Archive for Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kewpie dolls, accessories still popular to collect

May 11, 2008


This composition kewpie-like doll was made in the United States, but is unmarked. It has jointed arms and the typical splayed-finger hand seen on authentic Kewpies. It sold for just $50 at a recent Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

This composition kewpie-like doll was made in the United States, but is unmarked. It has jointed arms and the typical splayed-finger hand seen on authentic Kewpies. It sold for just $50 at a recent Cowan's auction in Cincinnati.

Current prices

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations.

¢ Mother Goose Popcorn box, cardboard, Washington Cracker Co., 6-by-2 1/2-by-2 1/2 in, $130.

¢ Jiggs ceramic ashtray, figural, black suit, white vest, red tie & cane, top hat, King Features, 1930s, 4 3/4-by-3 1/2-by-3 1/2 inches, $175.

¢ Patchwork quilt, Grandma's fan, blue, pink, red & mustard, printed fabric back, 1930s, 88-by-90 inches, $330.

¢ Silver-plated 2-piece child's feeding set, laminated cardboard display box with image of Mickey Mouse holding Minnie Mouse fork & Mickey Mouse spoon, c.1934, Wm. Rogers & Son, $380.

¢ Norah Wellings doll, Mistress Mary, felt, swivel head, orange organdy gown, 1935, 17 inches, $675.

¢ Carnival glass plate, Embroidered Mums pattern, ribbed back, ice green, 9 inches,$810.

¢ "The Ten Commandments" movie poster, shows the parting of the sea and Moses and Ramses (Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner), c.1964, 81 x 81 inches, $865.

¢ Red snakeskin tote, embroidered design, grosgrain lining, gilt brass frame, Judith Leiber, $1,325.

Kewpie is the name of a nude, elflike baby with fat cheeks, wide eyes, a topknot and tiny blue wings. Rose O'Neill drew the first Kewpies for a Ladies' Home Journal story in 1909. The drawings were turned into 3-D designs for Kewpie dolls and figurines by 1911. They were an immediate success, and several companies made Kewpies and Kewpie-related products. Dolls were made of bisque, celluloid, composition or hard plastic. There was a whole family of Kewpies, and you can find everything from a policeman to Doodle Dog. All have wings. Many other Kewpies can be found, both those designed by Rose O'Neill and those that are kewpie-like copies. You can collect related Kewpies on plates, coloring books, toys and even food cans. Kewpie is a major brand of mayonnaise and other foods in Japan, and it is also the name of a small U.S. hamburger chain. Kewpies are mascots for several schools, too, and a line of Kewpie cell phone charms was just offered in Japan. Kewpie dolls are still being made, and the word "kewpie" is now part of our language - not just a trademark.

We own a round oak table 38 inches in diameter. It sits on a pedestal with four legs with claw feet. The label on the bottom of the tabletop says, "H.C. Niemann & Co., Makers of Good Tables, 1801-1813 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, Ill., Tables and Leaves." The table has been in our family for over a century. We're interested in knowing when the table was made.

Henry C. Niemann organized H.C. Niemann & Co. in 1890 to make tables. The company made inexpensive and medium-priced tables of all kinds, including library, extension and kitchen tables. Your table was made between 1909, when the company moved to the 1800 block of Rockwell Street, and 1929, when it closed. So it's not quite 100 years old, but it's close.

Q. I own a wonderful Ludwig Moser cameo glass vase called "African Safari" from Moser's "Animor" series. It's in perfect condition. The vase is almost 18 inches tall and is clearly signed "Moser." Can you tell me what it might sell for?

A. Moser glass has been made by Ludwig Moser and Son since 1857. The company is located in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The African Safari vases date from the late 1920s into the 1930s. We have seen some decorated with acid cut-back jungle scenes and gilded highlights and others with cameo glass animals and acid-cut highlights. The size of your vase, its signature (a lot of Moser glass is not signed), condition and decoration make it valuable, possibly worth $5,000 or more.

Q. My snake-shaped silvery pin was sold to me as "silver set with marcasite." What is marcasite?

A. Marcasite is a mineral like pyrite ("fools gold"), but it has a different crystal structure. It is sometimes called "white iron pyrite." It is brittle, so pyrite is often used instead. The many-sided natural crystals are cut, polished and set into a metal mount. Marcasite also refers to jewelry made of pyrite, polished steel, polished onyx or white metal. Some claim that marcasite repels negative energies. It is still used in jewelry today.

Q. About 15 years ago I was out hunting for bottles along the Flint River and found one that's labeled "MacFuddy Beverages, Buckler Beverage Co., Flint, Michigan." The bottle pictures a man wearing a Scottish golf hat with a fluff ball on the top. No one I know in Flint remembers either the name MacFuddy or Buckler.

A. You have a soda bottle made in the 1960s. MacFuddy was bottled in Detroit in the 1940s, but by the 1960s, Buckler was bottling it in Flint. The brand appears to have disappeared after that. Your bottle sells today for about $12.

Q. My old electric toaster is called a "Toast-o-Lator." It's labeled "Model J" and was made in Long Island City, N.Y. We always called it a "walking toaster," because you put a slice of bread in at one end and it rides on a belt to the opposite end and comes out toasted. It seems unique to me. What do you think?

A. It is unusual, but not unique. Toaster collectors (there are many) refer to it as the "aristocrat of toasters." It was the only home toaster that moved slices of bread along an assembly line of heating elements. The Toastolator Co., a subsidiary of Crocker-Wheeler, made Toast-o-Lator toasters from 1939 to 1952. They were expensive, at about $20, and most parents today would consider them unsafe for children to use. Your model, the J, is the most common. A Model J sells for $15 up to $100. Don't use the toaster unless you have it checked out by an electrician.

Tip: Date wicker furniture from the label. "Wakefield Rattan Co." was used from 1855 to 1897; "Heywood-Wakefield Co.," 1868-1897; "Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co.," 1897-1921; "Heywood-Wakefield Co.," after 1921.


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