Collectors favor iron coffee grinders

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Some people like to use instant coffee, while others buy ground coffee beans and brew a cup for breakfast.

The gourmet likes to mix and roast several types of beans, then brew the perfect cup of coffee.

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.

¢ Handbag, made of folded Lucky Strike cigarette packs, c. 1940, 9 x 13 inches, $60.¢ Hopalong Cassidy window shade, textured paper, roll-up, Hoppy on his horse, stagecoaches, Bar X Ranch, Western scenes, 40 inches, $145.¢ Doll, S.F.B.J. 235, character boy, bisque head, flocked hair, brown eyes, 2 upper teeth, composition body, red leather boots, 18 inches, $460.¢ "Swat the Crook" movie poster, 1919, with Harold Lloyd and Bebe Daniels, 27 x 41 inches, $545.¢ Dedham teapot, deep blue, rabbit-pattern border, bulbous, white ground, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, $610.¢ Advertising card, Piedmont Cigarettes, picture of Ty Cobb, 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches, $720.¢ Victorian roll-top desk, C-roll, walnut, spindle gallery, 16 cubbyholes, 4 drawers on right side, 46 inches, $1,150.¢ Needlepoint mourning picture, woman mourning by grave with urn, trees and grass, "In Memory of Mr. Noah Norton, Oct. 24th, 1814, age 39," 15 x 17 inches, $1,910.¢ Baccarat flacon, Gabilla perfume, Mon Cheri, clear, 4 sections, blue-and-gold label, box, yellow satin interior, 1913, 3 inches, $4,095.¢ Pin back, Warren G. Harding for Governor, portrait of Warren, black and white, 1910, 1 1/4 inches, $6,550.

After the Civil War, coffee beans were available at grocery stores, usually next to a large grinder. A customer could grind the coffee at the store or take it home to grind in a small coffee mill. Ground coffee in tins was not available until Chase and Sanborn introduced it in 1878.

By the 1930s, the store coffee grinder was electric. Enterprise Manufacturing Co. made many store and home coffee mills from about 1870 to 1955, when the firm was sold to Silex Co. Large iron store coffee grinders are popular with collectors today. They range in price from about $500 to thousands of dollars, depending on size and the condition of the original paint.

My parents bought a set of bird's-eye maple bedroom furniture in 1914. They left it to my brother. When he died in 1996, I bought the furniture at his estate sale. The set is in excellent condition. It includes a dresser, chiffonier, dressing table, chair and rocker. The dresser, chiffonier and table are each mounted with a shield-shaped mirror. My parents bought all five pieces from the Lammert Furniture Co. in St. Louis for $60. I still have the original bill of sale. I paid $1,050 for the set. Can you tell me what it's worth today?

The Lammert Furniture Co. was founded about 1875 and is still in business. The original Lammert Furniture building at 911 Washington Ave. is a St. Louis landmark. The style of your 1914 furniture became more popular in the 1920s and '30s. If your pieces were 1910s and '20s Mission style, they would be more valuable today. What you paid in 1996 is about the same price you would be able to sell the set for today.

I read that Roy Rogers cap guns and other toys from the 1940s and '50s are collectible. What about a pair of Dale Evans cap guns in a double holster?

Dale Evans was a radio and movie star before she met Roy Rogers. Her fame grew when she became Rogers' partner on-screen in 1944, and in real life when they married in 1947. Dale Evans collectibles are popular. The most desirable Dale Evans gun-and-holster sets were made by Classy Products of New York City. A Classy green leather double holster is so rare that it sells for about $600 without the cap guns and for about $1,000 with the guns.

A 1940s earthenware bowl left to me by a relative is marked "Royal Haeger by Royal Hickman." Why the two names?

Royal A. Hickman was an artist who worked for Haeger Potteries in Dundee, Ill., from 1938 to 1944. The line of pottery Hickman designed for Haeger was called "Royal Haeger." Pieces were marked the way your bowl is marked. The Royal Haeger line included earthenware and porcelain bowls, consoles, flowerpots and vases.

My husband has worn a metal Mickey Mouse belt buckle for the past 15 years. I bought the buckle for $10 at an auction because it was imprinted with the year of my birth -- 1937. The front of the buckle is embossed with Mickey holding a paintbrush so it appears that he just painted the words across the top of the buckle: "Mickey Mouse 1937 Hollywood, Cal., U.S.A." Would it be wise to put it away and protect it?

Let your husband wear the buckle. It is a "fantasy piece," one of at least two unlicensed and unauthorized Mickey Mouse buckles. The other one shows Mickey looking through a telescope. Your buckle was probably made in the 1970s.

I have a tabletop porcelain washing machine with a label that reads "Kenmore Electric Washer, Automatic Timer." It is shaped like a cylinder and is about 12 inches tall. There's a built-in timer on the top. The machine has an agitator, handle and small wringer. How old is it?

Kenmore is the brand name for many Sears products. A washer like yours was pictured in the 1930s Sears catalog. It was advertised as a machine for washing "personal things and baby clothes." It sold for $27.50 -- not a low price at the time.

My father was appointed a member of the "Special Police" in Montpelier, Vt., in 1902. When the chief of police appointed him, he received a small billy club. I still have it. The club looks like a baseball bat, but it's smaller and covered with leather. Can you tell me anything about it?

Billy clubs, also known as nightsticks or police batons, have undergone technological changes during the centuries. If the billy club your father received is too small to be used as a weapon, it might have been a "presentation" baton, given as a symbol of his membership in the Special Police. The club is not valuable, but it's a nice family memento.


Marble will eventually react to rain and will deteriorate. Keep valuable marble ornaments out of the rain and frost.


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