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Archive for Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kovel’s Antiques: Before chairs were for everyone, footstools reigned

August 26, 2012

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A cricket is an insect, but it also may be a footstool.

The cricket footstool was usually no more than 12 inches high. It was used as a seat for very young children in school or as a foot rest.

Larger stools, 12 inches to 18 inches high, were used for seating teenage children and adults.

A few stools were used like steps to help short people get into bed, and some very tall stools were made for stand-up desks. Taverns often used stools as seats.

Chairs were made only for kings and very important people until the early 1700s. Chair-makers made stools in popular chair styles.

Upholstered stools were billed as chairs were: one charge for the frame, an added one for the upholstery. Fabrics were expensive before the end of the 1800s, so the frame usually cost less than the fabric.

Footstools are still popular as pull-up seating, low tables and foot rests and for small children. They have been made in all styles and all sizes.

I have an old 9-inch figurine with “Chas Chaplin” engraved into the front of the base. The mark printed on the bottom is “Mark Hampton Co. Inc., 1328 Broadway, New York City, Copyrighted 1915-1910.” What is it worth?

Charlie Chaplin was the most famous film star in the world by the end of World War I. His legacy and star power carry on to the present day.

Early 20th-century figurines like yours are collectible. A Mark Hampton Co. Charlie Chaplin figurine in good condition with the original box recently sold at auction for $275.

I have a 27-inch-tall bronze sculpture stamped with the name Bouret. It is of a young woman adjusting the skirt layers of her dress. My wife and I inherited the figure years ago. Do you know the history of this sculpture?

Eutrope Bouret (1833-1906) was a French sculptor.

He made many bronze figures, including sculptures of Joan of Arc, classical maidens and Roman gods. Most of his work dates from the late 19th century.

His sculptures are collectible, and one of his statues recently sold for $3,256 at auction. But price depends on size, subject and condition.

I have some Jaru ceramic accessories from the 1970s: three vases, a covered ginger jar and a stylized nude figurine. They are all covered with a brown glossy glaze. What value would you attach to these pieces?

Jaru Art Products was started in 1950 by Jack and Ruth Hirsh in Culver City, Calif. The name is a combination of the first two letters of their first names (“Ja” and “ru”).

Jaru sold artwares and figurines by different artists. The company later created its own lines. Most pieces were marked with a simple paper sticker, although some have an impressed mark.

Jaru changed hands in 1968 and stayed in business until the 1990s by diversifying and importing products.

Collectors prefer pieces made before 1980. Your vases and ginger jar could sell for $20 to $75 each; the figurine is worth about $100.

I have a Salvador Dali etching of El Cid. There is a certificate of authenticity glued to the back that states it is an original etching. The certificate is from the Collectors Guild of New York City. I’m curious about the value.

Salvador Dali was a famous 20th-century Spanish surrealist painter. Besides painting, he also experimented with sculpture, film and photography.

In the early 1960s, he was commissioned to make a print series titled “Five Spanish Immortals” and based on historic Spaniards. The five included El Cid.

The original etchings were printed in a total edition of 180 on two types of paper, one in black ink and one in sepia ink. Each example of this edition was hand-signed by Dali in pencil on the lower right corner.

Many were marketed by the Collectors Guild. In 1968, the Collectors Guild published a new edition of the “Immortals.” For this edition, Dali etched his name into the printing plate instead of hand-signing the prints. Thousands were printed.

A rare hand-signed edition sold at auction in 2012 for $250. An etched-signature edition recently sold for $40.

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