Stoves were often the largest objects in the room of 18th- and 19th-century homes. It was needed for heat and cooking. Cast iron stoves came in many styles, most cast with curlicues and pictures formed by a mold. Special stoves had extra trim, a few tiles on the front or a complete set of tiles showing people, architecture or greenery.
A very unusual stove made about 1895 was covered in English Minton and Wedgwood tiles picturing the 12 months of the year, fairy tales and nursery rhymes created by Walter Crane for two of his 1887 children’s books, and other Crane drawings of fairy tales and Aesop’s fables. Additional tiles were copies of pictures of the month by Helen Miles in the 1870s.
The buyer also got the stove’s impressive provenance: a family scrapbook that identified previous owners, including the founder of Hobart Brothers of Troy New York, and a pictured article in Colonial Homes Magazine from 1994. Even though the stove had been converted to gas and would cost a lot to ship, it sold for $4,688.
Q: I have a round covered copper bowl with deliberate hammer marks on the top and bottom. It has a 3-inch diameter but is only ½ inch high. The lid has a copper knob. The bottom has the initials “A.K.” engraved in the middle but no other names. Any idea who made it, when and how was it used?
A: The picture you sent looks like a powder “box” for a dresser set made in the Arts and Crafts period, when hammered copper was a favored material. It held loose face powder and a big fluffy powder puff. Copper was very popular in the 1930s Depression years because it cost less than sterling silver. The engraved “A.K.” is probably the initials of the person to whom it was given as a gift. Your bowl has sold for $50 to $300 in recent years.
Q: Back in the late 1970s and early ’80s, I sold Avon products. When the second anniversary of my being a salesperson rolled around, I received a plate called “The Avon Doorknocker.” I still have the original box and it’s in good condition. I’m trying to determine the value. Where should I to go to sell it?
A: Avon started the California Perfume Co. in 1886. The name of the company was changed to Avon in 1939. It might sell at a garage sale, but it’s easier just to donate it to a charity. Most Avon Doorknocker plates sell online for as little as $3.
Q: I bought a handheld folding accordion-style fan at a yard sale. It’s made from black paper with carved wooden sticks. The wood case is covered in a silk-like fabric and is stamped “Tiffany & Co” in gilt. I’m curious if it’s truly Tiffany.
A: Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young started Tiffany & Young in New York City in 1837. It became Tiffany & Co. in 1853. Louis Comfort Tiffany, the famous designer known for his stained glass, was Charles Tiffany’s son. Louis started his own company in 1879 and became the art director of Tiffany & Co. when his father died in 1902. The word “Tiffany” can refer either to the store, Tiffany & Co., or to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Your fan wasn’t made by Louis Comfort Tiffany but was sold by the store Tiffany & Co. The store is still in business, now with over 200 stores worldwide.
Q: My aunt had a picture rug of President John F. Kennedy for many years and gave it to me. It pictures the president in a chair, holding a piece of paper. The American flag is behind him. What do you think it’s worth?
A: Your wall hanging was distributed by Ramallah Trading Co., a company founded in New York City in 1916. It designs, manufactures, imports and distributes household textiles. It is still in business. John F. Kennedy was the youngest person ever elected as president of the United States. He served from Jan. 20, 1961, until Nov. 22, 1963, when he was assassinated. Many collectibles were made after his death. This was probably made in 1964. It sells for $10 to $30.
Q: I’d like to know the value of a glass paperweight shaped like a pig. Embossed on the center is “Paperweight Compliments of The Theodore Netter Distilling Co.” On the other side it says, “From Theodore Netter, Philadelphia.” It’s about 6¾ inches long. There is a cork in the tail end of the pig.
A: Theodore Netter was one of four Netter brothers involved in the liquor business. By 1886 they were operating a liquor store in Philadelphia under the name Netter Bros. Co. Each of the brothers eventually left the business and opened their own businesses. Theodore started a business with his wife in 1898. The company went out of business in 1920 when Prohibition began. Pig-shaped flasks were made in glass and pottery by several companies. Theodore Netter Distilling Co. sold liquor in both amber and clear glass pig-shaped flasks. After the liquor was consumed, the bottle could be filled with sand and used as a paperweight. Value is about $100 to $170.
Tip: Large mirrors should not be taken down to be cleaned. Get an assistant to hold the mirror steady while it is being wiped.
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.
Shaving mug, occupational, D.K. Oliver M.D., rose, leaves, gold trim, marked, France, 3½ inches, $48.
Advertising sign, chicken farm, New Musser Leghorn Farms Pullet, images of chicks and hens, metal, 1940s-50s, 13 by 10 inches, $165.
Poster, “What’ll You Do After You Graduate?” Dustin Hoffman as The Graduate, Volunteers in Service to America, 1968, 24 by 18 inches, $420.
Scientific instrument, yardstick, maple shaft, whalebone end caps, diamond-shaped inlay, inch hash marks, 1800s, 36 inches, $469.
Durand lamp, ginger jar shape, King Tut pattern, fitted lid, applied finial, bronze, ribbed base, 8½ inches, $700.
Le Verre Francais, vase, red poppies, leaves, wide mouth and shoulder, red, yellow, cameo, circa 1925, 7 inches, $780.
Garden bench, Gothic pattern, scalloped crest, interlocking arched back, scrolled arms, reticulated seat, leafy skirt, cabriole legs, cast iron, 1800s, 32 by 42 inches, $1,000.
Coca-Cola sign, “Drink,” “Delicious and Refreshing,” drugstore, green, yellow lettering, porcelain, 54 by 96 inches, $1,250.
Toy, motorcycle, rider, tin lithograph, marked, Tipp, Made in U.S. Zone Germany, circa 1955, 7½ inches, $2,493.
Kitchen, pie crimper, walrus ivory, snake form, undulating body, baleen band, head forked around fluted wheel, rivet eye, 6 inches, $7,200.