Judge settles family dispute over baseball items

Example of a valuable autographed baseball, signed by the immortal Babe Ruth on Oct. 3, 1926, which was Day 2 of that year's World Series. This ball is shown for illustrative purposes only and has no connection to the court case mentioned in the article. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Robert Edward Auctions.
Example of a valuable autographed baseball, signed by the immortal Babe Ruth on Oct. 3, 1926, which was Day 2 of that year's World Series. This ball is shown for illustrative purposes only and has no connection to the court case mentioned in the article. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Robert Edward Auctions.
Example of a valuable autographed baseball, signed by the immortal Babe Ruth on Oct. 3, 1926, which was Day 2 of that year’s World Series. This ball is shown for illustrative purposes only and has no connection to the court case mentioned in the article. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Robert Edward Auctions.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Superior Court judge has ruled in a family dispute over a collection of major league baseball bats, balls and autographs of Hank Aaron, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.

The Providence Journal reports that Judge Judith Savage ruled that the items of Robert W. Stewart belong to the late umpire’s grandson rather than the grandson’s stepmother.

From 1959 to 1970, Stewart collected nearly 120 baseballs, some bearing autographs of top players, and10 bats wielded in three World Series.

Stewart, who died in 1981, gave the memorabilia to his son.

The stepmother disputed that the items were a gift to the grandson, Michael Stewart. He sued.

The collection has not been appraised. But in 2005 the court ruled that Michael Stewart could take possession of the memorabilia if he posted a $500,000 bond.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Example of a valuable autographed baseball, signed by the immortal Babe Ruth on Oct. 3, 1926, which was Day 2 of that year's World Series. This ball is shown for illustrative purposes only and has no connection to the court case mentioned in the article. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Robert Edward Auctions.
Example of a valuable autographed baseball, signed by the immortal Babe Ruth on Oct. 3, 1926, which was Day 2 of that year’s World Series. This ball is shown for illustrative purposes only and has no connection to the court case mentioned in the article. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com and Robert Edward Auctions.

Chinese table screen sets record at French auction house

CHARTRES, France (AFP) – An 18th-century table screen likely from the heart of Imperial China sold for more than one million euros ($1.3 million) in a French auction house, an official said Monday.

The decorative wooden item, measuring 26 cm (10.2 inches) high by 18 cm (7 inches) long, features a white jade disc at its centre, said Pascal Maiche from the auction house in Chartes, near Paris.

A Taiwanese couple, who decided to fly to France for the auction, won the piece Sunday by paying a total of 1.2 million euros with fees.

Also used for meditation, the table screen has “a poem by Emperor Qianlong on the back,” and its probable origin from the heart of Imperial China makes it extremely rare, Maiche said.

Originally valued between 50-80,000 euros ($64-$100,000), the seller decided to part with the piece because he was moving. He “thought it could be worth something” because it had been in his family since 1860, the auctioneer said.

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Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of Oct. 29, 2012

Notice the spiders and bats near the full moon painted on this Rookwood vase. The 12-3/4-inch-high vase sold for $4,140 at a 2011 Humler & Nolan auction in Cincinnati.
Notice the spiders and bats near the full moon painted on this Rookwood vase. The 12-3/4-inch-high vase sold for $4,140 at a 2011 Humler & Nolan auction in Cincinnati.
Notice the spiders and bats near the full moon painted on this Rookwood vase. The 12-3/4-inch-high vase sold for $4,140 at a 2011 Humler & Nolan auction in Cincinnati.

Halloween decorations today include jack-o’-lanterns, black cats, spiders, bats, ghosts, vampires, witches and other spooky, scary things. But in past years, many of these creatures were not threatening. In the early days of Rookwood Pottery, an art pottery in Cincinnati (1880-1960), several decorators included bats, spiders and spider webs in the hand-painted scenes on vases and bowls.

Maria Longworth Nichols, Albert Robert Valentien, Laura Fry, Matthew Daly and Josephine Zettel were decorators who made similar pieces featuring bats and spiders in the late 1800s. They marked pieces with their initials as well as the word “Rookwood.” Their designs were influenced by the Japanese pottery shown at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia.

Spider designs continued to be popular until as late as 1946, when Kay Ley created a vase covered in spiders and spider webs. Bats and spiders were not part of Halloween decorations until the 1920s and did not become popular features of collectibles until the 1970s. Today we might not choose a flower vase for the dinner table that included “bugs,” but in Victorian times the little creatures were considered lucky, not frightening.

Q: I found a 1950s election item of unopened cigarettes with a picture of Eisenhower and the words “I Like Ike” on the front. On the back it says “Eisenhower for President.” Is it worth anything?

A: Cigarette packs for Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican candidate, and Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate, were made by the Tobacco Blending Corp. of Louisville, Ky., during the 1952 presidential campaign. The packs were displayed on store counters, and the number of packs sold for each candidate was thought to predict the outcome of the election. It was an early straw poll. The sales of these two packages matched the actual presidential vote count better than political commentators’ predictions. The Smithsonian Institution includes the two packs in its collection of political memorabilia. Full packs can bring $30 to $45 today.

Q: I have a printed piece of paper granting power to members of the “Know Nothing” party of Oneida County, N.Y. I would like to know the document’s value.

