Q: My husband, who was in the U.S. Navy in Paris in 1939, purchased at the time a 1-ounce bottle of Jean Patou "Joy" perfume that has never been opened and is still in its original box. Is it of any value?
A: A book that offers an unbelievable perfume-bottle education is "The Art of Perfume -- Discovering and Collecting Perfume Bottles," by Christie Mayer Lefkowith. It is available in a hardcover, large, dust-jacketed edition for $66 postpaid (New York State residents add $4.95 sales tax) from Christie Mayer Inc., FDR Station, P.O. Box 5200, New York, N.Y. 10150-5200.
Ms. Lefkowith buys, sells, evaluates, authenticates and offers a search service for quality designer perfume bottles; write her at the above address, or phone her at (212) 758-8550. When writing, enclose a full description or clear photo of the bottle, stating its condition and any wording it has, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply.
Collectors can join the International Perfume Bottle Association, which offers an annual membership and quarterly newsletter for $35. Write Randall Monsen, Membership Secretary, Box 529, Vienna, Va., 22183, or phone (703) 938-2129 for information.
Q: Are old hand-held blowtorches of interest to collectors, and if so, where can I find buyers? Also, where can I sell a small table-top Philco radio I purchased in 1938, as well as old wood-framed curtain stretchers with metal pins?
A: To check out, sell or trade old blowtorches, phone the newly organized Blow Torch Collectors organization at (206) 557-0634 evenings. Members receive a quarterly newsletter.
Most torch collectors have between 75 and 150 blowtorches, whereas the more advanced collectors can have as many or more than 1,000 torches. Especially desirable are turn-of-the-century brass examples.
To check out any old radios of any shape, size, make and model, write Barry Janov, 2454 Dempster St., Suite 416, Des Plaines, Ill. 60016; enclose a description or photo of the radio and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply, evaluation, or quick cash offer.
Curtain stretchers, on the other hand, are far too plentiful and difficult to sell. To try to snag a buyer, put an index card offering them for sale on the bulletin board in your local supermarket. Or give them to an outsider artist to be turned into a creative work of art.