Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

Political memorabilia found on several items

September 19, 2004


Presidential campaigns have always produced some kind of political memorabilia that was saved and eventually wanted by collectors: cloth bandanas, signs, buttons, books, fans, dishes, jewelry, golf tees, combs and even packs of cigarettes.

Years after a campaign, it is difficult to identify the candidate if just a slogan or emblem was used. The sunflower (Landon, 1936), "AU H2O" (Goldwater, 1964) and the "goldbug" (McKinley, 1896 and 1904) were known in their day and helped encourage votes. The sunflower represented Kansas, Landon's home state. "AU" and "H2O" are the chemistry symbols for gold and water. The goldbug represented those who were in favor of the gold standard -- basing money on gold, not silver. There were also silverbugs in the 1896 campaign.

Modern campaigns have similar timely slogans and emblems, like buttons that just say "W" (George W. Bush) or "ABB" (Anybody But Bush). Save all campaign items. They are future collectibles.

I inherited a slant-front desk from my father, who died in 1927 when I was a young child. I found a picture of my desk in an old, undated catalog and learned that it was manufactured by the Central Manufacturing Co. and originally sold for $10. Where was this company located, and when did it make furniture?

The Central Manufacturing Co. made desks and office furniture in Chicago from 1887 until 1929. The company's history dated back to 1875, when a Norwegian cabinetmaker named Soren Thorson, who had immigrated to Chicago in 1870, joined another Scandinavian to form a partnership called Thorson & Tollakson. By 1884 the firm was named Central Furniture Manufacturing Co. It was succeeded by Central Manufacturing Co. in 1887 and became Central Desk Co. in 1929. Today your desk would sell for several hundred dollars.

I'd like to know more about my pottery vase. It is 3 3/4 inches high by 4 inches in diameter. The bottom is flat, the sides are rounded and the top is shaped to look wrinkled. The hole in the top is small and off-center. The piece is heavy and glazed a mottled green. The mark on the bottom includes an eagle and the name "Orcas Island."

Orcas Island Pottery was founded on Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington state, in 1945. The founders, Marclay and Joe Sherman, sold the studio pottery in 1953. Orcas Island Pottery is still in business. It employs about 10 potters. Several other local artists display and sell their work at the pottery.

I have two ceramic figurines of President John F. Kennedy's young children. One is titled "John John" and the other "Caroline." Each is marked "Inarco, Cleveland, Ohio." What do you know about the company?

Inarco stands for the International Artware Corp., founded in 1960-1961 by Irwin Garber. The Cleveland company imported ceramic and glass planters and giftware until it was bought by Napco (National Potteries Corp.) in 1986. Your figurines were part of a 1964 set that included a Jacqueline Kennedy head vase. The head vase and two figurines came in a single box. Today, a complete and mint-condition three-piece set sells for up to $650. The pair of figurines could sell separately for $200 or more.

My grandmother visited Italy and brought home a felt doll for me. That was 76 years ago. The doll is a little girl with curly, light-brown hair and brown googly eyes. She is wearing a pink felt cap, a white neck scarf, pink-and-white high-button shoes with black buttons, and a pink felt coat with white polka dots. Do you have any idea what kind of doll this is and what it's worth?

Your doll's all-felt body and its age and country of origin indicate that it could have been made by Lenci, an Italian dollmaker that's been in business since 1919. Take your doll to an expert who can examine it in person. If it's a Lenci doll in excellent condition, it is worth at least several hundred dollars. Other dollmakers did produce dolls that imitate the look of Lenci dolls. These dolls are referred to as Lenci-type dolls. They sell for less than real Lencis.

I have an antique electric table lamp with a molded bronze base and a reverse-painted glass shade. It is about 22 inches tall. The shade is 16 inches in diameter and is decorated with a landscape scene and a yellow-and-red sky. The lamp is marked "1876 Jefferson." Who made my lamp?

Your lamp was manufactured by the Jefferson Co. of Follansbee, W.Va. It was one of many U.S. manufacturers of early electric lamps with art-glass shades. Jefferson was in business around 1910-1915. The number 1876 is a model number, not a date. The value of your lamp depends on the quality of the painting on the shade and the general condition of the lamp. Jefferson table lamps sell for prices ranging from the high hundreds to the thousands of dollars. Be sure you have the old wiring replaced if you are using the lamp.


Cover the nose of your hammer with a piece of felt to protect the wall when you are putting up picture hooks.

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.¢ Show towel, embroidered and crocheted, pale gold silk thread and tulips, two peacocks on either side of an urn of flowers, double-headed eagle with a heart and horses, 13 x 48 inches, $690.¢ Longwy Pottery compote, octagonal base, wide bowl, flowers in mauve, white, yellow and green, Persian blue ground, signed, c. 1930, 6 1/2 inches, $705.¢ Canton shrimp dish, blue design with eyes on rim, 10 1/2 inches, $860.¢ Patty Play Pal doll, vinyl, print dress, underwear, socks and shoes, blond hair with red ribbon, original box, 36 inches, $900.¢ Blondie wristwatch, chrome case, green band, Blondie, Dagwood and pups on watch dial, Danbros Watch Co., original box, 1947, $950.¢ Game board, dark-red ground, black and green, cream-colored lines, checkerboard center, panels and diamonds with "1878," triangles with stars, decals of hunters in each corner, 18 x 18 inches, $2,415.¢ RCA Victor portable phonograph, aluminum and other metals, manufactured in mid-1930s, 8 x 15 x 17 inches, $2,705.¢ Hans Wegner lounge chair and ottoman, teak with reclining upholstered cushion seat, c. 1960, 34 1/2 inches, $4,700.

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