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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

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

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:02

A live monkey in the living room would be a shock, but this monkey is bronze. He is holding a leather-bound book that serves as a tabletop. The whimsical table sold for $1,342 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans in July.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – About 20 years ago, two antiques experts wrote a book titled Fantasy Furniture. It spawned a new style based on past ones. Pedestals shaped like blackamoors, chairs with seats that look like huge shells, Victorian furniture that seems to be made from plumbing pipes, and carved wooden chairs and tables that have full-size carved bears holding up tabletops or climbing on chair backs were pictured in the book. Dogs are carved as figures beneath a Victorian-style table. Lifelike figures of women with flowing hair are part of Art Nouveau pieces. Furniture pieces of any age selected for the book were not traditional.

The idea persists today. Modern artists have made tables that look like piles of books, and crouching men form the base of a modern cocktail table. Best-known of all is the work of Italian artist Piero Fornasetti, who made a cube-shaped table painted to look like a building, and an umbrella stand painted to look like a live cat sitting on a pile of books. Decorating magazines often show rooms with tables piled with real books to hold a lamp.

A table made from a bronze life-size monkey sitting on a leather-bound book and holding another large book over his head sold recently. The 27-inch-high table adds humor to a room at a cost of $1,342. To add to the joke, the book held by the monkey is titled "History of Furniture."

Q: Awhile ago, Charlie Sheen appeared on The Tonight Show wearing Babe Ruth's 1927 World Series ring. What is that ring worth, anyway?

A: Experts think that if the Babe's 1927 World Series ring were put up for auction, it could sell for close to $500,000. But the "if" is a big one. Sheen bought the ring in a private sale, and the ring's history is murky. At one time it was owned by Barry Halper (1939-2005), a well-known baseball collector. But no one knows exactly how Halper got the ring—and some of the sports memorabilia he owned has been found to be fake.

Q: I bought a porcelain child's cup at an estate sale. It's white with a band of blue and white rabbits and gold trim. It's marked "Favorite Bavaria" and signed "Marie Frances, 1916." I would like to know its value.

A: Your porcelain cup was made from an undecorated piece (a blank) by the Hutschenreuther Porcelain Factory of Bavaria, Germany, an area famous for porcelain production. "Favorite Bavaria" was a mark used by Hutschenreuther on pieces made for sale in the U.S. market. Some pieces also were marked "UNO." Blanks were sold to professional art studios, china-painting schools and retail stores for amateur artists to buy and paint. Burley & Tyrrell Co. of Chicago was the U.S. importer of these items. Burley & Tyrrell also owned a decorating studio, but we don't know if "Marie Frances" painted your cup there or someplace else. Value of your cup: $50.

Q: I recently discovered a 1939 World's Fair silver souvenir spoon in my attic. The top of the handle has an embossed image of the fair's EME Building (the engineering building), and the bowl has an etching of the Administration Building. It's marked "Rogers Mfg. Co." on the back. Is it worth much?

A: The 1939 New York World's Fair is a favorite among World's Fair collectors. Spoons like yours originally were sold in sets of 12 and picture various fair buildings. An individual spoon is not worth a lot. We have seen single spoons selling for $15 to $40.

Q: I would like to know the value of two brass grain probes I have. One is 62 1/2 inches long and the other is 50 1/2 inches long. They are marked "Burrows Equipment Company, Evanston, Illinois." They came from an old feed mill that opened in 1886. Members of my family worked there for years. The mill closed and was later destroyed in a fire.

A: Burrows Equipment Co. was founded by Parke W. Burrows in Evanston in 1947. It sold equipment for seed and grain farming. Grain probes are used to test samples of grain being brought to a grain elevator by truck, barge or other means. After Burrows died in 1979, the company was sold to Seedburo of Chicago. That company is still in business in Des Plaines, Ill. Your grain probes were made between 1947 and 1979. New brass grain probes sell today for more than $300 each. A 51-inch probe sells for $319, and a 63-inch probe for $336. Old ones are worth a little less.

Q: My friend asked me if I still had my Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Hartland figures because she read that they were worth a lot of money. I not only have Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, but also Hartland's Lone Ranger and Tonto. They are on their original horses and all of the accessories—hats, saddles, reins, guns and rifles—are in excellent condition. Please let me know how much they are worth. I have not decided if I want to give them to my grandnieces or not.

A: Your Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Bullet (their dog), Lone Ranger and Tonto figurines on horses were made by Hartland Plastics of Hartland, Wis. In 1953 Hartland introduced a series of miniature military and Western figures depicting real and fictional American heroes, wranglers and gunfighters, many mounted on their horses. Early figures were generic cowboys, cowgirls, palominos and pintos. In 1954, stars of early TV Westerns were created. They were made until 1963. In good condition, each of these figures sells for about $50 to $350, and even more if they are in their original boxes. Hartland also is known for its more famous—and more expensive—baseball players, made from 1958 until 1993.

Tip: Don't put plastic covers on upholstered furniture or the top of a dining room table. Eventually the plastic could stick to the furniture and ruin the finish.

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.

