Kovels – Antiques & Collecting: Week of May 18, 2009
Next time you go to a house or garage sale, be sure to look for glass kitchen utensils and containers from the 1930s to the 1960s. Range sets (salt and pepper shakers and jars for drippings or grease), reamers, rolling pins, measuring cups, pitchers, mixing bowls, refrigerator containers, syrup pitchers, water bottles and ladles made of glass, pottery or even plastic are likely to turn up. All are collected, but glass pieces are especially popular. Jeanette Glass Co. of Jeanette, Pa., made Jennyware, a blue or green ribbed glass. The company also made Depression glass tableware in popular patterns, including Iris and Cherry Blossom, and kitchenware in Delphite, Jadite, shell pink and other colors. Delphite, a light-blue glassware, is a collector favorite. A Delphite range set was offered recently at DepressionKitchenGlass.com for $245.
Q: I have a small wood-and-metal school desk and chair that were made to be fastened to the floor. It was made by Kenney Bros. & Wolkins Co. of Boston. What can you tell me about this company?
A: Henry S. Wolkins sold furniture and supplies to many schools in the Boston area in the late 1800s. In 1902 he merged his business with a furniture manufacturing company. The new company was called Kenney Bros. & Wolkins. In the late 1930s, it stopped making furniture to focus on ruled paper and other school supplies, and reincorporated as the Henry S. Wolkins Co. In 1974 the company moved to Walpole, Mass., then to nearby Taunton in 2000, but it suspended business in 2008. School desk sets like yours sell for about $100.
Q: I have a Haviland ice-cream set from the Rutherford B. Hayes White House. The serving dish and six matching smaller dishes have a central design of a snowshoe. The corners of each square dish are rolled and gilded. They are marked “Fabrique Haviland” and “Theo R. Davis.” The serving dish has been repaired. Is this a one-of-a-kind set?
A: President Hayes ordered new White House state dinner service from Haviland & Co. of Limoges, France, in 1879, a little more than halfway through his single term as president. The set, delivered in 1880, was huge. It included four large ice-cream trays and 80 matching ice-cream plates. Theodore Davis was the artist who designed the dishes. The pieces delivered to the White House were marked more elaborately than yours. The marks included the artist’s initials in red, white and blue with the date 1879 and the U.S. coat of arms in color. Haviland sent eight duplicate sets to large retailers in the United States. The sets were exhibited and then presumably sold, although there’s no record of any one buyer purchasing a complete set. Your dishes are no doubt from one of those sets.
Q: I have a Fisher-Price wheeled toy called Granny Doodle. The duck waddles, bobs her head and quacks. Can you tell me anything about this toy and its value?
A: Granny Doodle was one of the first toys made by Fisher-Price. It was made with orange wheels in 1931 and in a slightly larger version with green wheels in 1932. Granny Doodle & Family, a grandma duck with two ducklings trailing behind her, was made in 1933. Fisher-Price was founded in 1930 by Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Schelle. Price’s wife, Margaret Evans Price, was an author and illustrator of several children’s books and was the first art director and designer for Fisher-Price. Some of the toys were based on characters from her books. Early Fisher-Price toys were made of ponderosa pine with lithographed paper decorations. Later toys had plastic parts. Early wooden Granny Doodle toys sell for as much as $1,200. The company is now a subsidiary of Mattel.
Q: Please tell me who made my old apartment-size electric washing machine and how old it is. It’s an all-white cylindrical machine with a removable cover and a hose attachment. The front is labeled with a yellow and red decal that says “Naxon.”
A: It’s hard to believe how many U.S. washing-machine manufacturers there once were. Naxon Utilities Corp. of Chicago was one of many in business in the mid-20th century. Your model is probably Naxon’s No. 70, which dates from 1945. Several Naxon models are pictured on the Web site OldeWash.com. Naxon made sunlamps and portable washing machines, but the company is best-known for its invention of the Beanery, a slow-cooker that was redesigned and became the Crock-Pot when Rival Co. bought Naxon in 1970. Old washing machines, even those that work, are difficult to sell. A working machine like yours might sell for about $100.
Tip: Never dip rhinestone jewelry in water. It will discolor the backing on the stones.
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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.
- Hubley doorstop, thoroughbred horse, painted brown and natural colors, cast iron, 7 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches, $50.
- Majolica Pond Lily plate, four green lily pads with white lily in center, impressed mark, 8 inches, $75.
- Bookplate, red, green and yellow illuminated lettering and flowers, hand-drawn ink on paper, variegated letters, “Samuel Witmer, May 1848,” 11 x 9 1/2 inches, $100.
- Hand-crank fire-truck siren, red nickel-plated ground, “Sterling Siren Fire Horn, Rochester, N.Y.,” Serial No. 8094, 12 inches, $275.
- Needlework sampler, silk threads on linen ground, tree with flowers, rows of alphabets, pious verse, hearts, “Eliza’h McCarthy, 1780,” 20 x 9 inches, $475.
- Regency upholstered library chair, mahogany with urn- and ring-turned arm supports, blue silk damask upholstery, 1850, 35 x 24 inches, $880.
- Royal brand toy stove, nickel plated, cover plates, two side shelves, 15 inches, $955.
- Ice-cream scoop, nickel plated, wooden handle, cone shape, signed “H.S. Greer,” 9 inches, $1,110.
- Moravian Polly Heckewelder doll, cloth, hand-painted facial features ans hair, original blue checked cotton dress, Bethlehem, Pa., circa 1900, 17 inches, $1,900.
- Wool needlework wallet, double fold, Irish stitch in zigzag diamond pattern, green, red, yellow and violet, “David Stephen, 1786,” 5 x 9 inches, $4,445.
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© 2009 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.