Advertising clocks wind up fun, functional


February 28, 1993|By Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen | Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen,Contributing Writers Solis-Cohen Enterprises

Q: How old and valuable is this clock advertising Calumet Baking Powder? Its front panel is painted black glass with gold letters. The clockworks, made by the Sessions Clock Co. of Forestville, Conn., still keep time, though the chimes no longer work.

A: Two similar early 20th-century Calumet clocks fetched $450 and $880 at auction in recent years. "The higher price may be attributed to better condition," said auctioneer Noel Barrett (P.O. Box 1001, Carversville, Pa. 18913, (215) 297-5109), who sold the more expensive clock at the dispersal of the George Haney collection of early advertising in 1988.

Good condition and interesting graphics are key for ad memorabilia collectors. Advertising clocks are particularly desirable because they're both decorative and functional. A helpful new price guide for collectors is: "Huxford's Collectible Advertising, An Illustrated Value Guide" (Collector Books, $17.95).

Q: I discovered several amber-colored glass bottles embossed "The Duffy Malt Whiskey Company, Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A." and bearing an Aug. 24, 1886, patent date. What are they worth and who might buy them?

A: Amber-colored embossed Duffy Whiskey bottles from Rochester are too common to bring more than $5 or $10, according to dealer Fran McMurray, of McMurray's Bottles and Antiques, P.O. Box 404, Windsor, N.Y. 13865, (607) 655-2053. Rarer embossed Duffy bottles from the company's brief mid-1880s stint in Baltimore can bring up to $40, she added. Duffy bottles with paper labels sell for about $25 and miniatures fetch around $20.

Good hunting grounds for vintage bottles and flasks include country auctions, flea markets, or antique bottle shows, such as the annual Baltimore Antique Bottle Show and Sale on March 7 at the Timonium State Fairgrounds. For show information, call (410) 592-3565.

Q: I recently discovered a beautiful hand-painted 9-by-11-inch tile with a portrait bust of a lady. It's signed "Loska" in the lower right and marked "KPM" with a scepter and the letters "Sz" on the back. What can you tell me about it?

A: Assuming that your portrait plaque is in perfect condition, with no scratches or damage to the painting, it could retail for $4,000 to $5,000, said dealer Marvin Baer of The Ivory Tower Antiques, 38 Oak St., Ridgewood, N.J. 07450, (201) 670-6191. From the marks you describe, it appears to have been made circa 1890 by the King's Porcelain Manufactory ("KPM") in Berlin.

Have a question about an antique or collectible? Write to the Solis-Cohens, P.O. Box 304, Flourtown, Pa. 19031-0304, enclosing a clear photo of the whole object and all marks, and noting its size. If you want your photo returned, include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Personal replies are not possible, but questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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