  • Cracker Jack toy, "Lift to Erase" tablet, "3 in a Row," $10.
  • Donald Duck push puppet, plastic, Kohner Brothers, 1960, 2 1/2 inches, $20.
  • Mr. Peanut charm, celluloid, brown and green paint, 2 1/8 x 3/4 inches, $25.
  • Betty Crocker's party book, hardcover, retro drawing, metal spiral binding, 500 recipes, 1st edition, 1960, $25.
  • Camark salt and pepper, S & P letter shapes, pink, cork, 1 1/2 inches, $25.
  • Heisey bowl, Pineapple and fan pattern, oval, 12 inches, $40.
  • Boehm Porcelain floral piece, "Royal Blessing," pink rose, baby's breath, 4 x 5 inches, $80.
  • Barnum & Bailey Circus poster, elephant, 1945, 28 x 41 inches, $225.
  • Slat-back chair, ash, black paint, New England, early 1700s, 43 inches, $840.
  • Tea caddy, fruitwood, apple shape, c. 1810, 5 inches, $3,070.

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 online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your bookstore; or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

A live monkey in the living room would be a shock, but this monkey is bronze. He is holding a leather-bound book that serves as a tabletop. The whimsical table sold for $1,342 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans in July.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 September 2013 13:59
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 26, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 26 August 2013 12:32
Why an ice stand would be decorated with stag heads and wolves is a mystery, but this 14-inch-high piece of majolica, used to serve dessert, sold for $8,610 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A Minton majolica centerpiece was auctioned in May as an "ice stand." Minton & Polson was established in 1793 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. The company started making majolica in about 1850. Some of these early pieces, marked "Minton," inspired majolica made after 1873, when the company often used the mark "Mintons." Ice stands were pictured in the company's 1851 catalog. They were tall pieces meant to be used as spectacular centerpieces on a dining table. Each was a tall pedestal with a vase or dish-shaped piece at the top, a large "stem" and a group of small bowls or plates surrounding the pedestal, sometimes at two levels. The stands held ice or ice shavings and sauces for dessert. But as one expert has said, they were "more ornamental than functional." An 1865 Minton ice stand decorated with stag heads, wolves and pine cones sold for $8,610 at a May 2013 Neal auction in New Orleans.

Q: For years my family has owned an antique spool bed (the kind with spool-turned head and foot boards). Everyone always called it a "Jenny Lind bed." Please tell me why.

A: Jenny Lind (1820-1887) was a world-famous opera singer known as the "Swedish Nightingale." She became a huge celebrity in the United States when she toured here in 1850-'52 at the invitation of P.T. Barnum, a master promoter. American advertisers used her to promote everything from hats and gloves to pianos and beds. Lind is said to have slept in a spool-turned bed while on the tour—so furniture makers started calling the popular style a "Jenny Lind bed." The style still is often advertised that way.

Q: I have inherited a picture of what looks like an oil painting. There are two buildings in it, one with a "Morton Salt" sign. The picture is signed "H. Hargrove" and has a round seal on the back with a number and the phrase, "Collectors Corner, Inc., Certificate of Authenticity." Is it worth much?

A: "H. Hargrove" is a name used by painter Nicolo Sturiano. He was born in Italy in 1941 and came to the United States in 1964. He worked as a winemaker at a New York State vineyard while he began painting as a hobby. When his nostalgic American landscapes became popular, he left the vineyard and moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. Collectors Corner of Indianapolis sold Hargrove prints in the 1980s through a home party plan. Hargrove is still working and has a studio in Toms River, N.J. Your limited-edition print sells for $25 or less.

Q: My father-in-law died in 1962 and left a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old blend. It has never been opened and has all the stamps required at the time. Does it have any value other than the normal price today?

A: James and John Chivas began making blended whiskey in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the mid-19th century. The Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Blend was introduced in 1938. The Chivas Regal brand was bought by Pernod Ricard, a French group, in 2001. Full bottles of liquor should be kept in a cool, dark place, but even with proper storage, the liquor may deteriorate after a few years. Full bottles can't be sold privately in some states. You could open the bottle and drink the whiskey, although if it was stored in a hot or sunny place, the taste may have changed. Modern liquor bottles have very little resale value.

Q: I have a hanging scale marked "Patented Aug. 19, 1884, makers of balances and scales of every description, John Chatillon & Sons, New York." It also reads "Butcher's scale," and has numbers from zero to nine on the dial. Can you give me any information about this?

A: John Chatillon & Sons was founded in New York City in 1835. The company made spring balances for butchers. By 1883 it was making balances, scales, cutlery and other goods. The Chatillon brand is now owned by Ametek Inc., based in Berwyn, Pa. It still makes springs and scales, as well as other force-measuring instruments for industry. Value of your scale is about $50 to $75.

Q: In late 1982, my husband bought a small Timex personal computer for $105 (including taxes). We still have the computer, without its box, and the original receipt. He used it exactly once. Should I keep it or toss it?

A: You have a "Timex Sinclair 1000" computer. It was the first computer produced by Timex Sinclair, a joint venture of Timex Corp., a U.S. company, and Sinclair Research of England. The computer was sold as "the first computer under $100." Timex lost out to competitors like Commodore, Atari and Apple, and dropped out of the computer market in early 1984. Timex Sinclair 1000s frequently are offered for sale online. Prices range from about $40 to well over $200. So, rather than tossing the computer, you might want to recoup some of your money by selling it. You can learn more about Timex Sinclair computers at OldComputers.net, a site dedicated to obsolete technology.

