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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 29, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 29 April 2013 13:14

A French artist named this large safety pin ‘Epingle de Nourrice’ (‘safety pin of the baby nurse.’) It's a floor lamp that stands 6 feet tall. Purchase price at Sotheby's New York was $37,500.

A 7-1/2-foot-high safety pin that looks like a modern sculpture actually is a floor lamp made in 1975 by modern artist Yonel Lebovici (1937-1998). In the 1960s, he started making unusual lamps and other items inspired by everyday objects.

His marketing ideas were unusual for an artist at the time. He made a limited number of each creation, which means he was among the first to sell "limited editions." He was ahead of the huge popularity of limited-edition plates, figurines and other collectibles. In the late 1960s, machine-made plates and figurines often were limited to the number made in one year. Collectors paid more for those no longer made.

In the 1990s, limited editions lost favor and prices fell. But to own "the-only-one-made" art piece by a known artist gives extra prestige to a collector, and prices are high. Work by an important artist limited to about 20 examples also entices collectors to pay higher prices.

Lebovici was influenced by everyday household items, fish and perpetual motion. He created cordless lamps using the then-new low-voltage technology. The large safety-pin lamp, from an edition of 10, auctioned for $37,500 at Sotheby's in 2012.

Q: I'm wondering what my Marx-a-Serve Electric Table Tennis game is worth. I don't have the original box or instructions, but I have all the game pieces—the battery-operated base unit and nets, four table tennis balls and two rackets. The base unit shoots out a ball and the player hits the ball back into the net. The ball then falls back into the machine for continued use.

A: Your game, with its original box, sold online recently for $32. Without the box, it would sell for less--perhaps $20 if the mechanism still works.

Q: Our grandmother left us an inkstand that has been in the family for more than 80 years. It's in the shape of a stag's head with long antlers that form a pen rest. The words "Niagara Falls" are on the top of the stag's head. A pressed glass inkwell sits right behind the head on a base that looks like a pile of leaves and acorns. The antlers are 5 1/2 inches high, and the inkstand is about 6 by 4 1/2 inches. What can you tell us?

A: Your inkstand is a well-known American design that dates from the early 1900s. We have seen it without any notation on the stag's head, but it was probably sold as a souvenir at many tourist sites. The head, base and antlers have been made in various colors and metals. Your inkstand, depending on its condition, could sell for more than $100.

Q: My husband inherited a French mantel clock from his father. It's made of what looks like black marble with bronze columns and is shaped like a Greek building. Its face is porcelain. The mark on the back is a circle with the words "Medaille d'Argent" and "Vincenti & Cie 1855." The clock is 16 1/2 inches tall by 15 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/4 inches deep. It's very heavy. Please tell us how to figure out how old it is and what it's worth.

A: Vincenti & Cie (Vincenti & Co.) was a Paris clockmaker founded before 1834 by Jean Vincenti. It went out of business in about 1870. The mark on your clock indicates that the company won a silver medal (medaille d'argent) at the 1855 Universal Exposition in Paris, which means your clock was made after 1855. Vincenti & Cie clocks sell for a wide range of prices, from the low hundreds into the tens of thousands. An expert has to look at your clock in person and can estimate its age by its works. The clockcase and weight make us think it could be quite valuable if it works or can be easily made to work.

Q: I inherited a plate from my aunt, who was an antiques dealer in the 1940s and '50s. The plate is octagonal and has an allover chintz pattern of flowers, leaves and berries. The bottom of the plate has a printed mark with a crown over the words "Crown Ducal Ware, England." Can you tell me how old the plate is? Is it valuable?

A: The trade name "Crown Ducal" was first used in 1916 by A.G. Richardson and Co. of Tunstall, England. The mark on your plate was used beginning in about 1925. The company began working in Tunstall in 1915 and in nearby Cobridge in 1934. A.G. Richardson was bought by Wedgwood in 1974. Chintz-pattern dishes have fallen in price throughout the past few years. Your plate is worth about $50.

Q: I inherited some TWA airline memorabilia from an uncle who worked for Trans World Airlines years ago. I have a box of TWA playing cards, carryon bags, silverware, booties, etc. Are any of these items worth anything? How should I go about selling them? A: There are collectors of airline memorabilia. You can find some of them by contacting one of the clubs for collectors, like the World Airline Historical Society. The club website (www.WAHSonline.com) lists collector shows in the United States. If you find one near you, you can go to the show, meet collectors, see what things like yours are selling for and possibly find a buyer.

Tip: After you come back from a flea market or show where you examined merchandise, be sure to wash your hands. You could have handled something oily or dusty that left traces on your hands. When you unpack, wash your hands again to be sure all contaminants from the wrappings are gone. Gently clean any of your new purchases. And think about the weather when you're shopping. A change from very hot or very cold to room temperature can damage antiques. Try not to keep purchases in your trunk for very long.

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

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume 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.

Sheet music, Song Sung Blue Neil Diamond, 1972, $5.

Candy container, papier-mache, bull, wide-eyed, smiling, coiled horns, Germany, 4 1/2 inches, $45.

Indianapolis Speedway toy racer, cast iron, red paint, two drivers, c. 1930, 2 x 6 inches, $60.

Buck Rogers badge, "Chief Explorer," red paint, 1936, 1 1/2 inches, $150.

Sugar basket, silver-plated, oval bowl, pierced leaf band, swing handle, dome foot, c. 1885, 5 inches, pair, $215.

Worcester basket, tomb of Napoleon, St. Helena, serrated border, Flight, Barr & Barr, c. 1810, 5 1/2 x 4 inches, $240.

Harpoon weather vane, wrought sheet iron, wave-shape tail section, center spire, c. 1900, 16 3/4 x 44 inches, $345.

Murano glass handkerchief vase, pink, white stripes, signed Venini, 7 x 5 1/2 inches, $520.

