Worthless as medicine — but valuable as an antique

Turn-of-the-century quackery makes for amusing collecting. But be careful — there may be poison in those “medicine” bottles.

Munyon’s Homeopathic Cures may not have been effective medicine, but the cabinets are desirable collectibles. This one sold at auction for more than $1,000.

Munyon’s Homeopathic Cures may not have been effective medicine, but the cabinets are desirable collectibles. This one sold at auction for more than $1,000.

“Doctor Yourself,” encourages this cabinet, made to hold the Munyon Remedies in a drug store. The cabinet lists the “remedies” it contains according to the ailments they claim to “Relieve Immediately.” You won’t find any ingredients lists, warnings or drug facts here. These are Munyon’s Homeopathic Remedies from the early 20th century.

James M. Munyon was a businessman with a talent for marketing and a staff of chemists and physicians. He started selling homeopathic medicines in the 1890s. After some legal trouble following the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, he had to sell his products as “remedies” instead of “cures.” This isn’t the only controversy associated with Munyon. Hawley Harvey Crippen, a homeopath at Munyon’s London office, was convicted of murder and hanged in 1910. This history hasn’t made Munyon’s advertising any less appealing to collectors; this cabinet sold for $1,850 at Morford’s Antique Advertising auction.

Antique apothecary and drug store memorabilia are popular collectibles, but be careful! Antique medicine bottles and other packaging may contain harmful substances. Keep them away from children and pets. Handle them carefully; wear rubber gloves and clean the cabinets in a well-ventilated area.

Q: I bought several Ashton Drake bride and fashion dolls. I paid more than $200 for each one. I would like to sell them. Can you tell me what their resale value could be?

A: Ashton Drake began making dolls in 1985. The dolls are carefully detailed and made from quality materials. The company also makes realistic baby dolls for adult collectors and children. Ashton Drake fashion and bride dolls have recently sold for $25 to $100.

Q: I found a large bowl (over 16 inches in diameter) marked “Colonial Pottery Stoke, England” and “Genoa.” The seller wrote on the label “Blue Transfer Ware Bowl.” It’s in good condition with just the normal little stress crack along the bottom. Do you know the approximate year it was made and its value?

A: Colonial Pottery was located in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. F. Winkle, a partner in a pottery in nearby Hanley, moved to Stoke to run the Colonial Pottery in 1899. The name became F. Winkle & Co. in 1890. “Colonial Pottery” was used as a mark from 1890 to 1925. The company made earthenware and opaque porcelain. It was in business until about 1931. “Genoa” is the name of the pattern, not the place it was made. The transfer pattern of flowers and leaves was made in blue and white and also in red and white. Your large bowl is probably part of a washstand set. A five-piece washstand set included a pitcher, large wash basin, small pitcher, mug and bowl with a lid. A pitcher and bowl set sold for $70 a few years ago.

Q: I have a cream-colored vase with a young woman and pink flowers painted on it. It’s about 18-inches tall, has a slender neck with curved handles and gold trim. On the bottom it has “Belleek” printed along with a mark that looks like a painter’s palette. There’s a circle with intersecting letters, but they’re too hard to read. Can you give me any information about this vase?

A: The mark you describe was used by the Ceramic Art Company of Trenton, New Jersey, from 1894 to 1906. The intersecting script letters are “CAC” for Ceramic Art Company. Creamy white pottery has been made in Belleek, Ireland, since 1863. American pottery companies made china like Irish Belleek but warmer in color. After 1929, Belleek Pottery Limited was the only porcelain company that could use Belleek with a capital “B” on its marks. The Ceramic Art Company was founded by Walter Scott Lenox. After 1906, the Lenox name was added to the Ceramic Art Company mark. Vases similar to yours have recently sold for $750.

TIP: Keep your dolls out of sunlight. It will bleach the hair and may damage the “skin.”

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.

