Beer sign dating to '50s or '60s could bring from $30 to $70

CURIOUS COLLECTOR

September 12, 1993|By Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen | Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen,Contributing Writers

Q: What might a collector pay for my cast-metal Blatz Beer sign? It's 16 inches high by 12 inches wide and in good condition except for a small paint splatter on the figure's face.

A: Your mixed metal "back bar" figural display sign dates from the late 1950s to early 1960s and could fetch $30 to $70 at auction, according to Lynn Geyer, of Advertising Auctions, 300 Trail Ridge, Silver City, N.M. 88061, (505) 538-2341, which conducts semiannual mail-order auctions of "anything related to beer brewing," including advertising signs, ball taps, bottles, cans, steins and promotional materials. His next sale is on tap for November. Removing the paint splatter won't add significant value to your sign. You may be able to remove the splatter by gently rubbing with turpentine or paint remover, according to Mr. Geyer. However, test a small, non-visible area first, and proceed cautiously, to ensure that you don't remove any original paint underneath.

Q: Is my shiny chrome Manning, Bowman model 108 automatic electric toaster worth much? It was stored for years in its original box in my maiden aunt's "hope chest" and never has been used.

A: Toasters are popping up all over at flea markets and antiques shows. The hottest models are rare ones with stylish designs and quirky mechanisms. Your fairly common circa-1935 toaster by Manning, Bowman, & Co., of Meriden, Conn., could retail for about $95 to $125 since it's in mint condition in its original box, said dealer James A. Barker, the Toaster Master, P.O. Box 41, Bethlehem, Pa. 18016, (215) 861-7706. A used 108 without its box is worth around $60 to $75.

The earliest mass-marketed toaster, G.E.'s circa-1909 model D-12, with exposed vertical coils and plain white porcelain base, is worth $200 to $300 in good condition. With a rare floral-decorated base, it can command about $900 to $1,000. A Pan Electric circa-1927 Blue Willow pattern porcelain "Toastrite" model is thought to hold the auction record for a toaster, $2,200.

' Solis-Cohen Enterprises

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