Northwest Indian totem pole, raven-halibut-beaver, carved, painted, Raymond Peck, Juneau, Alaska, contemporary, 50 inches, $1,005.

Boot scraper, cat figural, cast iron, red paint, c. 1860, 12 x 10 1/4 inches, $1,610.

Contemporary, modern and mid-century ceramics made since 1950 are among the hottest collectibles today. Our special report, "Kovels' Buyers' Guide to Modern Ceramics: Mid-Century to Contemporary" identifies important pottery by American and European makers. Includes more than 65 factories and 70 studio artists, each with a mark and dates. Works by major makers, including Claude Conover, Guido Gambone and Lucie Rie, as well as potteries like Gustavsberg, Metlox and Sascha Brastoff, are shown in color photos. Find the "sleepers" at house sales and flea markets. "Special Report, 2010," 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 64 pp. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or send $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A French artist named this large safety pin ‘Epingle de Nourrice’ (‘safety pin of the baby nurse.’) It's a floor lamp that stands 6 feet tall. Purchase price at Sotheby's New York was $37,500.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 08:35
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 22, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Sunday, 21 April 2013 14:35

Ferns were often pictured on expensive pieces of glass or ceramics in the mid-1800s. This Stevens & Williams purple mother-of-pearl glass vase, with a gilt fern pattern called Pompeian Swirl, sold for $920 at a 2012 Early's Auction in Milton, Ohio.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Most people have heard about the bout of "Tulipmania" that spread through the Netherlands in the 17th century, but few know about "Pteridomania," or fern madness.

In the 19th century, ferns were part of a popular health regimen. People would go into the woods to hunt for ferns or to study nature. It was good exercise for body and soul. People from all levels of society joined in searching for new varieties of ferns they could record, plant or dry and put in albums.

The many varieties of ferns were soon featured on porcelains and iron garden furniture, and in paintings and interior decors. Green majolica plates shaped like fern leaves, iron benches by Coalbrookdale and children's toy porcelain dishes by Ridgways were decorated with ferns. The madness continued into the 1880s, but even today ferns are popular house and garden plants. More than 10 varieties are offered in new mail-order garden catalogs, and even more can be found in nurseries in cities with a fern-friendly climate. It would be easy to find decorative examples of Pteridomania and form a collection today.

Q: I'm 92 years old and am trying to get rid of some old possessions. A copy of the April 20, 1865, Philadelphia Inquirer has been in my family for ages. The front page has several articles about President Abraham Lincoln's funeral. There are drawings (not photographs) of the funeral car and coffin. I'd like to sell it but don't know the value. Can you help?

A: Newspapers covering the death of President Lincoln are collectible. The value of old newspapers varies, depending on the importance of the historical event covered as well as condition and rarity. A front-page article with graphic art is more important than articles on inside pages or those without pictures. Before photography was commonly used, illustrations were made from woodcuts. Some newspapers that are old but don't cover significant events sell for under $10, while newer papers covering important events can sell for hundreds of dollars. Old newspapers become yellow and crumble if not stored properly, but newspapers printed on paper made from rag linen, common before 1876, don't deteriorate as quickly as those made on modern paper. Newspapers should be stored flat and away from light, heat and moisture. Don't store them in the attic or basement. Newspapers with stories about Lincoln have sold in recent years for $10 to a few hundred dollars, depending on condition and content.

Q: I was given an antique secretary, but the desk section is locked and I have no key. How can I open it without ruining the lock?

A: Don't try to pick the lock. Call a few professional locksmiths and find one who is comfortable working with an antique lock. You will find someone who can open it safely.

Q: I have a tea cart that my parents bought in England in the early 1950s. It has been used by our family ever since, but not for serving tea. It's on wheels and has two removable trays. There are two metal tags on the rail. One reads, "Staples Trolley, Prov Patent 22852/52." The other reads, "Made by Staples & Co. Ltd., Wire Mattress & Bedstead Maker to the late King George VI." Can you tell me how old the tea cart is, and if it has any value?

A: The patent is a United Kingdom patent dated June 12, 1952, for improvements to "tea trolleys, dinner wagons and like dispensing trolleys." Your tea trolley was made shortly before your parents bought it in the 1950s. A tea trolley is what the English call a tea cart or tea wagon, a wheeled cart that usually has two shelves and can be pushed from room to room. It's handy for transporting dishes or food from kitchen to table and back. The patent lists Staples & Co. Ltd. and Robert Garnett Heal as applicants. Staples & Co. was founded by Harold Heal and received a royal warrant of appointment as wire mattress and bedstead maker in 1923. Wooden trolleys from the 1950s sell for about $200 to $600, depending on design and condition.

Q: My old creamer is marked with the outline of what looks like Ohio and the words "Leigh Ware by Leigh Potters, Inc., U.S.A." inside. Underneath that it reads, "Patent applied for, warranted 22K gold." Is this worth anything?

A: Leigh Potters was in business in Alliance, Ohio, from 1926 to 1931. The company's mark is outlined by the shape of the state of Ohio. Leigh Potters made dinnerware, kitchenware and decorative art ware. Your creamer is part of a set of dishes and has a low value if it's not partnered with the sugar bowl. Price: under $20.

Q: Can you give me any information about a "John Bull" chess set made in India? The elaborate carved ivory pieces are British soldiers versus Indian Raj soldiers. I never see them for sale on the Internet.

A: Sets like yours usually are referred to as "John Company" sets because that was the nickname for the British East India Co. The origins of the game of chess can be traced to India before the sixth century, and the game continues to be very popular there. During the British Raj (British rule) from 1858 to 1947, many sets with ivory pieces—some elaborate and some simple—were made. The value of yours depends on how elaborately it was carved and what condition the pieces are in. Sets that predate 1989 can sell for very high prices. That's the year a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory was implemented. But you won't see the sets for sale on eBay. It will not allow the sale of any ivory on its site. If you want to sell, contact a reputable auction house.