A: The Know Nothing Party was active in U.S. politics during the 1840s and 1850s. The party’s beliefs were anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic. Party members resented competition for jobs from immigrants and wanted to ban immigrants from holding government jobs. When asked about their beliefs, party members said, “I know nothing.” The Know Nothings adopted “American Party” as their official name in 1854 and won several elections. In 1856 Millard Fillmore, U.S. president from 1850 to 1853 as a member of the Whig Party, ran as the American Party candidate. He finished last. Disagreement over slavery ultimately destroyed the American Party, and by the 1860s it was gone. Memorabilia from the party is rare. If your document is original, it could be valuable. Any auction house that sells political memorabilia would be interested in taking a look at it. A Know Nothing Flag recently sold for $42,300 at auction.

Q: I would like to know if you have any information on the value of a “Soaring Gold Eagle” made by Boehm for the 50th presidential inaugural. The porcelain bird is from a special edition of only 50 and it was gilded.

A: Boehm was founded by Edward Boehm and his wife, Helen, in Trenton, N.J., in 1950. Your figurine, made for the second inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1985, originally sold for $5,000. Boehm made two other types of eagles commemorating the 1985 inauguration. The company is still in business producing both limited and unlimited editions of figurines and plates. Some say only 35 eagles like yours were sold. Limited edition figurines are not as popular as they once were. The values of most are 20 to 50 percent below their issue prices.

Q: Can you tell me something about my folding advertising card for Blackwell Durham Smoking Tobacco? When it is unfolded, you can see the face of Ulysses S. Grant. When it’s folded, the bottom half of Grant’s face is covered by half of another portrait so it looks like another person’s face. The verse under this second portrait is: “Come all you true born Democrats, you hardy hearts of oak, who know a thing when it is good and Blackwell’s Durham Smoke. Gaze on this face and you will see your presidential nominee, the sage and statesman S.J.T.” The verse under Grant’s portrait is: “And all you good Republicans will surely be enchanted when you behold the visage here and take the fact for Granted that he will win, if he will be Your Presidential nominee, the soldier hero U.S.G.” Another verse includes an ad for the tobacco, saying it “suits every taste, no matter what, Republican or Democrat.” Who is S.J.T.? When would this card have been made?

A: You have a famous metamorphic advertising card. It dates from 1876, the year Samuel J. Tilden (S.J.T.) was the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. president. Ulysses S. Grant was just finishing his second term in office, and there was some talk of his running for a third term. The card must have been printed before the Republican nomination went to Rutherford B. Hayes. Cards that combined advertising and political messages were popular from about 1875 to 1920. They are now considered “cross-collectibles” wanted by collectors of political memorabilia and by collectors of antique advertising.

Tip: Clean dirty postcards with a piece of white bread. Be sure to cut the crust off first.

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.

  • Halloween postcard, skeletons playing poker, smoking and drinking, verse “We come into this world naked,” 1907, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, $10.
  • Jack-o’-lantern pin, goldtone, yellow “straw” hair, black enamel witch’s hat, C-clasp, Jonette Jewelry Co., late 1980s, 2 x 1 3/4 inches, $25.
  • Swiss Miss advertising doll, cloth, painted features, braided yellow yarn hair tied with red ribbons, blue and white outfit, sealed, 1978, 17 inches, $35.
  • Halloween pumpkin fortune card, cardboard, owl lift-off top, fairy points to caption, “Lift me off the pumpkin shell & your fortune I will tell,” 1911, 4 x 3 1/2 inches, $45.
  • Butterfinger Halloween Treats candy box, “Be Good to Your Goblins,” orange and black, line drawing of children trick or treating, held 40 candy bars, 1950s, 9 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches, $55.
  • Masquerade Gypsy Girl costume, mask, headpiece, two-piece outfit, original box, 1940s, size medium, $65.
  • Bonzo tape measure, figural comic character dog, celluloid, pull Bonzo’s tongue for tape, white cloth, 1 side inches, other side centimeters, marked “Germany,” circa 1920s, 1 1/4 inches, $385.
  • Salesman sample casket, pine covered in gray fabric, aluminum carrying handles, viewing window, hinged lid, silk lining, Portland Casket Co., Oregon, circa 1925, 8 x 3 inches, $825.
  • Dollhouse, removable mansard shingled roof, brick front porch, painted red, green and yellow, three stories, hinged wall, circa 1890, 31 x 25 x 26 inches, $2,420.
  • Georgian-style library chair, mahogany, velvet upholstery, carved frame, scalloped skirt, cabriole legs with acanthus chiseled knees, 1890s, 40 x 26 inches, $2,500.

Give yourself or a friend a gift. “Kovels’ Advertising Collectibles Price List” has more than 10,000 current prices of your favorite advertising collectibles, from boxes and bins to trays and tins. More than 400 categories are organized by brand name, company name, product or collectible. Plus 300 photographs, logos and trademarks. A 16-page color insert features important advertising collectibles. Clubs, publications, resources and a full index. Available at your bookstore; online at Kovels.com; by phone at 800-303-1996; or send $16.95 plus $4.95 postage to Kovels, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

© 2012 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Notice the spiders and bats near the full moon painted on this Rookwood vase. The 12-3/4-inch-high vase sold for $4,140 at a 2011 Humler & Nolan auction in Cincinnati.
Notice the spiders and bats near the full moon painted on this Rookwood vase. The 12-3/4-inch-high vase sold for $4,140 at a 2011 Humler & Nolan auction in Cincinnati.