NEWS

Much like Clydesdales still pull carts in Budweiser ads, this lamp is hanging in there

Terry and Kim Kovel
Cowles Syndicate

Some advertising icons have obvious connections to their brands, like Planters Peanuts' Mr. Peanut or the RCA Victor dog with his head tilted as he listens to a phonograph.

This advertising lamp includes figures of a team of horses pulling a beer cart with drivers, followed by a crowd of Dalmatians. Similar scenes may take place in real life on Budweiser's promotional tours. The lamp with a moving wagon sold for $625.

Others, less so, like the Clydesdale horses and Dalmatian dogs featured in Budweiser advertising items such as this hanging lamp with "The World Champion Clydesdale Team." The lamp sold for $625 at a Potter & Potter auction.

What do horses and dogs have to do with beer? The answer comes from the 1930s. The Anheuser-Busch brewing company, owner of the Budweiser brand, turned to making non-alcoholic products during Prohibition. Its repeal in 1933 was still a cause for celebration. August A. Busch, Jr., gave his father, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, a gift of a hitch of Clydesdale horses pulling a beer cart. The hitch delivered the first post-Prohibition Budweiser beer.

A horse-drawn beer wagon proved to be an effective marketing tool, and the company got another hitch to make promotional tours. Dalmatians joined the tours in the 1950s, referencing the old practice of breweries having dogs to protect their horses and wagons during deliveries. In 1986, the Budweiser Clydesdales made their first appearance in a Super Bowl commercial, reaching an even wider audience. The company still has Clydesdale teams going on tours to this day.

Question: We received a set of "Country Lane" dishes by Brock of California when we were married in 1951. There are many pieces including plates, serving dishes, coffeepots, etc. My granddaughters are not interested in them, so I'd like information about their value. They are in excellent condition.

Answer: Brock of California started before 1945 as Southern California Pottery Company Inc. in Lawndale, California. It made ovenware and kitchenware. Bert J. Brock was the president of the company by 1949. Production included "California Brockware" and "California Rustic" dinnerware. The name of the company was changed to B.J. Brock Company by 1950. Brock dinnerware was used on the set of the television show "I Love Lucy" in the early 1950s and can be seen on the kitchen shelves and table in several episodes. The company closed about 1955. Individual pieces of Brock's country-themed dinnerware sell for modest prices: dinner plates for $8 to $10, a cup and saucer for $6 to $8 and serving pieces for a little more. Sets of dinnerware are hard to sell. It's easier to try a consignment shop to see if they can sell it.

Q: I bought a shallow cut glass dish at a thrift store for $15. It has a ring handle on one side. A friend told me the pattern looks like Irving's "White Rose." Can you tell me the age and possible value of this dish?

A: Irving Cut Glass Company was in business in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, from 1900 to 1933. Several glass factories were located in the surrounding area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many companies cut and etched their patterns on blanks made by C. Dorflinger & Sons. Your shallow dish with a ring handle might be a nappy, a dish used for candy or nuts. Your dish is about 100 years old. Depending on size and condition, it might be worth $75 or more. A signature adds value.

Q: During a recent thrifting excursion, I saw something I'd never seen before: A Blue Willow CorningWare warming tray with cord. The tray, working and with its cord, was only $5.99. I passed it up and I've been kicking myself about it. What do you think?

A: I think you should have bought it. That CorningWare tray is worth at least $25 elsewhere. It isn't rare, but CorningWare is undergoing a resurgence of popularity. Prices for vintage pieces are going up. Blue Willow is one of the most recognizable patterns. I love the history of this line. Corning Glass Works developed the glass for Thomas Edison's light bulb. In July of 1913, at the encouragement of a scientist's wife, Bessie Littleton, Pyrex was born. More than 750 million pieces of CorningWare have been made. In 1998, due to slumping sales and retooling of manufacturing plants, Corning sold CorningWare and Pyrex lines to World Kitchen, LLC.

TIP: If you have valuable old glass, keep it in a safe environment. It should be stored or displayed where there is some air movement to dry off the surface. Glass bottles and containers should be stored with the lids and stoppers open.

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.