Tip: For best results, schedule your house sale at the beginning or middle of the month (near paydays), but not during holiday weekends.

Sign up for our weekly email, "Kovels Komments." It includes the latest news, tips and questions and it's free if you register on our website. Kovels.com has lists of publications, clubs, appraisers, auction houses, people who sell parts or repair antiques and more. Kovels.com adds to the information in this column and helps you find useful sources needed by collectors.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume 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.

Hummel figurine, "Let's Sing," No. 110/4, 3 inches, $15.

Silver pin, openwork flowers, amber, oval mount, Continental, circa 1900, 1 1/4 inches, $60.

Bellows, leather, cornucopia and leaf design, 18 inches, $135.

Pepsi-Cola cardboard sign, "More Bounce to the Ounce," woman holding tray picturing bottle cap, 1940s, 12 5/8 x 29 inches, $255.

Cartier pin, gold, rope knot, 1 3/4 inches, $295.

Regency-style etagere, ebonized, gilt, shelves, pierced brass gallery, turned uprights, 74 x 17 inches, $675.

Newcomb Pottery pitcher, jonquils, blue, green, white, matte glaze, Anna Frances Simpson, 1927, 5 1/2 inches, $800.

Side table, rectangular top, banded, stretcher shelf, square legs, fret-carved feet, circa 1900, 32 x 17 inches, pair, $1,105.

Coin-operated target game, Big Game Hunter, 1 cent, A.B.T. Manufacturing Co., key, 10 1/2 x 18 inches, $1,650.

Bronze sculpture, rabbit, ears down, Blue John Stone cube pedestal, attributed to Antoine-Louis Barye, 3 1/8 x 2 inches, $2,870.

Keep up with changes in the collectibles world. Send for a free sample issue of our 12-page, full-color newsletter, "Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles," filled with prices, news, information and photos, plus major news about the world of collecting. 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

Ferns were often pictured on expensive pieces of glass or ceramics in the mid-1800s. This Stevens & Williams purple mother-of-pearl glass vase, with a gilt fern pattern called Pompeian Swirl, sold for $920 at a 2012 Early's Auction in Milton, Ohio.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 10:59
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 15, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 15 April 2013 13:48

An unusual metal closure was used on this cobalt blue Superior Mineral Water bottle made by Union Glass Works of Philadelphia. It sold for $15,680 at American Bottle Auctions of Sacramento, Calif.

A window shelf that holds a collection of cobalt-blue bottles attracts attention, so many new collectors buy their bottles by color. Most early bottles were made of pale-blue or aqua glass. It was difficult to produce clear glass in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Early bottles were blown, sometimes shaped by the maker or sometimes blown into an iron mold. A bottle had small imperfections caused by tiny pieces of sand or other ingredients. Dark colors were rare. By 1880, the quality of glass was improving. Whittle marks and tiny bubbles were seen less often, and chemicals were added to make colored glass smooth. Amber, green, brown, light-blue and clear bottles were made to hold medicine, whiskey, soda, ink, mineral water and canned food.

The most popular cobalt-blue color was made by adding cobalt oxide to the glass mixture. The automatic bottling machine came into use in 1903, so cobalt-blue bottles seen most often today were machine-made. Many held medicine, like Bromo-Seltzer or Milk of Magnesia.These are very inexpensive. But old cobalt bottles made earlier can be worth hundreds of dollars. Buying tips: Old bottles probably have pontil marks (a pontil mark is a scar on the bottom), flaws and raised lettering identifying the contents or maker. Many new cobalt-blue figural bottles have been made. Bottles marked "Wheaton" on the bottom are new. There are cobalt-blue bottles in stores today that hold water or vodka.

Q: We have a cast-iron wood-burning stove in our garage that we salvaged from an old cabin. The markings on it read, "Lakeside Foundry Co., Chicago, Ill., Bell-Wood, Windsor." Can you tell us anything about it?

A: Lakeside Foundry Co. was in business from about 1902 until 1920, when the foundry was sold and the name became Lakeside Forge. Lakeside Foundry made stoves, bells, tableware and other items that were sold by Montgomery Ward. Windsor was one of the brands sold by Montgomery Ward.

Q: When I was going through my father's belongings after he died, I found a framed photo of a horseracing scene above an uncirculated U.S. $2 bill with gold embossing. The framed pieces are titled "The $2 Bill," and between the photo and the bill are these words: "The two-dollar bill with its unique gold embossing and portrait of a smiling Thomas Jefferson was the favorite of Nevada sportsmen and countless American horseracing enthusiasts. It was retired from circulation in 1966 never again to adorn the winner's circle." The bill shows it's from "Series of 1928 F" and the signatures on it are "W.A. Julian" and "John W. Snyder." Can you tell me anything about this?

A: The $2 bill was introduced in the United States in 1862. All U.S. paper currency was produced in its current size starting with Series 1928, and the bills began circulating in 1929. The $2 bill was discontinued by the U.S. Treasury in 1966, but it was reintroduced in 1976. The bills have not been widely used by the American public, but they're favorites at horseracing tracks where the minimum bid is $2. The signatures on your bill indicate that it was issued between 1946 and 1949, when William Alexander Julian was U.S. Treasurer and John W. Snyder was the Secretary of the Treasury. The gold embossing was done by a private company, not by the U.S. Mint. An uncirculated $2 bill the series and age of yours could sell for about $35. We spotted another framed collage like yours mounted with a Series 1963 A $2 bill. It sold online for $20.

