930s, 76 x 40 inches, $500.
  • Galle cameo glass vase, lakeside scene, pink frosted ground, squat, tapered, c. 1910, 5 inches, $565.
  • Toy road roller, driver, cast iron, green, red paint, Hubley, 13 3/4 inches, $1,825.
  • Puss-n-Boots stein, cat in shoe, mouse on toe, 1/2 liter, $8,400.

"Kovels' A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate" is our brand-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 how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free current supplement listing useful websites, auctions 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.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This 19th-century American inkwell is topped by a 6-inch milk glass phrenology head. The head is marked with the 'organs' that were once thought to indicate a person's character. The inkwell was offered for $1,500 at a fall 2013 Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 15:22
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 9, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 09 December 2013 13:16

The strange legs and fence-like back on this chair are copied from Indian designs. A pair of these chairs sold in September for $242,500 at a Bonhams auction in New York. They were created by Lockwood de Forest, who also was known for his paintings and other designs.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Artists often create many different kinds of art: paintings, etchings, prints, ceramics, jewelry, furniture, marble sculptures, bronzes and perhaps designs for commercial products.

So it is possible to buy a piece of jewelry by Alexander Calder for far less than one of his large mobiles. Or an electric fan or pedal car designed by Viktor Schreckengost, who is best known for making the ceramic "Jazz Bowl," an icon that has sold for as much as $200,000. Works by famous artists can be part of your collection if you buy war bond posters (Norman Rockwell) or advertising figures (Maxfield Parrish) or teapots (Michael Graves).

Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) was an American artist and decorator who worked in the American Orientalist style, influenced by his travels in India and the Middle East. By 1915, he had moved to California, and his paintings were typical California landscapes. Today collectors are again searching for some of his furniture, jewelry and textiles made after 1879 at the Ahmedabad Wood Carving Co. and later at Tiffany.

De Forest's furniture was modeled after chairs he had seen in Indian palaces. It was handcrafted of teak, brass and other materials. A pair of 1881 chairs designed by de Forest sold for $242,500 at Bonhams New York in Sept. 2013. But bidding on the chairs may have gone that high because de Forest used them in his own home – and they were later purchased by William Randolph Hearst, the famous newspaper publisher.

Q: I have a picture of a bouquet of flowers painted on porcelain. It is framed and there is a label on the back that reads "A Mottahedeh Design." I would love to know more about it and its value.

A: Mottahedeh & Co. was founded in 1929 by Rafi and Mildred Mottahedeh. The couple had the largest privately held collection of Chinese Export porcelain in the world at that time. The company made reproductions of pieces in the collection as well as copies of other fine china. The reproductions were sold at Tiffany and Co. and gift shops. Mottahedeh also made reproductions of museum pieces, including items made of porcelain, brass, crystal, silver and stoneware. It has made reproductions for the White House, the State Department and several museums and historical sites. The company was sold in 1992, but it's still in business, making reproductions. It has headquarters in Cranbury, N.J. Value of your painted porcelain plaque is about $150.

Q: My mother saved S&H green stamps in the 1970s, and she used the stamps to get me a bank that looked like a little cash register. It was green and had a panel on the front that read "Uncle Sam's 3 Coin Register Bank." I loved it, but I lost it years ago. In 1996 we bought a house and found the same kind of bank in our attic, but this one is black tin. It has the same front panel. I can read only the bottom of the faded back panel, which reads "Durable Toy & Novelty Co., Division of Western Stamping Co., Jackson, Michigan." Does this toy we found in the attic have any value?

A: Durable Toy & Novelty Co. invented a single-coin Uncle Sam's register bank in 1906. The three-coin version was first made in 1923. It was made of cold rolled steel, and instructions for operating the bank were painted on the back. The bank accepts nickels, dimes and quarters and can't be opened until $10 has been deposited. Western Stamping Co. bought Durable Toy & Novelty Co. in 1958 and continued to make the three-coin bank until the 1980s. Production was moved to Asia in the 1960s, and the bank was then made of tin instead of steel. The tin bank was made in different enameled colors, including black, green and red. A limited edition was made in chrome in 1981 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the bank. Your black tin bank was made after 1960 and sells for $15 to $25.

