Archive for Sunday, February 18, 2007

Matsu-no-ke’ a type of hand-applied glass decoration

February 18, 2007


Want to sound like a knowledgeable collector? Use an unfamiliar term, like "matsu-no-ke" (pronounced "mat-sue-no-kay"). It is the name of a special type of three-dimensional hand-applied glass decoration. Stevens & Williams, an English glassworks, used the technique in 1884. Semi-molten glass was shaped into branches, then applied to a glass vase. Because they were still hot, the glass branches became part of the glass of the vase. Daisylike flowers, sometimes in a different color, were added. Special tools were used to press a pattern into the center of the flowers. The finished trim is clear glass and looks like it could be carved ice. The decoration was used in 1922 by Frederick Carder at the Steuben Glass Works. He had developed the decoration years earlier while working in England. A finished matsu-no-ke vase glistened with applied branches and flowers on a white or colored glass background.

Q: We have an anniversary clock (the kind with a lift-off glass dome) that was given to my parents as a wedding gift in 1931. It's marked "Aug. Schatz & Sohne." The clock is in good condition and keeps perfect time. I'm curious about what it's worth today.

A: Aug. Schatz & Sohne was founded in Triburg, Germany, in 1881 and stayed in business until 1985. The company made anniversary clocks, also called 400-day clocks (because they could be wound to run for more than 365 days), as well as cuckoo, desk, electric and quartz clocks. Anniversary clocks in excellent working condition don't sell for a lot because there are so many of them. Yours is worth about $50.

Q: My mother left her antique electric table lamp to me. The base is bronze and the shade is reverse-painted glass showing a nature scene. The word Pilabrasgo is printed on it. I can't find any reference to this company anywhere.

A: The name Pilabrasgo is short for the Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass & Glass Co., which was in business from 1901 to 1926. The company had three factories in and around Pittsburgh and showrooms in several U.S. cities. Some Pilabrasgo table lamps with reverse-painted shades sell for more than $2,000.

Q: I have two Charley Weaver Bartender battery-operated toys with their original boxes. My question is: Why does one box list the copyright as "1962 Roy Rogers Enterprises," while the other box reads "1962 Mark 37 Inc."? I don't even know which toy goes in which box. Is one box more valuable than the other?

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.¢ Imperial glass box with cover, purple slag, butterfly finial, 5 1/2 inches, $125.¢ Game of Our Navy, color-graphics cover showing Admiral Dewey battleship, playing cards, battleships, American naval heroes, Parker Bros., $210.¢ Donald Duck sand pail, tin, images of Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie, marked "Disney Enterprises 1938," 5-by-5 inches, $270.¢ Jacquard coverlet, red, green and blue, stars, flowers, J. Smith, Millertown, Pa., 1930, 80-by-104 inches, $375.¢ Weeden toy catalog, fully illustrated pictures of steam toys, banks and trains, c. 1889, 28 pages, 9-by-6 1/2 inches, $530.¢ Weller black mammy cookie jar, holding watermelon, white dress and hair band, 12-by-7 inches, $585.¢ Buddy Lee doll, composition, side-glancing eyes, Western costume, 1940s, 12 inches, $610.¢ Queen Anne-style chair, fruitwood, crest rail, arms, continental, c. 1900, 45 inches, pair, $985.¢ Folk-art political-parade torch, tin, black top-hat shape, hand-soldered, symbol of Benjamin Harrison's 1888 campaign, 6-by-6 1/2-by-5 inches, $1,155.¢ Galliker's Quality Ice Cream advertising tray, little girl and boy eating ice cream on the beach under umbrella, dated 1923, 13 inches, $1,540.

A: Cliff Arquette (1905-1974) invented the character of Charley Weaver for a 1959 appearance on Jack Paar's "The Tonight Show." Paar kept asking him back, and Arquette, born in Toledo, Ohio, wound up with a second lifetime as Weaver, from Mt. Ida, Ark. He became a regular on "The Roy Rogers Show" in late 1962, the same year your toy was made by Rosko Toys of Japan. The copyright information relates to the Weaver character, not to the toy itself. Rosko paid a license fee to use the Weaver character. It is likely that Mark 37 Inc. owned the license on Arquette's behalf before Roy Rogers Enterprises hired Arquette for its television show. The original box with either copyright increases the value of the toy, and so does the condition of the toy. We have seen these toys selling with their original boxes for $20 up to $175.

Q: I have a guitar-harp handed down to me from my great aunt. She died in 1917. It was made by the Home Educational Co. of Concord, N.H. What is it worth?

A: Many different "harp-guitars" and "guitar-harps" have been invented since the 1700s. A guitar-harp can be defined as a string instrument that rests on the floor and is played with fingers. The number of strings and the shape of the instrument varies. Home Educational's guitar-harps date from the early 1900s and do not sell for high prices today. The value of yours depends on its condition.

Q: When I was cleaning out my mother's house, I found a pair of figurines I remember from my childhood. They're both 9 1/2 inches tall. One is a barefoot girl wearing a yellow dress and carrying her shoes. The other is a barefoot boy wearing brown shorts and a white shirt. He is carrying his shoes over his shoulder and some books in his left arm. The mark reads "Wien, Keramos, Knight Ceramics, Made in Austria." What can you tell me?

A: "Wien" is the German word for "Vienna." Keramos (Greek for "pottery") and Knight Ceramics are trade names used by Wolf & Co.'s Vienna Art Ceramic and Porcelain Factory. The company has been in business since 1920, but the mark on your figurines was not used until after World War II. Most Keramos figurines the age of yours sell for about $10.


Cups should be hung from a cup hook, never stacked.


The Kovels answer as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names and addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, (Lawrence Journal-World), King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.