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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

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.

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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
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 11, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 11 November 2013 10:57

An Art Deco aquarium caused excitement at a Cottone auction in Geneseo, N.Y., in last month. The 5-foot-high metal and glass lamp and fish bowl sold for $805.

Keeping fish in an aquarium is said to be one of the top hobbies in the United States today. Some enthusiasts search for antique-looking aquariums that fit with room styles from the past.

It was not a hobby for an average householder until the 1830s, when the Wardian case was created as a simple container for live fish. By the opening of the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 in London, aquariums were wonders suitable for a home, and two years later the London Zoo built a large aquarium open to the public. The United States had enough people interested in raising fish indoors to form an "aquarist society" by 1843, and fish became part of a full-blown fad by the 1860s.

Of course, that meant there were things to collect—an aquarium and equipment— like pumps and filters, rocks, small figures and scenery for the fish tank. Decorators planned rooms with planters and aquariums in the prevailing styles of the time, from Victorian to Mission to Art Deco to modern. Old tanks made of wrought iron and glass, tanks bordered by heavy Mission-style oak planks, glass bowls held in wicker stands, and Art Deco designs using plastic instead of glass are sometimes found at antiques sales. And the small glass fishbowl for guppies or goldfish so popular in the 1950s still is available.

Recently, a Deco aquarium made of wrought iron vines and leaves, and a clear, slightly green glass bowl was sold for $805. It had a light at the top and a holder for a large potted plant at the bottom. It's probably the focal point of a room today.

Q: My great aunt gave my mother a pretty porcelain bowl decorated with hand-painted acorns and leaves. It is marked "Elite L France" on the bottom. I'm now 90 years old, so the bowl must be very old. Does it have any value?

A: The mark "Elite L [for Limoges] France" was used by Bawo & Dotter, an importer established in New York City in the mid 1860s. Bawo & Dotter founded a decorating studio in Fischern, Bohemia (presently Rybare, Czech Republic), in 1883 and was manufacturing porcelain in Limoges, France, by 1893. Bawo & Dotter's "Elite" china was exhibited at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. The company closed in about 1914. Your bowl, probably made to hold nuts, is worth about $50-$100.

Q: We own two paintings left to us by a friend who was a guard at the World War II POW camp set up at Westover Field in Chicopee, Mass. The paintings are signed "K. Skrobeck, 1945 POW." We can't find any information about the artist, but we would like to know if the paintings have any value.

A: Many World War II POWs tried painting while they were prisoners in the United States. It kept them busy and relieved boredom. Some even discovered they were talented. Biographical information about any one of these "artists" is hard to find. But POW paintings are part of the history of the war, and they can sell for hundreds of dollars if they're in good condition, if the quality of the artwork is decent (no matter what the style) and if you can document their history.

Q: I have a number of chairs, in varying condition, that were once used in the board room of the Bank of Stockton in Stockton, Calif. A paper label on the bottom of the chairs says "Jacob & Josef Kohn, Wien." Can you tell me something about this maker?

A: In 1849 Jacob Kohn and his son, Josef, of Vienna (Wien), Austria, founded a company that made wooden parts for buildings. The company began making furniture in about 1867 and eventually established factories in several cities. The Kohns manufactured bentwood chairs similar to those made by Thonet. The Kohns' company merged with Mundus in 1914 and the name became Kohn-Mundus, so your chairs were probably made before 1914. Kohn-Mundus merged with Thonet in 1922.

Q: We have a Westmoreland milk glass wedding bowl that was given to us on our wedding day in 1954. I have displayed it in a curio cabinet ever since. I also have a set of Milburn Rose sterling silver flatware made by Westmorland Sterling. Is there a connection between the wedding bowl and my sterling?

A: There is no connection between the company that made your milk glass wedding bowl and the company that made your sterling silver. Although the names of the companies are similar, they are spelled differently. Westmoreland Glass Co. was in business in Grapeville, Pa., from 1889 to 1984. Westmorland Sterling Co. was founded in 1940 to provide jobs for former aluminum workers, since most aluminum was needed for the war effort. The silver was made by Wallace Silversmiths, marketed by Wearever Aluminum, and sold by door-to-door salesmen. Milburn Rose is one of five patterns made by Westmorland Sterling Co. In 1966 Wallace took over the marketing the flatware and it became available in retail stores.

