Clocks with moving eyes popular about 1850

Farm Forum

Most clocks have hands that move to tell the time, but a group of clocks that also had moving eyes were popular about 1850. Most of these figural iron clocks were made by Bradley and Hubbard of Meriden, Connecticut. A few others were made by Chauncey Jerome. The clocks are popular with collectors because they are so entertaining yet, because they are iron, hard to damage. Many were made to represent real people or animals.

This owl motion clock with green glass eyes that move back and forth in a silver-plated case sold in 2021 for $1,900 in a Morford's auction. You might be able to find some other antique moving- or blinking-eye clocks. Look for John Bull (1858), the German Burgermeister, Topsey, the Admiral and a Continental Soldier. Twentieth-century clocks with moving eyes have been made of wood or plastic, and some modern versions feature cats, dogs or cartoon characters. But the clock with moving eyes that is most remembered because it was used in many nurseries for the past 79 years is the black plastic cat called the Kit-Cat Klock. It was first made in 1932, and new versions are still made.

Photo Caption: Moving eyes add interest to an antique clock. This blinking-owl clock sold for $1,900 at a Morford's auction in 2021

Question: My son got Capcom's "Resident Evil" PlayStation game for Christmas in 1996. It fell behind a huge entertainment system and was found about four years ago. We've taken it to many places to find out the value, but have been told no one has ever seen a sealed copy of this game, and they couldn't even begin to give us a price. Do you know anything about the value of this game or whom to take it to? 

Answer: The survivor horror game "Resident Evil" was introduced by Capcom in March 1996. Millions of copies were sold. Several sequels have been made, with the eighth released in 2021. Old video games sell in video game stores, online and at auctions. Rarity, desirability and condition determine the price. They sell better if they have been graded by an authorized company. Games that are the first in a series or are sealed in the original package usually sell for more than a used copy of the same game. Rare games sell for high prices at auctions. Contact an auction house that sells video games to see if they can give you an idea of the value. An unopened copy of Nintendo's 1985 "Super Mario Bros." game, graded 9.4 -- the first in the series and part of a short early production run -- sold for $114,000 at Heritage Auctions last year.

Q: I have a set of dessert plates with a Limoges mark I can't find anywhere. There is a five-point star in the center of a double-ring circle. The letters M, A, C and Y are between the points of the star. "Limoges France" is printed in the band around the star. Can you tell me anything about the maker? 

A: Porcelain has been made by several factories in Limoges since the mid-1800s. This mark was used on porcelain made in Limoges for sale in Macy's stores in the United States. Sometimes this mark is used along with a maker's mark or the pattern name. Without a maker's mark, it's not possible to tell who made your dessert plates. 

Q: I'd like to know what an old stoneware canning jar is worth. It's about 5 inches high and is tan and brown. The lid is embossed "The Weir, Pat. Mar 1st, 1892." 

A: The March 1, 1892, patent was for a self-seal canning jar invented by William S. Weir of Monmouth, Illinois. Weir Pottery Co. was established in 1899 with him as its president. The pottery made stoneware canning jars. Western Stoneware Co. took over Weir Pottery and six other potteries in 1906. Weir Pottery continued in business as Plant 2 until Western Stoneware Co. went out of business in 1985. Price of your canning jar is under $25. 

Q: Where can I find places to get dolls fixed? I live in Ohio. 

A: If you live in or near a big city, it should be easy to find a doll hospital that can fix your dolls. Use your computer or smartphone to search for doll hospitals near you. If you aren't comfortable doing that, you can ask a younger friend or relative to help, or ask someone in the reference department of your local library. 

TIP: Put your antique clock on the wall, a wall shelf or on a level floor and move it as little as possible.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer readers' questions sent to the column. Send a letter with one question describing the size, material (glass, pottery) and what you know about the item. Include only two pictures, the object and a closeup of any marks or damage. Be sure your name and return address are included. By sending a question, you give full permission for use in any Kovel product. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We do not guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. Questions that are answered will appear in Kovels Publications. Write to Kovels, (Farm Forum), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at collectorsgallery@kovels.com.