Q: I have an old blotter copyrighted in 1946 by the Borden Co. with a picture of the Borden Dairy cows, with "Season's Greetings from Elsie, Elmer, Beulah and all of us at Borden's" under the picture. How much would this be worth, and who might be interested in buying it? Is there a cow collectors club I can contact?
A: To check out Elsie Borden items, write to Ron Selcke, Box 237, Bloomington, Ill. 60108, enclosing a description of the piece and the price you want along with an addressed, stamped envelope for a reply, or phone Mr. Selcke (who says he'll pay $15 to $20 for the Borden blotter you describe) at (708) 543-4848 for information on the value of Borden advertising items. According to Mr. Selcke, the most valuable Borden item is a round, quart-size, red glass Borden milk bottle dating from the 1950s that can command as much as $1,000 in good condition.
Collectors of cows and cow-related items and artworks can be contacted by writing to the Cowtree Collector newsletter in care of Carol Peifer, 240 Wahl Ave., Evans City, Pa. 16033.
Q: I have several boxes of little paper Christmas Whirl Glo shades made to go over Christmas lights; the heat of the bulbs makes the decorated shades revolve so the pictures appear to be moving. How much are these shades worth, and where can I find a buyer?
A: The shades were produced by the Sail-Me Co., which was at 440 S. Dearborn St. in Chicago. Designs included the Madonna, church windows, stage coaches, reindeer, Santa Claus, children and the Wise Men. In fine condition, such shades are worth about $20, more as a complete set in the original box.
Collectors of Christmas items are listed in David J. Maloney's "Collector's Information Clearing House Antiques and Collectibles Resource Directory," available for $22.45 postpaid from Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1 Chilton Way, Radnor, Pa. 19089-0230; (800) 695-1214. Or write to the Golden Glow of Christmas Past, Box 14808, Chicago, Ill. 60614-0808, enclosing an addressed, stamped envelope to contact Whirl Glo shade collectors.
Q: Where can I find information on old-fashioned soda fountain and pharmacy items?
A: "Drugstore and Soda Fountain Antiques," by Douglas Congdom-Martin, is available for $31.95 postpaid from Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1469 Morstein Road, West Chester, Pa. 19380; (215) 696-1001. Soda fountain and drugstore collectibles will be auctioned Jan. 11 at the Treadway Inn in Owego, N.Y., at Nard's Country Store Auction; illustrated catalogs (from which one can bid by phone or mail) are $15 from Anthony J. Nard & Co., U.S. Highway 220, Milan, Pa. 18831; (717) 888-9404.
Q: How can I find out the value of a circa 1936 Tootsie Roll wrapper in mint condition?
A: Write to the Great American Candy Bar Club, 6 Edge St., Ipswich, Mass. 01938, enclosing a description or photocopy of the wrapper and an addressed, stamped envelope for a reply.
Q: Where can I find old cocktail shakers? And how can I get in touch with collectors of swizzle sticks? I have several thousand.
A: Stylish cocktail shakers dating from the 1920s and '30s can be seen at J. T. Antiques Shop, 2929 N. Western Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60618; phone (312) 252-2500. The most desirable cocktail shakers are those shaped like barbells, boots, womens' legs, zeppelins, bombs and other novel shapes as well as chrome beauties with art deco designs. Steve Visakay, who has more than 700 in his collection, is always on the lookout for shakers; write to him at Box 1517, West Caldwell, N.J. 07007, or phone (201) 661-2553.
To contact collectors of swizzle sticks, or cocktail stirrers, write to the International Swizzlestick Collectors Association, in care of Polly Rusk, Greenwood Village, 2150 Ave. A, No. 10, Yuma, Ariz. 85364, or Ray Hoare, Box 1117, Bellingham, Wash. 98227-1117. Enclose an addressed, stamped envelope for a reply or membership information.
Q: My uncle, who was a jazz musician in the 1930s and '40s, has a stack of old down beat magazines along with boxes of old jazz records he collected. Who might be interested in buying the lot?
A: Write George Silha in care of the House of Music, 2057 W. 95th St., Chicago, Ill. 60643, or phone (312) 239-4114, enclosing a list of the jazz-related oldies you have and an addressed,
stamped envelope for a reply, offer and list of down beat magazines Mr. Silha wants to buy. Or you can advertise jazz-related items for sale in the Chicago Jazz Bulletin, a bimonthly newsletter available from Mr. Silha for $10 a year, or send $1 and a stamp for a current copy.
Anita Gold can be reached by writing Anita Gold, Food & Home, The Sun, Baltimore 21278. Selected questions will appear in her column. The volume of mail makes individual replies impossible. When writing to sources listed in this column, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope for replies.