Tip: Keep silver, sterling or plated, out of humid storage areas. The ideal humidity for silver is 45 percent to 40 percent. You can keep small pieces in a glassed-in cupboard with anti-tarnish paper or camphor balls (moth balls). Big pieces can be kept in tarnish-preventing bags found at department and jewelry stores or online.

Sign up for our free weekly email, "Kovels Komments." Terry writes about the latest news, tips and questions and her views of the market. If you register on our website, you receive "Kovels Komments" 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.

  • Hull vase, Wildflower pattern, dusty rose, handles, marked, 5 5/8 inches, $15.
  • Lindy Glider toy airplane, orange, blue paint, cast iron, Hubley, 6 inches, $120.
  • Nancy Lee doll, hard plastic, braided blond wig, blue dress, Arranbee, box, 17 inches, $170.
  • Wall organizer, black plastic, attached containers, D. Becker, I. Maurer, Germany, 1969, 34 x 26 inches, $250.
  • Stool, enameled steel, oak, adjustable, Toledo Metal Furniture Co., 1940s, 41 x 18 inches, $315.
  • Perthshire paperweight, blue and white overlay, central bouquet, clear ground, signed, 2 3/4 inches, $355.
  • Aluminum cocktail set, tray, shaker, six cups, plastic, chrome trim, wood handles, Farberware, 13-in. shaker, 8 pieces, $565.
  • Fireplace fireboard, two panels, carved, applied leaves, green, red paint, 34 x 36 inches, $780.
  • Silver necklace, leaf links, marked Kalo, 14 inches, $875.
  • Pottery vase, brown, black, white, blue, Marguerite Wildenhain, 20th century, 12 x 19 inches, $1,375.

"Kovels' A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate" is our new week-by-week record of the settlement of an estate, from your first days gathering legal papers to the last days when you're dividing antiques among heirs and selling everything else-even the house. How to identify pottery, jewelry and other popular collectibles. Tips on where and how to sell furniture, jewelry, dishes, figurines, record albums, bikes and even clothes. We include lots of pictures and prices and explain the advantages of a house sale, auction, selling to a dealer or donating to a charity. Learn about how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free current supplement with useful websites, auctions lists and other 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

An Art Deco aquarium caused excitement at a Cottone auction in Geneseo, N.Y., in last month. The 5-foot-high metal and glass lamp and fish bowl sold for $805. 

Last Updated on Monday, 11 November 2013 11:31
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Nov. 4, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 04 November 2013 09:06

The two papier-mache and wood figures wrestling with the help of some strings depict 19th-century politicians who couldn't agree on anything. The toy and original box sold for $180 at Jackson's Auctions in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Most people today would not recognize the pair, Disraeli and Gladstone, as famous British politicians during the reign of Queen Victoria.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Political fights among politicians are not new. Today, the rivalries are ridiculed in political cartoons and on TV sitcoms. In the past, political differences were shown in Staffordshire figures, slogans and drawings.

The rivalry in Britain in the last half of the 19th century between the prime ministers Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) and William Gladstone (1810-1898) was notable. Both men were skilled politicians, but they hated each other. The two men came from very different backgrounds. Gladstone was a rich and deeply religious upper-middle-class man educated at Eton and Oxford. Disraeli never attended a university and was a wild youth who lived extravagantly. He wrote novels, accumulated debts and then married a rich widow. Gladstone, a liberal (Whig), and Disraeli, a conservative, disagreed on both social and international policies. They called each other names, opposed each other in numerous campaigns and were able to defeat each other at times. The repeal of the Corn Laws, which lowered tariffs, the purchase of stock in the Suez Canal, the favor of Queen Victoria, and other major problems were part of their battles. Political cartoons of the time often showed the two men fighting. There were even toys that pictured the men wrestling. Several versions of the toy have been sold through the years. In 2013, Jackson's Auctions sold a pair of 8 1/2-inch-high Gladstone and Disraeli figures in their original box for $180.

Q: My maple armchair is marked "A Genuine Cushman Colonial Creation made in Bennington, Vt." The words are printed in several typestyles inside an oval. How old is it?

A: H.T. Cushman (1844-1922) was an inventor who created things like the pencil eraser, ink eradicator and some early types of roller skates. He started a mail-order company and soon was making and selling things, including furniture. By 1899 he had incorporated his company and was making Mission furniture. Later he made smoking stands and maple breakfast-room sets. Your chair probably is from one of his breakfast-room sets. By the 1950s, the company was making birch furniture in the Colonial style. The company was later sold and finally closed in 1980.

