Terry and Kim Kovel

The 13-inch-high antique wooden San Rafael figure with wings and holding a staff and a fish sold at a Cottone auction for $9,600. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Wooden figure of San Rafael the Archangel made circa 1763

Fra Andreas Garcia, an 18th-century Mexican Franciscan friar and folk artist, carved and painted the figurine.

 

This large, enameled copper plate is decorated with a stylized rooster, fish and three star-like designs. The back is textured enamel with the mark "Karamu OH Hykes." (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Enameled bowl by talented Karamu artist should fetch thousands

The shallow bowl with a stylized picture of a rooster on the front was signed “Karamu OH Hykes” on the back.

 

This Dimitri Omersa lion footstool auctioned at a Jeffrey Evans Associates sale for $3,159. Other animals have sold at auction for $1,000 to $5,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This Dimitri Omersa lion footstool sold at auction for $3,000

Today there are 39 different Omersa Co. animal footstools sold by stores like Liberty and Abercrombie Fitch.

 

This stenciled wooden wagon with removable side panels from the early 1900s sold at a Cowan auction for $160. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Newsboy sold newspapers out of this Detroit Times wagon

Around 1899, the price of 10 papers was 5 cents. Most of the newsboys were homeless and this is how they earned a living.

This stenciled wooden wagon with removable side panels from the early 1900s sold at a Cowan auction for $160. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This early cardboard Cream of Wheat trolley car sign auctioned online at AntiqueAdvertising.com for $200. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Was Cream of Wheat served cold? Antique sign suggests campaign

Most advertising, even today, promotes cooked cereal as eaten hot. When cold, some get hard and lumpy.

This early cardboard Cream of Wheat trolley car sign auctioned online at AntiqueAdvertising.com for $200. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Photo Caption: To help calm little boys getting a first haircut, barbers ordered special chairs with added seats shaped like animals. The Emil Paidar Company made this chair in the early 20th century. It was a feature that added value to the Cowan chair at auction. It sold for $1,375, just a few bids from the low estimate.

(c) 2021 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

Vintage barbershop chairs often displayed in living rooms

Special figural chairs made to look like rocking horses calmed little boys during their first haircuts.

Photo Caption: To help calm little boys getting a first haircut, barbers ordered special chairs with added seats shaped like animals. The Emil Paidar Company made this chair in the early 20th century. It was a feature that added value to the Cowan chair at auction. It sold for $1,375, just a few bids from the low estimate.

(c) 2021 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Scales to weigh pedestrians were not available in public places until the 1890s. This scale was made of iron and porcelain by Peerless Weighing Machine Co. It sold at a Cowan auction for $344. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Coin scales on the streets earned $1,000 a year — a penny at a time

From 1890 to 1930, you could weight yourself with a coin-operated scale found on a street corner.

Scales to weigh pedestrians were not available in public places until the 1890s. This scale was made of iron and porcelain by Peerless Weighing Machine Co. It sold at a Cowan auction for $344. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Fake bamboo was often used as trim on late Victorian furniture. The trim plus the clever side lock on the chest made this Horner piece worth over $1,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Fake bamboo often used as trim on late Victorian furniture

A Horner chest of drawers with a side lock fashioned out of a bamboo pole sold at auction for $1,088.

Fake bamboo was often used as trim on late Victorian furniture. The trim plus the clever side lock on the chest made this Horner piece worth over $1,000. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This is a Canton bulb tray that was used to force bulbs or plant a Bonsai. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Blue and white Canton china has been popular for centuries

Its decorations have meanings reflecting endurance, harmony in nature, movement, the old leading the young, or life.

This is a Canton bulb tray that was used to force bulbs or plant a Bonsai. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
A tussie mussie is a flower holder popular in the late 19th century. It was filled with fresh flowers to be sniffed during an evening to cover the unpleasant smells of poor sanitation. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Women carried tussie mussies with them in Victorian times

This funnel-shaped metal cone was a fashionable accessory with an important purpose.

A tussie mussie is a flower holder popular in the late 19th century. It was filled with fresh flowers to be sniffed during an evening to cover the unpleasant smells of poor sanitation. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
These Campeche chairs are made of mahogany with a small, circular inlay of a lighter wood. They were estimated to be worth $5,000 each. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Thomas Jefferson had one of these chairs named for a Mexican city

The name “Campeche” comes from its use in Campeche, Mexico, where it was popular in the late 18th century.

