Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices ¢ ary in different locations because of local economic conditions.¢ "Buttons and Bows" sheet music, from the mo¢ ie "Paleface," Bob Hope and Jane Russell, 1948, $55.¢ Madame Alexander Marybell doll, "The Doll That Gets Well," ¢ inyl, socket head, sleep eyes, blond hair, pink satin one-piece suit, medical supplies, 1960, 16 inches, $175.¢ Chrome-plated Winchester waffle iron, round, model W36, 5-by-9 inches, $275.¢ "Lost in Space" lunchbox, metal, dome, with thermos, 1967, King Seeley, $410.¢ Cast-iron rooster windmill weight, short stem, made by Elgin Wind Power and Pump Co., Elgin, Ill., early 1900s, 9 inches, $825.¢ Chippendale-style sofa, cherry, damask upholstery, Marlboro legs in front, raked rear legs, 72-by-35 1/2 inches, $975.¢ Daum Nancy ¢ ase, pillow form, opalescent pink, tall green trees, red forest, signed, 1 3/4 inches, $1,100.¢ Fiesta teapot, medium green, 6-cup capacity, $2,000.¢ Ohio sampler, silk on linen, "Rowena P. Sargent, age 10 years, August 24, 1849," blue and tan, 15-by-17 inches , $3,335.¢ Emerson radio, model BT-245, tombstone shape, Catalin, red marble, white accent, 1939, 10 inches, $4,245.
Bet you didn't know that March 14 is National Potato Chip Day. And did you know that the potato chip was "invented" in 1853 by an American Indian chef in a resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.? A guest did not like the resort's french fries, and the chef, George Crum, decided to get back at the complainer by making really bad fries that were too crisp to eat with a fork. The guest liked the brown, paper-thin potatoes, and soon potato chips were a specialty at the hotel. Potato chips were first sold in a grocery store in 1895, and during the early years of the 20th century, dozens of potato-chip factories were opened. But it was not until the 1950s that chips became more than a side dish. In the 1950s, entertaining changed to informal buffet or coffee-table service. Chips were served with cheese or other dips and alcoholic drinks. The new form of a chip-and-dip set was made by glass and china manufacturers. The two-bowl set was advertised as useful not only for potato chips, but also for salads, floral centerpieces and seafood snacks. You can be sure any chip-and-dip set you find was made after 1950, but it could be brand-new. Examples that match common dinnerware or glassware patterns were made, and so were unique, very modern styles. Food served to those watching television or visiting at an open house in the 21st century usually includes dips and accompanying potato chips.
Q: What is the difference between daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes? I have several 19th-century photographs, some on paper and some on metal, and I don't know what they are or how to care for them.
A: We get a lot of letters about old photographs. Daguerreotypes, introduced in the United States in 1839, got their name from their inventor, the Frenchman Louis Daguerre. They are positive images made directly on a silvered copperplate. Ambrotypes, introduced in the 1850s, were made by a wet-plate process that created a negative image on glass. It's seen as a positive image when placed against a dark backing. Next came ferrotypes - better known as tintypes - which were positive images on tinned iron. Tintypes were inexpensive and became widely popular during the Civil War. Keep all of your old photos out of sunlight and away from heat and excess moisture. Never touch the image with your fingertips, and don't use tape or glue to mount them. Store them in archival boxes that you can buy at a photography shop, or display them mounted and matted on acid-free museum board and covered with Plexiglas to guard against ultraviolet light.
Q: I have two small ceramic plaques marked "Wedgwood & Bentley" on the back. Were they made by the famous Wedgwood company?
A: Josiah Wedgwood founded his well-known company, which is still in business, in about 1759. Ten years later, he formed a partnership with Thomas Bentley, a merchant who managed Wedgwood's London showrooms. Between 1769 and 1780, the year Bentley died, the pottery's mark was "Wedgwood & Bentley," either impressed or incised and often forming a circle.
Q: I have a set of three Melmac bowls in mint condition in their original box. They are light green with a spattered look. The bottom of each bowl is marked "Apollo Ware, Melmac, by Alexander Barna." Where were the bowls made and what are they worth with the box?
A: Your bowls were made by Metro Molding Corp. of Cleveland. They probably date from the 1960s. Melmac was a trade name for melamine, a plastic widely used for dinnerware and kitchen utensils from the 1950s through the '70s. Metro Molding's Melmac line, Apollo Ware, was designed by Alexander Barna. While collectors are discovering Melmac wares, the dishes don't sell for high prices. You might get $20 for the boxed set.
Q: You mentioned that Griswold Manufacturing Co. used a spider logo on some of its cookware. My grandmother used to refer to her cast-iron skillet as a "spider." Was that because of the logo?
A: No. Griswold probably used the spider logo because "spider" is another word for "frying pan" or "skillet" in some parts of the country. We're guessing your grandmother was from New England, or perhaps a northern or Atlantic Coast state. New Englanders used the word "spider" to describe a frying pan with legs. The legs, designed to hold the pan above hot coals, make the pan look like a spider. Eventually, many New Englanders used the word spider for any frying pan, and the usage spread west and south.
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