Halloween has a long history. It started in ancient times as a harvest festival called Samhain. The holiday has been celebrated in many different ways for centuries by people in Ireland and Great Britain. Over time, this day of the dead, or a time of angels, has been known as All Saints’ Day, All Hallows’ Eve and eventually Hallowe’en.
English immigrants brought the holiday to the United States in the 1850s, and the tradition of a costume party for adults began. By the 1930s, Halloween included trick-or-treating, with children who begged for candy and made jack-o’-lanterns from pumpkins. (The first jack-o’-lanterns were made from turnips.) From 1909 until the 1940s, crepe paper, then a new idea, was used for popular decorations. The Dennison Manufacturing Company made crepe paper Halloween decorations. This jack-o’-lantern is dressed like a maid with a black apron and curly hair. She is an 8-inch-tall German cardboard figure made in the 1920s that sold for $90 in a Ruby Lane store.
Q: I’d like to know the value of a copper teapot I bought in 1948. The saleslady told me it was 75 years old. On the bottom it says, “Jos. Heinrichs, Paris-New York, Pure Copper.”
Answer: Joseph Heinrichs started his business in New York City in 1897, so your copper teapot may be over 100 years old, but it couldn’t have been more than 51 years old in 1948. The company went bankrupt, was sold, and became Legion Utensils Company in 1937. In 1988, it became Legion Industries, with headquarters in Waynesboro, Georgia. The value of your copper teapot is about $40-$50 retail.
Q: I have an entire set of Myott, Son & Co. dinnerware in the Corona pattern. Does it have any value?
Answer: Myott, Son & Co., one of the Staffordshire Potteries, started in Stoke-on-Trent in 1898. Over the years there were changes in location and ownership. The company was bought by Interpace in 1969. After more changes, it became part of the Churchill group of potteries in 1991 and is no longer being made. Some collectors like the company’s brightly colored art deco vases, wall pockets and jugs made in the 1930s. Sets of dinnerware are hard to sell. You can try a consignment shop or sell them to a matching service, but it’s difficult and expensive to pack and ship dishes. It’s usually easier to donate them to a charity and take the tax deduction. Some charities provide a list of suggested values for donations. A Corona pattern cup and saucer is worth about $5.
Q: How much is an original Gambina black doll worth? It was handmade in New Orleans. A paper that came with it says it’s Antoinette.
Answer: C.V. Gambina Inc. was founded by Charles Vincent Gambina in the 1970s. Although it says handmade in New Orleans, dolls were made in Hong Kong and the clothes were handmade in New Orleans. Cloth, porcelain and vinyl dolls were dressed in ethnic, historic and other costumes. Antoinette is the “Seafood Lady,” one of the market sellers that are part of a series of dolls dressed to represent historic New Orleans. The doll was made in 1985. Gambina died in 2004 and the company is no longer in business. Gambina dolls sell for less than $15.
Q: I have some dinnerware marked “K & A, Krautheim, Selb Bavaria Germany, 8994.” The plates are numbered. I have six dinner plates, four salad plates, four bread and butter plates and six soup bowls. I haven’t been able to find any information about this particular pattern and what it’s worth.
Answer: Krautheim & Adelberg Porcelain Factory was founded by Christoph Krautheim and his brother-in-law Richard Adelberg in Selb, Bavaria, Germany, in 1884. It began as a decorating shop, using porcelain blanks made by other companies. The company began making porcelain in 1912, and it went out of business around 1977. This mark was used beginning in 1945. The number 8994 is the pattern number, and it doesn’t have a name. Since you have a variety of pieces, you might want to try a matching service to see if they want to buy the items. You can find matching services online. Or try local antiques shops or flea markets. Dinnerware does not sell well, but they may be willing to take it on consignment and you’ll get a portion of whatever they can sell it for.
Q: I’d like the approximate value of a cash register I own. It’s National Cash Register model 422 and is in excellent condition.
Answer: The first cash register was invented by James Ritty in 1879. He owned the Empire saloon in Dayton, Ohio, and wanted to find a way to keep his employees from stealing the cash. He and his brother worked on a machine and patented Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier in 1883. They sold the patent to a group of investors who founded the National Cash Register Company in 1884. The 400 series of cash registers that operated with key and crank or electrically were made beginning in 1910. Most have elaborate “Empire” design cases in antique bronze, bright bronze or nickel plate. National Cash Register became NCR Corporation in 1974 and is still in business. The 442 originally sold for $250. Its value today is about $1,500. Price depends on condition, and the bronze finish brings the highest prices.
Q: I’m moving into a senior living residence and won’t have room for my large collection of half dolls. One of the dolls has her hand broken off, but I don’t know the best way to fasten it back on. Many of the dolls are from around the world. I bought them when I worked in Germany and Okinawa. How can I find someone interested in buying them?
Answer: Half dolls, also known as pincushion dolls, were first made in 1908 and were popular until the 1930s. They were made with a porcelain upper body attached to a large cloth skirt and were used to cover a pincushion, powder box, pot of tea or other items. Most are found today without the skirt. Prices depend on size, decoration, condition and style. Closed arm half dolls sell for the lowest prices. Those with arms extended away from the body sell for the highest prices. Contact an auction house that specializes in dolls. Half dolls sold at an auction this year for over $100 to over $1,000. They are hard to find and a popular collectible. Don’t try to repair the broken doll yourself. A poorly done repair significantly lowers value.
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.
- Candlestick, brass, ringed, tapering column, round tray base, Netherlands, 11½ x 8¼ inches, $90.
Tole coal scuttle, “Green Japan,” oval reserve, landscape, fort, trees, wide stripes, red, black, 20 x 18 inches, $100.
- Moser sherbet and underplate, cranberry glass, gold flowers, jagged edge, 3½ x 5 inches, $220.
- Whiting silver compote, impressed acanthus scrolls, laurel swags, stacked disks, cylindrical base, 7½ x 9½ inches, $450.