The telephone lamp is a relic of the past
Advertising and in-store collectibles have historical significance and brand recognition as well as artistic value. A combination of the three fetched this lamp a $2,700 price at the Morford Antique Advertising Auction.
The lamp was made by Fenton, a well-known art glass company. Its bell-shaped blue shade for Bell Telephone Co. is eye-catching. The inscription “Local and long distance telephone” marks it as a relic of the past.
There is no longer a need for payphones today, when most people carry a phone with them and can get service wherever they go. But even before the era of cell phones, people loved having access to a phone wherever they went. This lamp was probably hung in a hotel lobby to inform visitors that a telephone was available.
Question: My wife has accumulated a collection of items at flea sales. Most are matching cups, saucers and dessert plates in Depression Pink glass. Can you tell me if there is currently interest and value in items like this?
Answer: Pink was one of the most popular colors of Depression glass. Glass was mass-produced, made in many designs, and affordable. Some models are more valuable than others, and like many collectibles, reproductions are plentiful. Your photo shows several patterns. A 54-piece set of Depression pink glass in various designs recently sold for $132.
Q: My grandmother’s cast iron Lodge skillet was one of her prized possessions. She had very specific rules about how to use it and how to clean it. Is Lodge collectable? Are frying pans and other old kitchen utensils valuable?
A: Lodge Cast Iron has been manufacturing quality cookware and accessories since 1896. They are manufactured at two foundries in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. People love their cast iron skillets and they sell well at flea markets. Skilled makers often carved small, unique figures (“maker’s marks”) into their work to identify themselves. Lodge stoves from 1900 to 1910 were called “Blacklock”.
The pans can be identified by an outer heat ring, embossed size numbers on the top of the handles, embossed moulder’s lettermarks on the bottom at 6 o’clock, and broken T-shaped handles. Your grandmother had the wisdom to have rules about her cleaning.
To maintain and improve the seasoning of the pan, it should be cleaned with a small amount of soap. If necessary, use a scraper for stuck-on food. For stubborn stuck-on food, simmer some water in the pan for three to five minutes, then use the scraper after it has cooled. Antique Lodge cast iron pans have sold at recent auctions and flea markets for $20 to $100, depending on age, size, and condition.
Q: Can you give me information on a beveled mirror with a brass colored frame and stand that has a small image of an old woman sitting in a chair on the back? The image measures 3 ¾ inches high by 2 ½ inches wide. Below is a tribute to “Mother” written by Baroness von Hutten. I bought the mirror at a garage sale over 30 years ago.
A: The image behind your mirror is known as “Whistler’s Mother”. This is a print based on a painting titled “Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1” by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) in 1871. She became known as “Whistler’s Mother” because her mother was the picture model. Whistler was born in the United States, educated in France, and lived in London for several years. The original oil painting is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It has been reproduced many times, with and without the poem.
Q: Plastic and metal lunch boxes from the 1960s and 1970s are of great interest to me. I have a Holly Hobbie lunch box with thermos that I carried in elementary school. Are lunch boxes hot collectibles?
A: Collectible lunch boxes bring back childhood memories of favorite TV shows, movies, cartoons, sports teams and musical groups. Holly Hobbie (1944) is an American writer and illustrator whose works sometimes appear on lunch boxes. She is the author of the popular children’s books “Toot and Puddle” and the creator of the character that bears her name. In the early 1970s, Hobbie sold artwork of a cat-loving little girl in a rag dress in a giant beanie to American Greetings. This series of illustrations became extremely popular and its originally unnamed character became known as “Holly Hobbie”. Your lunch box, if authentic, is worth around $40.
POINT: Learn the dates of business cards and other advertisements from phone numbers. Numbers were first used in 1878. The seven-digit number was in use in the 1940s; less than seven digits date the map from 1878 to the 1940s. From the 1920s to the 1950s, most urban areas had a two-letter “interchange” followed by digits. These began to be phased out in 1958, but some were still in use more than 20 years later.
Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer reader questions sent to the column. Send a letter with a question describing the size, material (glass, pottery) and what you know about the item. Include only two photos, the item and a close-up of any marks or damage. Make sure your name and return address are included. Questions that are answered will appear in Kovels’ posts. Write to Kovels, (Name of this newspaper), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at [email protected]
Current prices are recorded from antique shows, flea markets, sales and auctions across the United States. Prices vary by location due to local economic conditions.
Toy, marbles, Akro Agate, seven in each of seven designs, red fitted box with logo, black crow in letter A, Shoot Straight As A Kro Flies around border, marbles each 5/8 inch, $49.40 set.
Advertising blackboardPabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Quality Since 1844, sparkling glass, logo ribbon, tin, blue background, inset board, cardboard back, 1960s, 26 x 17 inches, $125.
Lampchandelier, Ovali, Gaetano Sciolari, chrome, two tiers, alternating candles with vertical glass rods, matt chrome ovals with textured glass disc drops, 1970s, 20 x 20 inches, $375.
Wood carvingmirror, Moroccan design, foliage and leaves, carved and painted wood, beaded lining, molded border, 20th century, 60 x 48 inches, $500.
porcelain potcovered, oxblood glaze, bulbous, rounded shoulder, folded edge, finial button, Chinese, 13 inches, $810.
Clothesgraduation cap and gown, Harvard, doctorate, black silk worsted, black velvet barrettes, crimson silk hood, cap with black pompom, gown by Cottrell & Leonard of Albany, cap by ER Moore of Chicago, 1920s, 995 $.
coin machinetrade pacer, Reel “21”, Black Jack game, Deal slots, House & Draw, metal, black and red, 20th century, 9 ¾ x 12 x 9 ½ inches, $1,180.
Tiffany Favrile Glass Vaseiridescent gold, vines plucked from green leaves, bulbous, stocky, swollen neck, flared rim, marked Favrile and Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, 4 ½ x 7 ¾ inches, $1,690.
Furniturebench, dog shape, folk art style, wood, black paint, long ears, curved tail, four shaped legs, elongated seat, 28 x 40 x 15 inches, $2,000.
BagBoy Bag, Chanel, black quilted Caviar calfskin, fabric interior with patch pocket, leather and gold chain, logo, 10 x 4 inches, $3,440.