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Archive for Sunday, July 1, 2007

Political collectibles increase in value

July 1, 2007

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Presidential candidates James A. Garfield and Winfield S. Hancock are pictured on the 1880 campaign ribbons that make up this quilt. Because of its artistry and historic interest, it sold for $14,340 at a Heritage Galleries auction. Bidders were online and on the auction floor in Dallas.

Presidential candidates James A. Garfield and Winfield S. Hancock are pictured on the 1880 campaign ribbons that make up this quilt. Because of its artistry and historic interest, it sold for $14,340 at a Heritage Galleries auction. Bidders were online and on the auction floor in Dallas.

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.

¢ Old Britain Castles dinner plate, pink, Johnson Brothers, 10 inches, $35.

¢ Carnival glass wine set, Band of Stars pattern, marigold, seven pieces, $90.

¢ Civil War crutches, Confederate, c. 1863, 51 inches, pair, $125.

¢ Sampler, Mary Renvill, 1792, "All you my friends that exspaxts to see a peace of marking don by me," house, animals, trees, 12-by-12 inches, $360.

¢ Effanbee composition Patsyette dolls as George and Martha Washington, socket head, brown eyes, white mohair wig, five-piece body, c. 1932, 9 inches, pair $440.

¢ American flag, 38 stars, linen and cotton, appliqued stars, handmade, c. 1876, 73-by-46 inches, $710.

¢ 1794 South Carolina land grant, signed by Gov. William Moultrie, 1,000 acres in the district of Orangeburgh, 3 1/4-by-5 1/2 inches, $865.

¢ FDR animated clock, "The Man of the Hour," bronze metal, slogan on base, FDR holding ship's wheel that winds the clock, U.S. Electric Clock Corp., 1933, 5-by-10-by-15 inches, $1,015.

¢ Navajo rug, diamond design, red, gray, cream and black, c. 1930, 43-by-66 inches, $1,110.

¢ George III-style sofa, carved mahogany, red-leather upholstery, serpentine crest rail, scrolled arms, block legs, 34-by-83 inches, $3,225.

Political collectibles traditionally have gone up in popularity and price each year that there's a presidential election. But there's so much interest in politics now that collectors are buying at every opportunity. Most popular are the buttons - celluloid or tin candidate buttons. Best are those that picture both the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Buttons, banners, scarves, pens and other things that promote a politician - especially from a past campaign - are becoming more popular. Like many other types of collectibles, the best are those within the memory of the collector. That means anything from the baby-boomer years finds a buyer. Some political memorabilia is unusual. There are bars of soap shaped like a candidate, bisque figurines that can be hung up and quilts made of campaign ribbons. A quilt sold recently that was made of ribbons from the 1880 Garfield vs. Hancock campaign. A talented housewife arranged hundreds of the colored ribbons into a zigzag design for a quilt. Then she made a lace edge. The quilt, which was wanted by collectors of quilts, political memorabilia and folk art, sold for more than $14,000.

Q: Our hanging cardboard advertisement is for a "Chicken Dinner" candy bar made by Sperry Co. of Wisconsin. We're looking for information.

A: The Chicken Dinner candy bar was a nut-covered chocolate roll introduced by the Sperry Co. of Milwaukee in the early 1920s. Its first wrappers pictured a roast chicken. The unusual name was supposed to make people think of their desire for a "chicken in every pot," a slogan that had been around for years before it was used by Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential campaign. The candy bar tasted good, and the brand was sold until the 1960s, in spite of its odd name.

Q: My grandmother gave me a milk glass covered dish that she bought around 1900. It originally held mustard. The bottom looks like a rowboat, and the lid has a fish on it. I dropped it and it broke. I would like to know more about it so I can buy another one.

A: Your dish probably was made by the Westmoreland Glass Co. (1890-1984) of Grapeville, Pa. In the 1890s, Westmoreland made novelty glass containers and filled them with Westmoreland brand mustard. The company also sold glass containers to other mustard makers. A covered dish like yours sells for about $40 to $70. Its price is higher if the old paper label is still intact.

Q: I have a metal mesh bag that my mother used to carry to dances in the early 1930s. It might have belonged to her mother originally. The mesh is colored black, gray, white and silver, and there's a makeup compact in the upper left corner of the bag's frame. Inside the bag near the clasp is a mark that reads "Whiting & Davis Co., Mesh Bags." The bag is very dear to me and I would never sell it, but I'm wondering what it's worth.

A: Whiting & Davis Co. of Plainville, Mass., developed a chainmail mesh machine around 1907 and became the world's largest manufacturer of mesh products, including purses and "vanity bags" like yours. A vanity bag combined a purse with a compact to hold makeup. They were especially popular in the 1920s, when your bag was made. Whiting & Davis advertised your bag as a "Corner Compact Costume Bag." It came in different color combinations. The interior was lined with fabric. Your bag is rare and worth $500 to $750 or more, depending on its condition and whether its lining is intact. When you carry it, protect the lining by using a small plastic bag to hold your things inside.

Q: Our old desk labeled, "Saginaw Furniture Shops," opens into a 10-foot table. "Watertown Slide" is stamped under it. We're moving and my husband says it's junk and wants to get rid of it, but it has come in handy when we've needed an extra table.

A: Ordinary old tables like yours sell for $200 to $500 because they are useful, especially if you have a lot of guests for dinner. Saginaw Furniture Shops opened in the late 1920s and is now out of business. It was known for its "Expand-o-matic" and "Expandaway" tables. "Watertown Slide" is a brand name used by the maker of the mechanism that expands the table.

Q: I have a Burpee Seed clock that shows the planting times under the clock face. Age? Value?

A: The "Time to Plant" clock from the Burpee Seed Co. was made in the 1970s by Mechtronics Corp. of Stamford, Conn. The clock sells for about $30.

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