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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 20, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 20 January 2014 11:47
Esmeralda, the vintage fortune-0teller, will nod, turn her head, move her jaws and hands and even blink. An Esmeralda machine was offered at two different 2013 auctions, but she did not attract a high enough bid to sell. Photo courtesy of DuMouchelles, Detroit. BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Fortune-tellers have been popular for centuries. In the United States, many 20th-century amusement parks had fortune-teller machines that enticed customers. Put a coin (or, in later years, a dollar bill) in the slot, and the life-size figure in the glass-fronted booth nodded and moved mouth, hands and even eyes while giving you a card telling your future.

The most famous fortune-teller machine is the 100-year-old Zoltar, the exotic figure featured in the movie "Big." He turned a boy into a grown-up Tom Hanks. But many machines featured female gypsy fortune tellers dressed in appropriate clothes. The most famous of these is Esmeralda, a machine that has been made by several manufacturers, many of them unknown, since the early 1900s. An Esmeralda even sits on Main Street in Disneyland. She moves, hands out a fortune card and then winks. The rarest fortune-telling machine known today was discovered in a restaurant in Virginia City, Mont., about seven years ago. It's about 100 years old and spoke to you in a 100-year-old voice if you inserted a coin. The machine is said to be worth more than $2 million. Vintage fortune-teller machines sell for thousands of dollars. New ones are being made today and can cost $9,000 or more.

Q: I was given a child's rocking chair more than 40 years ago. I would like to know more about it. It's stamped "Gardner's Patent, May 21, 1872." It is wood with brass tacks and has holes in the seat in a pattern of a star in a circle. Can you tell me something about the maker, age and value?

A: Gardner & Co. was in business from 1863 to 1888 in Clarksville (now Glen Gardner), N.J. The company made several types of plywood chairs. George Gardner held the patent for a plywood seat made of a layer of canvas and three layers of veneer running in opposite directions. Value of your child's rocking chair is $150 to $200.

Q: I have eight place settings of Stangl Pottery's Thistle pattern dishes, plus serving pieces. Can you tell me how old they are and what they're worth?

A: Stangl Pottery of Flemington and Trenton, N.J., was originally named Fulper Pottery. The name of the pottery was changed to Stangl Pottery in 1929, three years after Johann Stangl became president of the company. The pottery was sold in 1972 and closed in 1978. Stangl made Thistle pattern from 1951 to 1967. Your set probably is worth about half of what similar new sets sell for today.

Q: I have an Aladdin lamp that has been in our family for generations. The knob on the burner is marked "Mantle Lamp Co., Nu-Type, Model B, Aladdin, patents pending, Made in U.S.A., Chicago, Ill." It has a green glass shade with a landscape design on it. I'd like to know more about it and how old it is.

A: The Mantle Lamp Co. of America was founded by Victor Johnson in 1908. The company trademarked the name "Aladdin" that same year. In 1926 Johnson bought a glass factory and began manufacturing glass lamps, shades and chimneys. His lamps were sold by traveling salesmen. Although electricity was common in cities, there were still many rural homes without it, and kerosene lamps continued to sell well. Nu-Type burners were first made in 1932. Model B burners were introduced in 1933 and were made until 1955. The Mantle Lamp Co. merged with Aladdin Industries, a subsidiary, in 1949. The lamp division was sold to a group of investors in 1999 and became the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Co., which still is in business in Clarksville, Tenn. Your lamp was made between 1933 and 1949, when the company merged with Aladdin Industries and moved to Tennessee. Aladdin Knights of the Mystic Light is a club for collectors of Aladdin lamps. The club's website, AladdinKnights.org, can give you more information about Aladdin lamps.

Q: Would you please tell me the value of a plastic model set of a Borax 20-Mule Team? We have an unassembled one we mailed away for when we were kids in the mid 1960s. The wagons are light blue and the animals black. There's also a paper insert that explains the history of the 20-Mule Team.

A: Unassembled sets like yours sell for about $20. They aren't rare. Apparently a lot of kids mailed away for the sets and never put them together. The cleaning brand named 20 Mule Team Borax dates back to 1891 and was named for the teams of 18 mules and two horses that pulled wagons of borax (sodium borate) out of California's Death Valley in the 1880s. Today, the brand is owned by Dial.

Q: My father served in the British army in World War I. I have his camera and case in excellent condition. Please tell me what the camera is worth and any other information you might have.

A: The value of an old camera depends on the maker. You can find information by searching online or by going to your local library. If you don't know the model number of your camera, look at photos of vintage cameras by that maker and try to find one like it. If you check values online, remember that the asking price may be higher than what the camera eventually sells for.

Tip: Do not wrap or store scrapbooks in anything made of PVC rigid or flexible 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.

