Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kovel’s Antiques: Modern designs attract furniture collectors

June 13, 2010

Advertisement

This love seat is made of brushed aluminum with a powder coating. The seat is velvet. It was made in the 1990s and sold for $889 at a Skinner auction in Boston.

This love seat is made of brushed aluminum with a powder coating. The seat is velvet. It was made in the 1990s and sold for $889 at a Skinner auction in Boston.

The 20th century brought a new style of furniture. Earlier furniture designers made slight changes in the shape of a leg or the height of a chair-back as they went from Queen Anne to Chippendale to Sheraton to Empire to Victorian to Arts and Crafts. Suddenly chairs became expensive art objects that looked like round plastic bubbles hanging from the ceiling or a group of strangely shaped cushions that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Not everyone liked the new designs, so most furniture still resembled old-time favorites. But modern chairs made since the 1950s of Lucite or bent plywood or cardboard or unusual fabrics have been pictured in decorating magazines, movies and TV shows and are being copied for everyday use. Designers are searching for even more unusual “looks.” Many are odd and often uncomfortable. One designer, Christopher Royal, began his career as an actor. Then he made jewelry and later a group of miniature chairs meant to be displayed on a shelf. The unusual chairs attracted Tiffany & Co., which used them in window displays starting in 1995. In 1998 the chairs were made full-size by Rockledge Design Studios of Florida. Today you can buy 21st-century chairs and 20th-century chairs that are still in production. All attract collectors of modern design.

Q: I have a shallow divided box with 17 Coca-Cola stamping plates of various sizes. They appear to be brass attached to a solid wood back. I received them in the box and they look like they belong there. The stamps have pictures and writing in reverse. Can you tell me something about them?

A: You have a printer’s job case with the plates that were used to typeset ads in newspapers or magazines. Old printer’s boxes make interesting display cases for small collectibles and sell for $10 or more, depending on size. Your Coca-Cola printing plates would be of interest to a Coca-Cola collector, and are worth about $10-$20 each.

Q: I have a pump organ with collapsible legs that has a label that reads “Peloubet, Pelton & Co.” I’ve been told it is a melodeon and was probably made in the late 1800s. Can you tell me if this is correct?

A: Peloubet, Pelton & Co. was formed in 1873 by Louis Chabrier Peloubet and J.M. Pelton when they merged their two musical-instrument manufacturing firms. Peloubet had been making wind instruments since 1836 and small reed organs, called melodeons, since 1849. Pelton’s firm had been named Pelton Standard Organ Co. The partnership, based in New Jersey, dissolved in about 1882. Peloubet continued in business under other names.

Q: Somewhere I read that cracked china teacups could be saved by boiling them in milk. If this is possible, what grade of milk — whole, half, fat-free — should be used? How long is the boiling process? I’m considering donating a set of china to a charity and two of the cups are cracked.

A: We’ve seen several sources that recommend repairing china by boiling it in milk. Evidently the hint originally came from a 1940s book of home remedies. We’ve never tried it. It might help if the cracks aren’t too large. Test the method on one cup. Put the cup in a pan and cover it with milk. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s whole milk or not. Bring the milk to a boil and then immediately lower it to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. The protein in the milk may react with the kaolin in the china and “mend” the crack. Be careful. If you continue to “cook” the china at a high heat, the crack may widen. Let the milk cool completely before taking the cup out. If the china is valuable, you should have it professionally repaired.

Q: Can you tell me if Black, Starr & Frost ever made silver-plated items? I am trying to identify a six-sided two-handled tray marked “7033.”

A: The mark “7033” is not much of a clue to the tray’s maker. But it wasn’t Black, Starr & Frost. Black, Starr & Frost has never manufactured silver or silver-plate. It has only been a retailer, and probably exclusively of sterling silver. The company name, not the maker’s name, was often put on items ordered by a store.

Q: I would like to know the value of some toll tickets for the first crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge.

A: The Brooklyn Bridge opened to foot and vehicle traffic on May 24, 1883. Tickets were sold on both sides of the bridge beginning just before midnight the day before. Walkers who crossed that day were charged a penny. The cost rose to 3 cents the next day. Vehicles were charged a nickel. If your tickets are dated May 23 or 24, 1883, for crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on opening day, they would be of interest to a New York historical society. Their value is hard to estimate. More than 150,000

Tip: Wood-boring beetle larvae sometimes find their way into furniture in a house. The adult beetles emerge in July or August and fly to other pieces of furniture. Watch for signs of pinhead-size holes or sawdust. Spray immediately and treat with appropriate bug-killing chemicals.

— Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or e-mail addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, 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., New York, NY 10019.

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.

• 1893 Falstaff Gourmet Club lobster dinner menu, embossed color lithograph of young chef holding red lobster, 16 courses, entertainment program on back, 7 x 4 1/2 inches, $25.

• Stereopticon viewer, wood and metal, 5-inch viewing lens, 7-inch cardholder, 1930s, 12 1/2 inches, $95.

• Seibert Fly Killer tin, round, image of large black fly o n top, yellow ground, blue trim, white letters, copyright Nov. 4, 1913, 4 3/4 inches, $110.

• Child’s costume of Navy officer’s “blues,” anchor badge on collar, winged anchor above chest stripes, eight anchor buttons, Peppy Play Costume, No. 57, 1940s, $115.

• “I Love Lucy” Ricky Jr. changing table/bassinet, vinyl, metal frame, tie-down straps, lift lid reveals tub, diaper pouch, Trimble Products, 1953, 16 x 26 x 30 inches, $230.

• Judith Leiber clutch purse, rectangular, applied crystals all over, cabochon amethyst clasp, drop-in shoulder strap, Leiber plaque, 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, $660.

• Adirondack settee and armchair, hickory, rectangular back, woven splint panel, cylindrical legs, rustic form, c. 1920, 39-x-51-inch settee, 23-inch armchair, $690.

• Steuben tazza, ribbed bowl and base, ruby red, clear oval connector engraved with Burlington pattern daisy surrounded by leaves, marked, 7 x 8 inches, $860.

• Teco wall pocket, organic leaf design, green matte glaze, signed, 7 1/2 x 15 inches, $900.

• Scottish sampler, eyelet stitches below bands of geometric designs, letters, numbers and rampant lion, wool on linen, “MH 1737” stitched on bottom, 21 x 7 1/2 inches, $2,475.

Comments

wildvke 4 years, 4 months ago

Curious about this info to the question and comment listed below from Aug 17th, 2010. Thanks. Q: Can you tell me if Black, Starr & Frost ever made silver-plated items? I am trying to identify a six-sided two-handled tray marked “7033.”

A: The mark “7033” is not much of a clue to the tray’s maker. But it wasn’t Black, Starr & Frost. Black, Starr & Frost has never manufactured silver or silver-plate. It has only been a retailer, and probably exclusively of sterling silver. The company name, not the maker’s name, was often put on items ordered by a store.

The link I found the info about Black, Star and Frost > http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Black,Starr%26_Frost

INFO about the Answer to the question above>>> BLACK, STARR & FROST (1810 - present) One of America’s oldest fine jewelers. Black, Star and Frost traces its roots to 1810. In that year, Erastus Barton and Frederick Marquand opened Marquand and Barton near New York’s Maiden Lane. The firm added and lost partners numerous times; it also frequently moved locations, depending on the whereabouts of its prestigious clientele. Its merchandise was eclectic and included lamps, jewelry, paintings, porcelain, and artistic objects.[1] In 1876, the firm changed its name from Black, Ball, and Co. to Black, Starr, and Frost, and moved to 251 Fifth Avenue. Its inventory became focused on jewelry and silver objects: some imported from Europe, some produced in-house. For many decades, Black, Starr, and Frost was considered one of the great American jewelers. In 1876, it was invited to exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia along with renowned firms like Tiffany & Company, Whiting, and Gorham. [1] In 1939, the firm was one of five American jewelers invited to exhibit at New York’s World’s Fair.[1] While it was never an innovator in the realm of jewelry design, Black, Star, and Frost has produced exquisite jewelry in almost every era. In 1929, it merged with Gorham to become Black, Starr, Frost—Gorham Inc.[1] In 1962, it again merged with Marcus & Co. In 2006, Alfredo Molina acquired the firm.[1] Though its flagship store in New York is now closed, the firm still has a location in Costa Mesa, California.

I believe that you stated they NEVER made silver or silver plate?. I believe it is not a correct statement. Thanks Vickie Costello

Commenting has been disabled for this item.