Q: When I was 6 or 7 years old in the late 1930s, I played with a small tin toy boat that held a bit of water and below it was another compartment with a candle. When I lit the candle, it would heat the water and turn it into steam. The steam went through a small pipe to the water in the boat and propelled the boat forward. I think the toy was made in Japan and cost just a few pennies at the time. Can you give me more information about the toy?

A: Your toy boat has several different names. Most common is the name "pop-pop boat," but it's also called a "puf-puf boat." Its history dates back to France in the 1880s, but it was patented by Frenchman Thomas Piot in 1891. Heat is created with either a candle or a small oil burner. The toys were popular playthings in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, but they lost favor when plastic toys took over the market. Collectors hunt for toys like yours, but they don't pay more than $15 to $25 for a used boat. If yours were in its original and unopened package, it could sell for up to $50.

Q: I would like some information about my grandfather clock. It was made by by J.J. Welsh from Heton Lehole, Scotland (unsure of the spelling). I have tried to look up the name of the clockmaker and the town but have had no luck. The clock must be about 200 years old. A previous owner painted the clock's faceplate, which was rusted out, so the face is not original.

A: Your clock may have been made by John James Welch, a clockmaker who worked in Hetton-le-Hole, Durham County, England, from 1877 to 1884. His last name is sometimes spelled "Welsh." He worked in Seaham Harbour, also in Durham County, England, in 1864. We did not find a town in Scotland called Heton Lehole. Maybe when the dial was repainted, the name and location were mislabeled.

Tip: Look at your house from the outside and be sure that valuable paintings, silver or other belongings are not visible from the street, especially near doors and windows. It could be an invitation to a burglar.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019

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

  • Cracker Jack toy, hippopotamus, plastic, melon color, $10.
  • McCoy Pottery oil jar, sponged maroon, white, handles, 15 1/4 inches, $45.
  • Globe, light inside, wood base, 17 x 14 x 12 inches, $90.
  • Czechoslovakia glass platter, Queen Anne's lace, round, 12 inches, $180.
  • Auto bumper tag, U.S. presidential candidate Alf Landon, metal, round, reflective light, red, blue, white, 1936, 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, $240.
  • Bronze bookends, elephant, trunk up, Paul Herzel, c. 1945, 7 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches, $295.
  • Cut-glass compote, cylindrical bowl, scattered cut stars, round foot, 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in., pair, $490.
  • John Dillinger poster, "Wanted in Five States, Public Enemy No. 1," frame, c. 1930, 21 x 16 inches, $710.
  • Shelf clock, Empire style, gilt bronze, circular case, white enamel dial, two-griffin standard, cut glass base, 11 3/8 inches, $1,190.
  • Sterling-silver bookends, terriers, one running, other trotting, verdigris patina, signed "E.B. Parsons," stamped "Gorham," c. 1940, 8 inches, $1,890.

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. Enjoy the shows all over again and explore some of the most exciting flea markets in the United States. In each episode, Ralph and Terry share their secrets about when and where to shop, what to look for at flea markets and how to make a good buy. The DVDs available now cover the first season of the series. You'll see rare marbles, antique quilts, European chests and boxes, Satsuma pottery, ceramic tobacco jars, Bakelite jewelry, vintage plastic dime-store toys, Czechoslovakian glass, Big Little Books, can labels and seed packets, old prints and more. Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; or send $29.95 plus $4.95 postage to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

An unusual metal closure was used on this cobalt blue Superior Mineral Water bottle made by Union Glass Works of Philadelphia. It sold for $15,680 at American Bottle Auctions of Sacramento, Calif. 

Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2013 14:03
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 8, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 08 April 2013 14:57

A 5-inch-high English silver honey pot shaped like a bee skep was estimated at $4,500 to $5,000 at a recent Garth's auction in Ohio. It has 1810 London hallmarks. The same skep sold at a 2005 Maine auction for $2,875.

Honey has a history going back to 2100 B.C. It is mentioned in some Babylonian writings. It was used for sweetening food, for medicine, for religious ceremonies and even as a form of money.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a special serving dish and usually a special serving fork or spoon were devoted to each type of food, so it's not surprising to find special antique honey pots. The wealthy used silver serving pieces, and honey pots might be shaped like bee skeps or have a sculpted or engraved bee as decoration. Domed skeps were made of woven straw and were portable. If a skep was not destroyed to get honey out, another swarm of bees could inhabit a skep the next season. Old skeps sell today for about $50 to $100 as decorations. It is illegal to raise bees with a skep today. Beekeepers must be able to open hives today so mite medicine can be applied.

Old and new honey pots can be found made of glass and pottery. If you plan to use a sterling- or silver-plated pot, it must have a glass liner. Honey encourages silver tarnish, and tarnish destroys some of honey's nutrients.

Q: I have an original program from the Candlestick Park Dedication Dinner held at the Garden Court of the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco on April 11, 1960. It's autographed by a few baseball players and by some of the people who spoke at the dedication, including Vice President Richard Nixon, Major League Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick, Giants owner Horace Stoneham and Giants manager Bill Rigney. What is it worth?

A: The San Francisco Giants played at Seals Stadium for two seasons before Candlestick Park opened in 1960. The team played there for 40 years, until its new ballpark on San Francisco Bay (now called AT&T Park) opened in 2000. Your program would interest collectors of baseball memorabilia, but the Nixon signature means it also might appeal to people who want political collectibles. If you want to sell, contact an auction that specializes in sports collectibles. The program could sell for $100, but it might also bring $500 or more, depending on the program's condition and the fame of everyone who autographed it.

Q: I still have my Alice Marble wooden tennis racket my parents gave me when I was about 10 years old. It was made by Wilson and reads "Court Queen" on the handle. Is this of any value, or is it just a piece of tennis history?

