Talented artists often become well-known for just one type of art when they actually created many different things.
Emile Galle (1846-1904), the famous artist known for his cameo glass, designed, made and sold pottery and furniture. The glass and furniture are popular with today’s collectors. The pottery is scarce and not well-known. Galle was a leader in Art Nouveau design and a passionate botanist, yet few of the art books mention anything but his cameo glass.
His father had a store and sold glass and ceramics. Galle studied glass making, design, botany and mineralogy, and he even served in the Franco-Prussian war. This training helped him in his commercial projects. After his schooling, he moved back to Nancy, France, where he was born and started his own workshop. In 1874, he directed the Saint-Clement pottery and eventually moved it to Nancy.
His pottery was exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, and later, he showcased both pottery and glass at another Paris exhibition. He set up his furniture shop in 1884. The wooden pieces feature marquetry using naturalistic designs similar to those found on his cameo glass.
Galle invented many new techniques for making glass, and he started the Art Nouveau style that used curved lines, shapes and natural designs with plants and animals. His Art Nouveau cameo glass was world-renowned, and he continued to study and write about horticultural subjects.
Galle died of leukemia when he was 58 after a long battle with the illness. A large faience-handled bowl with flowers, scrolls, dolphin heads and a picture of a sailboat was auctioned at a James Julia sale in 2017. Its marked with a Cross of Lorraine and the words “Emile Galle Fecit Modele depose” (Emile Galle registered design).
A similar bowl was on “Antiques Roadshow” in 2016 with an estimated value more than twice the price paid of $968.
Q: I have a pair of shoe roller skates with wooden wheels. There is a metal plate on the bottom with the number “5” and “Chicago Roller Skate Co., Ware Bros., Pat. Aug. 15, 1914, Made in U.S.A.” What can you tell me about them?
A: Ralph and Walter Ware bought The Chicago Roller Skate Co. in 1905. Their brother, Robert, joined the business in 1909. Roller skating was a popular pastime and Chicago had several roller rinks. Skates with wooden wheels were made to skate on the wood floor in roller rinks. The company also made racing skates, clamp-on skates for skating on sidewalks, parts for skates, lawn sprinklers and a few other products. Your shoe skates probably were made between 1914 and 1920. The company was bought by National Sporting Goods in the 1990s. Vintage shoe skates like yours sell for less than $200.
Q: I found a cigar box with a red-and-gold emblem on the lid and the words “Real Fabrica de Tabacos, Punch, F. Palicio, Inc.” On the bottom of the box it says “25 cigars, Hand Made in Spanish Honduras, Honduras American Tabaco, S.A.” Is it worth anything?
A: The Punch brand name was first registered in 1840. Ownership has changed several times since. Fernandez Palicio & Co. bought the brand name in 1930. After the Cuban embargo began in 1962, restrictions were put on bringing Cuban cigars into the U.S., so Punch cigars were made in Honduras. Your cigar box was made after Honduras-American Tobacco S.A. was founded in 1964. The company was sold to General Cigar Co. in 1996. Cigar boxes that aren’t old and don’t relate to an important event or person sell for very little, usually less than $10.
Tip: Beware! We hung a 1950s L’il Abner game board on the wall near a window. The sun removed all of the yellow color in a year. The grass in the print is now blue.
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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.
Amethyst glass, sugar, black amethyst, square, scallop rim, pedestal foot, handles, circa 1934, 4 inches, $25.
Game, Uncle Wiggily, pin the hat, Milton Bradley, frame, original packaging, hats, 24 by 30 7⁄8 inches, $71.
Cambridge glass, candy jar, lid, rose du barry, peach-blo, acid etched, silver leaf bands, knob, 6 inches, $115.
Sundial, armillary, bronze, ringed sphere, arrow, Roman numerals, pedestal, circa 1910, 10 by 7 inches, $140.
Ceremonial hermit dance mask, painted and carved wood, bearded man, Mexico, 1950s, 10 by 6 inches, $200.
Desk set, bronze kennel with hinged lid and dog on a chain, leather-covered base, inkwell, agate seal and matching pen, circa 1880, 6 by 4 inches, $635.
Fly catcher, blown glass, etched bamboo design, shouldered, spherical stopper, scroll feet, circa 1890, 13 inches, $735.
Church pew, bench seat, French Gothic, solid oak with carved linen fold panels and eight columns, circa 1900, 74 by 34 inches, $1,250.
Banner, sideshow, Madam Clair, The Psychic Wonder, psychic holding crystal ball, 80 by 120 inches, $4,320.