Terry and Kim Kovel

The pumpkin-head dancers are wearing their original blue felt and cotton sailor outfits. They are 8 1/2 inches tall and in excellent working condition, so a collector paid $1,920. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Halloween dancing couple with pumpkin heads sells for $1,900

The toy from early 1900s is on a wheeled platform, so the pumkin-head dancers go in circles when wound up.

 

This Worcester Dr. Wall cup and saucer is in the Kakiemon pattern. It's porcelain and was made around 1785. It sold for $160 at a Neal auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

The trick to telling if your dish is antique Worcester porcelain

When you hold the 18th-century plate up to a strong light, the white china appears to be light green.

 

This toy refrigerator can be dated by the square section that held a block of ice, an early type used from the 1840s. It sold at auction in “unplayed with” condition with a pristine box for more than $1,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This toy refrigerator from 1840s has spot for block of ice

A recent auction sold the play icebox with its original pristine box for $1,440. It is 5½ inches tall.

 

No, this is not a table. It is four tables made to fit together until they are needed. The clever set sold for about $1,400 at a recent Cottone auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This strange table is one of modernist Italian designer’s works

It’s actually a nest of four tables, designed by Gianfranco Frattini in the 1960s.

No, this is not a table. It is four tables made to fit together until they are needed. The clever set sold for about $1,400 at a recent Cottone auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Egg cup frame made of sterling silver is over 200 years old

An English breakfast could be served with very fancy and expensive dishes and silver serving pieces.

This French window bench was in style the last half of the 18th century. Although it was made to use by a window, it is popular with decorators today as a hall bench or a seat at the end of a bed. This bench sold for about $1,600 at an auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

French window bench in style the last half of the 18th century

This Provincial Louis XVI fruitwood window seat was sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,625.

This French window bench was in style the last half of the 18th century. Although it was made to use by a window, it is popular with decorators today as a hall bench or a seat at the end of a bed. This bench sold for about $1,600 at an auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Tea, an expensive luxury in the 18th century, was kept in a locked box. This tea caddy on a pedestal is 33 inches high by 16 inches wide. It auctioned for almost $3,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Impressive tea caddy features inlay picturing Queen Victoria

Tea was a luxury in the 18th century, so special boxes were made for it with a lock and key.

Tea, an expensive luxury in the 18th century, was kept in a locked box. This tea caddy on a pedestal is 33 inches high by 16 inches wide. It auctioned for almost $3,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Egg chairs popular among midcentury modern designers

At least five famous midcentury modern designers made chairs that looked like large hard-boiled eggs with a cutout for seating space: Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971), Milo… Continue reading

This Satsuma vase with intricate reticulation and decoration brought over $14,000 at a Cottone auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Old Satsuma vase made in Meiji period sells for over $14,000

The piece features intricate reticulation and decoration. The original insert was signed by the artist.

This Satsuma vase with intricate reticulation and decoration brought over $14,000 at a Cottone auction. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This elephant is swinging the clock, but there doesn’t seem to be anything making it move. That is why it is known as a swinger or mystery clock. It is 11 inches tall. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Mystery of the elephant swinging clock made in 1900 solved

The “swinger” keeps time and the pendulum keeps swinging, but there is no sign of a power source.

This elephant is swinging the clock, but there doesn’t seem to be anything making it move. That is why it is known as a swinger or mystery clock. It is 11 inches tall. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
The bottle was described in the catalog as one of the most unusual figural bottles they had ever auctioned. It was made about 1890. “Seidel C. / Hoflieferanten / Breslau” is on the base. Auction price with premium, $780. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Rare bottle from 1890 shaped like a Prussian military helmet

The 7-inch vessel is made of dark amber glass with a wooden spike and a partial German label. It sold for $780.

The bottle was described in the catalog as one of the most unusual figural bottles they had ever auctioned. It was made about 1890. “Seidel C. / Hoflieferanten / Breslau” is on the base. Auction price with premium, $780. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This is an antique mixing table that is 40 inches high and 36 inches wide. It is used to store liquor, mix drinks and become a serving table in a dining room. It sold for about $3,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Antique mixing table had nothing to do with recording music

The furniture was used in a Southern dining room to mix drinks. There were special shelves to store bottles.

This is an antique mixing table that is 40 inches high and 36 inches wide. It is used to store liquor, mix drinks and become a serving table in a dining room. It sold for about $3,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This terrestrial globe was made by Rand-McNally in the 1930s. The stand is made of mahogany. The 17-inch globe has a calibrated meridian and a paper horizon band. It sold at Locati Auctions for $154. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

First terrestrial globe known to historians likely made in 1492

If you’re looking for one made before the 1930s, check country names. For example, Persia became Iran in 1935.

This terrestrial globe was made by Rand-McNally in the 1930s. The stand is made of mahogany. The 17-inch globe has a calibrated meridian and a paper horizon band. It sold at Locati Auctions for $154. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This iron picture frame was designed to be used by a family during the Civil War. It held a picture of President Abraham Lincoln and another picture of the family’s uniformed soldier. It is 19 inches high and 12 inches wide. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Picture frame was designed for a family during the Civil War

It held a picture of President Abraham Lincoln and another picture of the family’s uniformed soldier.

This iron picture frame was designed to be used by a family during the Civil War. It held a picture of President Abraham Lincoln and another picture of the family’s uniformed soldier. It is 19 inches high and 12 inches wide. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This watercolor is a mourning picture made about 1830. It is in a 7-by-9-inch frame. The picture sold for more than $22,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This mourning picture from about 1830 sold for over $22,000

The watercolor was made for Amos Tyler, who died in 1829, probably in Massachusetts, at the age of 38.

This watercolor is a mourning picture made about 1830. It is in a 7-by-9-inch frame. The picture sold for more than $22,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This iron figure representing Horatio Lord Nelson is part of an iron umbrella holder made for the front hall of a Victorian house. Few collectors today would recognize the man as a British naval hero who lived from 1758 to 1805. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Figure of British naval hero adorns iron umbrella holder

Few collectors today would recognize Horatio Lord Nelson, who lived from 1758 to 1805.

This iron figure representing Horatio Lord Nelson is part of an iron umbrella holder made for the front hall of a Victorian house. Few collectors today would recognize the man as a British naval hero who lived from 1758 to 1805. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Pottery sandwich looks good enough to eat — except for the frog

This David Gilhooly sculpture sold for $2,125. He added frogs to his artwork as a running joke.

Tradename and logo for Baker Furniture Co. in use since the 1930s

This Biedermeier secretaire a abattant has a “Baker” label. It sold for $1,063 at an auction in 2019.

Antique lobster doorstop from early 20th century sells for $1,800

While this rarity appears to have original faded paint, watch out for reproductions made since the 1980s.

Prices steadily going up on vintage ad signs in good shape

Would you believe a whopping $1,080 for this sign from the early 1900s?