Q: I have a red, white and blue metal sign that reads "Hudson, Service Station, Essex." There's a blue triangle on the sign that says "Hudson Super Six" and a red hexagon that reads "Essex Motor Cars." The sign is 13 inches high and 27 1/2 inches wide. What is it worth?

A: Hudson Motor Car Co. was founded in 1909. Its Super Six engine was introduced in 1916. The Essex was a less expensive Hudson car introduced in 1919 and made until 1932. Hudson merged with Nash in 1954 and became American Motors Corp. Automobile-related advertising of all kinds is collected. Signs can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on age, rarity and condition. Your sign, from the 1920s, could sell for $500 or more.

Q: I have a McCoy cookie jar that belonged to my grandmother. It's shaped like an apple and is yellow with red highlights. The lid has a stem and leaf on the top. I'd like to know how old it is and what it might be worth.

A: McCoy pottery was made in Roseville, Ohio. The company made cookie jars from about 1940 until the pottery closed in 1990. Its apple cookie jar was made from about 1950 to 1964. It was also made in turquoise, a rare color that sells for more. The value of your apple cookie jar is about $100.

Q: I have a late 19th-century bronzed spelter statue of Hernani. It's just under 2 feet tall. He is holding a sword, dagger and horn, and is in excellent shape. Value?

A: Hernani was the title character in a play by Victor Hugo. It opened in Paris in 1830 and is set in the Spanish court of 1519. Bronzed spelter statues of Hugo's fictional characters were popular in the late 19th century. One the size of yours sold for $140 earlier this year.

Q: I have a picture postcard showing the original photograph of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935. It's signed by James Roosevelt, FDR's oldest son. Does it have any value?

A: Thousands of copies of this photograph were sent out by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in a mass mailing in 1985, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act into law. The committee was founded by James Roosevelt in 1982. It advocated raising Social Security benefits for the "notch" babies, a term coined by Ann Landers for those born between 1917 and 1921 who received lower benefits than people born between 1910 and 1916 because of a change in the way cost-of-living adjustments were determined. The committee still is in existence and works to prevent cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The mailing was part of a fundraising effort by the committee. The same photograph also was included in a 1990 mailing. So, your picture postcard is a common one and not of much interest to collectors.

Tip: Don't leave anything inside old books - especially pressed flowers, paper clips, newspapers or sticky notes. They will cause stains, crease pages and do other damage.

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 photos that help you determine the value of your collectibles. Studying 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, show lists and more. Kovels.com adds to the information in this column.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses and 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.

  • Hair clip, bow, pearls, gem center, back comb, Yves Saint Laurent, $60.
  • Political souvenir plate, William Howard Taft and running mate James Sherman, border of past Republican presidential candidates, tin, 1908, 9 1/2 inches, $110.
  • Tramp art watch hutch, house shape, round opening, c. 1890, 15 inches, $120.
  • Leaf pin, silver, berry design, Kalo, 2 1/2 inches, $220.
  • Dominoes set, ebony, bone, box, c. 1850, 7 3/4 in., 28 pieces, $265.
  • Santo monk figure, wood, white glass eyes, gilt rope sash, brown robe, hands raised, Spain, circa 1765, 17 x 9 inches, $275.
  • Pewter box, lid, oval, inset green stone, Liberty & Co., 3 1/2 x 2 inches, $315.
  • Bench, wood frame, black paint, rush seat, Italy, 1950s, 18 x 18 inches, pair, $500.
  • Quilt, appliqued, golden eagle on shield, stars, red, blue, white, c. 1950, 91 x 76 inches, $850.
  • Palmist and clairvoyant trade sign, black, white paint, 50 inches, $5,040.

New! The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect - and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. The new "Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2014," 46th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and more than 35,000 up-to-date prices for 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 to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 The two papier-mache and wood figures wrestling with the help of some strings depict 19th-century politicians who couldn't agree on anything. The toy and original box sold for $180 at Jackson's Auctions in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Most people today would not recognize the pair, Disraeli and Gladstone, as famous British politicians during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 09:24
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 28, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 28 October 2013 08:30

This 8-inch-high paper lantern was made in the early 1920s. It was scheduled to sell at a Morphy auction in Denver, Pa., in early October. Presale estimate: $400-$600.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Lanterns are among the earliest Halloween collectibles—and not just jack-o'-lanterns. The early 1900s jack-o'-lantern was made of metal. Within a few years, jack-o'-lanterns were being made of pressed paper with thin paper inserts creating translucent eyes, nose and mouth. That way, a candle inside the paper pumpkin could light a path. But it was dangerous to walk and run with a lit candle in a flammable container.