Q: I have some old postcards with colored drawings of the head and shoulders of pretty women wearing big hats or Indian headdresses. The pictures are copyrighted by Schlesinger Bros., New York. What are they worth?

A: The Schlesinger brothers were photographers in business in New York from 1907 until the 1920s. The company published greeting cards as well as postcards. The pictures on your postcards are hand-colored photomechanical reproductions of pencil drawings. They also were produced in a large size, suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. Postcards with pictures like yours sell for about $10 each.

Q: I have a wooden coat hanger marked "W.J. Woods, Springfield's oldest clothing store, established 1848." The "arms" of the hanger can be folded so that it completely collapses for storage. Can you tell me when it was made?

A: The W.J. Woods Co. sold clothing for men and boys. It had stores in several cities in Massachusetts, including Springfield, Worcester, Utica, Providence and Brockton. It was in business until at least the 1920s.

Sign up for our free weekly email, "Kovels Komments." Terry writes about the latest news, offers collecting tips, answers your questions and gives her views of the market. If you register on our website, the weekly email is sent to you for free.

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.

  • Toothbrush holder, pottery, ribbed, footed, blue flowers, Staffordshire, England, c. 1880, 5 1/2 inches, $65.
  • Stadium seat, Akron Aeros, Canal Park, Akron, Ohio, 1900s, 33 x 23 x 20 inches, $85.
  • Santa face plaque, plaster, red hat, white beard, 3-D, 13 x 24 inches, $140.
  • Dragon figurine, glass, wooden base, Swarovski, 4 x 5 1/2 inches, $150.
  • Lladro Sheriff Puppet, porcelain, 10 1/2 inches, $150.
  • Cradle, tiger maple, carved head and footboard, c. 1860, 32 x 27 inches, $190.
  • Little Red Riding Hood pitcher, poppy cup, Hull Pottery, 32 ounces, $250.
  • Toy lumber truck, black, red paint, pressed steel, Buddy L, 25 inches, $485.
  • Loetz glass bowl, green leaves, feathered, silver overlay, marked, c. 1910, 5 1/4 inches, $815.
  • Weathervane, horse, standing, gilt copper, zinc, full-bodied, ball finial, verdigris, c. 1890, 19 inches, $1,265.

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The strange legs and fence-like back on this chair are copied from Indian designs. A pair of these chairs sold in September for $242,500 at a Bonhams auction in New York. They were created by Lockwood de Forest, who also was known for his paintings and other designs. 

Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 13:28
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Dec. 2, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 02 December 2013 09:13
Three empty whisky bottles and three metal wall brackets plus the imagination of a modern artist made this artwork by Barry McGee. The untitled piece sold for $6,875 in October at Los Angeles Modern Auctions.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The ancient Greeks collected bottles, but only a few wealthy American collectors were buying bottles in the early 1900s. At the time, only commercial flasks that held whiskey and a few other hand-blown bottles were considered important.

Probably the earliest book for bottle collectors was written in 1921 by Stephen Van Rensselaer. In 1941, George and Helen McKearin wrote American Bottles and created a system of identification that listed, numbered, described and sketched all known historic American flasks. Bottle collecting became a hobby of the middle class in the 1950s. Valuable bottles were dug from backyards and riverbanks or found at resale shops or yard sales. The first collectors club, the Antique Bottle Collectors Association of California, started in 1959. By the 1960s, articles on old bottles were being published in magazines and books. Kovels' "Bottles Price List," written in 1971, was the first of 13 editions. We wrote the last in 2006.

Interest in bottles has gone up and down during the1980s, 1990s and 2000s, but clubs, shows and collections remain. Prices of historic flasks have gone from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. Fruit jars, soda bottles, commemorative bottles, perfumes, poisons and inks attracted new collectors. But who would have guessed that old bottles could become part of modern art? Amateurs could buy kits that helped them take old bottles and stretch them into elongated modern shapes. Early 1900s bottles were turned purple by exposure to the sun or radiation.

Claire Falkenstein became famous for sculptures made from iron rods and drooping bottles. An English artist, Barry McGee, made modern art from bottles he painted with pictures of heads. He chose empty whiskey bottles to picture street people. His bottle art sells for thousands of dollars. Still, the most expensive commercial bottles today remain the historic flasks. Rarities can sell for more than $40,000.

