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Kovels - Antiques & Collecting

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
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 8, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 08 July 2013 15:58

This Shmoo has helped mankind as a ‘household deodorizer.’ It sold for $183 in a Hake's auction in York, Pa., in 2012. It is only 5 1/2 inches tall and has its original foil label.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Remember the Shmoo? It started one of the biggest assortment of collectibles in the 20th century. The animal was first seen in a L'il Abner comic strip in August 1946, and it became a sensation.

Al Capp, the artist, had invented an animal that laid eggs and glass bottles of milk, tasted like whatever you liked to eat and purposely died when someone seemed hungry. Its button eyes made terrific suspender buttons, and its skin could be used for leather or lumber. They gave rides, played with children and were so amusing people stopped watching television. They multiplied quickly so there was always a good supply, and they needed no food, just air. A Shmoo was shaped like a large upside-down comma with feet, but had no ears, arms or nose.

The Shmoo became a collecting sensation in the 1940s and '50s. There were dolls, toys, planters, sheet music, wallpaper, clothing, books, jewelry, clocks, salt-and-pepper sets, banks and even air fresheners and earmuffs. All are collected today. But while they were lovable and wanted only to bring happiness, Shmoon (the plural of Shmoo) brought misery to the comic-strip people of Dogpatch. Because there was no need to work, society changed. Grocery and meat stores closed, and the owners organized squads to kill the Shmoon until they were thought to be extinct. But they managed to come back in later comic strips. And collectors search for them today.

Q: Grand Rapids Desk Co. made our mahogany rolltop desk. It is 46 inches tall, 40 inches wide and 28 inches deep. We were told when we bought it that it had been used at the old Angus Hotel in St. Paul, Minn. What can you tell me about the desk and its value?

A: The Grand Rapids Desk Co. was in business in Grand Rapids, Mich., from 1893 to 1898. The company moved to Muskegon, Mich., in 1898 following a fire at the Grand Rapids factory, but it kept the same corporate name. If the company mark on your desk reads "Muskegon," the desk was made after 1898. Grand Rapids Desk Co. manufactured desks and other office furniture in mahogany and oak. Many were sold to hotels in the Midwest. From 1911 to 1971, the Angus Hotel occupied a Victorian apartment building built in 1887 at the corner of Selby and Western avenues just west of downtown St. Paul. The fact that your desk may have been used at the hotel probably does not increase its value, except to a St. Paul collector. But high-quality antique rolltop desks like those made by the Grand Rapids Desk Co. are valuable. One auctioned for $1,400 a few years ago.

Q: I have an old wooden crank-type wall telephone handed down in our family. The nameplate on it says: "B-R Electric & Telephone Mfg. Company, Manufacturers of the Celebrated K-C Telephone, Kansas City, Mo., Portland, Oregon." Please tell me something about this company.

A: B-R Electric Co. and Kansas City Telephone Manufacturing Co. merged in 1903 to form B-R Electric & Telephone Manufacturing Co. B-R continued to market the phones using the Kansas City (K-C) brand name. A phone like yours with the same nameplate recently auctioned for $85. Of course, price depends on condition as well as age and manufacturer.

Q: I have a bell imprinted "MS Bremen 1911." It looks like it's made of brass. It has a hanger and a clanger. I cannot find any information about this on the Internet. Is this worth much?

A: The MS Bremen was a ship owned by North German Lloyd Steamship Co. The initial "MS" indicates it was a motor ship and had an internal combustion engine. It was launched in 1896 and made trips from Bremen, Germany, to New York and from Bremen to Australia beginning in 1897. Her last trip to Australia was in 1911. The date on your bell may commemorate that voyage, but it was made much later. After World War I, the ship belonged to a British company. It was sold again and renamed twice before being scrapped in 1929. Reproductions of this bell have been made. Often it is mounted with an anchor-shape bracket so it can be hung on a wall. We have seen examples of this bell selling in the United Kingdom for about $20 to $40.

Q: My antique flow-blue platter belonged to my great-grandmother. She brought it to America from Germany in the 1860s. The Oriental pattern includes two houses and other buildings, two figures and two large birds flying above the treetops. The printed mark on the underside of the eight-sided platter is a phoenix bird above the words "Chusan" and "J. Clementson." The word "Clementson" also is impressed. Please tell me history and value.