By the 1920s, special Halloween lampshades were made for display in a front window. You also could buy flat-sided lanterns made in a "stained-glass" style with black cardboard strips and translucent orange paper. These lanterns were made in Germany and the United States until the 1940s. But beware—some were reproduced in the 1990s. Old lanterns usually have round, indented candleholders on the bottom; most reproductions have flat bottoms. A famous 12-panel lantern was made in Germany in the 1920s and sold was by Beistle, an important American company that sold—and still sells—holiday decorations. A vintage example sells for more than $500 today. One recently offered at Morphy Auctions had a presale estimate of $400 to $600.

Q: My mother left me a collection of Kewpie dolls, all in good condition. Please tell me something about them. I'm in my 70s now and probably will give them to my granddaughters rather than sell them. But I'd like to know if they're valuable.

A: Artist Rose O'Neill (1874-1944) drew the first Kewpies, little naked, winged, Cupid-like characters, for a Ladies' Home Journal story that ran in 1909. Within two years, O'Neill's drawings were turned into 3-D designs for Kewpie dolls and figurines. They were made with small blue wings and a red heart as a mark. The dolls were an immediate success, and several companies made Kewpies and Kewpie-related products. Kewpie dolls still are being made. They can be found in bisque, celluloid, composition or hard plastic. Collectors love Kewpies and will pay hundreds, or even thousands, for rare old figurines and dolls.

Q: I have a large Wagner Ware fry pan with cover. It reads "Magnalite No. 4569." The pan is 10 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep. I'm wondering what it might be worth.

A: Your fry pan is a chicken fryer. Wagner Manufacturing Co. was founded in Sidney, Ohio, in 1891. After several changes in ownership, the company closed in 1999. Wagner made Magnalite, a cast aluminum cookware, from 1934 to 1999. The value of your fry pan depends on condition. The average price is under $20.

Q: We own an old barber chair with a metal label that reads, "Koken Companies, Manufacturers, St. Louis, U.S.A." How do you suggest we sell it?

A: Ernest Koken, a German immigrant, was selling shaving mugs in St. Louis by 1874, when he was 19 years old. By the 1880s, he was selling barber chairs, and had started filing for patents on improvements to the chairs. His patents eventually included a reclining chair back and a hydraulic lift. His company, Koken Barbers' Supply Co., manufactured chairs until it went bankrupt in the 1950s. (A successor, Koken Manufacturing Co., is in business today; it bought the original company's assets.) Antique Koken barber chairs in excellent shape can sell for thousands.

Q: My child's tea set includes a ceramic teapot, sugar bowl, creamer and four cups and saucers. The dishes are green luster and are decorated with pink and white flowers. I have the original box, too. The top of the box says it's a "Little Hostess Set." Also printed on the box is the phrase, "Nagoya Toy Tea Set, No. 600/424/2, Made in Japan." I think the set has been in our family since the late 1920s. Please tell me what it's worth.

A: Your set may date from the 1920s, or possibly the '30s. If the pattern were more interesting—of Disney or other cartoon characters, for example—the set would be more valuable. Still, your set, with its original box, could sell for $75 or more if the dishes are in excellent condition. The word "Nagoya" on the box may refer to the company that made the set or to the Japanese city where the set was made.

Q: My husband and I found a very old pen-and-ink calligraphic drawing of a bird. It was stuck inside an old family Bible. The Bible dates back to the early 1800s, and the signed drawing is 7 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. The bird in the center of the drawing is surrounded by lots of flourishes and doodads. I understand this type of drawing was done by students studying calligraphy back then. Can you give us an idea of value?

A: The art of calligraphy flourished in the United States during the 19th century. Elegant penmanship was a sign of refinement and was taught in private academies and writing classes. Drawings like yours were done with quills or steel pens, and typically have repeated cursive flourishes that also could be used in fancy handwriting. If your drawing is original, it could sell for $50 into the low hundreds.