A: Tennis player Alice Marble (1913-1990) was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1939. She broke world records when she won the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open that year. During World War II, she was a spy for the United States and was wounded when trying to get some Nazi financial information. Wilson made more than one model of Alice Marble tennis rackets. The Court Queen model was introduced in about 1938. Old wooden rackets aren't particularly valuable today. Rackets like yours sell for under $40. They are hung on the wall as decoration, not used to play tennis.

Q: We have a set of toy American Indians that consists of 11 figures, including the chief, an Indian on horseback with bow and arrow, another Indian with a gun, a female figure and others. They were in my husband's family for years. The box they're in reads, "Elastolin, Made in Germany." I would appreciate any information you can give me.

A: Elastolin is a trademark used by toy manufacturer O. & M. Hauser of Stuttgart, Germany. The company was founded in 1904 by Otto and Max Hausser. In 1912 Hauser began making miniature military figures out of a mixture of sawdust and glue. The figures were hand-painted and marked "Elastolin." Figures representing soldiers from many wars, medieval characters, cowboys and Indians and other figures, including animals, were made in several sizes. Figures representing members of Nazi organizations and their leaders were made in the 1930s. The figures of Hitler, Goring, Goebbels and other Nazi leaders had movable right arms that could be raised in the Nazi salute. No figures were made between 1943 and 1945, when German industries concentrated on the war effort. Hard plastic figures were made beginning in 1955, and soft plastic figures beginning in 1970. Production ceased in 1983. Your American Indian figures are sought by collectors. Depending on complexity and condition, the figures sell online for $10 to $100.

Q: I inherited 13 Bessie Pease Gutmann prints when my cousin died. They are all framed and look very old. Some are named and several are not. I would like to know how to find out what they're worth.

A: Bessie Pease Gutmann (1876-1960) was an American artist who did illustrations for advertisements, books, magazines, postcards and calendars. She is best known for her prints of babies and young children. She stopped working in 1947. Her prints have been mass-produced. Original prints were done on matte paper and include the print number and the name and city of the publisher, "Gutmann and Gutmann, New York, N.Y." Titles on early prints were written in block letters. Later, prints had titles in script. Original prints can be worth a few hundred dollars, while copies sell for as little as $10 to $15 each.

Tip: Help your family by always identifying who's pictured in your family photographs. Include their names and ages, the year the photo was taken and where it was taken. Write on the back near the edge using the kind of permanent marker sold at photo supply stores. Do not use a ballpoint pen. It will leave a dent in the paper.

Need prices for collectibles? Find them at Kovels.com, our website for collectors. More than 84,000 prices and 5,000 color pictures have just been added. Now you can find more than 856,000 prices that can help you determine the value of your collectible. Access to the prices is free at Kovels.com/priceguide.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume 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.

  • Postal telegraph badge, "All America Cables," globe, blue-and-white cloisonne, triangular, 2 1/8 x 1 7/8 inches, $45.
  • Wallace Nutting print, The Quilting Party, signed, framed, 10 x 12 inches, $50.
  • Yellow Kid paperweight, metal, figural, "Say, ain't I a heavyweight," R.F. Outcault, 7 x 3 inches, $130.
  • Walking stick cane, antler handle, black trim, nickel silver cap, c. 1885, 36 inches, $185.
  • Barber shop sign, globe, hand lettered, white, 16 1/2 inches, $210.
  • Edwardian chair, domed slatted back, medallion, feathers, down-swept arms, square legs, c. 1900, 36 inches, $430.
  • Pier table, mahogany, cove-molded frieze, scrolls, columns, serpentine shelf, c. 1835, 37 x 39 inches, $985.
  • Reverse-painted lamp, autumn landscape shade, metal base, Moe Bridges, c. 1920, 24 x 18 inches, $1,180.
  • Lalique Verone vase, flared sides, frosted birds, scrolls, ring foot, 1980s, 7 1/2 x 11 inches, $1,230.
  • Tea caddy, George III, fruitwood, pear shape, c. 1810, 6 1/4 inches, $2,360.

Available now. 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, 2013, 45th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 40,000 up-to-date prices for more than 775 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 online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your bookstore; or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 A 5-inch-high English silver honey pot shaped like a bee skep was estimated at $4,500 to $5,000 at a recent Garth's auction in Ohio. It has 1810 London hallmarks. The same skep sold at a 2005 Maine auction for $2,875.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 15:17
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of April 1, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 01 April 2013 11:22

This German doll is sometimes called a carved 'peg wooden' doll because of her jointed arms and legs. Her original clothing and peddler's tray attracted buyers at a Theriault's auction in New Orleans. She sold for $2,912.

Wooden dolls date back centuries. The earliest were crude carved pieces of wood shaped like a human figure. But today it's rare to find a doll made before the 1600s, when English and German draftsmen skillfully carved wooden lifelike dolls. Most collectors today look for later carved "peg wooden" dolls like those made in Grodnertal, Germany. The dolls, which date from about 1820 to 1840, were created with arms and legs that could bend because of their pegged joints at the knees and hips, elbows and shoulders. The early ones have heart-shaped faces, long necks and elongated bodies. Their extra-long legs showed off their high-waisted Empire-style dresses. After the 1840s, doll carvers took shortcuts and the dolls had round faces and chunky bodies.

A 2012 Theriault's auction offered a Grodnertal peddler doll. The 13-inch doll had her original painted face, human hair wig and jointed arms and legs. Her value increased because she wore her original clothes, from dress to cap, cape and undergarments. She was holding a peddler's tray filled with lace, sewing materials, household goods and a tiny miniature Grodnertal wooden doll. Because she was old, attractive and in good original condition, a collector paid more than $2,900 to take her home.

Q: I have a pasteboard dollhouse designed and made by Transogram Co. of New York. It's in reasonable shape. I think it's from the 1920s or '30s. It's a two-story house with a front that opens up and a removable roof. The lower level is red brick and the second floor has yellow siding. The furniture inside is wooden and is definitely '20s and '30s vintage. Does the furnished dollhouse have any value, or should I just pitch it?

