'Grandfather clock' got its name from song Antiques: Originally described as 'long case' or 'tall case.' it is of a type first made in England in the 1600s.

November 09, 1997|By Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel | Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel,KING FEATURES SYNDICATE

If you go to a store and ask for a tall-case clock, the clerk might well be mystified. The name we use today, "grandfather clock," came into popularity about 1875.

The name was the result of the children's song "My Grandfather's Clock." The name saw limited use as early as 1835, but the American public didn't drop the name "tall case" or "long case" until later.

Tall clocks that stand on the floor were first made in England in the 1600s. The first American versions were made about 1680. The long case hid the long pendulum that swung back and forth to keep the hands moving.

Even though today's clockworks can be much smaller and no pendulum is needed, grandfather clocks remain popular.

A clock made before 1900 usually had Roman numerals on the dial with the bottom of each numeral facing the center of the clock's face. On newer clocks, the bottom of the numerals face the floor.

My dad bought two 9-inch black character dolls at an estate sale. They are made of soft plastic fabric filled with stuffing. They are marked "Wade and Diana."

Wade and Diana are the children of Aunt Jemima and her husband, Uncle Mose.

Aunt Jemima pancake flour was first made in the late 1880s when the Aunt Jemima Manufacturing Co. was founded in St. Joseph, Mo. The R. T. Davis Milling Co. bought the flour recipe and the Aunt Jemima trademark in the early 1890s.

Davis made the first Aunt Jemima rag-doll set in 1905. It included Aunt Jemima, Uncle Mose, Wade and Diana. Redesigned dolls were issued over the years, before and after the company was sold to Quaker Oats in 1926.

Your dolls date from about 1950. The set offered at the time was available for $5 plus box tops. The dolls were mailed flat. The buyer stuffed them and sewed the bottoms to complete the dolls.

Each of your dolls is worth about $25.

I bought an 8-inch green pottery bowl and stand. The bowl is marked "Bretby/England." I'm curious to know its background.

The Bretby mark was used by Tooth & Co., which established the Bretby Art Pottery in 1883. It operated in South Derbyshire, England. The company used the word "England" in its mark from 1891 until the early 20th century.

A large bowl such as yours is worth more than $300.

The Kovels welcome letters and answer as many as possible through the column. By sending a letter, you give full permission for its use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names and addresses will be kept confidential. Personal answers or appraisals are impossible. The Kovels cannot guarantee return of any photograph. Write to Kovels, The Sun, King Features Syndicate, 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 11/09/97

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