  • Bing & Grondahl oyster-shell dish, seagull on blue sky inside shells, Fanny Garde, Denmark, c. 1948, 3 x 3 1/2 inches, $20.
  • Mary Gregory vase, shouldered, lime green, painted children, 8 1/2 inch pair, $75.
  • Flow Blue shelf clock, pink flowers, blue and gilt shaped border, pendulum, key, 12 1/2 inches, $210.
  • Horn & Hardart advertising sign, "Plenty of Eggs, Coconut Custard Pie," frame, c. 1950, 28 x 22 inches, $375.
  • Demijohn bottle, blown, amber, applied lip, 1900s, 20 inches, $380.
  • Tiffany Favrile glass bowl, gold, green, scalloped rim, ribbed, 7 inches, $390.
  • Pewter porringer, pierced handle, Samuel Danforth, c. 1805, 4 1/4 inches, $415.
  • Trencher, wooden, green painted exterior, mid 1800s, 4 x 20 inches, $470.
  • Candlestand, tiger maple, circa 1850, 27 x 21 inches, $625.
  • Silver ewer, leaves, mythological figures, Walker & Hall, England, c. 1945, 14 inches, $2,815.

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 opinions about 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Esmeralda, the vintage fortune-0teller, will nod, turn her head, move her jaws and hands and even blink. An Esmeralda machine was offered at two different 2013 auctions, but she did not attract a high enough bid to sell. Photo courtesy of DuMouchelles, Detroit.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 January 2014 13:27
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 13, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 13 January 2014 15:32

This porcelain cane handle must have been used carefully to remain unbroken for over 100 years. The woman figure was made by the Meissen porcelain factory of Germany. It sold for $800 at an October 2013 Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Canes were used not only to aid in walking, but also as part of European and American fashionable dress in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many canes had an extra function, too.

Some held swords, guns, flasks, telescopes, cameras, fans, seats, perfume, poison, drugs or hidden papers. Many had silver, gold or jeweled handles or even handles that were modeled heads of presidential candidates. Elegant but fragile handles were made of porcelain. In the late 19th century, the famous Meissen porcelain factory in Germany made elaborate cane handles that look like small figurines. They were shaped to be easy to hold and carried, but would break if dropped or hit. Few of these cane handles have survived, and they often are sold without the cane shaft.

A three-quarter figure of a woman extending into a curved cane handle was auctioned by Cowan's Auctions of Cincinnati in October 2013. The handle, with Meissen's blue crossed-swords mark inside, sold for $800.

Q: I own an old wooden desk with a flip-down top hiding several pigeonholes. A paper sticker on the back reads "Maddox Tables." Please tell me something about the maker and the desk's value.

A: Maddox Table Co. was founded in Jamestown, N.Y., in 1898 by English immigrant William Maddox. He had invented several furniture-making and finishing machines before he started his own company. The company made tables, desks, secretaries and other case furniture. The company was sold in 1919 and again in 1978. It closed in the mid-1980s. Your desk, if in good condition, is worth $400 or so.

Q: I have an 8-by-10-inch painting by A.E. Hayes. I have been told that it's an example of "tin foil art." It's in a very old frame and the back is sealed with old tape. If I remove the tape, I'm likely to ruin the painting. Can you tell me how this painting was done?

A: Your painting is a piece of "tinsel art," which is a form of reverse painting on glass. It was popular from about 1850 to 1890. Most tinsel paintings were of flowers. The painting was done in reverse order. Flowers or other foreground details were painted on the glass first and then the background was painted. Pieces of crumpled foil were added to unpainted parts of the picture. Then the picture was framed with the clear glass in front, the foil in the back. The picture was backed with cloth or paper and sealed with a piece of cardboard or thin wood. When the painting was hung, the foil glimmered in the glow of candlelight or gas light. Most tinsel pictures were done by young women for their own homes. Perhaps A.E. Hayes was one of these women. Good early tinsel paintings sell for $100 to $500, depending on size, subject and condition.

Q: I inherited an old cider press from my uncle. Stenciling on it reads, "The Higganum Mfg. Corporation Manufacturers, Higganum, Conn., USA." It still works. We made cider with it the other day. Can you tell me anything about its history and value?

A: Higganum Manufacturing Co. was founded by brothers George and Thomas Clark in 1867. The company made cider mills, wine presses, lard presses, wagon jacks and agricultural equipment. It was incorporated by about 1880. In 1892, the company was renamed Clark Cutaway Harrow, after its most successful product. Several of the factory buildings burned down in 1914, but the company continued to operate for several more years. The rest of the property was sold in 1942. Your cider press was probably made in about 1880, before the company name was changed. Value: About $100.

Q: When I was a boy, my grandfather gave me a violin he said was very valuable because it was a genuine "Mittenwald." Stamped inside the instrument it reads, "Joan Carol Kloz, in Mittenwald, An. 1788." I searched the Internet and found that Johann Carol Klotz (1709-1769) was a violin maker in Mittenwald. However, the names are spelled differently on my violin and the date doesn't fit. What do you think? Is this a valuable violin?