A: Don't pitch it. Transogram Co. was founded by Charles S. Raizen in 1915. It made toys, play sets, games, craft sets and juvenile and playroom furniture. Raizen died in 1967, and the company was run by his family until it was sold in 1969. It closed shortly afterward. Old dollhouses, even cardboard houses, sell to collectors. A little wear is OK.

Q: I have a dining-room chair that's blond wood with a green plastic seat. It has a lattice-like back. The back legs are one piece going from the floor to the top of the back. The bottom is marked "Daystrom Furniture, Model 455-175." The words "Made in Occupied Japan" are written in a small circle. It's not in perfect shape. Can you tell me what it's worth?

A: Daystrom was founded in Olean, N.Y., in 1934. At first the company made metal ashtrays. By 1938 it was producing chromium kitchen furniture and upholstered stools and chairs. Daystrom moved to South Boston in 1962 and began using the name "Daystrom Furniture." Daystrom's low-end dinette sets sold well during the 1960s, but foreign competition began affecting the furniture market by the 1970s. The company was sold several times and closed in 1996. Since your chair is marked "Made in Occupied Japan," Daystrom must have been making furniture in a Japanese factory or importing pieces between 1947 and 1952, years when the Allies occupied Japan after World War II. Chairs like yours were inexpensive when made. Value today: about $100 to $150.

Q: In going through some old family papers, I ran across a souvenir program from a concert by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra at the Grand Ballroom in Pleasure Beach Park in Bridgeport, Conn., on June 1, 1941. The program includes autographed photos of Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. My father was at the concert and saw them sign their pictures. Is there any value to the program and the autographs?

A: Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) signed with Tommy Dorsey in 1939 and appeared as a singer with the band from 1940 until late 1942. Souvenir programs don't ordinarily sell for more than a few dollars, but because yours includes an early Frank Sinatra autograph, it's worth more. You should contact an auction house that specializes in autographs if you're interested in selling. It could be worth more than $200.

Q: I have a complete collection of small metal license plates. They're all about 3 by 5 1/2 inches. I think they came from Wheaties cereal boxes. They are about 60 years old. Can you tell me if there is a demand for these and if they have any value? A: Wheaties first offered miniature auto license plates from all 48 states and the District of Columbia in 1953. Four different sets of 12 plates each could be ordered by sending in 25 cents and a Wheaties box top. The District of Columbia plate was available in random boxes of Wheaties. It was a very successful promotion and increased Wheaties sales. Many boys and girls sent for the license plates and attached them to their bicycles. Post Cereals issued plate sets in 1968 and 1982. Single plates sell for about $5 today. A set of 49 plates issued in 1953-54, with original mailers, sold several years ago for more than $600.

Tip: To remove a sticky price label from a piece of silver, heat it with a hair dryer to soften the adhesive. Then peel off the label. If there is sticky glue left, remove it with isopropyl alcohol.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume 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.

Adams platter, Empress pattern, white, oval, 8 sides, 11 3/4 x 8 5/8 inches, $15. Pepsi-Cola straws, "Have a Pepsi," stripes, bottle cap, full box, 1950s, 10 3/4 x 3 7/8 inches, $100.

Weller Pottery bowl, molded, flowers, birds, nest, eggs, green leaf ground, stamped, c. 1910, 3 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches, $235.

Carving set, sterling silver, Rheims pattern, knife with steel blade, fork, Wallace, 1919 patent, $240.

Bamboo stand, lacquer, domed back, cupboard, shelves, stretcher, splay feet, c. 1900, 44 x 18 inches, $245.

Opaline glass vase, Napoleon III, trumpet top, inverted foot, Greek key border, gilt swags, c. 1865, 15 1/2 inches, $370.

Berry bucket, wooden, green paint, c. 1855, 5 3/4 x 7 inches, $425.

Hall lantern, gilt bronze, Gothic Revival, trefoil piercings, fretwork, crenellated edge, chains, c. 1885, 31 inches, $920.

Stickley Bros. drink stand, copper top, arched apron, splayed legs, 18 x 28 inches, $2,625.

Billiards sign, leaded glass, red and green, white ground, 82 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches, $3,630.

The Kovels.com Premium website is up and running. In addition to 750,000 free prices for antiques and collectibles, many 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 articles about almost anything you might collect. Up-to-date information for the savvy collector. Go to Kovels.com and click on "Subscriptions" for more information.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This German doll is sometimes called a carved 'peg wooden' doll because of her jointed arms and legs. Her original clothing and peddler's tray attracted buyers at a Theriault's auction in New Orleans. She sold for $2,912. 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 13:05
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 25, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 25 March 2013 14:29

Pan holding a rabbit is a figure made by Weller Pottery for its Gardenware line. It is a little over a foot high. Weller also made a figure of Pan with a flute, but this version with a rabbit is so rare it sold for $3,540 at Humler & Nolan in Cincinnati in December.

Don't forget to look in the backyard when you go to a yard or house sale. If the house is old, you may spot a concrete birdbath, an iron garden gnome, old tools hanging on a fence or even a log cabin playhouse. Landscaping and outdoor decorating styles have changed through the years just as styles for houses and living rooms have changed. And a modern landscape can update any house.

During past centuries, trees and plantings were not placed near a house. They were far enough away to provide shade but not harm the roof. By the 1930s, a flat row of bushes, trees and other green plants were placed in a straight line against the house. Today homes have curved beds and walks, colorful flowers in the front and back yards, paved seating areas, patios, fountains and other water features.

