Today, few people buy fabric dyes outside of craft projects, but most families wore homemade clothes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Clothes were made to last, and items were often repaired or remanufactured several times before they were retired. People would buy dyes for home use to make their clothes or to give old clothes a new look.
Diamond Dyes, a pioneer in dyes circa 1900, is known for its advertising. Diamond Dyes trading cards, brochures, and shop lockers are especially popular among collectors today. This stone-printed scenery cabinet for children playing outdoors was sold for $750 by Morford’s Antique Advertising. Watch out for copies!
s: My sister visited England about 20 years ago and brought me home a 4-inch Toby jug for the head of Henry VIII. I really like it but I understand that these are very common and not of much value. Is that correct?
a: Pitchers representing literary, mythical, and realistic characters were introduced by Royal Doulton in 1934 at Burslem Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. New sizes have been added to the line until 2011. They are made in several sizes: large, small, small and small. They differ from topi jugs dating back to the 1770s. Legend has it that it was inspired by a poem about “Toby Philpott,” the real surname of the Yorkshire man was a legendary drinker. Toby’s most common height is 9 or 10 inches. The jug shaped like a man in a three-cornered hat, waistcoat, long coat and knee breeches sitting on a chair and holding a jug of beer. The Royal Doulton began making Toby pitchers in 1939. Character pitchers are shaped only with the character’s head and shoulders. They are common collectibles, but, with a few exceptions, they are not rare or expensive. Each sells for $50 or less.
s: I found this strange item in my husband’s house. It looks like a wooden pin but is covered with rows of carved teeth. It also has a flat side. One end of the cylinder has a handle, while the other has a carved circle approximately 2 inches deep. Some people think it’s a meat cleaver, but that doesn’t sound right. Can you tell me what it is and solve this puzzle?
a: It is a special rolling pin designed for flat bread or cookies. The teeth are designed to make small holes or smash the dough to allow airflow to prevent the dough from rising. Bakers will use forks, dough units (a small, toothed cylinder) or rolling pins like yours to make holes in pastry crusts, pizza dough, and flat bread. The carved hole is where the missing handle would have gone. Through our research, we did not find a flat-sided rolling pin. It could have been adjusted to prevent it from rolling off the work surface.
s: I bought several chairs from a resale store. The shop owner said they came from Lockheed Martin’s board of directors. The chair seat and back are one piece of curved wood. The legs are silver metal. It is stackable. The label at the bottom says, “Westnova furniture is made in Norway.” I only paid $15 each but was recently told they are value. Is that correct?
a: Westnova creates furniture that embodies mid-century Scandinavian design. The style became popular due to its simplicity and practical design, such as the ability to stack chairs. Your chair was designed by Oivind Iversen and is called the “City Chair”. Mid-century furniture is in demand by interior designers and collectors. Chairs like yours recently sold for $50 to $100 each. However, your friend is right: If you have a group of six to eight, they can sell for upwards of $200 each.
s: Several years ago, I bought a metal letter opener with “International Harvester Company, New Office” on one side of the handle and “22 February 1929” on the other. Do you have any value?
a: International Harvester was founded in 1902 when McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. merged with Deering Harvester Co. And three smaller companies. The company manufactured agricultural equipment and commercial trucks. It was the fourth largest industrial company in the United States in the early 20th century. The company later ran into financial difficulties and sold its agricultural division and the name “International Harvester” to Tenneco, owner of JI Case, in 1984. The brand name became Case IH. The truck division of International Harvester has become part of Navistar International Corp. in 1986. An opening letter like yours sold for $45 at an international reaper memorabilia auction two years ago.
Hint: If the photo album you’re buying smells like plastic, don’t use it. The fumes will eventually destroy the photos.
on the block
Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales, and auctions across the United States. Prices vary in different locations due to local economic conditions.
Advertising Banner, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Field Test Station, Western Guy with Heavy Heavy Mustache, Brown Coat, 10-gallon Hat, Carrying Bottle over Barrel, Carton over Carton, Frame, 23″ x 18″, $45.
Doll, Ranger, Composition, Drawing, Black Mask, Fabric Plaid Shirt, Yellow Plastic Chaps and Handkerchief, 16″, $285.
Rockwood Pottery Vase, Golden Yellow Flowers, Green Stems, Caramel and Ground Brown, Standard Paint, Oval, Slightly Rolled Edge, Janet Swing, 1903, 7″ by 1″, $320.
Disneyana, toy, Mickey Mouse Teddy Winx, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto figures, each standing atop a red cup, red brick graphic cardboard wall, multicolored plastic discs, Chad Valley, 10-inch box, $400.
Lalique Bowl, Nemours, clear, rows of polished daisies with black enamel centers, Lalique France engraved on bottom, 4″ x 10″, $525.
Garden sofa, wrought iron wire, passed back with five arcs, five sets of concentric circles forming benches, spiral arms, twisted and coiled legs, 30″ x 86″ x 18″, $720.
Bleach in sterling silver, Elizabeth II, cow shape, curly tail, wreath on back, marked, Nat Leslie, Silver Vaults, London, 1967, 4 ounces, 6 inches, $880.
Pair of Ceramic Candelabra, Elephant Shape, Pink Paint, Enameled Flowers on Blanket, Hooda Hold Candle, Tray, 19th Century, 4″, Pair, $1135.
Furniture, etagere, wrought iron, scroll arch with brass finish, frame with four curved concave columns, screw legs, five tiered glass shelves, 76 x 48 x 24 inches, $1,875.
Game, Yellow Cab, Number 5, Stone Printed Tinplate, Images of Driver and Passengers, Battery Operated, Quarter Slot on Top, Coins Insert and Cab Ahead and Lights Up on Top, Door Below for Coin Recovery, Chest, Ichiko, Japan, 1955, 9 inches , $2,375.