A: Your platter was made in England by Joseph Clementson and possibly dates from as early as the 1840s. Clementson operated his pottery at the Phoenix Works in Shelton, Hanley, in the famous Staffordshire District from about 1839 to 1864, but the phoenix bird mark was introduced in the 1840s. Several English manufacturers of flow-blue china (patterns with deliberately blurry blue designs) made Oriental patterns named "Chusan," but the designs are not identical. Your platter, if in excellent condition, would sell for $150 to $200.

Tip: Some vintage and antique dishes have overglaze decorations that will eventually wear off. All gold trim is overglaze and could even wipe off a plate hot from the dishwasher.

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.

  • Fourth of July postcard, boy, girl, skyrockets, bell, lithographed, Germany, 1910, $15. Black cat firecrackers, cat's head, red and yellow package, 40 pieces, $20.
  • McCoy jardiniere, green quilted, 10 1/4 inches, $25.
  • Pressed-glass cake stand, moon and star, 10 inches, $105.
  • Cinderella board game, backdrop, wand, cards, slipper, box, 1950, 19 x 9 inches, $210.
  • Clewell bowl, embossed fruit, copper clad, 8 x 3 inches, $375.
  • Brass candlestick, push up, England, c. 1860, 19 3/4 inches, pair, $710.
  • Bronze sculpture, Moor warrior, astride camel, holding staff, c. 1900, 8 3/4 inches, $1,045.
  • Hickory rinsing basket, footed stretcher base, 1800s, 20 x 30 inches, $1,065.
  • Chippendale slant-lid desk, tiger maple, stepped interior, valances, four drawers, bracket feet, c. 1780, 44 x 38 inches, $2,090.

Available now. The best book to own if you want to buy or sell or collect –and if you order now, you'll receive a copy with the author's autograph. The new Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2013, 45th edition, is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 40,000 up-to-date prices for more than 775 categories of antiques and collectibles. You'll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks, a report on the record prices of the year, plus helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available online at Kovelsonlinestore.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; at your bookstore or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

This Shmoo has helped mankind as a ‘household deodorizer.’ It sold for $183 in a Hake's auction in York, Pa., in 2012. It is only 5 1/2 inches tall and has its original foil label.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:36
 

Kovels Antiques & Collecting: Week of July 1, 2013

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Written by TERRY KOVEL   
Monday, 01 July 2013 08:48

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The names of antiques sometimes change as research corrects old errors. In the 1930s, an auction house sold a pair of what were called "Lowestoft" vases that were large enough to put on a fireplace mantel. They were named after the English town where they were thought to have been made in the 18th century. The vases had a traditional Chinese shape and were made of bluish-white porcelain decorated with a blue, green and orange coat of arms and slightly raised white scrolls.

When the same vases were sold again in the 1950s, they were described as "Chinese export porcelain" because experts had learned that in the mid-1700s the Lowestoft factory was making early blue-and-white English Delft souvenirs of regional interest, not porcelain like the vases. Researchers also had learned that porcelain made in China in the 18th century was being exported to England and that some had made its way to Lowestoft. But the Chinese porcelain exported to the West back then, although very good, was not the top-quality porcelain made in China for wealthy Chinese families.

Some of the export pieces were plain, Chinese porcelain with added new decorations like coats-of-arms or pictures of ships. But there were also other problems with the pair of vases. The vases were not Chinese at all; they actually were copies made by Jacob Petit (1796-1868), who opened a shop in Paris in 1863. Painted raised white scrolls are the clue to identifying Petit's copies of Chinese export porcelain. Petit also made copies of Sevres, Meissen, English dinnerware and more.

So be careful when looking for information about Chinese export or Lowestoft porcelain. Information in old books is not accurate. And often, information online is from old books. Present-day auction-house descriptions and information in recent publications usually is accurate. Jacob Petit copies of Chinese export porcelain are collected today. A single one of his vases is worth about $800.

Q: My mother would like to know what her bound volume of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper is worth. The spine is marked "Vol. 1," and the book includes issues dated from Dec. 15, 1855, to May 31, 1856. The newspaper pages are large, about 12 by 16 inches.