Q: A few months ago, my husband and I bought a mahogany bookcase with four leaded glass doors at an estate sale. It's about 54 inches high, 66 inches wide and 12 inches deep. There is a small brass plaque on one of the shelves that reads "Library Bureau Sole Makers." Can you give us the history of this bookcase?

A: Library Bureau was founded by Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), a librarian and the inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification System used by many libraries today. He published his system in 1876, the same year he founded a company that sold library supplies. The company operated under different names until it became Library Bureau in 1881. It made a bookcase that could be joined with others to create a long wall of bookcases. The company was bought by Remington Rand in 1927 and became part of Midwest Library Systems in 1976. Library Bureau products still are being sold.

Q: I have a ceramic vase marked "Mougin Nancy" and "J. Mougin.dc." It has been in our family for more than 60 years. I would like to know who made it.

A: The marks on your vase were used by Joseph Mougin (1876-1961). Joseph and his brother, Pierre, were French sculptors and ceramists known for their Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs. They worked in Nancy, a town in France, from 1906 until 1916, producing their own designs as well as works by other artists. In 1916 they moved to nearby Luneville. Your vase, marked "Mougin Nancy," was made between 1906 and 1916.

Q: I have a 9 1/2-inch Orrefors decanter decorated with an etching called "Susanna bathing with the old men watching her." I can't find any information about it. Do you know what it's worth?

A: Orrefors, a Swedish glassworks, has been in business since 1898. It has made many styles of decorative and useful glass. The story of Susanna bathing is an apocryphal chapter in the Bible's book of Daniel. The story, about a pair of old men trying to blackmail a virtuous young woman, has been the basis of many pieces of artwork throughout the centuries. It is likely your decanter isn't yet an antique (100 years old), but in 1993 one like it auctioned at Christie's for $690.

Q: I'm trying to identify a plate that was given to the Point Cabrillo Light House Museum. It has a white background with roses in the center and on the border. There is no mark. A couple of people have told me it was a Quaker Oats premium. I found that Quaker Oats gave Homer Laughlin's Tea Rose pattern plates as premiums. Our plate has similar flowers but in a different arrangement. The interior of the museum is being restored to the way it would have been in 1935 and we want to know if the plate is from that period.

A: In 1891, Quaker Oats became the first company to include dishes as premiums in its packages. Dinnerware made by Homer Laughlin, Royal China and Taylor, Smith & Taylor were included as premiums from the 1920s until the 1960s. Tea Rose is the name of a Homer Laughlin shape. Plates have a scalloped edge and a six-panel border. The shape was decorated with different decals, many of flowers, and also was made in solid colors. Tea Rose was introduced in about 1937, but it is not known when it was used as a Quaker Oats premium.

Tip: Never store celluloid jewelry with metal or rhinestone jewelry. Celluloid ages and gives off an acidic gas that eats metal. The metal will become pitted and greenish. Celluloid "disease" also attacks pearls, paper and other organic materials. Store celluloid by itself.

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 pictures that help you determine the value of your collectibles. Study the prices. Viewing prices is free at Kovels.com/priceguide. Kovels.com also has lists of publications, clubs, appraisers, auction houses, people who sell parts or repair antiques, lists of antique shows 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.

  • Bottle opener, clown shape, cast iron, painted, 4 x 4 inches, $20.
  • Vase, glass, blue, green wavy bands, F.M. Leerdam, Netherlands, c. 1955, 6 x 5 inches, $125.
  • Barber pole plaque, wood, red and white, c. 1910, 36 x 12 inches, $210.
  • Table, Sheraton, Pembroke, mahogany, drawer, rope-carved legs, 36 inches, $300.
  • Silver-plated tray, pierced, scalloped, faux tortoiseshell interior, wood handles, England, 6 x 26 inches.
  • Toy fire wagon, pumper, horse-drawn, cast iron, red and black, gold trim, Hubley, 22 inches, $505.
  • Chatty Cathy doll, composition, blond pigtails, sleep eyes, freckles, 1961, 19 1/2 inches, $550.
  • Menorah, wrought iron, seven twisted arms, scrolled base, c. 1820, 34 x 28 inches, $800.
  • Birdhouse, redware, inscribed "Rent for a Song," c. 1850, 5 3/4 inches, $1,895.
  • Safe, Wells Fargo Co. Express, cast iron, wall, Dodge City, Kan., 10 x 13 x 16 inches, $3,705.

