Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of March 14, 2011
Bottles can be labeled with paper labels, painted (pyro) labels, embossed lettering or, most unusual of all, labels under glass. Bottles used “for show,” like the fancy bottles used in a Victorian barbershop to hold Bay Rum or other hair tonic, were made in distinctive shapes and colors. A few have a multicolored paper label that includes a picture of an attractive woman. The label was sealed under a thin piece of glass. The top of the bottle was made with a screw cap and a long neck with a spout to pour out the hair product. Apothecary stores used a different kind of label under glass that listed the contents in black lettering, often in Latin. The edge of the label was usually painted gold to form a frame and camouflage the extra glass. Bottle collectors and others like these bottles because they are attractive and use a technique for labeling that is seldom seen today.
Q: I own a bronze sculpture that a dealer would like to buy from me. I don’t know what it’s worth. It’s titled “Reaper” and is signed “H. Muller” on the base. The sculpture is 15 1/2 inches tall.
A: Your sculpture is from a series of “Farmers” sculptures by Heinz Muller (1872-1937) of Dusseldorf, Germany. Original bronzes from the series sell individually for prices ranging from $750 to $1,500. Prices of many bronzes are listed free at Kovels.com/priceguide.
Q: I have a Northwood bowl in the Rose Show pattern, and I can’t find any information about it because it’s opalescent glass, not carnival glass. The color at the base is clear blue and the opalescence extends up toward the ruffled edge. When held up to the sun, the opalescence shows amber colors, so I’m not sure what color to call it. I’m a novice, and your help would be appreciated.
A: Harry Northwood founded his glass company, H. Northwood Co., in Wheeling, W.Va., in 1901. Rose Show pattern was made in several different colors of carnival glass, including aqua opalescent and lime-green opalescent. The pattern was pictured in a 1910 catalog. Northwood pieces made between 1905 and about 1915 may be marked with an embossed underlined “N” trademark. Hold the bowl up to the light and look for the mark in the center of the bowl. Harry Northwood died in 1919, and the plant closed in 1925. Opalescent Rose Show bowls are rarer than clear carnival glass colors. The value of your Rose Show bowl is more than $750.
Q: I am 91 years old and have a purse that was given to me 80 years ago. It has never been taken out of the box. It’s eggshell color with an orange and green print and 1-inch fringe. The card in the bag says “Color Vision Bag” and “Mandalian Originators.” The inside of the purse is marked “Mandalian Mfg. Co.” on the frame. What is the value of the purse?
A: Mesh bags became popular in the 19th century. Mandalian Manufacturing Co. was founded by Sahatiel Gabrabed Mandalian in North Attleboro, Mass. Sahatiel emigrated from Turkey in 1889 and began making jewelry and novelties in the United States. In 1906 he formed a partnership with Eugene A. Hawkins and started producing mesh bags under the name Mandalian & Hawkins. In 1915 the company name was changed to Mandalian Manufacturing Co. Many of the designs used on the bags look like Turkish carpets. The company was sold to Whiting & Davis in 1944. Early mesh bags were expensive because the mesh was made by hand. After an automatic mesh-making machine was invented in 1912, bags became more affordable. Mandalian bags in good condition sell for more than $200.
Q: I have a plate decorated with a picture of a Colonial couple and a gentleman in the center and a wide gold rim. The back is marked “Crest O Gold, Sabin, Warranted 22K” inside a partly rounded shape with lines through it. The name “W.S. George” also is on the back of the plate. Can you tell me anything about it?
A: Your plate was made by Sabin Industries, a decorating company in business from 1946 to 1979. The company was founded by Samuel Sabin in McKeesport, Pa. In the mid-1960s, David T. Chase and Chase Enterprises bought the company, but it continued to operate as Sabin Industries. Sabin used several variations of a mark picturing an artist’s palette with the company name or the initial “S” in the center. The company decorated blanks made by other potteries. Your plate was made by W.S. George Pottery Co. of East Palestine, Ohio, and was decorated by Sabin. Dishes decorated with decals of Colonial people were made in the 1950s by many companies. Plates like yours retail for about $15.
Q: I have a miner’s lamp marked with the words “Justrite Made in U.S.A.” It is marked with the patent dates May 7, 1912, Oct. 28, 1913, and Nov. 28, 1913, and also says “Others pending.” What is it worth?
A: Justrite Manufacturing Co. was founded in Chicago in 1906. The company made machinery and tools. Justrite began making carbide miner’s lamps in 1911 and was the major producer of carbide lamps in the early 20th century. Justrite lamps were popular until the company began making plastic lamps in the 1970s. The plastic cracked and melted, and the lamps were never used by miners. Early Justrite lamps sold for a dollar. Lamps like yours sell for about $10 to $30.
Tip: To find a small crack in porcelain or glass, try this: Put the piece on a table. Tap it with your fingernail. A cracked piece gives off a dull thud; a perfect piece will “ring.” Learn to recognize the sound by practicing on some pieces you know are broken.
Sign up for our weekly e-mail, 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 e-mail 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 are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.
- Favorite Mormon Recipes Book, Meat Edition, 2,000 recipes, copyright 1966 by the Montgomery Second Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, $20.
- Keebler Tree House cookie jar, green, Keebler Elf standing at brown base, Haeger, 1981, 10 x 7 1/2 inches, $50.
- Lucky Lindy card game, fly across the Atlantic while battling hazards such as winds and plane problems, parachute out, Parker Brothers, 1927, $85.
- Steel gun-shaped bug killer dispenser, hold and crank it like a fishing pole, handmade, late 1800s, 48 x 9 inches, $170.
- Steiff mountain sheep stuffed toy, Snucki, soft wavy beige mohair, felt ears and horns, black face and legs, green plastic eyes, complete with button, 1960s, 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, $200.
- Embroidered coverlet, white on white, double rose pattern with eight-point stars, paired eagles and American shields, lion at bottom corners, early 1900s, 104 x 88 inches, $385.
- Steuben book vase, green jade, applied alabaster lion’s head on each side, four hammered and scrolled legs, 11 1/2 inches, $400.
- Sterling-silver tea-caddy spoon, hammered finish, gilt bowl, medallions with Mercury on handle, marked Shiebler, 1880s, 4 1/4 inches, $460.
- Arts & Crafts cellarette, pull-out copper shelf over single door, interior with revolving bottle rack and storage compartments, 43 x 21 x 15 inches, $540.
- Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum display, celluloid figural man, wearing green outfit with pointed hood, comes with four original boxes, circa 1920s, 3 x 14 inches, $745.
New! A quick, easy guide to identifying valuable costume jewelry made since the 1920s. Kovels’ Buyer’s Guide to Costume Jewelry, Part Two is a report on the most popular styles, makers and designers of costume jewelry. The report makes you an informed collector and may get you a great buy. Photos, marks, histories and bibliography. Special Report, 2010, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, 36 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, Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.
© 2011 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.