French figurine is worth $800 to $900


Q: I would like some information about this figurine. It was purchased from a dealer in Missouri, and we were told that it is Meissen. There is a large anchor on the bottom.

A: The Meissen mark was crossed swords. Samson & Co. in Paris used the anchor mark. Your figurine was probably made in the late 1800s and might sell for $800 to $900.

Q: Enclosed is the mark on the bottom of my Belleek bamboo-pattern teapot. I would like to know when it was made and how much it is worth.

A: Your Belleek teapot was made in County Fermanagh, Ireland, by David McBirney & Co. during the late 1800s. It would probably sell for at least $500 to $600.

Q: The mark on the bottom of a small oval candy dish is the letter "T" over a fish. Please tell me what you can about its origin and value.

A: Your candy dish was made by the Carl Thieme Co. in Potschappel, Germany, during the late 1800s. It probably would sell for $75 to $85.

Q: Many dealers are selling various items, which they say are made of celluloid. What can you tell me about this and why is it collectible?

A: John Wesley Hyatt invented a synthetic moldable material that he called celluloid. It was, in effect, an imitation ivory, but it was highly inflammable and gradually was replaced with safer plastics.

Here are some typical prices:

Shoe horn -- $25.

Manicure box -- $50.

Handkerchief box -- $25.

Glove box -- $40.

Collar and cuff box -- $65.

Cane (dog's head) -- $75.

Q: I have a small collection of shaving mugs. Recently, I ran across what I was told was a shaving basin used by barbers in years gone by. Can you tell me anything about them?

A: Shaving basins were used by barbers in the years before indoor plumbing. They were about 12 inches in diameter with an arc cut away to fit a man's neck. The barber filled it with water and dipped his straight

razor in the basin.

Shaving mugs sell for less than $100. Basins bring at least five times as much.

Q: Do dovetails prove that a piece of furniture is an antique? What if there are no dovetails in the drawers, etc.?

A: Dovetails in antique furniture vary in size and spacing. Those in factory-made furniture are precisely spaced and equal in size.

The lack of dovetails usually indicates that a piece was the primitive work of a country cabinetmaker.

Q: Can you give me some idea of the value of my cookie jar made in the shape of an Indian's head? It is marked "McCoy Pottery."

A: Your cookie jar was made in the early 1900s and would probably sell for $165 to $185.

Q: I have a Beatles concert program signed by all four Beatles. It was at the Chicago International Amphitheater, Sept. 5, 1964.

A: This is a popular collectible. In good condition, it might sell for as much as $200.

Q: I have a pair of Mickey and Minnie Mouse hand puppets in very good condition. Can you give me some idea what they might sell for and where I can find a buyer?

A: These puppets were made in the 1950s and would probably sell for $65 to $75 for the pair.

Q: What can you tell me about a cast-iron Campbell Kids bank? It belonged to my grandfather, so it must be quite old.

A: Your bank was made about 1915 and might sell for $165 to $175 in good condition.

Q: What can you tell me about a cast-iron vending machine (penny gum)? It is six-sided and painted red. It dispenses various brands of stick gum.

A: Gum machines like this were popular in the 1930s. In really good condition, it might sell for $165 to $185.

Q: I would like to know something about a glass water pitcher. It has a picture of Adm. George Dewey and is inscribed, "Gridley, you may fire when ready!" It also has an eagle with a shield.

A: This pressed-glass pitcher was a Spanish-American War commemorative made in 1898. It would probably sell for $125 to $135.

Q: Do I have a choice find in this antique churn? It is a tapered

wooden cylinder with staves like a barrel and four steel bands. The --er has a round handle about 4 feet long.

A: Your primitive churn was made in the late 1800s and would probably sell for about $225 to $235.

With the --er put away for safe keeping, these made picturesque wastebaskets.

Q: I would appreciate it if you would tell me something about the vintage and value of my store model coffee grinder. It is 12 inches high and was made by Landers, Frary & Clark in New Britain, Conn.

A: These commercial coffee mills are very popular with collectors. Yours was made soon after the turn of the century and would probably sell for $400 to $500.

Q: The bottom of my china inkstand is decorated with blue, orange and gold flowers with gilt trim. It consists of an ink bottle and two pen holders. It is 6 inches long and 3 1/2 inches high.

Please tell me what you think about its age and value.

A: This mark was used by the Mason company in Lane Delph, England, early in the 19th century. An inkstand such as this is a rare find and would probably sell for at least $1,000.

Letters with picture(s) are welcome and may be answered in the column. We cannot reply personally or return pictures. Address your letters to James G. McCollam, P.O. Box 1087, Notre Dame, Ind. 46556. Mr. McCollam is a member of the Antique Appraisers Association of America.

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