Coco Chanel (1883-1971) is a well-known French fashion designer who changed the look of women's clothes and jewelry, and created the famous perfume Chanel No. 5 during the 20th century. But few know she also designed some chandeliers and other furnishings for her apartment and for customers. A rolled-arm sofa and a rock-crystal chandelier probably are her best-known pieces. She included animal figures and mirrors in abundance. Colors like black, gold, brown, honey, beige and cinnabar were backgrounds for Coromandel folding screens and antique furniture. A famous Coco Chanel-designed gilt-metal and rock-crystal chandelier sold at New Orleans Auctions in 2016. It was designed by Coco with Robert Goossens, a Parisian jeweler. The frame has interlocking hearts and ovals with large rock-crystal chunks hanging below. Metal leaves covered the 12 light sockets. The impressive 40-inch-high and 31-inch-diameter chandelier sold for $37,500.
Q: I have three Mr. Peanut glass jars with "Planters," a picture of Mr. Peanut and "75th anniversary" embossed on both sides. They are about 8 1/4 inches tall and have lids. The dates 1861 and 1906 also are on the jars. What are they worth?
A: You're reading one of the dates wrong. The 75th anniversary of Planters was in 1981. If you read 1981 upside down, it looks like 1861. The company started as Planters Nut and Chocolate Co. in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1906. Mr. Peanut was adopted as a trademark in 1916. The company was bought by Standard Brands in 1961. Standard Brands merged with Nabisco in 1981. Some of the Mr. Peanut jars have been reproduced. These jars sell for $5 to $10 each.
Q: In the 1930-1950 period, would Minton dinnerware normally be found in middle-class or upper-middle-class homes? Where might it have fit in the dinnerware hierarchy, compared to Royal Doulton, Spode or Wedgwood?
A: Minton dinnerware was owned by royalty, the wealthy and the upper middle class. In some homes, it was the "good" china used only on special occasions. Minton was made in the Staffordshire region of England beginning in 1796. It became part of the Royal Doulton Tableware Group in 1968. The brand is now part of WWRD Holdings. Minton china is no longer made.
Q: I have Currier & Ives' "American Homestead Winter" with the original government copyright notice. I can't find any information on the old copyright mark in the bottom left corner of the print that's followed by the letters "HFA." Do you know what this stands for?
A: The letters "HFA" stand for Haddad's Fine Arts, Inc., a company in Anaheim, Calif., that does reproductions of works of art. The company sells only to businesses, not directly to consumers. Your print is a reproduction of an original Currier & Ives print. Reproductions are common and average-size prints sell for less than $30.
Q: We live in a rural area in Arizona and have found over 200 Arizona license plates from 1930. Some have a "P" for pneumatic and "S" for solid tires. What are these worth?
A: Common license plates usually sell for about $10 or less. Yours are old enough to have more value. Vanity plates, license plates with a series of letters or numbers that spell something, also are worth more. There is an organization for license plate collectors, the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, which has meetings throughout the country and an annual convention. For more information, check the Association's website, www.alpca.org.
Q: I have a decorative porcelain dish marked "Not for food serving, may poison food." I'm not sure if it's an antique. Can you explain the marking?
A: The wording on your dish indicates it is not an antique. In 1971, the Food & Drug Administration set regulations on the amount of lead in glazes on ceramic dishes used for food. The standards have been revised since then and now also include regulations governing the amount of cadmium in the glaze. Cadmium is often used in bright red and orange glazes. The words marked on your dish are a label the FDA requires on dishes that contain unacceptable levels of these metals. Ceramic dishes made in Asia or Mexico, especially those with bright colors, are more likely to be unsafe than those made in Europe or the U.S. Acidic foods can cause the metals to leach out of the glaze if the dish hasn't been fired properly and the glaze completely sealed. Enjoy your dish as a decorative piece, but don't use it for food. There are some unlabeled antique dishes that have high lead or cadmium glaze.
Tip: Use two hooks a few inches in from the edges of a picture to keep it straight on the wall.
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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.
Greeting card, New Years, paper, three cherubs, seashell, flower bouquet, c. 1880, $12.
Jewelry pin, figural bird, swallow, sterling and marcasite, green stone eyes, extended wings, Germany, c. 1940, 1 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches, $60.
Kewpie figurine, The Kewpie Hugger, twin babies, arms wrapped around each other, starfish hands, white bisque, c. 1915, 3 1/2 inches, $105.
Haberdashery cabinet, wood, four drawers, compartments, metal handles, gilt writing, block feet, Gutermann, 1920s, 13 x 14 inches, $195.
Photo album, photos, white satin, embroidered flowers, metal clasp and cover medallion, gilt embossed interior frames, 1800s, 8 x 10 inches, $310.
Brass scribes box, traveling quill holder, attached inkwell, chased Arabic calligraphy, hinges, copper rivets, lid, 1800s, 9 x 1 1/2 inches, $425.
Telephone table, mahogany, drop front, telephone cubby, writing slide, scalloped apron, turned legs, arched stretcher, 1950s, 49 x 31 inches, $700.
Teapot, figural, foo lion dancers, famille rose, children under flower cape, pairs of feet base, wood lid, ivory finial, c.1905, 8 x 10 inches, $980.
Campbell's Tomato Soup sign, "10 cents," porcelain, figural can, red and white, bracket, 1920s, 13 x 23 1/2 inches, $1,650.
Wooden Hindu mask, god Shiva, growling expression with teeth, hand carved, multicolor paint, 1800s, 19 x 13 inches, $3,000.
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