Tip: Never wrap a painting in bubble wrap so that the wrap touches the painted surface. In time, the plastic will leave marks.

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, boy with toothache, missing bee mark, no. 217/2, 5 1/2 inches, $50.
  • Consolidated Glass vase, blue, impressed tropical fish, 8 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches, $75.
  • Shelley cup and saucer, Rock Garden pattern, gilt handle and foot, c. 1940, $125.
  • Pressed glass cake stand, Holly pattern, 9 inches, $145.
  • Meissen figurine, cupid forging heart with anvil, 7 x 3 inches, $295.
  • Sewer tile, figural lion, molded, unglazed, oval base, Mogadore, Ohio, 9 x 15 inches, $380.
  • Porcelain plate, Sevres style, aristocratic woman, rose garland in hair, cobalt border, reserves, 10 1/2 inches, $875.
  • Newcomb bowl, Japanese quince, relief carved, blue, green, pink, Anna Frances Simpson, 1919, 5 7/8 inches, $895.
  • Monastery doorbell, cast iron, figural monk ringer, c. 1850, 35 1/2 inches, $1,540.
  • Fireplace fender, cast iron, brass, arches, paw feet, England, 1800s, 9 x 38 1/2 inches, $4,480.

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 and 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, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.




ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Why an ice stand would be decorated with stag heads and wolves is a mystery, but this 14-inch-high piece of majolica, used to serve dessert, sold for $8,610 at Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:11
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 19, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 19 August 2013 13:07

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A realistic replica of a full-size foot in a sandal seems like a strange choice of ornament for the average home. But feet and shoes have been popular ornaments for centuries.

The foot of an ancient black man wearing a two-strap gold sandal was made by the modern artist Piero Fornasetti to be placed on a table in a modern house. The 3 1/2-by-9-inch foot is life-size. A 19th-century bronze candleholder was made in the shape of a foot in a sandal with an extended large toe topped by a cup to hold a candle. One 20th-century advertisement for a foot powder was a plaster replica of an oversized bare foot. A wooden bare foot, a little smaller than life-size, was carved by a 1920s folk artist as a gift for his podiatrist; it was to be used as a paperweight. A sleek modern bronze bare foot paired with a bronze hand was made by a 1970s Danish artist.

Victorians seem to have preferred feet wearing shoes as ornaments. Some shoes were padded to be pincushions, and pressed glass shoes with no special use are easy to find at antiques shows. A podiatrist we know has a famous collection of shoe-shaped objects in his office—more than 100 items.

Collecting by shape is just one way to organize a hobby. Most popular are cats, dogs, lady's heads, angels, buildings and, of course, hands and feet.

Q: We have four Hitchcock-style chairs made by the Boling Chair Co. of Siler City, N.C. We have been unable to find any information about this company. Can you help?

A: Boling Chair Co. started out in 1901 as Siler City Bending Co. One of the company's founders, Mal Boling, rounded up new investors in 1904 and reorganized the company as High Point Bending and Chair Co. It made bentwood parts for other companies before producing its own bentwood furniture. It later expanded its furniture lines. The company's name became Boling Chair Co. in 1956 or '57, and then Boling Co. in 1979. Today it's based in Mount Olive, N.C., and is called Boling Furniture Co. If your chairs are marked "Boling Chair Co.," they were made between 1956 and 1979. Chairs like it sell online for about $50 apiece.

Q: I have a solid-brass Batman belt buckle I think is from the 1940s. It's marked "National Periodical Publications, Inc." and has the number 0016 on the back. Can you tell me what year it was made?

A: Your Batman belt buckle was made in the early 1940s. National Periodical Publications published the first comic books that included original material, not reprints of comic strips. The company started out in 1934 as National Allied Publications. It has operated under various names, including Detective Comics and DC Comics. The company published the first Batman comic in 1939. Your Batman belt buckle probably is worth less than $100.

Q: I have an antique grip machine that was used in my grandparents' tavern a century ago. The machine is red metal and works with a penny. It was manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Co. of Chicago. A bell rings when you get the meter so high. There is a chart on the front that has different ages and grip numbers for men and women. How much is it worth?

A: Your grip machine is not quite as old as you think. D. Gottlieb & Co. was founded by David Gottlieb in 1927. Originally the company made pinball machines. Gottlieb's countertop grip tester was first made in 1928. The machine tested grip and arm strength and was a moneymaker for stores, taverns, barbershops and other retail businesses. Keys were needed to open up the back and get the money out. The grip tester was in and out of production until at least the late 1940s. Gottlieb made hundreds of different games. A couple of years ago, a D. Gottlieb & Co. grip tester with keys sold for $480.

Q: Several years ago, I received a six-piece set of little antique crystal bowls and matching tiny shovels. The set probably dates from the late 19th or early 20th century. Each little bowl is about 2 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. What were the bowls and shovels used for? And what is the set worth?

A: Your little bowls were used to hold salt. They're called "open salts," "standing salts" or "salt cellars." An open salt with a shovel-like spoon and a little pepper shaker were set next to each place-setting at the dining table. Instead of shaking salt, diners used the shovel to sprinkle salt on their food. Sets like yours don't sell for high prices today. We have seen six-piece sets sell online for $25 to $50.

Q: Years ago I donated many valuable toys and games to various charities. Is there any way to get these sentimental items back?

