Antiques & collectibles: Beer steins got lids to help prevent spread of deadly disease

  • By Terry Kovel
  • Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:01am
  • Life

Beer steins have long been popular. Today’s stein is a beer container with a hinged lid and a handle.

The lid was the result of health regulations. The bubonic plague of the 1300s, which killed more than 25 million Europeans, and an influx of flies in Europe in the 1400s led to laws that req

uired food to be kept in covered containers.

A hinged lid was added to a mug to make a stein. Most beer steins collected today date from after 1800 and are made of pottery.

One famous German company that used the mark “Gerz” opened in 1857 and remained in business until the 1990s (a new company with the same name was recently established in Germany and is using the old Gerz triangle mark).

Its regimental and figural 3-D character steins that look like animal or human heads, usually comic, are especially popular.

An amusing Smiling Face pottery stein marked “Gerz” sold for $529 at the Stein Auction Co.’s June auction in Schaumburg, Ill.

Q: I have a Hoosier-style Sellers one-piece cabinet that my mother purchased secondhand in the 1950s. I’ve been unable to figure out how old the cabinet is. There seems to be a lot of information out there about two-piece cabinets, but not about this one-piece unit. The cabinet was a mint-green color originally, and still has the original flour sifter. Can you help?

A: Hoosier cabinets were first made by Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of New Castle, Ind., about 1900.

The freestanding kitchen cabinets had a work surface and shelves and drawers fitted with a flour sifter, coffee and tea canisters, cracker jars and other kitchen items. Soon all similar cabinets by other makers were called “Hoosiers.”

The G.I. Sellers Co. was the second-largest manufacturer of Hoosier-style cabinets. The company was founded by George Sellers in Kokomo, Ind., in 1888 and moved to Elwood, Ind., in 1905. It closed in 1950.

Hoosier-style cabinets were made until the 1930s, when built-in kitchen cabinets became popular.

Q: I have a set of dishes that are green and white and have a scene of the interior of what looks like a log cabin. The dishes are marked “Colonial Homestead by Royal.” Different scenes are pictured on different pieces. The scene on the plates includes a table, chairs, grandfather clock, large fireplace with hanging cookpots and an old-fashioned gun over the fireplace. We find these interesting because we recently built a log cabin.

This set was left to me by my great-uncle. It includes service for six people and includes plates, small bowls, cups and saucers, a platter and a vegetable bowl. I’d like to know how old these are and what they might be worth.

A: The Royal China Co. was in business in Sebring, Ohio, from 1934 to 1986. The company made dinnerware, cookware and advertising premiums. The Colonial Homestead pattern, which includes scenes from a colonial home, was designed by Gordon Parker.

It was introduced about 1951 and was sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. through the 1960s. The dishes sell for very low prices today.

Q: I have an old ticket that was my great-grandfather’s. It’s for a “Mexican Bull Fight” held in the Cripple Creek District of Colorado in August 1895. I understand this was the only bullfight ever held in the United States. Any idea what the ticket might be worth?

A: The Mexican bullfight held in Gillett, Colo., on Aug. 24 and 25, 1895, was billed by its promoter as the “first bull fight held in the United States.”

Two professional bullfighters from Mexico were hired, but the bulls, whether imported or homegrown, were unenthusiastic participants. So, according to most accounts, the event was a fiasco, a planned third day was canceled, area humane societies protested and those who attended wanted their money back.

The Denver Public Library has a ticket like yours in its collection, and other historical societies around Cripple Creek (south of Denver) probably would be interested in owning one.

So you might consider donating yours. If you decide to sell, contact an “Old West” auction. That’s where you’d probably get the most money, and it’s impossible to predict how much.

Bullfighting was banned in the United States in 1957 — although so-called bloodless bullfights are held in some U.S. communities.

Q: We found a Civil War discharge paper for Jasper Noon in my mother-in-law’s estate and are wondering if it has any value. There is a faded paymaster’s stamp, an eagle, flags and stars at the top under the words “To all whom it may concern.” The soldier joined Company C, 50th Regiment of Indiana Infantry, on Nov. 1, 1861, and was discharged on Jan. 5, 1865.

A: A collector of Civil War items might be interested in the discharge papers. Interest in Civil War items is expected to increase this year, since it’s the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Jasper Noon’s regiment was organized in September 1861 and mustered out in September 1865. Two-thirds of the soldiers died of disease, not battle wounds.

The 50th Regiment of Indiana Infantry listed 57 men killed in battle and 161 who died of disease. Civil War discharge papers sell for $60 to $80.

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

© 2011, 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.

“You and I” sheet music, theme song of “Maxwell House Coffee Time” radio show, by Meredith Wilson, 1941, $10.

Masterware cake carrier, chrome, square, holds a 12-inch cake or pie, box reads “Masterware Stylune Design,” by Master Ware, Buffalo, 1960s, $40.

Waterford crystal pitcher, Lismore pattern, signed, 6 1/2 inches, $110.

Stork Club bud vase, figural stork wearing top hat, painted wood with glass tube, 7 1/2 x 4 inches, $385.

Dave Clark Five figures, rooted black hair, jointed at neck, embossed “Dave,” “Rick,” “Dennis,” “Mike” and “Larry” on shirts, Remco Toys, 1964, set of five, 4 3/4 inches, $395.

Vogue Jennie Southern Belle Make-Up Doll, blond hair in curls with bangs, pink flower-print bonnet, dress and petticoat, carrying purse with cosmetics, 1940s, 19 inches, $550.

Cast-iron Cat and Mouse mechanical bank, clock with cat face, press lever and mouse sitting on top spins to reveal cat, mouse and ball, J.&E. Stevens, 9 inches, $645.

Queen Anne-style lowboy, curly maple, rectangular top, fluted chamfered corners, long frieze drawers, knee-hole apron, Spanish feet, cabriole legs, late 1800s, 28 x 33 inches, $655.

Painted and silk-embroidered mourning picture, blue, green and ochre, young woman seated at the foot of a gravestone under a willow tree, c. 1820, 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches, $835.

Ayer’s Pills poster, stone lithograph, girl with white bonnet holding a box, “Ayer’s Pills Are Sugar Coated, Will You Have One?” J.C. Ayer & Co., c. 1905, 28 3/4 x 41 inches, $1,150.

Talk to us

More in Life

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

The vacation rental Carol Wilson books for her group through Vacasa is infested with rats and insects. Vacasa offers to refund one night, but can they get all of their money back?

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Do you prefer green or red grapes? This antique Moser pitcher is decorated with enameled grapevines on shaded red-to-green glass.
Grapevine pitcher was made by renowned Bohemian company

Also, queries about grandmother’s coffee set and late husband’s Beatles records and memorabilia collection.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

Death of parent with child. Piece of paper with parents and children is torn in half.
Helping children cope with the hard realities of divorce

I’s important to set aside one’s feelings and find a way to make this challenging transition as comfortable for children as you can.