Tip: Paintings displayed in a dining room often are splattered with food and sometimes even pick up food odors. Have an oil painting professionally cleaned.

Take advantage of a free listing for your group to announce events or to find antiques shows, national meetings and flea markets. Go to Kovels.com/calendar to find, publicize and plan your antiquing trips.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer 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 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 PRICE

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.

  • Jugtown Pottery pie plate, orange, scalloped rim, 9 3/4 inches, $20.
  • Cat lantern, papier-mache, orange, handle, 8 inches, $40.
  • Mahjong set, bone, bamboo tiles, pamphlet, cased lacquered box, c. 1910, $130.
  • Witch mask, fangs, painted, rubber, 12 inches, $270.
  • Charlie McCarthy walker, top hat, tin lithograph, Marx, 8 inches, $325.
  • Owl effigy pot, Zuni, c. 1940, 6 inches, $375.
  • Jack-o'-lantern candleholder, hanging, tin, orange paint, electrified, 6 1/2 inches, $450.
  • Jumeau toddler doll, bisque, socket head, brown complexion, paperweight glass eyes, wood-jointed, c. 1884, 16 inches, $590.
  • Pumpkin-head boy candy container, holding accordion, wooden arms and legs, 5 1/2 inches, $720.
  • Pumpkin-head toy, felt, orange, black, 1930s, 20 1/2 inches, $6,000.

"Kovels' A Diary: How to Settle a Collector's Estate." Our new week-by-week record of the settlement of an estate, from your first days gathering legal papers to the last days, when you're dividing antiques among heirs and selling everything else—even the house. How to identify pottery, jewelry and other popular collectibles. Tips on where and how to sell furniture, jewelry, dishes, figurines, record albums, bikes and even clothes. We include lots of pictures and prices, and explain the advantages of a house sale, auction, selling to a dealer or donating to a charity. Learn about how to handle the special problems of security and theft. Plus a free, current supplement with useful websites, auctions lists and other current information. Available only from Kovels for $19.95 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order by phone at 800-303-1996; online at Kovels.com; or write to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This 8-inch-high paper lantern was made in the early 1920s. It was scheduled to sell at a Morphy auction in Denver, Pa., in early October. Presale estimate: $400-$600.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 09:20
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 21, 2013

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 21 October 2013 08:12

This 7-inch fabric ball, stitched by hand in about 1900, recently sold for $165 at Keepers Antiques in Chichester, N.H.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Our Victorian ancestors made many of the toys their children played with. Inexpensive printed fabrics were designed to be cut out and sewn into dolls, games or toys. The fabric usually pictured all the parts of a colorful toy. There also were printed instructions explaining how to assemble the pieces and, if necessary, how to stuff it. We have seen stuffed Christmas stockings made from prints that featured Santa, evergreens and other Christmas decorations. There were many versions of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey." A similar game made in about 1900, called "The Monkey Donation Party Game," was made from a white fabric with a black printed monkey holding a stitched-on circular piece with the words "Please put a penny in the cap."

During the first quarter of the 20th century, many manufactured fabrics could be made into advertising dolls. Printed fabric was inexpensive to make and to mail. An unusual printed toy of that period is a ball made of six colored oval pieces. Each piece pictures a baby holding a finished ball. It was made in 1900 by Art Fabric Mills, and the fabric included printed instructions and the words and music of a lullaby. A collector recently paid $165 for a homemade ball in unfaded condition, but the uncut pattern sells for more—about $200 to $300. A flat piece of fabric can be framed and displayed on a wall. The assembled ball is less decorative.

Q: I recently acquired a vintage dining room table, one table leaf and five matching chairs. The wood is walnut, and the table is very ornate. We found a paper label on two of the chairs. It reads "Midwest Furniture & Chair Co." I can't find any information about the company. And what could the set be worth?

A: Midwest Furniture & Chair Co. was in business in St. Joseph, Mo., in the 1920s. Your set would be worth more if you had a sixth chair. Sets by the same maker have sold recently for $450 and $675, but both had at least six chairs plus a sideboard or buffet. So your table and five chairs might sell for $200 or less.

Q: I have a letter opener that reads "Pan-American Exposition, 1901" on the blade and a picture of the fair's Electric Tower on the handle. The back has fruit and flower designs. It's silver-colored, but I'm not sure if it's sterling silver. Does it have any value?