A: Once things are given away, you can't get them back. Charities usually sell the items at resale shops and use the money to support their programs. Toys in good condition also may have been distributed to children in need. You could have taken a tax deduction for the value of the toys at the time you donated them, but now you can be happy that your donation helped the charities you chose.

Tip: When repairing antique jewelry, never eliminate any marks or inscriptions. For example, when sizing a ring, keep the carat marks and hallmarks. If the shank can't be cut, use a ring guard instead.

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.

Cracker Jack toy, magnifier, round, red, $5.

Blenko bookends, cobalt glass, shell shape, 6 1/2 inches, $25.

Pressed glass vase, Thousand Eye pattern, fan shape, octagonal pedestal, 7 3/4 x 10 x 3 1/2 inches, $50.

Pewter chocolate pot, cover, sailboat, church, red and gilt paint, brass stand, Dutch, 17 1/2 inches, $175.

1920 calendar, two children, spinning wheel, multicolor, full pad, 21 1/2 x 12 inches, $230.

Chippendale mirror, tiger maple, carved crest, c. 1800, 33 x 18 inches, $235.

Cane, fruitwood, boar's tusk handle, sterling collar, embossed design, tapered shaft, steel ferrule, 34 3/4 inches, $345.

Tiffany silver bowl, chrysanthemum pattern, 2 x 9 inches, $425.

Currier & Ives print, "Husking," lithograph, hand-colored, oak frame, 1861, large folio, 26 x 31 1/4 inches, $1,440.

Gasolier lamp, two-light, cut and etched glass shade, ruby-cut to clear glass globe, gilt bronze, 1800s, 30 x 24 inches, $5,080.

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 pages. 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, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) created this life-size bronze foot to be used as an ornament. It sold for $393 at Humler & Nolan, an auction gallery in Cincinnati.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 10:42
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 12, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 12 August 2013 08:03

This piece of furniture can turn into a table or remain a rounded desk and chair. It sold for $4,481 at a Neal Auction Co. sale last November. It was made by a New York City furniture craftsman in about 1854.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Some old pieces of dual-purpose furniture are so useful they should inspire new designs. One such famous design is a convertible "desk and chair" originally designed by Stephen Hedges of New York City in about 1854. The desk has an oval top and four legs. It opens and a chair with a rounded back swings out so it can be used to write at the half-round desk. It has drawers, a leather writing surface and casters on its legs. When not in use, the desk could be put back together and used as a plain table about 35 by 29 inches. The desk-chair was patented, but not for the design—just for the hinge mechanism. About 17 of these desks are known, and several of them are in museums. But 19th-century "brown" furniture is not selling well to average collectors. One of these desks sold at a 1998 Christie's auction for $29,900. Neal Auction Co. of New Orleans sold one for just $4,481 in November 2012.

Q: I have several crockery jars about 6 inches tall stamped "Weyman's Snuff." Can you tell me when they were made and what they're worth?

A: George Weyman opened a tobacco shop in Pittsburgh in 1822. He was the inventor of Copenhagen snuff. The company became Weyman & Bros. in 1870, so your jar was probably made before then. There were several changes in name and ownership until it became the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. in 2001. That company still is in business. Your Weyman's Snuff jar is worth about $25.

Q: A relative left me a Swiss-made clock called a "Twin Dial Alarm Clock." It has a clock face on both sides and still runs. The box it's in says the maker is Semca. Please tell me something about it and what it's worth.

A: Semca Clock Co. was based in Germany, but it had an office in New York City. It made a lot of styles of clocks and wristwatches, including a few double-face clocks like yours. Your alarm clock dates from the middle decades of the 20th century and was designed to sit on a shared nightstand between two single beds. Another, larger double-face model was made to sit on a partners desk. We have seen your clock sell online for $25 to $50.

Q: My son inherited a cast-iron mechanical bank that has been in the family for five or six generations. I think it's called a "Hoover bank." It's in the form of a man sitting in an office chair with one hand extended. When you put a coin in his hand, he puts it in his jacket pocket and nods his head. The bank has its original paint and has never been refurbished. We are curious about its value.

A: The design for your son's mechanical bank, known as the "Tammany Bank," was patented by John Hall of Watertown, Mass., in 1873. It also has been known as "Little Fat Man Bank" and "Boss Tweed." Tammany Hall was a New York City political organization, and William "Boss" Tweed was its corrupt leader. He was jailed for embezzlement in 1873. J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn., introduced the bank in 1875 and continued making it for about 45 years. Early versions of the bank did not include its name, but later banks were labeled "Tammany Bank" on the side of the chair. Both 1873 and 1875 patent dates can be found on the bank. In most versions, the man is wearing gray pants. A rare version with brown pants sells for the highest price, $500 to $600. The bank is very popular and has been reproduced.

Q: I would like some information about a TV lamp that has been in my family since the 1950s. It's a figural leopard designed by Leland Claes in 1956. If I decided to sell it, what would a fair price be?

A: Figural TV lamps were popular for one decade, the 1950s. Television sets were being purchased by families across the country, and many people thought watching TV sets without indirect lighting could harm their eyes. Leland Claes (1916-2000) of Turlock, Calif., designed a lot of TV lamps shaped like cats or dogs. The majority of Claes lamps were manufactured by William H. Hirsch Manufacturing Co. of Los Angeles. The lamp sat on top of a TV set and shed light through the animal's eyes or open back. Most Claes TV lamps sell for under $100, but yours is rare and could bring 10 times that if it's in perfect condition.

