Famous politicians, generous donors, entertainment and sports stars, and military heroes are honored by having their names on statues, buildings, bridges, streets, parks and even rooms. But famous furniture designers and architects are more often given lasting fame when a chair, desk or style is given their name. Some names used today are hundreds of years old.
There is the American Hitchcock chair, a painted wooden chair with a curved top, carved back slats and legs that are continuations of the back's uprights. It was named for Lambert Hitchcock (1795-1852). Even older is Chippendale furniture, named for Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), an English cabinet maker who published a book that pictured his designs.
Some collectors of early photographs buy daguerreotypes without knowing they are named for Louis Daguerre (1787-1851), who, in about 1839, invented the first photographic pictures.
A 20th-century reproduction of a Carlton House desk sold recently at a Cowan auction for $660. The original desk looked like a table with a horseshoe-shaped top section made to fit on top of the table. It was ordered by the Prince of Wales in about 1783, and designed by George Hepplewhite.
The desk, named for a favored palace, was a gift for a member of the Prince's entourage living at Carlton House, a London palace that was demolished in 1825 after the Prince became King George IV. The building was replaced with Carlton House terrace. An early 19th-century Carlton House desk sells today for $6,000 to $10,000.
Q: I have a red plastic "Woody Woodpecker" toy that's about 5 inches tall, and has a wobble head and a harmonica on the back. When blown across, it imitates his laugh. This was purchased in 1949 or 1950. I haven't been able to find any information on this. Would you have any idea what this is worth?
A: The first "Woody Woodpecker" cartoon ran in movie theaters in 1941. According to one of our readers, this "Woody Woodpecker" harmonica toy was sold at movie theaters in the 1940s. The "Woody Woodpecker" harmonica and a "Woody Woodpecker" kazoo toy were premiums offered for 25 cents and proof of purchase from one of Kellogg's cereals. Kellogg's was a sponsor of the "The Woody Woodpecker Show," originally on TV in 1957 and 1958. Reruns of the original shows ran for several years after that. New episodes were made in the early 1970s, and reruns of those shows have been on TV since then. The value of your toy is under $20.
Q: I found four Currier & Ives prints when I was cleaning out my late aunt's apartment. They are in perfect condition. One of them is "The Roadside Mill." It reads "Entered according to Act of Congress in 1870 by Currier & Ives in the Clerk's Office of District of Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York." At the bottom right, it reads "152 Nassau St. N.Y." There are three other pictures. What is the value, if any, and what should I do with them?
A: Nathan Currier began making lithograph prints in 1835. His accountant, James Merritt Ives, became a partner in the business in 1857 and the name became Currier & Ives. The company was in business until 1907, and thousands of lithograph prints of local and national scenes were made. The copyright for "The Roadside Mill" was registered in 1870. The size of the original print was 7.15 by 12.8 inches (just over 7 inches by 12 4/5 inches). Its condition, size and rarity will determine the price. Some sell for thousands of dollars. Many Currier & Ives prints have been copied and are worth very little. The original prints came in standard sizes, repros have been made in many sizes, often from calendars. The coloring, paper and method of printing tell experts whether it is authentic.
Q: I have a platter with a stamped mark I can't identify. The stamp is a shield and a crown with a cross on top it. Inside the shield there are the initials "S. & C." with "Z" above and "R. Bavaria" below. Do I have a valuable piece? What is the possible price range?
A: The initials "Z. S. & C. R." stand for Zeh, Scherzer & Co., Rehau. The porcelain factory was located in Rehau, Bavaria, Germany beginning in 1880. This mark was registered in 1899 and was used until about 1910. Later the company used the name Scherzer 1880. The company became part of Allerthal A.G., an investment company, in 1991. Porcelain production stopped in 1992. The company's platters sell for about $30.
Q: I have my great-grandmother's steel stove and I can't find much about it. It reads "Leader, Il-A-Noy" and "H.S.B. & Co." on the front. I'd appreciate any information you can provide.
A: Leader Il-A-Noy steel ranges were made by Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., a Chicago hardware company that operated under that name beginning in 1882. The company was sold to John Cotter & Co. in 1962. It might sell to someone who wants to use it, but any old stove must be checked for safety before it is used.
Tip: Never clean an iron cooking utensil with soap. Wipe it with paper towels, wash it in hot water with a plastic bristle brush, and dry well.
Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question and a picture, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, (Name of this newspaper), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.
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Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.
New Martinsville pitcher, Heart in Sand, water, gilt spout, 8 inches, $10.
Paperweight, bronze, Art Nouveau, reading woman, armpit in a water book, 6 1/4 inches, $240.
Hood ornament, Ford, flying quail, 3 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches, $240.
Arita jar, lid, blue, scholars, immortals, landscape, reclining figure finial, white, Japan, 8 1/2 inches, $380.
Silver-English, basket, sugar, George III, oval, chased flowers, P. & A. Bateman, 1793, 4 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches, $580.
Coffee table, Donald Deskey, aluminum, walnut, oak, six legs, 16 x 67 inches, $750.
WWI poster, Join, Army Air Service, bald eagle, mid-air strike, orange, c. 1917, 26 3/4 x 20 inches, $1,110.
Jade, lotus cup, pods, flowers, toad, phoenix, wood stand, 5 1/4 inches, $3,750.
Garden fountain, brass, bronze, copper, disks on spikes, Silas Seandel, 1960s, 72 x 48 inches, $4,060.
Ivory, group, mountains, sea dragon, figures, pavilions, clouds, pines, 18 1/2 inches, $4,250.
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