Autumn colors have inspired artists for centuries

  • By Terry Kovel
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3:18pm
  • Life

The colors of autumn have inspired artists for centuries to create fall landscapes.

Cameo glass artists often carved decorations from layers of glass made in the fall seasonal colors of orange and red.

A Daum Nancy vase made in France between about 1895 and 1920 pictures a lake scene with birch trees. The rectangular vase auctioned last year for almost $4,000.

Q: Please tell me the value of a Martha Washington sewing cabinet that belonged to my great-grandmother in the 1880s.

There is a semicircular wooden storage compartment with a hinged lid on each side. And why is it named after George Washington’s wife?

A: Martha Washington (1731-1802) enjoyed knitting and used a similar type of sewing table, without drawers, at Mount Vernon.

The style you describe, along with its name, was not introduced until the 1920s. The first lady’s name was used to market the style, which became especially popular during the Depression.

In other words, your great-grandmother’s table is not as old as you think it is. But depending on its quality and condition, it could sell for about $200.

Q: When cleaning out a cupboard, I found an Old Plantation wooden cigar box about 7 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches wide.

The outside and inside labels picture plantation scenes. There’s a 1901 IRS stamp on it. Please tell me something about the box.

A: The value of old wooden cigar boxes varies considerably depending on condition. The Old Plantation brand name dates from around the turn of the 20th century.

Some Old Plantation boxes have impressed labels, while others have paper labels. A box with inside and outside paper labels in excellent condition recently auctioned for nearly $500.

Q: In the summer of 1972, I was traveling in Europe and read that Paul McCartney and Wings were to appear at the Montreux Pavilion in Montreux, Switzerland. So off I went.

The streets were lined with posters for the concert, so I pried one loose, and today it’s framed and hanging on a wall in my basement. Any idea what it’s worth?

A: McCartney’s stop in Montreux was part of his new group’s “Wings over Europe” tour. Your poster, obviously an original, is not as valuable as an original Beatles poster. Still, it could sell for up to $70.

Q: In 1950, on my fifth birthday, I was given an Empire toy stove. It was made by Metal Ware Corp. If you could give me any information on it, I would appreciate it.

A: Metal Ware Corp. has been operating in Two Rivers, Wis., for more than 90 years.

It has made steam engines, driving accessories, popcorn poppers, roasters, hotdog warmers and other electric cooking appliances.

In 1921 Metal Ware Corp. bought patent rights to the Empire toy line from Hughes Electric Co. of Chicago and began to make toy stoves. The stoves worked and would probably horrify today’s safety-conscious parents.

Your 1940s toy stove sells today for $10 to $35, depending on condition. Older Empire stoves from the 1920s and 1930s sell for more.

Write to Terry Kovel, (The Herald), King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

© 2013, Cowles Syndicate Inc.

On the block

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.

Comical History of America board game, Parker Brothers, box, 1924, 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches, $40.

Effanbee Fluffy doll, Girl Scout, blond hair, c. 1965, 8 1/2 inches, $45.

Abingdon Pottery dish, shell shape, cream, flowers, gilt trim, 12 x 8 inches, $50.

McCoy Pottery basket, leaves, berries, green ground, 9 1/2 inches, $55.

Barometer, cast iron, inscribed “S.C. Bowen,” N.Y., c. 1890, 37 inches, $90.

Hatpin holder, glass, iridescent, dark blue, stylized butterfly, c. 1910, 2 x 1 1/2 x 10 inches, $125.

Carousel horse, carved, painted, tan, brown, glass eyes, c. 1960, 50 1/2 x 42 inches, $175.

Derby porcelain mug, orange and blue flowers, gilt scrollwork, c. 1835, 6 3/4 inches, $185.

Miniature bookstand, walnut, carved leaves, acorns, Jabbar Kahn &Son, c. 1900, 14 x 11 inches, $205.

Buster Brown bank, standing horse, horseshoe, Buster &Tige, Arcade Manufacturing Co., c. 1908, 7 inches, $395.

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