New! The best book to own if you want to buy, 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 more than 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year, plus helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available for $27.95 plus $4.95 postage: online at KovelsOnlineStore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your local bookstore; or mail payment to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Three empty whisky bottles and three metal wall brackets plus the imagination of a modern aralign=
Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:33
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 25, 2013

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Written by TERRY and KIM KOVEL   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 17:15
This yellow pine pie safe was made in Virginia in the 19th century. It is 65 inches high. An eager buyer paid $3,159 for it at a Pook & Pook auction in Downingtown, Pa., in April 2013.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - It's time to think about Thanksgiving and the abundant dinner expected for the holiday. Tradition today suggests a menu of turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed onions, sweet potatoes and apple or pumpkin pie. A green-bean casserole and deep-fried turkey are newer ideas. But the first Thanksgiving probably featured very different food: deer, turkey, wild birds, perhaps even passenger pigeons, fish, clams, mussels, some nuts and a grain called maize that was used to make bread.

But by later Colonial times, pies were popular for a main course when filled with meat and for dessert when made with fruit. There were no refrigerators, not even ice boxes, but a cooked pie could be safely stored for about a week if kept away from bugs and mice. A "pie safe" was used for food storage by the 19th century, especially in the Midwest. A wooden cupboard on four tall thin legs was made with shelves and drawers. But the sides and the cupboard doors had panels made of pierced tin. The sharp edges of the holes kept out most creatures and the holes let in air so the cooked fruit did not create mold. The cabinet was kept on a porch on the cool, shaded side of the house.

Collectors today like handmade informal kitchen furniture. The best pie safes had tin panels with the holes placed in attractive patterns. Sometimes the tin or the wood was painted. Some experts today say a pie can stay on a shelf for two or three days and still be OK to eat. Refrigerating a fruit pie lowers the quality the pie.

***

Q: My mother has some Royal Doulton figurines of women dressed in elaborate ruffled hoop skirts, bonnets and shawls. But one figurine seems a bit risque for Royal Doulton. She is wearing a tight, revealing dress while sprawled on a couch. Could it be a fake?

A: The Royal Doulton figurines made by Doulton and Co. after 1902 were made to sell in gift shops. Most of the figurines were sentimental, lovable, beautiful ladies from a more romantic century. But one of Doulton's designers, Leslie Harradine, made small anthropomorphic animals and other figures that were unusual. He designed several figurines of women lounging on couches in provocative poses. One called "Dreamland," made in the 1930s, was in the Art Deco style. Another, "Siesta," made between 1928 and 1938, featured a shapely blond in a flimsy dress leaning on a sofa covered with a pink shawl. Both of these figurines are rare and expensive today. Siesta sold in 2013 for $1,560. Dreamland was listed a few years ago for $7,000, but is worth a little less today. The fame of the artist is the reason the figurines sell for high prices.

***

Q: A gumball machine was left in a commercial building we bought back in 1968. There is a one-cent decal on the glass top. A metal label on the silver lip where the gum comes out reads, "Parkway Machine Corp., 715 Ensor St., Baltimore 2. Md." Can you give me any information about the machine?

A: Parkway Machine was founded in 1938 by Irv Kovens. He was a Baltimore cab driver who repaired and sold stamp machines on the side. Parkway Machine initially repaired vending machines. The company began selling vending machines and supplies in 1941. Your gumball machine was made between 1943, when one- or two-digit postal zone numbers were first used, and 1963, when five-digit ZIP codes were introduced. In 1999 the company's name became A&A Global Industries. It's still in business, run by members of the Kovens family, but is now based in Cockeysville, Md.

***

Q: I have a grayish foot warmer about 11 1/2 inches long. The words in blue on the top are "Henderson Foot Warmer." The bottom is marked "Dorchester Pottery Wks., Boston, Mass." There is a brass screw filler with a chain attached to the neck. On the filler it says "Pat. Nov. 15, 1912." What would this foot warmer be worth today?

