Unique 1880s jacket made from silk cigar bands

Farm Forum

Fabrics were expensive in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Recycling was important and every scrap of fabric left from a sewing project was saved to make a quilt or even a “coat of many colors.” But not many thrifty housewives saved the cloth bands that held bundles of cigars to use for a sewing project. Someone made a cigar silks smoking jacket in the 1880s style. The cutaway jacket had hundreds of silk cigar bands, imprinted with a brand name, that were feather-stitched in black thread. The shawl collar, cuffs, pocket flaps and lining were made of black silk cloth. Brand names like Old Poet, Harvard, Boston Bar, Press Club, Bachelors and Flying Dude could be read by those admiring the jacket. It sold at a February 2016 Thomaston Place auction for $1,755.

Q What is a “dog kennel dresser?”

A The “dog kennel dresser” started as a type of Welsh cupboard. In Wales a large dresser that displayed and stored plates, pewter and utensils in racks was in style in the 18th century. The lower section was made of drawers and cupboards. These were kept below the stairs for storage in mansions, but in farmhouses, they were used in the living room. The dresser was a large, valuable piece of furniture. By the 1850s, a new look gained favor. The lower part of the dresser was made with cupboards on each side and an open space in the middle. The space probably got the name “dog kennel” because a dog could crawl in to sleep. Often, a large tureen or pot was stored in the space. By the 1890s, it was sometimes used to store a sewing machine. The Welsh dresser is still popular, and copies have been made since 1915 that could be mistaken for antiques.

Q I inherited some original Coca-Cola glasses that came from a drugstore I went to as a child. I have 15 small glasses. Only five still have the etchings intact, which read “Drink Coca-Cola 5 cents.” The writing has worn off the others. I also have seven of the larger glasses, but they never had any writing on them. I just want to know if they have any value besides the warm memories they hold.

A Vintage Coca-Cola glasses sell for about $4 each in excellent condition, including all of the writing. There also are many reproductions available today for about $2, even some of the earlier type glass that came in a metal holder with a handle. Enjoy your glasses and childhood memories. That is why many collectibles are saved.

Q Were Hummel figurines ever made in Japan? I thought they were all made in Germany by the Goebel factory.

A Hummel figurines, based on the drawings of Berta Hummel, were first made in 1935 by the W. Goebel Porcelain factory in Germany. They became very popular and were a major collectible for many years. When World War II ended, exported merchandise had to be marked “Occupied Japan.” This was required from 1947 to 1952, when there still were American troops occupying Japan. Ceramics were a major Japanese export, and they copied many best-selling pieces made in Germany, England, the United States and other countries. Many copies of Hummel figurines were made and marked “Occupied Japan.” Prices for German Hummel figurines have dropped since 2008. But Japanese figurines were always less expensive and, because there are Occupied Japan collectors who want them, they have remained about the same price as before. Real Hummels were made by Goebel until 2008 when several other German factories got the rights to the Hummels.

Q I have a Pan American Airways flight bag from a 1955 flight into Cuba, along with a tourist pass stamped 1955. I would like to know if it’s worth anything. And would an airline collector be interested in this?

A On Oct. 28, 1927, a small plane lifted off a dirt runway in Key West, Florida, and headed for Havana, Cuba. It was made by a fledgling company called Pan American Airways and was the first scheduled international flight of a U.S. airline. The airline was started by Juan Trippe along with other financiers as a mail carrier, having obtained the contract for U.S. mail delivery to Cuba. U.S. Diplomatic relations with Cuba were broken off in 1960, and commercial flights were suspended between the U.S. and Cuba after the 1962 missile crisis. Pan Am ceased operations completely in 1991, but Pan Am collectibles live on. Everything from Pan Am aircraft models, posters and timetables to safety cards, soap and air-sickness bags are sought after, as well as 35 different flight bags. Vintage canvas Pan Am flight bags sell to collectors for $35 to $50, depending on condition. Add the 1955 Cuban tourist pass, and the value increases to about $75.

Q I bought five bowls that I think are very old. They have blue flowers on a white background. It says on the back “Yorke Ironstone England, genuine hand engraving, detergent proof, Old Staffordshire Rosedale.” I want to know how much they are worth.

A The bowls are not very old. The clue to their age is the term “detergent proof,” which was not used until about 1944. Rosedale pattern bowls sell for about $8.

Tip: Rub the base of a candlestick with a little olive oil before lighting a candle. Any wax that drips can easily be peeled off the oiled base.

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