When an unfamiliar, puzzling item comes up at auction there is often no previous sale to give a hint of the value. So, when this Warner Brothers Pictures clock was offered at a William Morford sale, the catalog just said “minimum bid $100.”
The cast iron is shaped like an ark. It has a clock face and the “clock” runs a short time when the ark is rocked. The clock face shows scenes from the 1928 movie “Noah’s Ark” — a part “talkie” movie. There were several collectors who probably wanted movie memorabilia who bid until the final price was $855.
If there had been no description of how and why it worked, the ark might not have even sold. We researched the name of the maker, Art Metal Works, and learned it was started by Louis Aronson (1869-1940), an inventor with a company in New York City, then Newark, New Jersey.
The company is famous for the Ronson lighter patented in 1910. (No doubt Mr. Aronson inspired the name.) The company was sold to Zippo in 2010.
Q: Can you tell me what a bowl marked “Roseville, U.S.A., 458-10” is worth? It has two handles and has large cream-colored raised flowers on a textured green background.
A: The number is the shape number and size of a console bowl in Roseville Pottery’s Clematis line. Roseville Pottery Co. started in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890. A plant was opened in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1898. Production ceased in 1954. The Clematis line was introduced in 1944 and was made with a green, blue or brown background. Bowls, vases, cookie jars, ewers, planters and a jardiniere and pedestal set were made. The value of your bowl depends on condition. Some have sold recently for $25-$75.
Q: I recently discovered a pin or button with a picture of Hopalong Cassidy and “Hopalong Cassidy in the Daily News” on it. I imagine it means the New York Daily News. I was wondering how much it would be worth, and would someone be willing to buy it?
A: Hopalong Cassidy first appeared in 1907 as a character in a book written by Clarence E. Mulford. A series of books including Hopalong followed. Sixty-six films featuring actor William Lawrence Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy were made beginning in 1934. Boyd purchased the television rights to the movies in 1948, then later made 52 new programs. The Hopalong Cassidy comic strip began in 1949 and ran until 1955. This button was made with the name of different newspapers that ran the strip. Hopalong memorabilia sold well until the 1960s, but now he has few fans. The button sells for $5 or less but has few buyers.
Q: I bought a miniature Stetson hat and hat box at a yard sale several years ago and paid $2 for it. A friend told me when he was a young boy, his job was to stand outside a department store and when anyone left the store with a real Stetson box, give them one of these small boxes with the hat. Can you give me any idea of age and value?
A: These miniature hats and hat boxes were not free. They were gift certificates someone paid for. The box included a gift certificate for a new hat, so you could give someone a gift of a hat and they could choose it themselves. Miniature Stetson hats are the most often found but other hat manufacturers also made miniature hats and hat boxes to promote their brands. Miniature Stetson hats were made in felt and in plastic. Hat boxes were usually made of paper or cardboard, though some were made of tin. Some boxes just have the brand name, some are decorated. A check of recent sales shows a felt hat in a tin hat box for $40 and a plastic hat in a cardboard hat box for $24-$40.
Q: I’ve discovered an unopened record album of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It was recorded in England with the Strings of the City of London. It’s a Decca record, code DXSA-7206. What is it worth?
A: The album “Jesus Christ Superstar” is from the rock opera of the same name that opened in 1970. The title song came out as a single in November 1969, before the show opened and the full album was released. The album came as a boxed set of two vinyl records and a booklet with the text that goes with the music. The album, still shrink wrapped, might sell for $150-$250 at an auction or vintage records store.
Q: I’m trying to find the age and maker of dishes marked with a silhouette of a knight on a horse and the words “warranted 22 carat.” The dishes have a wide black border with gold designs and a narrow gold band.
A: The “Black Knight” trademark was registered by Graham & Zenger, a New York City importer and wholesaler, in 1929. It was used on a line of china made for export by C.M. Hutschenreuther of Hohenburg, Bavaria. The mark was used until 1941.
Tip: Don’t try to remove dents in silver or pewter. This is a job for an expert.
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.
Gouda vase, yellow, green and peach, white dots, blue ground, green interior, 13½ by 5½ inches, $190.
Royal Crown Derby vase, gilt, Dunluce Castle, red, sea, Ellis Clark, 1894, 6½ by 3½ inches, $250.
Double stained-glass window, Art Nouveau, green, orange, maroon, stripes, arcs, oak frame, 31 by 51 inches, $370.
Jardiniere, shoulder to shoulder swans, white porcelain, Honore Delphin Massier, circa 1960, France, 12 by 16 inches, $470.
Stickley library table, oak, plank top, block legs, center stretcher, tenon construction, 29 by 29 inches, $520.
Centerpiece bowl, bronze, fluted burgundy marble center, acanthus, lion head busts, paw feet, 9 by 9 inches, $750.
Tapestry, grooming pheasant, drinking animal, trees, red flowers, leafy plants, hills, castle, 54 by 37 inches, $875.
Bohemian glass decanter, cranberry, gilt, cone shaped stopper, Persian style, 18 inches, $1,375.
Sevres urn, blindfolded woman, man in purple coat, reclining children, stone steps, walls, trees, signed A. Maglin, 27 by 14 inches, $2,375.
Dining table, Hollywood Regency style, glass top, bronze ibex head and legs, Alain Chervet, 19½ by 90 inches, $2,500.