In the 1900s, Weller Pottery of Zanesville, Ohio, began to make "Gardenware." It was not part of the company's art pottery lines, but it has become popular with today's collectors. Weller garden figures include a pelican, pop-eyed dog, a variety of frogs, hen and chicks, dogs, squirrels, swans, rabbits, ducks, a boy fishing and even Pan with a flute or rabbit. The figures are about 19 to 20 inches high. They are all realistic.

Weller also made a variety of large frogs with coppertone glazes – a bold green with large blotches – and some figural sprinklers and birdbaths. All of these are popular today and expensive, many costing more than $1,000.

Q: I inherited four Gothic Revival side chairs attributed to J. and J.W. Meeks. I was told they once belonged to the White House and were used in Abraham Lincoln's Cabinet Room. How can I establish authenticity?

A: It probably is impossible for you to determine that the chairs were used in the White House during Lincoln's administration (1861-65). It is known that during the Polk administration (1845-49), as many as 24 black walnut Gothic Revival chairs made by J. and J.W. Meeks of New York City were purchased for the White House. Lincoln used some of the chairs in his Cabinet Room (now the Lincoln Bedroom). The chairs are shown in the painting, First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln. Four chairs are still in the White House collection. First see if your chairs match those shown in the painting, on display at the U.S. Capitol (the image can be found online). If the chairs match, at least you can say your chairs are identical to those in the White House and were made by Meeks. But without any additional history, it's unlikely you can ever prove the chairs were once owned by the White House.

Q: I found a metal bracelet while using my metal detector. It may have been silver-plated at one time. It has six links that look like shields. There's a different name on the back of each shield: Lorraine, Flandre, Normandie, Paris, Alsace and Bretagne. The word "Moutereau" is on the clasp. I would appreciate any information you can give me.

A: The words on your bracelet are the names of six French provinces. The metal is probably brass and would have originally had a silver tone. Montereau, not Moutereau, is an area in France. It could be the name of the maker or just the place it was made. Bracelets like yours were made for the tourist trade and don't sell for much today. Some have enameled coats of arms and sell for a little more.

Q: We have an ax with a square hole in the blade. A small square piece with a circular hole in one end fits into the square hole in the blade. The words "Bell System" are stamped on the ax. Do you know what it was used for?

A: This type of ax was used by Bell Telephone linemen. The ax was used to cut notches into utility poles. The blunt end of the blade could be used as a hammer, and the square hole could be used as a wrench for turning square nuts. When the "small piece" is inserted into the square hole, it can be used as a wrench on round nuts. Old-timers say the ax also was used to set insulators on poles or to install metal "steps" up the side of poles. Value: about $50.

Q: I'm preparing a program on piano babies for our doll club and have read several articles that say if the hole on the baby's bottom is big, the baby is "fake" and not original to Germany. Is this true?

A: There are several clues to spotting "fake" or reproduction piano babies or other ceramic figures. Early pottery and porcelain pieces have a smaller hole in the bottom than later reproductions. The hole let gas out so the figurine didn't explode during firing. Older porcelain figures are heavier than newer reproductions because more clay was used to make them. Reproduction figures, made from a mold cast from an original, are smaller because the material shrinks as it cools.

Tip: Turn a rug a quarter or half turn twice a year so it will wear evenly.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume 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.

  • Easter greeting card, boy, basket of eggs, rooster pulling pants, c. 1930, $6.
  • Trading card, Woolson Spices, sleeping girl dreaming of Easter bunnies, 1893, 7 X 5 inches, $18.
  • Candy container, egg shape, papier-mache, children, ducks, bunnies, gold ground, Germany, 4 x 6 inches, $19.
  • Window pane, acanthus and flowers, cobalt blue, Addison Glass Works, New York, c.1900, 5 x 5 inches, $60.
  • Dresser set, sterling silver, mirror, brush, monogram, Alvin, two pieces, $115.
  • Mary Gregory barber bottle, amethyst glass, white enameled girl, c. 1900, 7 1/4 inches, $120.
  • Toy truck, Easter greetings, rabbit driving, Courtland, No. 88, 9 inches, $375.
  • Movie poster, Easter Parade, Judy Garland, MGM, 1948, 27 x 41 inches, $470.
  • Minnie Mouse doll, Easter Parade outfit, cloth body, felt, composition, Knickerbocker, 1930s, 12 inches, $2,995.
  • Easter hare automaton store display, seated, glass eyes, turns head, "lays" eggs, Belgium, c. 1930, 27 x 19 1/2 inches, $5,260.

Available now. 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, 2013, 45th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 40,000 up-to-date prices for more than 775 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 online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your bookstore or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Pan holding a rabbit is a figure made by Weller Pottery for its Gardenware line. It is a little over a foot high. Weller also made a figure of Pan with a flute, but this version with a rabbit is so rare it sold for $3,540 at Humler & Nolan in Cincinnati in December. 

Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 14:49
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 18, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 18 March 2013 13:08

The mirror-frame man holding seven fingers up may be warning about the seven years of bad luck awaiting someone who breaks a mirror. The unique piece of folk art auctioned for $5,700 at Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati.

Folk art is unique and often is both useful and humorous. At a Cowan's auction in late 2012, an example of these traits was seen in a mirror offered for sale. The 19th-century mirror's pine frame was carved to look like a man, with his head at the top, shoe-clad feet at the bottom and hands held up near his neck. One hand holds five fingers up, the other just two. The artist seems to be referring to the seven years of bad luck that awaits anyone who breaks a mirror. Or perhaps it was a gift for a seventh anniversary or just a suggestion of the lucky number seven. It was good luck for the seller. The mirror, only 17 inches high, was estimated at $1,000 to $1,500. It sold after a bidding battle for $5,700.

