Collectors buy a standard one-sheet movie poster, 27 by 41 inches, or a three-sheet, 40 by 81 inches, or a half-sheet, 22 by 28 inches, or lobby cards that usually are 11 by 14 inches. Sometimes a full set of lobby cards — seven scene cards and one title card — is found. There also are cardboard window cards, autographs, promotional items, jewelry, T-shirts, toys and games, all related to a movie.
A lucky find for movie buffs this year was a jigsaw puzzle made with a photograph of Susan Hayward (1917-1975), a movie star and leading lady from 1937 to 1972. While there are many movie-star paper dolls, there are very few jigsaw puzzles.
Q: My grandmother was married in 1899 and received a curvy birch bedroom dresser and chest as a gift. Both pieces are mounted with a beveled mirror in a carved wooden frame. My mother wasn't fond of the furniture, but she kept it and now we're using it because we can tell its quality is a lot better than anything else we own. The label on the back of each piece says “Robert Mitchell Furniture Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.” Please tell us about the manufacturer and the furniture's value.
A: Robert Mitchell was an Irish immigrant who partnered with Frederick Rammelsberg to open a furniture-making business in Cincinnati in the 1830s or ‘40s. Mitchell & Rammelsberg incorporated in 1867. In 1881, after Rammelsberg had died, the corporate name was changed to Robert Mitchell Furniture Co. It remained in business until about 1940. Any Victorian-era furniture made by Mitchell & Rammelsberg or Robert Mitchell Furniture Co. is high-quality and prized by collectors.
Q: My 85-year-old mother-in-law gave my wife and me a six-sided large glass Planters Peanuts jar she has had for years. She told us her aunt worked in a bar a long time ago and the jar was on the counter for patrons to reach in and grab peanuts. There are fired-on yellow Mr. Peanut images around the outside of the jar, which has its original glass lid with a peanut finial. Are these old jars collectible?
A: Planters Peanuts have been around since 1906, and Mr. Peanut became the company's logo in 1916. Jars like yours have been made in many shapes and styles since then, but yours probably is the six-sided jar made in 1936. If your jar is in excellent condition, it could be worth $50 to $100. Advertising collectors love Mr. Peanut.
Q: I'm looking for information about my black amethyst vase. Can you help?
A: Black amethyst glass looks black until it's held to the light. Then it looks dark but not black. It has been made in many factories since 1860, so unless the piece has a maker's mark, it's impossible to tell who made it. Look for similar shapes online or in books about 19th- and 20th-century glass.
Q: I was given several Lladro figurines and would like to find out what they're worth and the best way to sell them, if I choose to.
A: Juan, Jose and Vicente Lladro started making Lladro porcelain in Almacera, Spain, in 1951. The company moved to Tabernes Blanques in 1958 and is still working. Figurines are made in both limited and unlimited editions, and a figurine may come in different colors and with different finishes. Most have a glossy glaze, some have a matte finish and some were made with Gres finish, a brightly colored satiny finish introduced in 1970. Lladro figurines can be hard to sell. Price depends on condition, glaze and rarity. You can check online to see what they are currently selling for, but most unlimited edition figurines sell for $50 to $150.
Q: I have two volumes of “The History of the Civil War in America,” by John S.C. Abbott. The first volume was published in 1863 and the second in 1865. The books have leather bindings and include engravings of battle scenes, maps and pictures of important men.
A: John Stevens Cabot Abbott (1805-1877) was a writer and Congregational minister who wrote inspirational books before he left the ministry in 1844. He wrote books about historical events and biographies after his retirement. Abbot was one of several northern authors who wrote histories of the Civil War while it was still being fought. The books helped shape public opinion about the war. Much of his information came from newspaper accounts of battles. Abbot's history of the Civil War was published in German as well as English because there were many German immigrants in the North. “The History of the Civil War in America” was sold by agents or by subscription, and a list of subscribers was printed in the books. Two volumes sold at auction last year for $75.
Write to Kovels, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.
(c) 2014 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
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.
Boehm Porcelain bridal rose, white, baby's breath, entwined hearts, “Our Love Forever,” c. 1981, 4 x 6 inches, $60.
Mail Pouch advertising thermometer, porcelain, red, blue, yellow, 1900s, 39 x 8 inches, $125.
Odd Fellows pottery jug, hexagonal, symbols, text, Staffordshire, c. 1850, 7 1/2 x 2 inches, $430.
Barbie doll, No. 3, brunette ponytail, striped swimsuit, Mattel, c. 1960, $435.
Bronze candlestick, Egyptian seated figures, filigree lotus-flower rim, France, c.1850, 7 inches, pair, $720.
Snuff bottle, agate, amber, carved peanuts design, coral stopper, oval, 1800s, 2 inches, $920.
Delft tobacco jar, blue flowers, scrolling cartouche, brass dome lid, oval, St. Omer label, 1700s, 15 1/2 inches, $960.
Map of North America, hand-colored, engraved, John Senex, London, 1710, 29 x 26 3/4 inches, $1,200.
Queen Anne corner chair, walnut, shaped slats, curved legs, Pennsylvania, c. 1765, $1,900.
Tall case clock, mahogany, convex glass, engraved brass dial, alarm wheel, brass weight driven, Massachusetts, c. 1810, 38 inches, $3,900.
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