What was a small bisque vase in the shape of a man used for?

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Sometimes inventions have changed the way we do work. They render a certain tool or decoration useless and its previous use is forgotten.

A 5-inch-high bisque vase in the shape of a man in political uniform was one such mystery at a recent auction. It could hold small flowers for a very short time, because the small opening would only hold enough water for the flowers for a day.

We’ve seen similar little characters identified as matchstick holders, but it could just be a “whim” (a fancy character, maybe even a joke). We were sure he was old, and we thought the character was a caricature of a famous English politician. The style of the pants, short shirt, yellow epaulettes, curly hairstyle and flat hat seemed appropriate. Regardless of its use, it was attractive and, with eight bids, it sold for $ 59 at the Conestoga auction in Pennsylvania. The value will increase if the human can be identified.

Question: What is a 100-year-old Hohner Professional chromatic octave harmonica worth? It’s in a red case with “Made in Germany” printed on it.

A: The first harmonicas were handcrafted in the 1820s. Matthias Hohner, a watchmaker from Trossingen, Germany, used machines to mass produce harmonicas. He founded his company in 1857. The company is best known for its harmonicas and accordions, but it also manufactures other musical instruments. In 1930, it was the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the world.

Hohner began making chromatic harmonicas in 1912. Pressing the button on the side of the harmonica changes the notes by a semitone, allowing a chromatic scale to be played. Hohner joined KHS, a Taiwanese musical instrument company, in 1987. It is still in business. Hohner has made over a billion harmonicas. Most aren’t worth much less than $ 50 because they’re so common.

If the harmonica is a model sought after by collectors or has anything unusual about it, it is in perfect condition and has the original box, it could cost more. It is not possible to estimate the value without seeing it. Take it to a music store in your area and see if someone can give you some idea of ​​the value.

Question: I have two Jasper curio cabinets. I bought them in the 1960s from Harlem Furniture Co. in Dayton, Ohio. I was hoping you could help me find some new keys for cabinet doors!

A: Jasper Cabinet Furniture was based in Jasper, Indiana from the turn of the 20th century. The company produced secretaries, china cabinets, curio cabinets, chests of drawers and other furniture. If antique furniture collectors – or those who inherit old cabinets or curio chests – are lucky, their pieces will be delivered with its original key. Before you get upset if you don’t see a key, check to see if it’s taped to a drawer or on the back panel. If the key cannot be found, your first step would be to remove the lock and take it to an antique store, hardware store, or locksmith. Be sure to call ahead to make sure the store has a collection of old binary keys, often referred to as skeleton keys. If you’re lucky, the store will have a key that slips through the keyhole and initiates the lock. Otherwise, a locksmith may look for a blank key that is a perfect fit. Antique master keys can usually open any lock on a home, most commonly in Sears Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as any home that is nearly a century or older. These ancient skeleton keys are also known as “bit and barrel” keys.

Question: I have a collection of Dragonware porcelain that has been made by different companies. Some pieces are finer porcelain than others. My dad started me on this collection 40 years ago, and I haven’t been able to find out much about it. I would like to pass it on to my son, but I would like to be able to tell him more about this collection.

A: Dragonware, pottery decorated with dragons in relief, has been made since the late 1800s. Relief decoration, called “moriage”, is made by mixing white clay to the consistency of toothpaste and dragging it around. a thin line. The moriage is still in progress. You can determine the age of your Dragonware by looking at the marks. Porcelain imported to the United States after 1891 had to be marked with the country of origin. Pieces marked “Nippon” were manufactured from 1891 to 1921; those marked “Made in Occupied Japan” were manufactured from 1945 to 1952. Parts marked “Japan” were manufactured from 1921 to 1945 and again from 1952 to the present day. Some parts of Dragonware auction for a few hundred dollars and some online for less than $ 5.

Advice: The material used to make the repairs is warmer to the touch than porcelain. Feel the surface of a figurine to see if there are any invisible repairs.

On the block

Current prices are recorded from antique shows, flea markets, sales and auctions across the United States. Prices vary by location due to local economic conditions.

Sadiron, European box type, cast iron, turned oak handle on shaped brass brackets, circa 1835, 8 inches, $ 85.

Redware pottery basin, stylized flowers in the center, bands of slip lines and zigzags, conical shape, square edge, molded tab handles, dated 1822, 5 x 18 inches, $ 125.

Box, strip, bentwood, covered with wallpaper, block printed white flowers and green leaves on blue background, oval, lined with 1842 newsprint, label printed inside, “Guaranteed nailed strip boxes made by Hannah Davis, Jaffrey, NH. ”, 1940s, 6 by 10 inches, $ 240.

Dinnerware, dinner plate service, porcelain, neoclassical design, alternating blue garlands and rose urns, yellow border with small blue medallions, marked Royal Worcester, model Z698, 10½ inches, 12 pieces, $ 375.

Toy pedal car, fire department, ladder truck, stamped steel, wooden seat and reverse, two ladders, bell on front hood, American, 1935-45, 20 x 50 x 16 inches, $ 510.

Weather vane, rooster, full body, copper, worn gold and verdigris surface, late 1800s, 31¼ by 21 inches, $ 625.

Wood carving, tin, treenware, turned bulbous body, swollen rim, stepped cover, button finial, square base, original vinegar sponge decoration, circa 1850, 8 x 5 inches, $ 700.

Jewelry, lapel pin, two flying swallows, 18k textured yellow gold, pink stone eyes, single diamond hanging from a bird’s beak, marked “18K, Guyot”, 1¾ inches, $ 1,260.

Cabinet, pie safe, poplar, painted brown on black, dovetail drawer on two doors, six perforated tin panels each with a basket of tulips and HA initials, solid ends, cut out legs, American Country , circa 1830, 51 by 39 by 14 inches, $ 1,625.

Galle vase, plums, textured leaves and branches, orange background with purple background, cameo glass, ovoid, slightly flared rim, signed Galle at the bottom, France, early 20th century, 8½ inches, $ 1,935.



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