Q: I own a white linen tablecloth with 12 matching napkins. The tablecloth is rectangular and measures 80 by 64 inches. The napkins are 21 inches square. The set is in its original box and has never been used. The box is labeled "Trousseau Linen Outfitters Inc., Originators of the Famous Trousseau Linen Outfit, 187 No. LaSalle St., Chicago 1, Ill." I have been told linen tablecloths are no longer made. Please tell me how old the set is and what it's worth.

A: A big clue to the age of your set is the address. The use of a single-digit postal code means your set was made between 1943 and 1963. It probably dates from the 1940s or early 1950s. Linen tablecloths and napkins are still made both here and around the world. They have to be ironed once they're laundered, which makes them less appealing to many people. Plain white linen tablecloth and napkin sets the age of yours sell for about $50.

Tip: Don't lean back on your bed's headboard if you have wet or oily hair. You will damage the headboard's finish.

Sign up for our weekly email, "Kovels Komments." It includes the latest news, tips and questions and is 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.

  • Spoon, silver plate, Gerber baby face, marked "Winthrop," c. 1940, 4 1/8 inches, $10.
  • Heisey nappy, Ridgeleigh pattern, 4 1/2 inches, $15.
  • Rosenthal pitcher, berries, leaves, blue, green, yellow, purple, two-loop handle, c. 1910, 12 x 7 inches, $110.
  • Deanna Durbin doll, Ideal, brown wig, lace gown, 21 inches, $200.
  • Match and cigar holder, pig, white metal, brass cups, tabletop, 4 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches, $220.
  • Weller vase, Hudson, cherry blossoms, cream ground, painted, cylindrical, 6 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches, $530.
  • Lantern, hall, bronze, gothic style, glass panels, engraved, c. 1850, 21 x 9 3/4 inches, $955.
  • Ulysses S. Grant bust, parian, c. 1890, 9 1/2 inches, $1,075.
  • Canopy bed, Federal, maple, pine, red paint, arched frame, turned posts, New England, c. 1815, 83 x 54 x 72 inches, $1,230.
  • Highchair, cherry, hickory, three-slat back, Pennsylvania, c. 1780, 38 1/2 inches $1,800.

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

This piece of furniture can turn into a table or remain a rounded desk and chair. It sold for $4,481 at a Neal Auction Co. sale last November. It was made by a New York City furniture craftsman in about 1854.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 10:42
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Aug. 5, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 05 August 2013 10:49

This Italian 7-inch grasshopper is felt with painted wooden eyes. It was made by Lenci, probably in the 1960s, and sold for $336 at a 2012 Theriault's doll auction.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Lenci is a famous name among doll collectors. Lenci dolls were first made by Elena Konig Scavini (1886-1974).

She ran away from home when she was 14 and joined a circus. A few years later, she started making dolls. In the early 1900s, she married Enrico Scavini, and by 1919 she had established the Scavini company to make dolls. By 1922 the company was listed as Lenci di E. Scavini. "Lenci" may have been a pet name for Elena. Her felt dolls were carefully made, with pouty mouths, googly eyes and elaborate felt costumes. They were expensive. The single word "Lenci" was used as a trademark as early as 1925. The company later had financial trouble and was sold in 1939. It closed in 2002.

Lenci dolls are very popular with collectors, but few know about the company's line of "fetish dolls." They were shaped like vegetables or flowers or imaginary creatures. Fetish dolls were introduced in 1926. A later group was made in the 1960s. One rare fetish doll is a grasshopper wearing a top hat. A collector paid $336 for it at an important Theriault's doll auction in November 2012.

Q: My vintage gold-tone pocket cigarette lighter is marked "Regel pat. pend." History and value?

A: Regel lighters were made in Rhode Island in the 1930s. Most were marketed under the brand name "Regeliter." The mechanism, manufactured by Regel under a German patent that belonged to Altenpohl & Pilgram, is not considered safe today. But your lighter still is collectible. If it's in good condition, it would sell for about $40.

Q: About 10 years ago, I rescued an old stove from a land dump. It's 31 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter. A metal plate on it read: "Wetter's Emerald" and "211." Can you tell me something about this stove?

A: H. Wetter & Co. was in business in Memphis, Tenn., before 1883. The company was listed that year as "jobbers, agents and dealers in stoves, tinware, hardware, etc." The factory in Memphis burned down in 1902, and the company moved production to an old stove factory in South Pittsburg, Tenn. The company was reorganized in about 1931 and became the United States Stove Co. The South Pittsburg factory was razed in 2003, but the United States Stove Co. still is in business, with facilities in Richard City, Tenn., and Bridgeport, Ala.

Q: My old copper bowl is so tarnished that I can't get it clean. Any suggestions?

A: First, make sure your bowl is not from a famous maker. Check the bottom for a mark. If you find a mark, you may want to think twice about cleaning it. The patina that builds up through the years protects copper from corrosion, and some collectors don't want the patina removed. But if the bowl is not valuable, you can buy a commercial cleaner at a hardware store or try a couple of home remedies. If the bowl is small, fill a zinc-free pot with enough water to cover the bowl. Add a tablespoon of salt and a cup of vinegar. Put the bowl in the pot, bring the water to a boil and let it boil for several hours. Take the bowl out, let it cool, wash it with liquid dishwashing soap, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Tarnish often can be removed by using a mixture of vinegar, salt and a bit of flour and water. Or try tomato paste or a mixture of salt and lemon juice. Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool.

