Cornucopia vase popular in 1930s
This strange piece of art pottery is a cornucopia vase, popular in the 1930s. It was made by the Roseville Pottery Company. The pattern name is White Rose.
Roseville Pottery Company started in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890. A second plant was opened in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1898. White Rose pattern was introduced in the 1940s. White Rose cornucopia vases were made in two sizes, 6 inch (143-6) and 8 inch (144-8). By the late 1940s, there were over 50 shapes in the White Rose pattern glazed in different colors such as sea blue, coral or autumn brown. Reproductions of Roseville pottery have been made in China and sold since the 1980s. The fakes are a different size, so they can be identified. A real, blue Cornucopia White Rose vase that is 8 inches tall sells for $100 to $125.
Question: I'm writing for my 96-year-old mother. She has a turtle spittoon like the one featured in the AARP magazine article about you. She's wondering who would be interested in it and how would she contact them?
Answer: Spittoons were common in saloons, offices, public buildings and homes in the late 1800s when men chewed tobacco. Turtle spittoons have been made of cast iron, brass, copper, tin and other metals. When someone steps on the turtle's head, the shell opens to reveal the spit bowl. Turtle spittoons sell at auctions for about $100 to $400. Price depends on material, condition and maker, if known. You can go to a local flea market and see if anyone is selling one. They might then buy yours. You can also try to sell it on one of the online marketplaces. Kovels.com lists various online options.
Q: I have two boxes with 50 matchbooks. Are they worth more individually or as a set in the box? Are the covers worth more with the matches or without them? If I want to sell them, are there restrictions on shipping matches?
A: Book matches were invented and patented by Joshua Pusey in 1892. He sold the patent to the Diamond Match Co. of America in 1894. Matchbook collectors are called "phillumenists." There are local, regional, national and international clubs for collectors. The Rathkamp Matchcover Society is the world's oldest phillumenic organization. The Society's website, matchcover.org, lists swap meets and conventions. Collectors look for unused matchbooks with old ads, travel themes and other subjects. If there is a swap meet near you, you can see what covers are selling for and you might be able to find a buyer. Don't let someone pick out the best ones and leave you with a bunch that are not worth much and will be hard to sell. If you plan to ship your collection to a buyer, remove the matches before shipping.
Q: Can you tell me the value of a child's rolltop desk made by Eastman Mfg. Co. in Union City, Pennsylvania? It's 33 inches high and 21 inches wide. A sticker on the back has the manufacturer's name and Sears Roebuck Co. as the "ship to" address. The desk has been in my family for 70 years.
A: Union City was the heart of the furniture industry in Pennsylvania at one time. Eastman Mfg. Co. was one of at least nine furniture companies located in the city, which was known as "The Chair Center of the World." Eastman rolltop desks for children sell for $50 to $100; those with a matching chair go for $150 to $175 or more.
Q: I have some old medicine bottles that came from my grandpa's drugstore. One is a 14-ounce bottle embossed "Fellows Compound Syrup." It says it's a stimulating tonic. Some of the ingredients sound poisonous, like copper and strychnine. Are old medicine bottles worth anything?
A: There are collectors of "patent medicine" bottles, unproven proprietary remedies made in the 1800s and early 1900s. The medicines often contained ingredients that are now illegal. After the passage of the U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, these medicines were often sold as a stimulating or strengthening tonic instead of a cure. Fellows Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites was developed by Fellows & Co. in 1866 and was sold to physicians, not directly to consumers. It was claimed to cure anemia, bronchitis, influenza, tuberculosis and other diseases. By 1915, it was sold over the counter as a nonprescription drug. Empty, clean bottles are worth more than full bottles, unless the bottle has a label and original box. Wear rubber gloves and make sure the room is ventilated before emptying out the contents. Some old medicine bottles sell for a few hundred dollars or more. A paper label or original box adds value. A Fellows Compound Syrup bottle sells for less than $40.
TIP: The value of a matchbook cover is lowered by writing or marks, scrapes or gouge marks from a carelessly removed staple or a damaged or missing striker.
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, (Name of this newspaper), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.