Toleware was popular in New England and nearby areas in the 1700s. Collectors today identify the existing pieces by similarities in the shapes and painted decorations on newly discovered pieces.
Two paint colors were used as the base coat to protect the tin from rust; black or red was used in Pennsylvania, but only black was favored in parts of New England.
Pennsylvania makers usually made a straight spout and a handle with an extra piece to reinforce the curve in the handle. New England makers favored a simple curved handle. The body was a lighthouse shape, and tinsmiths made a gooseneck spout. Yellow, green, red and white flowers and leaves were stenciled on as decorations.
The tinware lost favor when copper and silver plate became more available because tin often rusted. But some of the small utensils, such as cookie cutters and funnels, remained in use.
Q: I have two Jasper curio cabinets. I purchased them in the 1960s from Harlem Furniture Co. in Dayton, Ohio. I was hoping that you could help me out with finding new keys! Thank you.
A: If antique furniture collectors buying — or those inheriting — older curio cabinets or chests are lucky, their pieces will come with original keys. Check to see if the key is taped in a drawer or on the back panel. If the key is not found, first remove the lock (it may be easy to remove the door or drawer that holds the lock) and take it to an antiques store, hardware store or a locksmith. Call ahead to make sure the store has a collection of old bit keys, often called skeleton keys. If you’re lucky, the store will have a key that fits. If not, a locksmith can look for a bit-key blank that’s a close fit. Antique master keys can typically open every lock in a home, most commonly in Sears Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as any home that’s close to a century or more in age. The antique skeleton key is also known as a “Big and Barrel” key.
Q: I’m interested in knowing if there are any collectors of Feudal Oak pieces. I inherited several pieces and don’t have room for all of them. These particular pieces were crafted in Jamestown, New York, 90 to 100 years ago.
A: Feudal Oak furniture was made by the Jamestown Lounge Co. The company was founded in Jamestown, New York, in 1888. It started out making lounges but by 1900 was making a variety of case and upholstered furniture. The Feudal Oak line was made from 1928 until the 1940s. The machine-carved pieces were made from oak trees that grew near Jamestown. The company was sold in 1978 and closed in 1983. Dark, heavy oak furniture is not in style now, so it might be hard to sell. Some Feudal Oak pieces sell for low prices, a center table about $150, chairs for $25 each at auction, some in shops.
Q: Can you tell me the possible price of a silver cake or pie server from the 1939 New York World’s Fair? It has a picture of George Washington, standing, at the top of the handle and five stars below that. The wide part of the server has seven flags above “New York World’s Fair 1939.”
A: The New York World’s Fair opened on April 30, 1939, the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States. The fair ran until the end of October 1939. It reopened in May 1940 and closed in October. Your souvenir cake server is silver plated and made by National Silver Co. The company started before 1904 but stopped making flatware in the late 1950s. The value of your World’s Fair souvenir cake server is $10 to $20.
Q: I have many fond memories of a toy clock I played with in the 1960s and was surprised recently to find that old toy in a bin from my parent’s garage. It was made by Fisher-Price Toys and is called the Tick Tock Clock. How much is it worth?
A: The bright red Fisher-Price Wind-Up Teaching Clock you are talking about was made from 1964 to 1968. It was made to look like the front of a schoolhouse, complete with a teacher welcoming children in the front door and a school bell at the top of the toy, near the bright yellow handle. When you wound it up, it played the “Grandfathers Clock Song.” The clock face had big numbers, images of the sun and moon, and the clock hands moved around as the song played. It taught motor skills and how to tell time. In good condition, the clock sells for around $60.
Q: I’d like to know something about the maker and age of some plates I found at a resale shop. They picture a Colonial couple in the center and have fluted edges with a gilt lacy border. There is a circular mark that says “The Cronin China Co., Minerva, Ohio” and “National Brotherhood of Operative Potters.”
A: The Cronin China Co. was in business in Minerva, Ohio, from 1934 to 1956. Semi-porcelain dinnerware was made. The National Brotherhood of Operative Potters was founded in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1890. The National Brotherhood became the International Brotherhood in 1951. This mark proves your dishes were made before 1951.
Tip: Can’t hook the catch on your bracelet? Tape one end of the bracelet to your wrist, then close the catch.
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.
Venetian glass bowl, sommerso, thick sides, semi-circular form, cased red and white, Murano, Italy, 3¾ by 6 inches, $95.
Tramp art box, chip carved from mahogany cigar boxes, pyramid form with 13 layers, lift off cover with porcelain knob, traces of old cigar box labels, 5¼ by 7½ by 10 inches, $175.
Silver-sterling, salad set, Cactus pattern, Georg Jensen, black horn serving ends, design from 1930, post-1944 Jensen hallmark, spoon 9⅛ inches, fork 9⅜ inches, $210.
Pair of bookends, cask with domed lid, sits on arched L-shaped pad, wood, ostrich and faux leather with gilt striping and crests, each cask has a metal finial and four scrolling paw feet, Maitland Smith, 9 by 10 by 7 inches, $315.
Brass inkwell, skull and crossed bones form, open eyes and nose, hinged face lifts up to reveal white china insert, American, 1880-1900, 2 1/2 inches, $390.
Moorcroft pottery vase, owl on branch, leaves and acorns, crescent moon, glossy dark blue ground, oval, Sally Tuffin, stamped “Moorcroft, Made in England,” 12½ inches, $440.
Jewelry, stick pin, pansy flower, purple shaded to yellow, rose cut diamond center, 18K gold, circa 1890, 2½ inches, $550.
Bronze sculpture, cat goddess, sitting on hind legs, regal bearing, Hollywood Regency style, Marked “A. Tiot,” 1970s, 24½ by 9 by 16 inches, $1,095.
Print, lithograph, Honorary Degree, two men in academic robes presenting hood to a third man, signed by Grant Wood in pencil, limited edition of 250 published by Associated American Artists, 1938, framed, 22¾ by 17½ inches, $1,770.
Furniture, table, farmhouse, French Provincial, cherry and walnut, rectangular top over wide skirt with drawer on one long side, square tapered legs, 1800s, 30¾ by 98 by 35½ inches, $2,125.