Q: After my husband died, I was going through his things and found a dollar "silver certificate" autographed by actress Ingrid Bergman. The bill is from "Series 1935A" and is signed by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. My husband never said anything about the bill's history. What is it worth, and how I can sell it?

A: Silver certificates were issued from 1878 to 1964 and could be redeemed for silver dollars or silver bullion. After a certificate was redeemed, it was destroyed and not recirculated. Early silver certificates were larger than today's dollar bill, and are worth more than face value. Small certificates like those in your series were first issued in 1928. The government stopped redeeming the certificates for silver in June 1968, but the certificates still can be used as "legal tender" at face value. Your certificate without Ingrid Bergman's autograph would be worth just $1, but her autograph on a 3-by-5-inch card sold at auction for $100 last year. So your certificate probably is worth about that much if the autograph is genuine.

Q: My mother was given a 1967 Wurlitzer Model 3100 jukebox. Where is the best place to sell it, and what is it worth?

A: The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. was in business in Cincinnati from 1853 to 1988. It sold pianos made abroad before starting to manufacture its own coin-operated pianos in the 1880s. The company eventually made other musical instruments and manufactured jukeboxes from 1934 to 1974. Your late model is not worth as much as earlier ones, but if it works, it could sell for about $700. You will find websites that post jukeboxes for sale, but you also could try a live auction that specializes in coin-operated machines. You can find those online, too.

Tip: Keep old, worn, vintage doll accessories. Even if you substitute new accessories, save the old ones. They add value.

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.

  • Pepsi-Cola crate, Drink Pepsi Cola, red paint, metal straps, carrying holes, c. 1920, holds 24 bottles, $35.
  • Pressed glass compote, Barberry pattern, scalloped rim, 7 1/2 inches, $50.
  • Hooked rug, central rose in medallion, buds in corners, wool, c. 1950, 18 x 31 inches, $70.
  • Hay fork, wood, stamped "M.B. Young," Pennsylvania, c. 1865, 72 inches, $90.
  • Noritake cheese keeper, lid, cornucopia, fruit basket, multicolored, green trim, 1920s, 7 5/8 inches, $175.
  • Clewell vase, copper clad, bulbous, green, 5 x 5 1/2 inches, $315.
  • Baby rattle, silver repousse openwork, jester bust, bell tassels, mother-of-pearl teething ring, England, 19th century, 6 3/4 inches, $360.
  • Northwest Indian wooden paddle, painted, stylized designs, c. 1920, 69 inches, $705.
  • Enamel cross, leaf-and-vine design, 14-karat gold, Victorian, 3 inches, $710.
  • Gothic Revival chair, rosewood, cathedral back, turned legs, upholstered, c. 1855, $720.

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This Italian 7-inch grasshopper is felt with painted wooden eyes. It was made by Lenci, probably in the 1960s, and sold for $336 at a 2012 Theriault's doll auction.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:35
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 22, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 22 July 2013 08:39

This unusual solid gold pin looks like a miner's pick ax stuck on a gold nugget. It sold for $1,600 at a Leslie Hindman auction in Chicago.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Jewelry has been worn for centuries as "totems," religious or good luck pieces, or just to add beauty and color to an outfit. Brooches, often called "pins," were made in many sizes and shapes. At first they were made of gold and precious stones to show the wearer's wealth, but by the 17th century, imitation jewelry made of glass, faux pearls and gold-colored metal made it possible for the not-so-rich to own a pin. Designers made jewelry in the fashion of the day, from Victorian cameos to Art Nouveau enameled women in flowing gowns.

Often women chose a pin that represented something in her life. Madeline Albright, the former U.S. Secretary of State (1996-2001), became known for her pins. She wore an eagle for patriotic meetings, a snake when she distrusted her visitor, a bee-shaped pin when angry and zebras when she met with South Africans. Many pins have been designed to express a personal thought: a typewriter for a writer, an apple for a schoolteacher, a ballet dancer for a performer. Designers made solid gold tigers with diamonds or copies with rhinestones.

Did a prospector for gold or the owner of a gold mine order a pin sold recently that looked like a small pickax with a real gold nugget? It is made of rose gold and has added engraved designs. It was owned by someone in Colorado who sent it to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago to be sold. An Australian bid and got it for $1,600.

Q: I have an old table brought here from Germany years ago. There is a mark on the bottom that says "Kiel Furniture Co." Can you tell me anything about the maker?

A: Stories about things handed down in a family don't always turn out to be true. Your table didn't come from Germany; it was made in Wisconsin. Kiel Manufacturing Co. was founded in Milwaukee in 1892. There were many German cabinetmakers in the area and an ample supply of lumber from Wisconsin forests. The name of the company was changed to Kiel Furniture Co. in 1907, so your table was made after the name change. The company also operated a factory in Milwaukee from 1910 to 1932. The name of the company became A.A. Laun Furniture Co. in 1932. It is still in business.

Q: I acquired a kerosene lamp in Utah last year. It seems to be brass and has a metal plate with the words, "Property of Pony Express Station No. 9." What can you tell me about it?