A: Millions of violins supposedly made by famous German makers are fakes made in the early 1900s. Authentic old violins are rare. Several members of the Klotz family made violins in Mittenwald, which has been known for its violin makers since the late 17th century. The date on your violin is a problem since Joan (Johann) died in 1769. To find out if your violin is authentic, first show it to a professional violinist and ask if it appears to be a fine old violin. Then have a reputable musical instrument dealer or appraiser look at it. You will have to pay for an appraisal, but authentic old violins made by members of the Klotz family are rare and sell for thousands of dollars.

Tip: From 1954 to 1963, an American radio had a small triangle or circle on the dial between the 6 and 7 and 12 and 16. It was a Civil Defense mark.

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

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.

  • Hampshire Pottery bud vase, brown glaze, asymmetrical handles, circa 1900, 6 x 3 inches, $90.
  • Kalo silver pin, geometric cutout design, aqua stone, marked, 1 1/2 inches, $345.
  • Paper fan, figures and landscape, hand-painted, gilt, silver, ivory, box, France, circa 1700s, 11 inches, $420.
  • Pottery vase, blue, gray drip matte glaze, bulbous, signed "F. Carlton Ball," midcentury, 7 x 8 1/ 2 inches, $440.
  • Independence Hall bank, cast iron, red paint, 9 inches, $475.
  • Mortimer Snerd walker, tin lithograph, clockwork, Marx, box, 8 1/2 inches, $530.
  • Writing table, George III style, mahogany, drawer-fitted backsplash, lower drawer, 36 x 43 inches, $565.
  • Sterling silver fruit basket, openwork flowers, scrolling, swing handle, footed, F.M. Whiting, circa 1915, 4 x 14 inches, $940.
  • Jumeau doll, bisque head, paperweight eyes, mohair wig, jointed, composition, 10 1/2 inches, $3,620.
  • Lollipop penny scale, cast iron, porcelain face, claw feet, Mills Novelty Co., 15 x 69 x 24 inches, $4,500.

"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 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.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This porcelain cane handle must have been used carefully to remain unbroken for over 100 years. The woman figure was made by the Meissen porcelain factory of Germany. It sold for $800 at an October 2013 Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 January 2014 13:26
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of Jan. 6, 2014

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Written by TERRY AND KIM KOVEL   
Monday, 06 January 2014 14:00
A painted iron cutout of a sailor holding a telescope makes an unusual weather vane. It may have been meant to be Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. Blue, white, yellow and black paint remains on both sides. Photo courtesy of Cowan's Auctions Inc.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – If you can't afford a rooster or running deer weather vane, or any other 19th-century weather vane made by an important company, you might be able to find a homemade example. Most folk-art collectors consider all weather vanes, commercially made or homemade, to be folk art.

Prices are highest for the most elaborate 3-D vanes by known makers. Homemade vanes often are cut from sheets of iron to look like silhouettes of deer, men, animals, birds, cars, trains, Indians, flags or occupational examples, like a photographer with a camera or a sailor with a telescope. It is difficult to date a homemade weathervane. Collectors pay the highest auction prices for good design, unusual subjects, good paint and old patina. Bullet holes, missing paint and dents don't seem to lower the value if the cutout is unusual, perhaps a 1930s car or a large and artistic whale. Some homemade vanes sell for thousands of dollars, but others might turn up at your local yard sale or flea market. Whirligig weather vanes, often of wood, also are going up in price. Horses, roosters and eagles are the most popular shapes today and, unfortunately, often are the most reproduced.

Always look in the backyard, in the garage and up at the roof when going to an estate or house sale. Buyers often overlook outdoor folk art.

Q: Years ago, I was given a very heavy glass vase. It's 6 inches high by 4 1/2 inches wide and is made of black cased glass within clear glass. The etched mark on the bottom is "Kosta 1556/046." I'm wondering what the vase is worth.

A: The Kosta glassworks factory in Sweden dates back to 1742. Its name is a combination of the last names of the two founders, Koskull and Stael. Kosta manufactured only window glass, glass for light fixtures and drinking glasses until the late 1890s, when it hired its own designers and started making art glass. Glass artist Vicke Lindstrand (1904-1983), who had previously worked at Orrefors, was Kosta's artistic director from 1950 to 1973. During Lindstrand's tenure, model numbers starting with a "1" were "production vases" made in large quantities. The number 1556 on your vase probably is the model number. Kosta merged with Boda and Afors in 1976 and became Kosta Boda, so it's likely your vase was made before 1976. In 1989 Kosta Boda merged with Orrefors and was renamed Orrefors Kosta Boda. Then, in 2005, the company was sold to the New Wave Group, which closed the Orrefors factory and today uses only the Kosta Boda label. While your vase may not be rare or extremely valuable, it still is a good piece of Swedish art glass.

