Collectors seek out skillfully carved wooden dolls

Wooden dolls date back centuries. The earliest were crude carved pieces of wood shaped like a human figure. But today it’s rare to find a doll made before the 1600s, when English and German draftsmen skillfully carved wooden lifelike dolls.

Most collectors today look for later carved “peg wooden” dolls like those made in Grodnertal, Germany. The dolls, which date from about 1820 to 1840, were created with arms and legs that could bend because of their pegged joints at the knees and hips, elbows and shoulders. The early ones have heart-shaped faces, long necks and elongated bodies. Their extra-long legs showed off their high-waisted Empire-style dresses.

After the 1840s, doll carvers took shortcuts and the dolls had round faces and chunky bodies.

A 2012 Theriault’s auction offered a Grodnertal peddler doll. The 13-inch doll had her original painted face, human hair wig and jointed arms and legs. Her value increased because she wore her original clothes, from dress to cap, cape and undergarments. She was holding a peddler’s tray filled with lace, sewing materials, household goods and a tiny miniature Grodnertal wooden doll. Because she was old, attractive and in good original condition, a collector paid more than $2,900 to take her home.

Q: I have a pasteboard dollhouse designed and made by Transogram Co. of New York. It’s in reasonable shape. I think it’s from the 1920s or ’30s. It’s a two-story house with a front that opens up and a removable roof. The lower level is red brick and the second floor has yellow siding. The furniture inside is wooden and is definitely ’20s and ’30s vintage. Does the furnished dollhouse have any value, or should I just pitch it?

A: Don’t pitch it. Transogram Co. was founded by Charles S. Raizen in 1915. It made toys, play sets, games, craft sets and juvenile and playroom furniture. Raizen died in 1967, and the company was run by his family until it was sold in 1969. It closed shortly afterward.

Old dollhouses, even cardboard houses, sell to collectors. A little wear is OK.

Q: I have a dining room chair that’s blond wood with a green plastic seat. It has a latticelike back. The back legs are one piece going from the floor to the top of the back. The bottom is marked “Daystrom Furniture, Model 455-175.” The words “Made in Occupied Japan” are written in a small circle. It’s not in perfect shape. Can you tell me what it’s worth?

A: Daystrom was founded in Olean, N.Y., in 1934. At first the company made metal ashtrays. By 1938 it was producing chromium kitchen furniture and upholstered stools and chairs. Daystrom moved to South Boston in 1962 and began using the name “Daystrom Furniture.”

Daystrom’s low-end dinette sets sold well during the 1960s, but foreign competition began affecting the furniture market by the 1970s. The company was sold several times and closed in 1996.

Since your chair is marked “Made in Occupied Japan,” Daystrom must have been making furniture in a Japanese factory or importing pieces between 1947 and 1952, years when the Allies occupied Japan after World War II. Chairs like yours were inexpensive when made. Value today: about $100 to $150.

Q: In going through some old family papers, I ran across a souvenir program from a concert by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra at the Grand Ballroom in Pleasure Beach Park in Bridgeport, Conn., on June 1, 1941. The program includes autographed photos of Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. My father was at the concert and saw them sign their pictures. Is there any value to the program and the autographs?

A: Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) signed with Tommy Dorsey in 1939 and appeared as a singer with the band from 1940 until late 1942. Souvenir programs don’t ordinarily sell for more than a few dollars, but because yours includes an early Frank Sinatra autograph, it’s worth more. You should contact an auction house that specializes in autographs if you’re interested in selling. It could be worth more than $200.

Q: I have a complete collection of small metal license plates. They’re all about 3-by-5½ inches. I think they came from Wheaties cereal boxes. They are about 60 years old. Can you tell me if there is a demand for these and if they have any value?

A: Wheaties first offered miniature auto license plates from all 48 states and the District of Columbia in 1953. Four different sets of 12 plates each could be ordered by sending in 25 cents and a Wheaties box top. The District of Columbia plate was available in random boxes of Wheaties.

It was a very successful promotion and increased Wheaties sales. Many boys and girls sent for the license plates and attached them to their bicycles. Post Cereals issued plate sets in 1968 and 1982.

Single plates sell for about $5 today. A set of 49 plates issued in 1953-’54, with original mailers, sold several years ago for more than $600.

CURRENT PRICES

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Adams platter, Empress pattern, white, oval, 8 sides, 11¾-by-8 5/8 inches, $15.

Pepsi-Cola straws, “Have a Pepsi,” stripes, bottle cap, full box, 1950s, 10¾-by-3 7/8 inches, $100.

Weller Pottery bowl, molded, flowers, birds, nest, eggs, green leaf ground, stamped, c. 1910, 3½-by-15¾ inches, $235.

Carving set, sterling silver, Rheims pattern, knife with steel blade, fork, Wallace, 1919 patent, $240.

Bamboo stand, lacquer, domed back, cupboard, shelves, stretcher, splay feet, c. 1900, 44-by-18 inches, $245.

Opaline glass vase, Napoleon III, trumpet top, inverted foot, Greek key border, gilt swags, c. 1865, 15½ inches, $370.

Berry bucket, wooden, green paint, c. 1855, 5¾-by-7 inches, $425.

Hall lantern, gilt bronze, Gothic Revival, trefoil piercings, fretwork, crenellated edge, chains, c. 1885, 31 inches, $920.

Stickley Bros. drink stand, copper top, arched apron, splayed legs, 18-by-28 inches, $2,625.

Billiards sign, leaded glass, red and green, white ground, 82¾-by-15½ inches, $3,630.

Terry Kovel’s column is syndicated by King Features. Write to: Kovels, (Las Vegas Review-Journal), King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home and Garden Video
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like