A: The metal plate on your lamp is probably a fake. Many fake and fantasy maker or owner tags are showing up on oil lamps, lanterns and locks to suggest a connection that makes them more attractive to collectors. The oil lamps and other items themselves also are probably fakes or reproductions from India or China. The most common of these fake tags are small, brass rectangular plates with simple, nondescript lettering. The plates advertise real or fictitious companies—railroads, delivery companies and even prisons—that are desirable to collectors interested in Wild West memorabilia or railroadiana. Pony Express and Wells Fargo are two of the most often referenced. The items may be nice collectibles, just don't expect them to be real.

Q: I have a toy gun that looks like a cap pistol but is molded from solid metal. It has no moving parts. It weighs 3 1/2 pounds and has the word "Stallion" stamped on each side. I would like to know what it was made for since I don't think a child would play with it.

A: Cap guns were popular toys in the 1950s and '60s during the heyday of TV and movie Westerns. Nichols Industries was founded by Talley and Lewis Nichols in Pasadena, Tex., in 1946 and became one of the largest manufacturers of cap guns in the world. The company made a series of "Stallion" cap guns in various sizes with different model numbers from 1950 to 1961. The first one, the Stallion 45, was the "Toy of the Year" in 1950. They were made to look like the Colt 45 Peacemaker and had a revolving cylinder. Smoke came out of the barrel when the "bullets" were fired. Since your gun is relatively heavy and doesn't have moving parts or shoot caps, it may have been a reproduction piece made as a paperweight or display item. Nichols Industries moved to Jacksonville, Tex., in 1954. It was sold to Kusan in 1965 and became Nichols Kusan. The company continued to make many of the Nichols cap gun models.

Q: I have an old safe. It's 47 inches high by 32 inches wide by 27 inches deep and stands 8 inches off the floor on wheels. The door, which has a combination lock, reads "Barnes Safe & Lock Co., Greensburg, Pa." There is a gold band painted on the door edge and decorations in the corners. The safe has an inner door with key lock and interior compartments. When was this safe made? Value?

A: In 1845 Thomas Barnes, a blacksmith, and his brother-in-law, Edmund Burke, a locksmith, established the Burke & Barnes Safe Manufacturers Co. in Pittsburgh. The company made iron cellar doors, grillwork and strong boxes. After the great Pittsburgh fire of 1845, Burke & Barnes experimented with designs for a fireproof safe. Soon after the Civil War, Barnes perfected a seven-flange door safe, which became world famous as the best protection against fire ever invented. Burke retired in the early 1870s and the company name was changed to Barnes Safe & Lock Co. In 1914 the company built a main shop, a filing room and a carpenter's shop in Greensburg, Pa. It made safes, bank deposit boxes and fireproof chests until the 1920s. Your safe was made between 1914 and the early 1920s. Barnes safes have sold for $300 up to about $500. The value depends on condition.

Tip: Wicker can be vacuumed carefully or dusted. Then mix soap—not detergent—and water to make suds and wipe the chair with the suds to clean it. If you find any breaks unraveling, try to have the wicker fixed immediately to avoid future damage.

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.

  • Red Wing vase, impressed flowers, mint green, cylinder, marked, 7 3/4 inches, $15. 1939 World's Fair pocketknife and bottle opener, New York, faux mother-of-pearl handle, Syracuse Knife Co., $20.
  • Hattie Carnegie necklace, red, white, blue beads, marked, 1950s, 17 inches, $65.
  • Silver sewing tape measure, portrait design, Unger Bros., 4 1/4 inches, $85.
  • Massier vase, leaf designs, rust metallic glaze, indented, signed Clement, 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches, $275.
  • Fulper bowl, round, scalloped, blue, crystalline glaze, signed, 15 x 3 inches, $315.
  • Majolica tobacco jar, dog's head shape, collar reads Fox, 1900s, France, 5 x 3 1/2 inches, $345.
  • Gilt metal inkstand, blue, white pots, bowl, shaped red tray, c. 1860, 10 inches, $565.
  • Gumball trade stimulator, 1 cent, metal, key, 11 x 12 1/2 inches, $825.
  • Parlor table, white marble, turtle top, c. 1865, 30 x 41 x 30 inches, $1,350

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 shops and flea markets and how to make a good buy. These DVDs include 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

This unusual solid gold pin looks like a miner's pick ax stuck on a gold nugget. It sold for $1,600 at a Leslie Hindman auction in Chicago.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:35
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 15, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 15 July 2013 08:17
This George III mahogany piece is a commode, not a table. It was made in the 18th century to hold the necessary nighttime ‘toilet’ equipment behind tambour doors. It sold for $950 at a New Orleans Auction Galleries sale in October 2012.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A small table next to the bed is necessary today to hold a lamp, cellphone, clock and perhaps a book, eyeglasses and tissues. But in past centuries the table might have held a candlestick with a handle to carry to the bedroom for light. It also had to store items that acted as the toilets of the day. The potty, a large round but squat bowl, served as the toilet seat. A large, tall bowl with a cover was used to hold waste until morning. Covered sections of the table held and hid everything, so the bedside "table" really was a commode. But only the wealthy and royalty had such luxurious equipment. Most people had an outhouse near the back of the yard.

