The “jeweled” Coalport porcelain of the late 19th century attracts buyers with its beauty and unfamiliar beading, but few know the history of the porcelain. Coalport porcelain was first made in England in 1795. In the late 19th century, a new type of porcelain vases, teaware, boxes and other ornamental wares were created. It was hand decorated with small colored “beads” of glaze, as well as sections with simulated gems like moonstones or emeralds. These pieces were very expensive when compared with the useful wares made before that time.
In 1895, Coalport was able to make the jeweled porcelains by a less expensive method, and more pieces were sold. Collectors have favored these pieces since the 1950s and prices are high today. At a 2016 Skinner auction in Boston, which included over 60 pieces of this type of Coalport, a round covered box, just 2 1/2 inches in diameter, brought $461. The box has turquoise beading and a central medallion. A two-handled shaped bowl with a cover sold for about $1,000 at the same sale.
Q: When my husband was an orthopedic surgeon, a patient gave him Franklin Roosevelt’s cane. It has “Franklin D. Roosevelt” and a shield on one side of the silver handle and “For President” and “32” on the other side. It’s slightly bent from pressure over the years. What can you tell me about it?
A: Canes were a common political campaign item in the late 1800s and early 1900s when they were fashion accessories, not for support when walking. Canes like yours weren’t actually owned by Roosevelt, but were made to distribute during his first presidential campaign in 1932. The head of your cane is cast aluminum, not silver. Thousands of these canes were made before production stopped because Roosevelt didn’t want to call attention to his physical limitations. The canes have been reproduced. Their value in good condition is about $75 to $100.
Q: My oak mantel clock was made by Waterbury Clock Co. It has mirrored sides and two brass figures on each side. A faded paper on the back reads “American Manufacture, Oxford, strikes half hour.” Can you tell me the age and worth?
A: Waterbury Clock Co. was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1857, and was the largest clock manufacturer in the U.S. by 1915. It became Ingersoll-Waterbury Co. in 1932 after Waterbury bought Ingersoll. The company was sold in 1942 and became United States Time Corp. in 1944. You have an eight-day time and strike clock, which means it only needs to be wound every eight days. It was made about 1912 and, if in good original working condition, it would sell for about $500.
Q: I recently found a receipt in an old book. It reads “U.S. Treasury, Minnesota War Finance Committee.” It was for the purchase of a war bond and was to be mailed to the County War Finance Chairman. The cost of the bond was $18.75. My parents bought this bond in 1944, when I was about 10 months old. I’m wondering how to go about redeeming it and how much it’s worth.
A: The U.S. Treasury began issuing Series E bonds in 1942 to help finance World War II. The Minnesota War Finance Committee was formed in 1943 to promote the sale of war bonds in the state. The U.S. Government set the amount to be raised, and every state had a quota to meet. When the Victory Bond campaign ended in January 1946, it had raised more than $185 billion.
U.S. Treasury bonds can be redeemed at some local banks or by mailing them to Treasury Retail Securities Site, P.O. Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214. The problem is, you only have a receipt. Without the actual paper bond, there is nothing to redeem.
Q: Back in the day, many brides selected a pattern of sterling-silver flatware. Today those sets of silver aren’t used and are a problem for the family who inherits the set of flatware. This is a dilemma I am facing. How do we get rid of the flatware? I have two sets of sterling silver flatware and additional items. How do I find a reliable and safe way to sell the flatware, either for the value of the set or for the value of the silver? I have a set of Meadow Rose by Wallace and a set of Oneida’s Damask Rose. I also have miscellaneous pieces such as salt and pepper, candlesticks and cutlery.
A: Sterling silver is always worth at least the meltdown value, and there are shops that buy silver and gold to melt down, but you also can sell silver flatware to a matching service. Many are listed online. Search for “matching service silver” or “matching service silver plate.” Expect to get about half what it will sell for because dealers have to make a profit. Wallace introduced Meadow Rose pattern in 1907. It sells for more than Oneida’s Damask Rose, which was first made in 1946. Monograms lower the price.
Tip: Plastic furniture from the 1950s often scratches. A good polishing with automobile wax might help cover the blemishes.
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.
Honey pot, blown glass, “miel pur Goossens” Goossens pure honey, printed on metal lid, bees, pure honey, Belgium, 1940’s, 4 inches, $15.
Candy container, rabbit, papier-mache, cream, pink highlights, red eyes, standing with basket on back, 1960s, 9 x 5 inches, $60.
Toggle charm, Confucius, holding staff, hand carved, boxwood, counterweight, silk cord, c. 1900, 2 x 1/2 inches, $80.
Golf club, Brassie, brass sole plate, lead back weight, blonde fruitwood head, Epsom golf club, marked, McWatt, 1800s, 42 inches, $100.
Table lamp, electric, pirate-ship design, metal openwork and twisted wire, curved sails, 1960s, 36 x 43 inches, $175.
Inkwell, The Mayflower, tall ship, Galleon, brass sculpture, glass ink pot, square base, 1920s, 5 x 5 1/2 inches, $225.
Sign, The Daily Register, Chicago newspaper, cobalt blue and white, porcelain enamel and steel, 1930s, 30 x 60 inches, $635.
Meissen figurine, Autumn, cherub wearing head wreath, holding grape vines, 1 of 4 seasons, marked, 18th century, 5 x 3 inches, $920.
Rocking chair, oak, carved, faces and flowers, spindles, arms, carvngs commemorating Octoberfest, Germantown, 1800s, 50 x 38 inches, $1,750.
Zenith radio, model 829, tombstone shape, eight-tube, AM/SW, mahogany and black lacquer, chrome grill, 1935, 19 x 15 inches, $4,000.