Archive for Sunday, August 17, 2003

Colorful Spatterware attracts collectors

August 17, 2003


The decoration on Spatterware dishes looks as if it is paint splattered from a brush. A dish might have just a spatter border or several colors forming a pattern. Many pieces have a design of a bird, tree, flower or house hand-painted in the center. Spatterware was made in England from about 1800 to 1850, and much of it was exported to the United States. It was especially popular with Pennsylvania German settlers. Although the pieces are easy to identify, it can be difficult to decide which is good, better or best. At a recent auction, a green spatter creamer with a red peafowl in the center was "good," selling for $1,150. A red spatter creamer with a bird of paradise center was "better," going for $4,730. But the red-, green- and blue-spattered creamer with a blue, red and yellow peafowl was the "best," auctioning for $7,475. Collectors like rarity and color.

We own a small wooden table with two drop leaves. It has a label under it that reads: "This piece was handmade in the workfhops of Charak Furniture Co., Bofton, Mafs. It is numbered 64. Made in year 1931." Why is the letter "f" used instead of "s"?

The letter that appears to be a lowercase "f" is a "long s," used in longhand 200 years ago. The Charak Furniture Co. probably used the long "s" on its furniture labels to imitate older, handwritten labels. Charak was in business from about 1928 until the 1950s, manufacturing modern-style furniture as well as reproductions of early American furniture styles. Charak chests, tables and buffets sell for a range of prices, depending on style and condition. Some sell for a few hundred dollars, others for more than $1,000.

Years ago, I bought jelly in glasses decorated with cartoon characters. I still have two glasses. One is an Archie glass titled, in red, "Archies (sic) having a Jam Session." The other is a Foghorn Leghorn glass titled, in green, "Foghorn Switches Henry's Egg." Are the glasses worth anything?

Your glasses originally held Welch's jelly. Welch's was copying an idea that originated in the 1930s, when Kraft Food Co. sold cheese spreads in decorated glasses called Swankyswigs. Your Archie glass was sold in 1971, and your Foghorn Leghorn glass in 1974. Collectors of decorated tumblers would pay about $5 for each glass.

Can you tell me something about my metal toy horse? The horse is a little rusty and his paint has faded, but the push pedals still work. He is cream-colored with brown spots and mane and a red saddle. He is 30 inches tall and 27 inches long. The pedals are marked "MOBO" and the horse is marked "Made in England."

The Mobo brand of steel riding toys was manufactured by D. Sebel & Co. of Erith, Kent, England, from 1947 to 1972. A young rider could sit on the horse and push on the stirrups. After the stirrups are released, the horse moves forward. Later riding toys could be steered. Mobo toys were exported to the United States, where they were a big success. The line also included children's wheelbarrows, scooters, bikes, swings and pedal cars.

My mother-in-law gave me an electric clock that had been in her family for years. It's shaped like an early boxlike refrigerator with a cylinder-shaped motor on the top. The words "General Electric" are on a metal bar above the clock face. The face is marked "Telechron, Warren Telechron Co., Ashland, Mass." The patent dates inside range from 1918 to 1925. The clock is metal that has been painted white. It is 6 3/8 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 3 1/4 inches deep.

Your die-cast metal clock was manufactured by Warren Telechron Co. about 1929. It was designed to promote General Electric's "Monitor Top" refrigerators. At the time, GE was also half-owner of Warren Telechron Co., a clock manufacturer. GE introduced the Monitor Top in 1927, the year the company established its Electric Refrigeration Department. That year, a new one-door Monitor Top cost $300, a price that made it the first refrigerator an average American family could afford. A clock like yours was shipped as a gift to people who bought the more-expensive two-door model. In working condition, your clock would sell for about $200.

My old oil lamp has a painted glass shade and base mounted on a metal frame. The sticker on the base is shaped like a tree, with the letters "PHLABRASCO" in the branches. The words "Pittsburgh, Pa." and "P.L.B. & G. Co." are printed under the tree. Can you identify the manufacturer?

Your lamp was made by the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass and Glass Co., which was in business from about 1890 to 1920. The company made oil and electric lamps with hand-painted shades or applied transfer designs. Its lamps were sold through a variety of mail-order catalogs.


The less you handle an antique or collectible, the better. Always pick up an antique with two hands.

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.¢ Archie sparkler toy by Ronson, pull-string, eyes spark, celluloid, marked "Archie," dated 1923, $175.¢ Photograph, carte de visite of Union cavalryman, with 1840-model saber and two revolvers in belt, $220.¢ Child's chair, wainscot-type with Queen Anne-style legs and stretchers, oak, open back, scallops on top, plank seat, c. 1700, 34 inches, $230.¢ Wallpaper-covered band box, oval, pineapple-and-flower design, interior has 1840 Massachusetts newspaper, 17 1/2 x 14 x 13 1/4 inches, $315.¢ Shaker candlestand, walnut, urn-turned column, S-curved legs, c. 1830, 22 1/2 inches, $430.¢ Signed jacquard coverlet, 2-piece double weave, 4-rose medallion with starflowers, flower border, labeled "Wove at Newark, Ohio, by G. Stich 1846," 86 x 90 inches, $635.¢ Hercules Sporting Powders booklet, for Hercules Powder Co., Chronicle Building, San Francisco, 1919, 28 pages, $825.¢ Kew Blas gold trumpet vase, ribbed, bulbed stem and disk base, inscribed, 12 inches, $1,175.¢ Mattel doll, Francie, Twist 'n Turn, brown eyes, bendable legs, original box, 1967, 10 1/2 inches, $2,010.

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