A: Bound volumes of Frank Leslie's illustrated weekly, the first one published in the United States, often show up at shows and can be found for sale online. Leslie (1821-1880) was born in England and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was an engraver and illustrator before he became a publisher, and his many publications are wanted by collectors not only for their historical value, but also for their wood engravings and early photographs. The price your volume could sell for depends on condition of the binding and of the newspapers themselves. We have seen early volumes sell for $50 to $200.

Q: I have had an old table cigarette lighter for about 30 years. It was old when I got it. It appears to be silver plate, but it's heavy. It's in the shape of a cornucopia, with the lighter at the top of the basket. There's no mark on it. Can you identify and price it?

A: The Evans Case Co. of North Attleborough, Mass., made an unmarked silver-plated cornucopia table lighter like the one you describe. Evans was in business from 1922 to 1960, but table lighters were at their height of popularity in the 1930s and '40s. That's probably when yours was made. Other silver-tone cornucopia table lighters were made in Japan after World War II, but they're marked "Made in Occupied Japan." The irony is that both the Evans and Occupied Japan lighters sell for about $50 today.

Q: My grandmother gave me her antique water basin, a very large pitcher and a smaller, matching water pitcher. She said the smaller pitcher was for hot water. The wash-basin set was given to her as a wedding gift in 1907. All three pieces are plain white. On the bottom, each piece is marked "Yale" in gold on a banner. Since this set is a family heirloom, it will not be sold, but I would like to know the history of the company.

A: Wash sets like yours were used in the days before indoor plumbing. The large pitcher was used to pour water into the basin for washing, and the smaller pitcher was used when brushing teeth. The "Yale" mark was one of several marks used between 1882 and 1925 by the Potters Co-Operative Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio. The company made hotel ware, white ware and some decorated ware. The name of the company became Dresden Pottery Co. in 1925. It went out of business in 1927. Your set was made between 1882 and 1907.

Q: I have a pitcher marked "Lefton China, Hand Painted, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." The number "1773" is hand-painted on the bottom. It's 10 inches high and decorated with applied pink roses, pale blue forget-me-nots and green leaves. Is it old and valuable?

A: George Zoltan Lefton emigrated from Hungary in 1939 and founded Lefton Co. in Chicago in 1941. The company imported pottery, porcelain, glass and other wares. George Lefton died in 1996, and the company was sold in 2001. The mark on your pitcher was used from 1949 until about 1955. The number 1773 may indicate that the pitcher was part of a limited edition. Value of your pitcher: about $20 to $25.

Tip: If you have stored a quilt, take it out twice a year and refold it - in half, if you had it in thirds before. This practice will prevent crease lines.

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.

  • Piggy bank, sitting, cast iron, c. 1910, 5 x 34 inches, $25.
  • Hummel figurine, no. 53/2, Joyful, 4 inches, $30.
  • Roseville water lily vase, handles, marked, 7 1/4 inches, $40.
  • Garden figure, dog, seating, flower basket in mouth, painted, concrete, 22 inches, $160.
  • Barrel back chair, mahogany, closed arms, serpentine seat rail, porcelain casters, c. 1890, 35 inches, $245.
  • Sewing basket, double lid, handle, Pa., c. 1890, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, $505.
  • Wooden barber pole, red, white and blue stripes, canonball finial, turned base, iron ring stand c. 1910, 67 inches, $590.
  • Shooting gallery target game, kicking mule, hind leg moves, painted cast iron, A.J. Smith, c. 1810, 18 x 21 inches, $1,645.
  • Egyptian Revival Paris plate, gilt bands, marbleized borders, crossed swords mark, c. 1800, 9 1/4 in., pair, $5,080.
  • Satsuma vase, figural scenes, gilt and moriage highlights, oval body, dragon and ring handles, c. 1890, 41 inches, $7,070.

Special offer. Free gift bag when you buy The Label Made Me Buy It by Ralph and Terry Kovel. It's a picture history of labels that once decorated products from cigar boxes to orange crates. The 320 full-color labels picture Indians, famous people, buildings and symbols. Learn how to identify and date labels or just enjoy the rare pictured labels (hardcover, 224 pages). Out-of-print but available at KovelsOnlineStore.com. By mail, send $40 plus $5.95 shipping to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122. Or call 800-303-1996.

© 2013 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

These urns were thought to be Chinese export pieces made in the 1700s, but they were made by Jacob Petit in France. Raised white lines are found on his 19th-century pieces.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:36
 
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