Labor Day celebrates American workers with picnics, parades and patriotic decorations. Past parade spectators may have carried flags like these.

Labor Day celebrates American workers with picnics, parades and patriotic decorations. Past parade spectators may have carried flags like these.

This patriotic tchotchke is ready to celebrate Labor Day

Billed as a Victorian item, the 20-flag holder may predate the first Labor Day in 1882.

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City with a parade by trade union members, followed by an enormous outdoor party with speeches and picnics. President Grover Cleveland signed the holiday into national law in 1884, and Labor Day parades have been held throughout the United States since then. And, what’s a parade without flags to wave?

This turned wood flag holder, filled with 20 miniature cloth flags on wooden sticks, is ready for a celebration. It was originally a store display and recently sold for $540 at an auction.

The auction describes it as a Victorian item without a specific date given, so it may pre-date Labor Day. Based on the number of stars, the flags are from the early twentieth century. But, it’s likely that stores offered flags in displays like these for the first Labor Day parades, as parade spectators continue waving flags today.

Q: My father, an American who was born in France, was given a series of eight prints of important events during the French Revolution. They were a gift from his great-aunt in 1938 or 1939, before he came to the United States at the outbreak of World War II. The prints were in a roll for many years, then poorly framed, and I had them reframed last year. The prints are about 14 inches high and 18 inches wide. They picture events from the French Revolution, including guillotine depictions of both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The printer’s mark is “O. Chardon, Paris.” They are flecked, some are cracked and all are a bit discolored by the years and conditions. Can you tell me anything about the printer and age of these prints?

A: These prints are based on illustrations done by Charles Monnet (sometimes listed as Charles Monet), the peintre du roy (royal painter) to Louis XV. He made 15 illustrations of scenes from the Revolution and portraits of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. They were engraved by Isidore-Stanislas Helman and first published in 1798. Twelve of the pictures were published that year. The first edition to include all 15 pictures was published about 1802. A second edition was published by Chez Decrouan in 1838. Chardon published the third edition in 1864. Your pictures may be reprints of the original engravings. They would have to be seen by an expert to determine authenticity and value. Reproductions have little value, and they’re worthless if in poor condition. But, because of your family history, you may still want to hang them on your wall.

Q: I’ve had this oval bowl for a long time, and I don’t know anything about it. I recently saw one like it. It was a different color and looks like it’s glass. Mine is ceramic but the grape clusters and vine details are the same. Could this be a Northwood bowl or is it a fake?

A: The Northwood Glass Company made pressed carnival glass, known for its iridescent glow. It was called “the poor man’s Tiffany glass,” made to imitate the look of expensive blown glass. The Grape and Cable pattern was a popular mass-produced pattern made by Northwood. Most Northwood glass has their underlined “N” mark on the bottom. From your photo, the bowl looks like a ceramic version of the popular glass pattern and not an attempt to imitate carnival glass. Your bowl shows how popular the Grape and Cable pattern was with collectors. Northwood Grape and Cable carnival glass bowls have sold recently for $150 to $175.

Q: I have several soft drink cans that I got from Disney World in 1986. They all have Disney characters on them. One is “Alice in Wonderland” on a TaB soda can. Are they valuable?

A: Disney World in Orlando, Florida, celebrated its 15th anniversary in 1986. A series of aluminum soda cans featuring many of the Disney cartoon characters along with other Disney collectibles were made for the anniversary. TaB was Coca-Cola’s original diet soda. It was discontinued in 2020. An Alice in Wonderland TaB can sold recently for $5.

TIP: Bring a price guidebook to an auction. It isn’t possible to remember everything, but it is possible to look up most items. We think Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide is the best resource.

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.

Kutani, vase, porcelain, multicolor clouds, flowering branches, flying and perching birds, rust trim, gilt, shoulders, flared rim, red stamps, Japan, 17¾ inches, $40.

Toy, marble, glass, swirl, double red, blue and green bands, white latticino core, handmade, 2¼ inches, $90.

Furniture, settee, art nouveau, bentwood, double medallion back, scrolled arms, caned seat, stretcher base, attributed to J. & J. Kohn, Austria, late 19th century, 40 by 46 by 26 inches, $215.

Fulper pottery vase, flambe glaze, crystalline green to cat’s eyes, bulbous body, short neck with six vertical ridges, vertical mark, 5¼ by 6 inches, $270.

Daum vase, mottled glass, blue, green, yellow, oval body, rectangular flattened mouth, marked Daum Nancy, 4½ by 7 by 2¾ inches, $315.

Quilt, pieced, log cabin, Shadow and Light, multicolor, white diagonal stripes, red outer border, crib, late 19th century, 17¼ inches, $345.

Auto, sign, school bus, four-sided, red rectangle, “Stop,” two green circles, “Go,” yellow lettering, rotates, 1920s, 20½ by 8¾ by 5 inches, $540.

Sign, Euclid Beach Park, “Labor Day Mon. Sept. 6th” in green, “Admission to Park and All Rides” in red, “$2.50 Each Person, 75 (cents) Each Child,” hand painted, 36 by 72 inches, $990.

Inkwell, pewter, dome shape, three quill holders, flared base, hinged lid with finial, marked, William Will, Philadelphia, 3 by 4¾ inches, $1,135.

Furniture, cabinet, neoclassical, marquetry, parquetry, walnut veneer, two doors, inlaid bellflowers, two interior shelves and slide, tapering square legs, Southern Germany, 37½ by 56 by 23 inches, $3,300.

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