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Archive for Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dutch windmills iconic models for collectibles

August 10, 2008

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This sand-powered 1930s tin windmill toy is 14 1/2 inches high. It sold for $250 at Stanton Auctions of Hampden, Mass.

This sand-powered 1930s tin windmill toy is 14 1/2 inches high. It sold for $250 at Stanton Auctions of Hampden, Mass.

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.

¢ Winchester No. W4 Precision Model tennis racket, Winchester decal, "As Good As the Gun," 9 x 27 x 2 inches, $55.

¢ Jack Sprat Peanut Butter tin, yellow ground, Jack Sprat in green suit, packed by Western Grocer Mills, Marshalltown, Iowa, 25 lbs., 10 x 9 inches, $235.

¢ 1939 New York World's Fair serving tray, silver overlay glass, fair logo in center, silver image of Trylon and Perisphere, 14 inches $245.

¢ Moorcroft whiskey jug and stopper, green with lacy trailed design, cobalt blue blossoms on shoulder, marked, c. 1898, $345.

¢ Hooked rug, light brown horse with red bridle in oval field, diamond border, wool and cotton on burlap, c.1895, 36 x 24 inches, $440.

¢ Hand-painted wooden roulette wheel, domino design, red flapper arm, World War II era, 30 1/2 inches, $445.

¢ Nurseryman's sample book, chromolithographs and photographs of fruit, vegetables, flowers and trees, "W.T. Mitchell & Sons, Beverly, Ohio," 128 pages, 5 x 8 inches, $470.

¢ Lone Ranger doll, stuffed body, composition head, cloth mask, hat, black holster, cast-iron guns, brass badge, tag, Dollcraft Novelty, 1938, 15 1/2 inches, $865.

¢ Sewing caddy, mixed woods, applied trim, spool holder, 2 nailed drawers, red, black, green and yellow paint, 1920s, 11 x 11 x 22 inches, $940.

¢ Ship's desk, walnut and pine, gallery top, drop front, molded base, 3 drawers, 1 drawer marked "Petty Officer A," 1885, 42 x 34 x 19 inches, $1,410.

Problems involving floods, lack of power and failing levees are not new. Holland has faced all of them for centuries.

Originally, the land that's Holland today was a marsh, but through the years people have learned how to dig canals, build dikes and use wind power to pump water. Windmills can be seen in 17th-century Dutch paintings, but windmills were in use before then. The wind turned the blades, creating power to lift water in buckets or turn a wheel to grind corn.

The picturesque Dutch windmill has often been the inspiration for collectible salt and pepper shakers, toys, plates, fabric patterns and more. A tin sand toy shaped like a windmill sold recently online. It is tin with a design showing the windmill's doors, windows and balconies. A group of men, women and children in traditional Dutch clothes, including wooden shoes, are walking in front. The name "Mac Dutch Mill" is printed on the front. Dump sand into the funnel at the top of the toy and the windmill's arms turn. It sold for $250.

Q: I saw a picture of a wooden Arts and Crafts foldout bar in an antiques newspaper. The picture caption said that a lot of people used to think that Charles Rohlfs made the bar, but that it was actually made by Jamestown Lounge Co. How do we know that's true?

A: Let's assume the foldout bar is not marked with a maker's name. That would be too easy. The bar is not uncommon - we have seen too many examples at shows and online. That gives researchers reason to believe that Rohlfs didn't make it.

Charles Rohlfs (1853-1936) was a respected cabinetmaker in Buffalo, N.Y. But many of his pieces were one-of-a-kind, and the rest were one of very few. Another clue is the construction methods used on the foldout bar. It's simply not made well enough to be the work of Rohlfs. Who did make it? That's a different problem. Experts agree that a furniture company in Jamestown, N.Y., made the bar, but they don't agree on which Jamestown company made it. Some sources say it was the Jamestown Lounge Co., which was in business from 1888 to 1963. Others say it was the Jamestown Furniture Co., founded in 1893. Whichever company it was, it appears that craftsmen there made a serious effort to copy Rohlfs' Arts and Crafts work.

Today the bar sells for about $1,500. If Rohlfs had made it, it would sell for many times that.

Q: What is a "brummagem"? It's a word I see in auctions of political stuff.

A: A brummagem is something that's worthless. Political collectors use this term to describe fakes, reproductions or fantasies.

Q: We recently found a solid wood 3-foot-square gameboard with a 1900 patent date printed on it. It has a flat checkerboard on one side with pictures of animals in squares around the checkerboard and pictures of country flags on the border. On the other side there's a recessed board shaped like a four-leaf clover. In each corner, outside the clover border, there's a little net that could hold game pieces. The board is marked "The Universal Combination Game Board, South Bend Toy Co., P.J. Neitzel, Patentee."What can you tell us about it?

A: In 1900, Paul J. Neitzel of South Bend received a separate design patent for each side of your gameboard. South Bend Toy Co. manufactured the patented boards in combination, with one gameboard on each side. South Bend Toy, which was in business from 1882 to 1985, was best known for its croquet sets. It also made rocking horses, doll carriages and child-size farm wagons. Your gameboard apparently never became a big seller, but one of them sold for $500 at auction a few years ago.

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