Q: Could you tell me the value of a set of dining-room furniture made by American of Martinsville? The walnut set, which was purchased new in 1942, includes a table, six chairs, sideboard, china cabinet and hutch.

A: American of Martinsville was founded in 1906 in Martinsville, Va. It made only bedroom sets until the 1920s, when it introduced dining-room sets. The most valuable American of Martinsville vintage dining room sets today are in the Danish Modern style, which didn't become popular in the United States until the 1950s. Still, if your set is in good shape, you could sell it locally (so shipping costs aren't involved) for several hundred dollars.

Q: I have two child-size glass root beer mugs from the 1960s. They are each 3 inches high. One is stamped "A&W Root Beer" with a circular design. The other has a red printed design that says "Dog n Suds" and pictures a dog holding a tray. I remember my dad getting me a kid-size root beer in them. Do you think they're worth something?

A: The first A&W drive-in restaurant opened in Sacramento, Calif., in 1923. The company name is based on the initials of the owners, Roy Allen and Frank Wright. The first Dog n Suds opened in Champaign, Ill., in 1953. Most advertising glasses from restaurants and fast-food chains don't sell for much money because they were issued in large quantities and are easy to find. If a mug's design is unusual and the mug was issued in limited quantity, it might be of interest to collectors. Common glasses like yours sell for as low as $1 to $5.

Q: We are looking for information about an item that's hanging on a wall in a restaurant in Doon, Iowa. It's a semicircular piece of wood about 48 inches long. The ends are 24 inches apart. It's marked "Louden's Patent, Oct. 30, 1895." It looks old. What is it and what was it used for?

A: It's a singletree, which also is often called a "whiffletree" or "whippletree." It was used to hitch the traces of a horse's harness to a plow or other implement. William Louden (1841-1931) held several patents for improvements to farm equipment. He invented a hay carrier in 1867 and founded Louden Manufacturing Works in Fairfield, Iowa, a year later to manufacture hay carriers and other farm equipment. From 1906 to 1939, the company, by then named Louden Machinery Co., also designed barns. Louden Machinery Co. was sold in 1956 and its farm equipment was not made after 1965. Singletrees don't show up for sale very often. When they do, they usually sell for under $50.

Tip: Look carefully at a piece of cut glass before you buy it. Edges should not be ground down into the pattern, and pieces should have no chips or 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 collectible. Study the prices; it's 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 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.

  • Baseball pennant, St. Louis Browns, Brownie, yellow and brown felt, 1940s, 11 x 28 inches, $60.
  • Arranbee Nanette doll, plastic, blond wig, walker, purple dress, box, 15 inches, $70.
  • Cut glass ice-cream tray, Wallace pattern, Quaker City Cut Glass Co., Philadelphia, American Brilliant Period, 14 x 7 inches, $100.
  • Hires Root Beer mug, "Health and Cheer," man raising hand in toast, Mettlach, circa 1900, 5 inches, $120.
  • Cinnabar snuff bottle, inlaid stone, Chinese, 20th century, 2 3/4 inches, $175.
  • Sterling silver bowl, wide repousse flower border, Kirk & Sons, circa 1930, 9 inches, $180.
  • Potter & Mellen pin, 14K yellow gold, gemstone cluster, peridot, topaz, tourmaline, citrine, 1 x 1 inches, $265.
  • Fraktur, watercolor and ink, heart, birds, tulips, scalloped border, Lydia Miller, 1810, frame, 17 x 12 inches, $34.
  • Cane, wooden, bird handle, carved, painted, Schtockschnitzler Simmons, circa 1900, 32 inches, $650.
  • Sheraton chest, cherry, four drawers, Sandwich glass knobs, carved apron, backsplash, 46 inches, $1,320.

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. Purchase online atKovelsonlinestore.com ; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your local bookstore; or mail to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A painted iron cutout of a sailor holding a telescope makes an unusual weather vane. It may have been meant to be Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. Blue, white, yellow and black paint remains on both sides. Photo courtesy of Cowan's Auctions Inc.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 14:28
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

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

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

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

Last Updated on Monday, 27 January 2014 13:26
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

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

Ralph and Terry Kovel, syndicated newspaper columnists, best-selling authors, avid collectors and national authorities on antiques, hosted the HGTV series Flea Market Finds with the Kovels. Watch the Kovels' HGTV shows to become an expert on almost anything you see at a flea market. DVD sets of Seasons 1 and 2 (12 episodes each, plus a DVD of the final episodes of Seasons 1-4.) Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com for $59.90 plus $4.95 postage, by phone at 800-303-1996; or mail to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

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

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

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

Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 15:22
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENT PRICES

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

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

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

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

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

Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 13:28
 
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