Q: How valuable is our 15-inch-high Charlie McCarthy doll by EFFanBEE, which my wife received as a gift 55 years ago? The doll's in only fair condition: There's a chip near its chin, its white suit has yellowed, and its monocle has disappeared.
A: If your doll were in mint condition, complete with its original box and name tag, it would be worth around $800, says antique-doll dealer Richard Wright, P.O. Box 227, Birchrunville, Pa. 19421, (215) 827-7442. In its present condition, its value falls to about $200.
EFFanBEE (a trade name of Fleischaker & Baum, doll-makers in New York) produced its first Charlie McCarthy doll in 1937, modelled after the dummy used by popular ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. The doll was a hit, and several different versions were made over four decades. One of the last models was a 1970 vinyl puppet. The most sought-after Charlie McCarthy dolls date from the 1930s and '40s.
Q: I have a small mother-of-pearl and velvet book cover in which my mother placed her note paper and calling cards at around the turn of this century. The front is beautifully carved with a lady in fine Victorian dress leaning against a stair post. The back is plain. It's missing the loops through which a silver mechanical pencil was inserted to hold the front and back covers together. What can you tell me about it?
A: Your late 19th-century heirloom is called an "aide-memoire" or "memory aid." It appears to be French, and if it were complete with its loops and silver pencil, could retail for around $200 to $250, according to Barbara and Mel Alpren, antiques dealers in New Jersey. During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, stylish women carried these little book covers filled with note paper, as well as the engraved cards which they used during the ritual of "paying calls." The dishes or trays onto which visitors' calling cards were placed upon arrival also are collectible.
Q: How much is my Royal Doulton "Falconer" jug with a 1959 copyright date worth? The bottom is marked "D6533."
A: Your large Royal Doulton character jug depicting the head of a bearded man wearing a black-and-white striped hat, with a falcon-shaped handle, was discontinued in December 1992. Its last suggested retail price was $130. As these collectible jugs become scarcer over the years, their prices might increase.
Royal Doulton introduced its first earthenware character jugs in 1933 and currently produces around 60 different styles. Among Doulton's rarest and most expensive jugs is "The Maori." One of only six known to exist sold in England in 1986 for 12,000 British pounds, according to "The Character Jug Collectors Handbook," Kevin Pearson (Kevin Francis Publishers, $19.95).
Royal Doulton International Collectors' Club publishes a quarterly newsletter. Send $25 annual dues to the club, c/o Royal Doulton Inc., P.O. Box 1815, Somerset, N.J. 08873, (800) 582-2102.
Q: When was my parcel-post scale by Pelouze Mfg. Co. of Chicago made? Is it worth anything?
A: Your turn-of-this-century scale is in such worn condition, it's worth only around $25 retail, said dealer Barbara Folger, of Nobody's Bizness But Our Own Ltd., P.O. Box 97, Hampton, Conn. 06247, (203) 455-9447, a specialist in antique scales and scientific instruments. If it's accurate, someone might buy it to use, she added. Pelouze still makes similar scales.
Scale collectors generally look for old, rare, attractive, well-designed models in good condition, with unusual mechanisms or materials (brass and iron are most common). For details about the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors, which publishes the quarterly journal Equilibrium, write to Bob Stein, 176 W. Adams St., Suite 1706, Chicago, Ill. 60603.
Recent auction prices
Prices at the Conestoga Auction Co. P.O. Box 1, Manheim, Pa. 17545, (717) 898-7284, include any applicable buyers' premiums.
* Meissen "Blue Onion" pattern rolling pin, German, early 20th century, perfect condition, $165.
* Goldschneider figurine of a lady raising her floral dress by its hem, Austrian, early 20th century, around 12 inches high, perfect condition, $180.
* Table lamp, cast-iron base, reverse-painted glass dome shade decorated with a shepherd and his flock in a landscape, 23 inches high, probably American, early 20th century, excellent condition, $742.50.
* Three-piece cut glass decanter set in a locking brass-mounted oak stand with handle, by Higgins & Seiter, New York, late 19th century, stand measures 16 1/2 inches high, 15 1/2 inches wide, 6 inches deep, excellent condition, $1,210.
* Maxfield Parrish print, "'Prince Agib" from "The Story of the King's Sons," copyright P.F. Collier & Son, circa 1906, 12 1/4 by 10 inches framed, $99.
* American majolica pitcher, 12 inches high, brown-and-green glaze with raised floral decoration, late 19th century, spout chipped, $71.50.
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. Photos can't be returned. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.
' Solis-Cohen Enterprises