A: The Pan-American Exposition was held in Buffalo, N.Y., from May to November 1901. Many souvenir items were made picturing the buildings and other features of the fair. The Electric Tower pictured on your letter opener was the tallest structure at the fair and was often pictured. Most souvenir items are silverplate, not sterling silver. Your letter opener is probably worth about $25. Here's a little history: President William McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while the president was shaking hands with visitors in the Temple of Music on the fairgrounds on Sept. 6, 1901. He died eight days later. For more information about the 1901 World's Fair, go to PanAm1901.org.

Q: A few years ago, I was at a garage sale and spotted a bronze-colored bust of a classical woman. I instantly fell in love with her. She's imprinted on the back with the artist's signature, "Henri Jacobs," and "copyright 1904 by Napoleon Alliot." I would like to know more about the maker of this bust.

A: Henri Jacobs (1864-1935) has been called the "Father of Belgian Art Nouveau." He was an artist and architect and was also known for his Art Nouveau busts of women. Napoleon Alliot was a sculptor who also had a foundry. Your bust could sell at auction for more than $1,000 even though it is not bronze.

Q: When the floor of our AmVets Post in Perry, Ohio, was replaced, we found a bottle with the words "Fairport Bottling Works, M. Killinen, Prop." in raised letters. The bottle was covered in dirt but is clear glass. The top is broken off, but it will still make a nice vase once the jagged part is cut off or ground down. I don't think it has value, but I'd like to know how old it is and where it's from. Our post meets in an old building that I think was an icehouse around the time of the Civil War, so the bottle may date from the mid- to late-1800s.

A: Matt Killinen, the business proprietor whose name is on the bottle, emigrated from Finland in 1887 and settled in Fairport, Ohio. He founded the Fairport Bottling Works in about 1894 and was in business until at least 1913. The company sold soft drinks throughout northeastern Ohio.

Q: I have come across a "Grimm Cover," which apparently is some sort of commode or potty. It's made of galvanized steel and is embossed "Grimm Cover, Patented July 19, 1804." Have you ever seen another one?

A: You actually have a sap bucket cover, not a commode cover. A patent for a "new and improved sap-spout and cover" was granted to G.H. Grimm in 1904 (not 1804). His newly designed spout and cover made it possible to pour sap without removing the bucket from the hook that attached it to the tree. The covers were made in two sizes, 12 and 14 inches. It's not clear how many years they were made, but they were still in Grimm's catalog in 1912. We have seen several Grimm's Covers advertised online. They sell for under $10 each.

Tip: If you're polishing a wooden-handled copper or silver teapot, be sure to cover the wood so it's not stained by the metal polish.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer 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 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.

  • Hen-on-nest covered dish, amber glass, hobnail rim, Indiana Glass Co., 5 1/4 x 7 x 5 1/2 inches, $15.
  • Tilt-top table, maple, turned pedestal, 3 slipper feet, 26 x 23 inches, $140.
  • Fire chief toy car, tin, friction, Louis Marx, 20 inches, $170.
  • Imari pattern dessert plates, Aynsley China, 8 inches, 12 pieces, $190.
  • Day dress, shot silk, pleated bodice, green, teal fringe, lined, c. 1840, $385.
  • Amos & Andy Fresh Air Taxi, tin lithograph, clockwork, Marx, 8 inches, $650.
  • Shearwater Pottery cat, seated, Walter Anderson, 10 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches, $800.
  • Rooster windmill weight, cast iron, old red paint, Elgin Wind Power & Pump Co., c. 1900, 16 x 16 inches, $805.
  • King Cole Tea & Coffee door push, porcelain, lithographed, 3 x 8 inches, $1,420
  • Rococo-style commode, painted, red & green flowers, yellow ground, two drawers, 35 x 52 inches, $3,440.

The Kovels.com Premium website is up and running. In addition to 900,000 free prices for antiques and collectibles (more that 11,000 with photographs), premium subscribers will find a dictionary of marks for silver and another for ceramics, with pictured marks and company histories. Premium membership also includes a subscription to the digital edition of our newsletter, "Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles," and its archives, where you'll find articles about almost anything you collect. It includes 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 7-inch fabric ball, stitched by hand in about 1900, recently sold for $165 at Keepers Antiques in Chichester, N.H.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 14:36
 
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