Q: I have an eight-sided “Dr. Cronk Sarsaparilla” bottle and haven’t been able to find any information about it. Can you tell me anything?
A: Dr. Cronk sarsaparilla beer was bottled in both stoneware and glass eight-sided bottles. All of the bottles, as well as Cronk bottles in other shapes, appear to date from the 1840s-60s. Some experts think the brand name “Dr. Cronk,” while originally used by a brewer named Cronk, was later licensed to various manufacturers and bottlers. A stoneware Cronk bottle in excellent condition sells for $50 or so. A glass bottle sells for at least 10 times as much.
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Q: I collect old school slates. I know they wrote on slates instead of paper in schools in past centuries. When did students stop using slates?
A: Slate is still used as blackboards in many school buildings, although new rooms use painted or dry erase boards. Small pieces of slate, usually framed with wood and bound in red cord, were used by American students until about the 1880s. The cord binding helped keep the slate from making scratching noises when it was dragged across a desktop. Early slates were often marked with the owner’s initials. Slates for school children were still being sold in some areas in the 1930s.
Q: What does the term “blown out” mean when referring to Wave Crest vases?
A: Wave Crest is an opaque white glassware made around the turn of the 20th century. The glassware line was decorated and marketed by the C.F. Monroe Co. of Meriden, Conn. Most of the glass pieces Monroe decorated were made by the Pairpoint Manufacturing Co. of New Bedford, Mass. “Blown out” means the same thing as “mold blown.” It refers to a technique of blowing glass into a mold that has a deeply cut design. The glass is forced into the design in the mold, resulting in a glass shape with a highly raised surface design. Wave Crest is just one of many types of blown-out glassware.
Q: I found an old pair of iron andirons in my grandparents’ basement. There’s an impressed mark on it that says “Bradley & Hubbard.” What can you tell me about the company?
A: In 1854 Walter Hubbard and his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Lyman Bradley, formed a partnership in Meriden, Conn., to make clocks and various metal household objects, including andirons. Eventually, Bradley & Hubbard became best-known for its lamps. The company was bought by another Meriden firm, Charles Parker Co., in 1940. Bradley & Hubbard made iron andirons in several different designs. Depending on type and condition, they sell for hundreds of dollars into the low thousands.
Tip: Do not store food in a cast-iron pot in the refrigerator. The pot’s seasoning will be harmed by food or moisture.
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- Mattel Big Jim action figure doll, jumpsuit, grenade belt, press back button and he makes karate-chop movement, 1971, 10 inches, $15.
- Owens vase, bulbous, white ground and green poppies, marked, 4 x 12 inches, $150.
- Sample bicycle model, metal, rubber tires with tread, chain drive, rubber handle grips and saddle, kickstand, painted black, 1920s-30s, 18 x 10 x 5 inches, $165.
- Czechoslovakian glass vase, cylindrical, horizontal ribbing in pink, 2 black applied handles, 5 x 8 inches, $210.
- Felix the Cat doll, composition, name on chest, original tail, 1920s, 13 inches, $345.
- Cadillac toy car, tin, battery-operated, lithographed interior, hood emblem, plated accessories, whitewall tires, Normura, Japan, mid-1950s, 13 1/2 inches, $410.
- Lemp Brewery charger, St. Louis, barmaid, man and boy listening to Falstaff tout his favorite beer, 1912, 24 inches, $675.
- Coca-Cola calendar, 1932, “The Old Oaken Bucket” print, by artist Norman Rockwell, 12 x 24 1/2 inches, $700.
- American Renaissance carved armchair, mahogany, scroll back with husk-carved stiles, padded arms, sphinx supports, upholstered, lotus-carved legs, c. 1870, $1,175.
- George III sterling silver cake basket, rectangular, lily-of-the-valley swing handle, gadroon and shell rim, reeded border, marked “NK,” 1817, 12 1/2 x 11 inches, $2,115.
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.
Available in September: The new full-color “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 2010,” 42nd ed., is your most accurate source for current prices. This large-size paperback has more than 2,500 color photographs and 47,000 up-to-date prices for more than 700 categories of antiques and collectibles. You’ll also find hundreds of factory histories and marks and a report on the record prices of the year, plus helpful sidebars and tips about buying, selling, collecting and preserving your treasures. Available at your bookstore; online at Kovels.com; by phone at 800-571-1555; or send $27.95 plus $4.95 postage to Price Book, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.
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