What’s a “jeep”? To a car collector or soldier, it is a special kind of vehicle that can travel over all sorts of rough terrain. But to a comic collector, it is a bright-yellow animal that looks a little like a dog walking on its two hind legs. It has a large red nose, tiny ears and is magical.
Eugene the Jeep first appeared in 1936 in the comic strip “Thimble Theater,” along with Popeye and Olive Oyl. Eugene wanted to help humans and always told the truth, although the only word he said was “jeep.”
There were other characteristics, too. Eugene ate orchids only, could predict the future, could teleport himself and walk through walls. Jeep was so popular that he was included as Popeye’s pet on and off in animated cartoons, comic strips and animated television shows from the 1930s to 1987.
Jeep memorabilia was plentiful, but a lot was not saved. There are old stuffed or wooden dolls, figurines, plaster carnival statues, toys, games and textiles. In 2012, a new Popeye comic included Eugene, and new Jeep collectibles were made.
An old 13-inch tall composition and wooden doll made by Cameo Doll Co. was recently sold. He has a label on his chest that reads “Jeep, (c) King Features Syn, 1935.” A fan spent $1,044 to take Jeep home. An 8-inch version of the doll in the same auction sold for only $297.
Q: I have a cameo vase with carved flowers, leaves and stems, some snails and bugs. It is about 11 inches high and looks like my other French cameo glass. The foot is marked “A. Reyen,” but I can’t find out who that is. Can you help?
A: Alphonse G. Reyen was an engraver and decorator of cameo glass in France. He lived from 1844 to 1910. He worked for several glass factories and artists. He is not in the most available lists online or in old books, but several of his cameo glass pieces have been in recent auctions. A vase the size of yours would sell for about $10,000.
Q: When I was growing up, my grandmother had a strange lamp in the breakfast room. It looked like an 8-inch high cylinder that had a light bulb inside. The heat of the light made hot air that turned the paper or plastic cylinder. There was a picture of Niagara Falls on the side, and as the shade turned, it made it look like the water was flowing over the falls. I want to get a similar lamp for my son, but I don’t know where or what to call it.
A: Your grandmother had a “motion lamp,” probably made by the Scene-in-Action Co. of Chicago. The company made the lamps from 1925 to 1936. They were the first, but several other companies made similar “moving” lamps. They were interesting, but gave very little light. Ten years ago, the lamps sold for about $200 to $250, but today they are worth about half that much.
Q: I have a Walborg black, beaded evening bag I’d like to know the age and value. It’s lined with thick black satin and has one small pocket on the inside. The mark inside reads “hand beaded in Belgium.” The beading on the outside is quite intricate, with a sort of lotus design on the front. Any information about this bag would be welcome. I love it!
A: Walborg beaded purses were popular during the 1950s. Hilde Walborg Weinberg founded Walborg Co. in New York City in the late 1940s. Purses were designed by Hilde and handmade in Belgium, France, Italy and West Germany. The label on your purse suggests a 1950 date.
By the late 1950s, some Walborg purses were made in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The company was in business until the 1960s. Copyrights for several of Hilde Weinberg’s designs for Richere, Inc. were registered in 1967. The labels in some of Walborg’s beaded bags read “Richere Bag by Walborg.” The estimated value is $110-$200.
Q: Our church owns an 1892 German Bible signed by Kaiser Wilhelm. It’s been stored for many years in a safety deposit box at the local bank. It’s now on unprotected display in our church. I believe it has some value and should be protected, if only for the historic value of the kaiser personally giving it to the church. I would appreciate any information you can give me about the Bible.
A: Most old Bibles aren’t worth a lot of money, but Kaiser Wilhelm’s signature could make it very valuable. It would have to be seen by an expert to authenticate the signature. Wilhelm II (1859-1941) was Germany’s last kaiser. He reigned from June 15, 1881 to Nov. 9, 1918, when he abdicated and left Germany.
If the church is going to display the Bible publicly, you may want to get an idea of its value for insurance purposes. If the book has a leather cover, it should not be displayed on a wood surface unless the surface is covered by acid-free paper. Wood is acidic and can damage leather. The pages should not be left open and exposed to light or they will discolor. Special archival display cases are available that allow the book to remain open, but they are very pricey.
If an autograph expert determines the book is not very valuable, it can be kept on display as long as it isn’t exposed to light for long periods of time.
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.
Calendar plate, 1914, shamrock wreath, blue flowers, gilt, cartouche and swag border, 9 1/4 inches, $20.
Compass, Girl Scout, silver plated nickel, round beveled glass top, fob, U.S. Gauge Co., c. 1935, 1 1/2 inches, $95.
Cigar box label, San Tox, Red Cross nurse, holding open box of cigars, paper, red, white and pale blue, c. 1910, $150.
Commemorative plaque, 1798 Irish Rebellion, the Death of Father Michael Murphy, square shape, ceramic, 1890s, 9 x 8 inches, $280.
Sarreguemines plate, dessert, cabbage-leaf shaped, molded, stem detail matte green glaze, upturned shaped rim, 8-inch, set of six, $350.
Battersea bodkin case, sewing needles, white enameled ground, flower bouquets, tubular, round ends, brass band, 1700s, 5 x 1 inches, $465.
Vanity, maple, relief carved, shaped mirror, shell and scroll crest, two tiers, upper drawers, cupboards, turned feet, c. 1925, 72 x 46 inches, $1,200.
Coalport urn, turquoise blue, beading, medallion with landscape scene, ivory and gilt, shaped handles, stepped pedestal foot, c. 1895, 6 inches, $1,450.
Victorian dress, white cotton, crochet lace bodice, mesh lace cap sleeves, tiered petticoat, pintucks and embroidery, c. 1900, size small, $1,700.
Chelsea porcelain, seal fob, figural chicken, protecting her chicks, French text, painted, stone base, c. 1765, $1,995.