Advertising toys bring back special memories

Tim Kovel and Kim Kovel
Cowles Syndicate
This toy car was a clever ad for Moxie, a soft drink popular in New England. It sold for $2,600.

Antique toys, especially those that move and make noise, are popular with both young and old, and many are very expensive. Advertising toys bring back special memories and are wanted by those who collect advertising and those who want toys. 

This car with "Moxie" on the side is in mint to good condition. It is a rare blue version of an 8-inch-long tin toy car with a man on a horse in a Moxie jacket and cap driving a Moxiemobile. It sold for $2,600 at a Morford's auction in Cazenovia, New York. 

Moxie was a drink introduced in 1885, two years before Coca-Cola. It claimed to be a health drink and was flavored with bitter herbs. The taste was so strange that people said you had to be brave to drink it. So by 1930, the word "moxie" become a slang term for brave or daring, and "He had a lot of moxie" became a common saying. The company was purchased by Coca-Cola in 2018. 

Question: Are there any buyers for Aurene glassware from Steuben Glass Works? My great-grandfather and my grandfather both worked as glass blowers and designers for Steuben in Corning, New York, and I own several beautiful pieces. 

Answer: Aurene glass is an iridescent gold, blue, green or red glass developed by Frederick Carder, one of the founders of Steuben Glass Works. It was first made about 1904. Gold Aurene was the first color made, and Blue Aurene was next. The name "Aurene" comes from a combination of "Au," the chemical symbol for gold, and "sheen." Steuben Glass Works was in business from 1903 until 2011, when the factory closed. The Corning Museum of Glass took over the factory in 2014 and has reissued some Steuben glass. Steuben's Aurene glass sells for high prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for special pieces. Your family history adds to the value.

Q: I have some "Lippert & Haas" and "Haas & Czjzek" dinnerware. It's not a full set but includes very large dinner plates and several large tureens. It was my grandmother's china. I'm 83 years old, so you can tell how old these dishes are. I don't want them to end up in the Goodwill bin. Can you tell me the history and give me any suggestions as to what I could do with them? 

A: Lippert & Haas was in business in Schlaggenwald, Bohemia (now Horni Slavkov, Czech Republic) from about 1808 to 1847. August Haas bought the company in 1847 and opened a factory in Aich, Bohemia (now Doubi, Czech Republic). Johann Czjzek became a partner in 1867, and the company name became Haas & Czjzek. The factory was nationalized in 1945. It was privatized 1992 and continued in business until 2011, when the factory closed. Haas & Czjzek stores in Budapest, Hungary, sell porcelain and glass. You can check prices for Haas & Czjzek on replacement services like It's hard to sell dinnerware, especially if it's not a complete set. You might be able to find an antiques store or consignment shop that will at least try to sell some of the serving pieces. Perhaps you have a family member who will appreciate its history.

Q: I have a book, "The Life of George Washington-Maps and Subscriber's Names," published in 1807 by C.P. Wayne of Philadelphia. The book includes several map "plans" for different states, a list of subscribers, and a signature of the subscriber. The book is in fair condition given its age. Can you tell me the approximate value? 

A: This book is part of a biography of George Washington written by John Marshall between 1804 and 1807. It was originally published in five volumes. Marshall, who later became justice of the Supreme Court, was a friend of Washington and served with him in the Revolutionary War. First editions of the books are rare and sell for high prices. Copies of the book of maps have sold for several hundred to more than one thousand dollars. You should contact an antiquarian book dealer or an auction house that sells antique books to see what your book would sell for. Copies have sold from $75 to $1,700 in recent auctions. 

Q: I bought a box of old dishes at a flea market to use at our cabin. There are several mugs marked "Allegheny China, Vitrified, Warren, Pa." They are white with thin green bands around the rim. Can you tell me something about the maker and possible age of these dishes? 

A: The mugs are restaurant ware made by Allegheny China Co. The company was founded in Warren, Pennsylvania, in 1952 and made dinnerware for restaurants and hotels. This mark was used before 1959. Allegheny China Co. became a subsidiary of Buffalo China Co. in 1962. Hotel and restaurant ware continue to be made. Pieces embossed "Allegheny China, U.S.A." surrounding the image of a buffalo were made after 1962.

TIP: To remove a crayon mark from paper, coat it with a thin layer of rubber cement, let it dry, then rub it off.