A: George Henderson founded Dorchester Pottery in Dorchester, Mass., in 1895. The pottery made jugs, jars, flower pots, butter pots, specialty items and, later, dinnerware. Henderson was granted a patent for "a new and useful improvement in taps or nipples for earthenware containers" in 1912. He designed a metal screw-off tap that was used in place of a rubber stopper. The Henderson foot warmer became one of Dorchester Pottery's most popular products. The pottery made foot warmers until 1939. The pottery went out of business in 1979. The value of your foot warmer is $50-$100.

***

Q: Can you please give me information about my Ivanhoe three-burner stove with an extra side burner?

A: Ivanhoe kerosene stoves were made by the Perfection Stove Co. of Cleveland. The earliest Ivanhoe stoves, probably introduced around 1930, had a single burner. Ivanhoes with two or three burners plus a side burner were made later. Once electricity and gas were installed in houses across the country, the market for kerosene stoves and ovens dried up. Stoves like yours sell for $100 to $300, depending on condition.

***

Tip: When cleaning a chandelier, do not spin it around. This could damage the wiring or the chain holding it. Instead of moving the fixture, move your ladder around it.

***

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, (Name of this newspaper), 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.

Bed warmer, copper, pierced bird design, long wooden handle, c. 1865, 43 inches, $180.

Tiffany pie server, silver, Thanksgiving pattern, serrated edge, year 2000, 10 5/8 inches, $190.

Honey pot, glass, silver base and lid, embossed Hebrew text, c. 1980, 3 3/4 inches, $225.

Pocket watch, Waltham, woman's, 14K gold, flower-incised case, $240.

Wedgwood pie dish, lid, caneware, relief-molded game and grapevines, hare finial, oval, c. 1860, 12 inches, $250.

Horse-drawn toy dray wagon, driver, cast iron, red paint, Wilkins, 20 1/2 inches, $305.

Spode Thanksgiving plates, central turkey, flower and fruit border, 10 3/4 inches, 12 pieces, $325.

Shaker box, pine and maple, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., c. 1850, 1 3/4 x 4 inches, $375.

Arts & Crafts umbrella stand, oak, tapered, c. 1915, 30 x 15 inches, $565.

John. F. Kennedy press pin, Election Night pass, green, cardboard back, 1960, 3 1/2 inches, $2,210.

***

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

***

Copyright 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This yellow pine pie safe was made in Virginia in the 19th century. It is 65 inches high. An eager buyer paid $3,159 for it at a Pook & Pook auction in Downingtown, Pa., in April 2013.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:20
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 18, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 18 November 2013 13:40

This copper teapot covered with enamel was made in China in the 19th century. It sold at  Cowan's Auctions Inc. in Cincinnati last year for $660.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - The Chinese enameling called cloisonne has been made for centuries. A thin metal wire is bent into shape on a metal vase and soldered into place. Then colored enamels are floated in to fill each space and form the decoration. The word "cloison" is French for "fence" and is the source of the word cloisonne. But there also was another type of enamel-on-metal object made in China by the 17th century. It is called "Peking enamel" or "Canton enamel." A metal vase was covered with thick enamel, usually white, then fired. Then an artist painted a scene or pattern with colored enamels, and the vase was fired again. These enameled metal pieces were usually made to resemble European designs and most were exported. The quality of the work deteriorated during the next few centuries and this type of enamel is rarely made today. Recognizing cloisonne and its thin metal lines is easy, but Peking enamels closely resemble porcelain. A 5-inch-high Peking enamel teapot that held a single cup of water for tea sold in 2012 for $660. It was painted with a Chinese landscape of clouds over a lake but the painting style was European. No doubt it was made for export to Europe or the United States.

Q: My brother left me his "Brunswick Home Comfort Table" that dates from about 1908. It's a combination billiards table and sofa. The tabletop folds over to form the back of the sofa, which has leather tufted upholstery on the seat and back. A metal label on the table says "Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co." History and value?

A: John Moses Brunswick founded the J.M. Brunswick Manufacturing Co. in Cincinnati in 1845. After a couple of mergers, the company was renamed Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. in 1884. Today the company, still in business, is named Brunswick Corp. It manufactures a variety of products, including billiards tables and bowling equipment. Your convertible sofa-billiards table was patented in 1910 by Jacob N. McIntire of New York. He assigned the patent to Brunswick, which made your unusual piece of furniture. It's advertised in a 1911 Brunswick catalog as "a very popular design especially adapted for use in a den." It sold then for $150 to $175. If yours is in excellent shape, it could sell today for close to $10,000.