The flush toilet is older than most people think. Leonardo da Vinci designed a flush toilet, but it was never made and people thought the idea was as ridiculous as another one of his ideas, the airplane. The first flushing toilet was made by Sir John Harrington for the Queen of England in 1596. It was improved in 1775 by Alexander Cummings, and soon the "water closet" made of porcelain was installed in homes in a special room. Although they're no longer needed, antique commodes still sell well and are used as bedside tables with storage for books. They can be found in many styles. The drawer-table combination is useful and copies ignore original use.

Q: I have a battery-operated toy called "McGregor." It's an old man wearing a plaid coat and tam, smoking a cigar and holding a cane. It's in the original box, which reads "Rosko Toys with Imagination." I would like to know how old it is and what it's worth.

A: This is a well-known toy made in Japan by TN Nomura in the 1960s and imported by Rosko, an import company in Tokyo active in the 1950s and '60s. McGregor stands up, "smokes" his cigar, exhales smoke through his mouth, sits down, takes another puff, closes his eyes and exhales through his nose. The end of the cigar lights up when he puts the cigar in his mouth. Replicas are being made. The value of your toy is about $150.

Q: When I was a patient at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor in 1970, I met one of Jimmy Hoffa's "lieutenants." We became friends and when he found out I was a truck driver and a member of the Teamsters Union, he gave me a gold-filled Zippo pocket lighter. It has a small plaque on the front with the Teamsters logo and the words, "A gift from James R. Hoffa," with Hoffa's signature. The lighter is pretty banged up because I was a smoker and showed off the lighter as often as possible. What's my lighter worth today?

A: Jimmy Hoffa, born in Indiana in 1913, became an organizer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1932. He was the union's president from 1958 to 1971, but was convicted of racketeering in 1964 and was sent to prison in 1967. As part of a plea agreement, he was released in 1971, nine years early, but was barred from taking part in union activities. He disappeared outside a suburban Detroit restaurant in 1975 and was declared dead in 1983. His body has never been found. Your lighter was one of many that the union had made as gifts, so it's not rare and it was never used by Hoffa himself. But it's collectible and would probably sell for more than $60.

Q: I have a clear blue glass object 6 inches long and shaped like a bowling pin. It was given to me by my mother-in-law about 60 years ago. She called it a "sock darner." If it's meant for something else, I'd like to know. I'd also like to know its value.

A: A sock darner is a tool that used to be found in most homes. It was designed to put inside a sock to help repair holes. It provided a solid rounded surface that held the sock firmly so holes could be sewn with tight and even stitches that blended in with the rest of the sock. Also called darning eggs, they were made of glass or wood. Most glass sock darners were whimsies that were made at the end of the day by glass workers for their own use, though production darners also were made. They can be found made of all kinds of glass-aqua, nailsea, spatter, peachblow and aurene. A blown-glass sock darner like yours sells for $60 to about $150. Gold or blue aurene sock darners by Steuben can sell for $400.

Q: I have a heavy metal belt buckle with a raised picture of a flying turkey and the words "Wild Turkey" in big letters on the front. Underneath that in smaller letters it reads, "101 proof (8) eight years old." On the back it reads, "TM Reproduced by Arrangement with Austin Nichols New York, New York - 1974 Bergamot Brass Works." Is it worth anything?

A: Your buckle was made in 1974 as a promotional item for the Austin Nichols Distillery for its Wild Turkey brand of bourbon. The buckle was made by Bergamot Brass Works, founded in Fox River Grove, Ill., in 1970. The company later moved to Lake Geneva, Wis., and then to Darien, Wis., in 1974. Its first products were belt buckles and hair ornaments. Later it made buttons, lapel pins, money clips, paperweights, plaques and more. Bergamot also patented a belt buckle with a bottle opener on the back. Your buckle is often found for sale online. Value: About $10.

Tip: When moving a chest of drawers or a cabinet with doors a long distance, tape the drawers and doors shut with masking tape, or tie them shut with rope.

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.

  • Twinkle Toes VW bug car, Tonka, pressed steel, orange, foot decals, stamped 52680, 8 inches, $30.
  • Cracker Jack metal clicker frog, green, 2-inch diameter $35.
  • Texaco oil can, SAE 30, red, white, 5 gal., 13 1/4 inches, $50.
  • Orphan Annie figure, Sandy, composition, painted, c. 1936, 10 inches, $125.
  • Mount Washington sugar shaker, egg shape, yellow to orange, raspberries, branches, 4 1/2 inches, $150.
  • Sterling-silver fork, Lily, monogrammed Whiting, 1902, 8 inches, $155.
  • Leather bellows, painted yellow, stenciled red poppies, c. 1860 16 inches, $265.
  • Mesh purse, yellow, blue, fringe, geometric design, silver-tone frame, chain handle, kiss clasp, Whiting & Davis, 4 x 8 inches, $295.
  • Sugar nippers, monogram M.K., scrolls, wrought iron, c. 1800, 17 inches, $305.
  • Sheraton slant-top desk, tiger maple, fitted interior, circa 1840, 45 x 36 inches, $2,605.

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
This George III mahogany piece is a commode, not a table. It was made in the 18th century to hold the necessary nighttime ‘toilet’ equipment behind tambour doors. It sold for $950 at a New Orleans Auction Galleries sale in October 2012.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:36
 
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