Furniture, chair, Thonet, No. 17, bentwood frame, caned seat and back, scrolled arms, refinished, 49 by 19 by 17 inches, $60.

Bottle, scent, green glass, round stopper, globular, silver overlay, leafy scrolls, monogram, Gorham, 20th century, 5¼ inches, pair, $130.

Cloisonne, vase, carp shape, yellow fish scale, crane hunting scallop, two carp fish in waves, footed, Chinese, 9¾ inches, pair, $190.

Map, world, Planisphere Chatelain, telegraph and shipping lines, international flag symbols, chromolithographed, silk backing, blue cloth slipcase, Anatole Chatelain, Marie Davy, A. Vuillemin, Paris, circa 1888, 51 by 69½ inches, $280.

Stoneware, jar, lid, speckled glaze, raised green band around center, light green and tan ground, signed, Karen Karnes, contemporary, 5½ inches, $370.

Toy, bus, double decker, red, open door and windows, London Transport, “Safe and Secure in a Pedigree Pram,” pressed steel, pull string, Tri-Ang Toys, 22½ inches long, $510.

Furniture, desk, Davenport, burl walnut, slant front, inset black leather writing surface, gallery top, small drawer on side, pull out writing surface over four long graduated drawers, bun feet, 19th century, 35 by 17½ by 23½ inches, $675.

Game board, checkers, inlaid wood, yellow and black squares, geometric border, American flags in corners, 18½ inches, $945.

Rug, hooked, hearth, three red flowers, green leaves, dark green ground, light green border, mounted, frame, New England, circa 1860, 33½ by 68 inches, $1,890.

Scientific instrument, orrery, solar system model, sun, Earth, moon, zodiac, round base, William Perkins, London, 10 by 17 inches, $3,750.

Talk to us

More in Life

Weather, rain, geraniums: A gardener gives thanks

Take a minute and reflect on what you are grateful for in your garden, and then share the gratitude with your fellow gardeners.

Festive Christmas wreath of fresh natural spruce branches with red holly berries isolated on white background. New Year. Top view. Traditional decoration for Xmas holiday.
Get in the holiday swing of things — make a wreath

Area garden centers have the greenery and equipment so you can make a one-of-a-kind decoration for your home.

Kara (Gwynn Hawley) and her mom Jessie (Shaylyn Reed) connect with friends over Zoom in “A Miracle on 34th Street,” playing November 25-December 18 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“A Miracle of 34th Street” updates the Christmas classic to COVID-19 times. It opens Friday in Marysville.

Caption: Curbside delivery at Kindred Kitchen in Everett made cooking dinner a whole lot easier. (Jennifer Bardsley)
A quick trip to Everett helps put dinner on the table

Kindred Kitchen on Broadway offers delicious, affordable meal kits — supporting a local humanitarian cause.

Taxus baccata 'Standishii', commonly called Standishii golden yew, and the image credit goes to Richie Steffen.
Great Plant Pick: Columnar golden yew

This slow-growing evergreen creates a low-maintenance vertical element in the garden.

Stylized shapes, light wood, bold blocks of color and unusual construction are characteristics of modern furniture. This flame rocking chair shows all four.
Modern furniture took flight just after WWII ended

This rocking chair was auctioned to raise money for a group that preserves modern residential architecture.

May everyone around your table have peace this Thanksgiving

It’s not uncommon for the holiday season to be a complex mixture of sweet and salty flavors. But ultimately, it’s all about love.

Croatia’s romantic Rovinj has Venetian vibes, but a breezy charm that’s all its own.
Rick Steves’ Europe: From hill towns to harbors, Istria pleases

It’s an inviting mix of pungent truffles, Roman ruins, striking hill towns and pastel coastal villages.

American Cruise Lines protection plan isn’t protecting him

Edward Marks buys a “cancel for any reason” protection plan for his cruise. But when he has to cancel, he finds that it’s worthless. What went wrong?

Most Read