Q: I have two paddles my mother used to card the cotton she used in making quilts. I think she ordered them from Sears Roebuck in the early 1930s. On the back each one reads, "The only Genuine Old Whittemore Patent No. 10, cotton, L.S. Watson & Co., Leicester, Mass." What are they worth today?

A: Carding untangles wool or cotton fibers so they can be woven into cloth. Amos Whittemore was granted a patent for a machine that made wool cards in 1797. Leicester, Mass., was a textile center in the 19th century. Several factories that made cards for textile machines, hand cards and wire for the cards were located there. L.S. Watson & Co. was the largest manufacturer of cards and also made heddle frames and shuttles. Watson was founded in 1842. After Lory Sprague Watson died in 1898, his son took over the business and it became L.S. Watson Manufacturing Co. It was still in business in the 20th century. Your paddles are worth less than $100 a pair.

Q: Is there any value to a Disney World 25th Anniversary cup still in its box?

A: Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Fla., in 1971. A variety of glass and plastic mugs and drinking glasses were sold to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1996 - too many to make any one of them worth much today. The mugs and glasses, with or without an original box, sell online for $2.50 to $10.

Q: I inherited six-place settings of Normandie pattern Depression glass in iridescent marigold color. While I have always loved them and display them often, I seldom use them. What about using them for my everyday dishes? I have put several pieces through multiple cycles in the dishwasher with no obvious bad effects. I haven't tested them in the microwave yet and would appreciate any thoughts you have on the safety of that. I'm more concerned about health effects than damage to the luster.

A: Normandie was made from 1933 to 1940 by the Federal Glass Co. of Columbus, Ohio. The pattern was made in amber, pink and crystal, as well as Sunburst, which is the name of your iridescent color. Normandie was the only iridescent Depression glass made during the 1930s and is sometimes mistakenly listed as a Carnival glass pattern called "Bouquet & Lattice." Iridescent glass is made by spraying a molded glass piece with metallic salts and then re-firing it. Since the first microwave ovens weren't common until the late 1960s, your dishes weren't made to be "microwave safe." The metallic salts in the iridescent glaze might cause "sparking" in a microwave oven, and that could damage the dishes or the microwave even if it doesn't affect your health. Washing the dishes in the dishwasher eventually will remove the luster. If you enjoy using the dishes regularly, wash them by hand.

Tip: Do not store vintage fabrics or clothing in plastic or cardboard boxes. The boxes attract bugs. Natural fabrics like linen or cotton need oxygen and can't be in airtight boxes. And white fabrics will yellow if kept in plastic.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antique shows, national meetings and other events. Go to Kovels.com/calendar 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.

  • Kayo ventriloquist's dummy, composition, painted, ring moves mouth, circa 1930, $70.
  • Cocktail ring, sapphires, diamonds, 14K gold, circa 1920, size 5 1/2, $240.
  • Tea caddy, mahogany, round, quarter fan and string inlays, ivory escutcheon, lift lid, fitted interior, 19th century, 7 x 12 inches, $325.
  • Ivory mallet, walrus tusk, turned handle, circa 1890, 9 inches, $355.
  • Wall mirror, sawtooth frame, burl veneer, Italy, circa 1980, 35 x 35 inches, $470.
  • Sign, "Ask for Wolf's Head Oil & Lubes," logo, round, tin flange, 22 x 16 inches, $470.
  • Arts & Crafts draftsman table, oak, steel, leather, adjustable, two drawers, 30 x 46 inches, $565.
  • Clewell vase, copper clad, bulbous base, 7 x 15 1/2 inches, $690.
  • Paul Revere bowl, tulips, Edith Brown, S.E.G., 1926, 2 1/2 x 9 inches, $1,500.
  • Barbizon dollhouse, 12 rooms, elevator, garage, patio, stucco front, slate roof, Dan McNeil, 67 x 88 inches, $1,890.

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 analysis of 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.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This copper teapot covered with enamel was made in China in the 19th century. It sold at  Cowan's Auctions Inc. in Cincinnati last year for $660.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 December 2013 09:20
 
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