Q: I am thinking about remodeling my home office and am agonizing over replacing my old desk and chair. I bought the heavy desk about 20 years ago from an elderly couple. It was made by the Imperial Desk Co. of Evansville, Ind. It has a few nicks, but it's in very good shape. The chair was made by Domore Chair Co. of Elkhart, Ind. I had it reupholstered about 18 years ago. It has a cast-metal frame and also is heavy. Are the desk and chair valuable antiques I should keep? And if so, is it OK to use them?

A: Your desk and chair are not valuable antiques. But they are good, solid pieces of office furniture. Depending on their style and condition, the desk might sell for about $350 and the chair for about $200. Base your decision on how useful the pieces are and if you like their "look."

Q: I recently found what I thought was a unique item at a yard sale. It's a ceramic pig with many tiny holes on its back. It took me all weekend to figure out what it is. I think it's an hors d'oeuvres server because the holes are just the right size to it hold toothpicks. Is it unique and valuable?

A: Toothpick holders in the shape of animals became popular in the 1950s. Hedgehogs and porcupines probably were the first animal shapes made, since inserted toothpicks look like the animal's quills. After that, cats, dogs, pigs and other animals were made in pottery, wood, plastic, silver and other metals. They are fun to use at a party, but most aren't worth more than $20 to $25. Toothpick holders made of silver are worth more.

Q: We have an 8-inch gold-rimmed plate with a painting of a large hotel on it. At the bottom of the plate is the phrase, "New West Baden Springs Hotel, West Baden, Ind., The Carlsbad of America." It's marked on the back, "Hand Painted, the Jonroth Studios, Germany." We don't know how old it is, but my mother is 93 years old, and she recalls that her mother bought it on one of the family's trips to West Baden when she was a little girl. Can you tell us its approximate age and value?

A: The "new" West Baden Springs Hotel was built in 1902, after the original hotel burned down. It was advertised as "The Eighth Wonder of the World" because it's main circular building is topped by the world's largest dome. It was called "The Carlsbad of America" because of nearby mineral springs, similar to those in Carlsbad, Germany. Jonroth Studios was a name used by an American importing company, John H. Roth & Co. The company was founded in 1909 and imported china from Germany, Japan and England. Your plate probably was made in the 1920s and is worth about $30.

Q: I have a lithograph published by Associated American Artists. I've seen some sell for thousands of dollars. Can you tell me something about this group?

A: During the Depression, most people couldn't afford fine art, so Reeves Lewenthal founded Associated American Artists in 1934 to provide art for the middle class. He hired well-known American artists, including Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, to make lithographs, which were reproduced and sold in department stores. Later, the art was sold in the Associated American Artists gallery in New York City and by mail order. Watercolors, oil paintings and other works, including home furnishings and accessories, were also sold. Prints originally sold for $5 unframed and $7 framed. Today, some sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the artist.

Q: My father was always buying stocks and bonds. When he died, I inherited two certificates for 100 shares of stock in Cobalt Silver Queen Ltd. They are dated Dec. 12, 1908. Can you tell me anything about this company, and what the value of these certificates might be?

A: Cobalt Silver Queen Ltd. was organized in 1906 in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada. Silver was discovered in the area in 1903, and by 1905 prospectors and mining companies were rushing to the area to stake claims. Cobalt Silver Queen mined silver and cobalt. Stock in the company was offered for $1.50 per share in 1908. By the 1930s, most of the mines had closed. Stock certificates for companies that are no longer in business may be redeemable (ask your library for help) or collectible. Collectors look for certificates with historical value, elaborate engraved designs, interesting graphics or the signature of a well-known person. The hobby of collecting old stock and bond certificates is called "scripophily." Certificates are bought and sold online as well as at auctions.

Tip: Never touch the surface of a watercolor or drawing. Lift unframed paper by the corners.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through 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 any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, Auction Central News, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

CURRENT PRICES

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

  • Cracker Jack toy, girl riding ostrich, dark yellow plastic, $12.
  • Baseball card, Willie Mays, Topps, San Francisco Giants, 1960, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, $25.
  • Effanbee Patsy Ann doll, composition, blue sleep eyes, short floral dress, white shoes, 19 inches, $50.
  • Salon chair, round back, tufted upholstery, carved frame, c. 1930, 35 x 20 inches, $90.
  • Lalique bowl, "Elizabeth," molded and frosted plump birds, leafy branches, footed, 1900s, 5 3/8 x 5 3/4 inches, $400.
  • National Cash Register candy-store cash register, Model S88019, cast metal, marble shelf, 10 x 16 inches, $405.
  • Trade stimulator, Pikes Peak, coin-operated, key, Groetchen Tool & Manufacturing Co., 1930s, 13 x 13 inches, $570.
  • Wedgwood cup and saucer, molded Egyptian band, red, black, impressed, c. 1805, 6 1/2 inches, $615.
  • Compote, sterling silver, satyr, nymph, grapes, vines, twig-shape standard, dome foot, Italy, 9 3/8 x 10 inches, $2,125.
  • Statue, carved marble, child cradling puppy, white, American, 1800s, 28 inches, $2,690.

Contemporary, modern and mid-century ceramics made since 1950 are among the hottest collectibles today. Our special report, “Kovels' Buyers' Guide to Modern Ceramics: Mid-Century to Contemporary” identifies important pottery by American and European makers. Includes more than 65 factories and 70 studio artists, each with a mark and dates. Works by major makers including Claude Conover, Guido Gambone, Lucie Rie, as well as potteries like Gustavsberg, Metlox and Sascha Brastoff, are shown in color photos. Find the "sleepers" at house sales and flea markets. Special Report, 2010, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 64 pp. Available only from Kovels. Order by phone at 800-303-1996, online at Kovels.com; or send $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

The mirror-frame man holding seven fingers up may be warning about the seven years of bad luck awaiting someone who breaks a mirror. The unique piece of folk art auctioned for $5,700 at Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati. 

Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 13:19
 
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