These Campeche chairs are made of mahogany with a small, circular inlay of a lighter wood. They were estimated to be worth $5,000 each. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This strange looking cast-iron tool is a coffee grinder. Beans go in the top, the lid is put in place and the beans are ground and drop into the lower section mounted on a wooden base. It sold for $413 a few years ago. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

This strange looking cast-iron tool is a coffee grinder

The Enterprise Manufacturing Co. founded in 1864 was one of the leading makers of grinders.

This strange looking cast-iron tool is a coffee grinder. Beans go in the top, the lid is put in place and the beans are ground and drop into the lower section mounted on a wooden base. It sold for $413 a few years ago. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This oak 19th-century "cave a liqueur" holds four decanters and 16 liqueur glasses. It is decorated with silvered mounts of hunting dogs. The 11-inch-high box sold at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $4,250. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Don’t confuse the vintage cave a liqueur with a tantalus

Both have decanter bottles, both have drinking glasses, both can have locks — but they’re not the same thing.

This oak 19th-century "cave a liqueur" holds four decanters and 16 liqueur glasses. It is decorated with silvered mounts of hunting dogs. The 11-inch-high box sold at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $4,250. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This Mettlach Earlyware mustard pot sold at Fox Auction Co. in Iowa for $90. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Ceramics collectors pay highest prices for pre-fire pieces

Earlyware pieces were made before 1880. They were formed in a mold, often to look like a tree trunk.

This Mettlach Earlyware mustard pot sold at Fox Auction Co. in Iowa for $90. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Sunny Jim is the name of these two silver-plated pitchers. They are about 6 1/4 inches high, and each holds about 56 ounces of liquid. The two sold together at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $4,750 in 2019 and could be worth even more now. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Silver-plated pitchers brought smiles to faces — and fetched a pretty penny

The “Sunny Jim” pitchers were discontinued in the 1950s, but may have been manufactured as late as the 1980s.

Sunny Jim is the name of these two silver-plated pitchers. They are about 6 1/4 inches high, and each holds about 56 ounces of liquid. The two sold together at New Orleans Auction Galleries for $4,750 in 2019 and could be worth even more now. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Reproduction furniture sells for low prices when compared to antiques, but there are still companies making useful, accurate copies of 18th-century pieces. This tavern table cost only $469. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Companies still make copies of 18th century American furniture

A reproduction of a Wallace Nutting tavern table recently sold for $469. This a type of table was used for serving in the tap room of Colonial taverns.

Reproduction furniture sells for low prices when compared to antiques, but there are still companies making useful, accurate copies of 18th-century pieces. This tavern table cost only $469. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This is a very early pair of glasses with tinted lenses not used as sunglasses. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Windsors glasses a style started in the Victorian times

This early pair of glasses has a leather nosepiece and side flaps. The tinted lenses weren’t used as sunglasses.

This is a very early pair of glasses with tinted lenses not used as sunglasses. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
The marble chair is cold and hard but is not meant to have cushions. It is so deep that a short woman's feet will not touch the floor. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Art moderne chairs carved from white marble sold for $6,100

Many modern pieces of marble furniture were made in the mid-1900s. They were mostly special-order pieces.

The marble chair is cold and hard but is not meant to have cushions. It is so deep that a short woman's feet will not touch the floor. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Dinnerware was made with overall spatter or sponged decoration or with a spatter or sponged border and center design. Both are popular vintage collectibles. Price is determined by the condition and the skill of the decorator. Center designs can be a single flower or a scene of rabbits playing baseball. This plate has stylized tulips with a spatter stripe border and sold for $224. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Collectible wares decorated with splattered or sponged paint

Both types of folk pottery were made in the early 1800s in Scotland, Italy, Holland, France and the U.S.

Dinnerware was made with overall spatter or sponged decoration or with a spatter or sponged border and center design. Both are popular vintage collectibles. Price is determined by the condition and the skill of the decorator. Center designs can be a single flower or a scene of rabbits playing baseball. This plate has stylized tulips with a spatter stripe border and sold for $224. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
The lid of this jar has an iron clamp closure, which added to its value because it too was identified in the glass as patented by Gilberd. It sold for $188. This type of jar was used over and over by a housewife making pickles or canned vegetables or fruit. Almost all food was homemade, cooked in season, and stored for the winter. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)

Jar with iron clamp closure for lid valuable with collectors

It probably was made by the Findley Ohio Bottle Co. circa 1888. It sold at a Glass Works auction for $188.

The lid of this jar has an iron clamp closure, which added to its value because it too was identified in the glass as patented by Gilberd. It sold for $188. This type of jar was used over and over by a housewife making pickles or canned vegetables or fruit. Almost all food was homemade, cooked in season, and stored for the winter. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)