A German company started making clockwork and other mechanical tin toys in 1912 as Schreyer & Co. in Nuremberg, Germany. The name was changed to Schuco in 1921. The company designed and made many clever toys that moved. Teddy bears were added during the 1920s, and some were miniature bears that held a bottle inside. The famous “Yes/No” bear moved its head when you moved its tail up and down or side-wise. The business faced many reorganizations, and new companies formed in Germany and the U.S. until 1972, when the company declared bankruptcy. It was later acquired and is now part of Simba Dickie Group, a major toy company. The Schuco company in the U.S. made teddy bears in the 1920s with black button eyes. A few years later, the bears had jointed arms, jointed legs and flat feet, and by 1925, some of them could walk. An early 1930s Schuco Yes/No stuffed spaniel in nice condition with cut-glass eyes recently sold at a Bertoia Auctions auction for $900, although many of the Schuco toys sell for less than $300 today.
Q:I saw a Rookwood vase marked with the Rookwood mark and “ETH” at an antiques show. What does that stand for?
Answer: That is the monogram of the artist Edward Timothy Hurley (1869-1950), who worked at Rookwood from 1896 to 1948. His vases with landscape designs done at Rookwood sell for high prices. Hurley also did etchings, pastels and watercolors. He made several pieces in bronze, and was an author and illustrator of several books. His large vases call for thousands of dollars.
Q:I inherited a carved wooden cane with a hidden sword in it. The cane is about 37½ inches long and the blade is about 18½ inches. The carved handle head looks Egyptian, and there are carved designs down the entire cane. It has a metal tip and a metal piece with a button to release the blade. I can’t find any markings on it. Any information including approximate value would be helpful.
Answer: Canes were popular accessories for the well-dressed man from the 1700s to the early 1900s. Gadget canes, which are canes that have special features or conceal items, are popular with collectors. Canes have been made that conceal swords and other weapons, flasks, lighters, fans, perfume bottles, pool cues, tools and other items. The cane’s value is determined by the material of the head, intricate hand carving and special features. A carved sword cane with overall leaf and vine carving sold for $360 recently, but several more common sword canes went for $25-$55.
Q:I have an old jar and bottle opener marked “Edlund Co. Inc., Burlington, VT, USA Patent 1894556” and “Top Off Jar & Bottle screw top opener.” It’s been in my family for three generations. Does it have any collector value? Is it considered an antique?
Answer: Edlund Co. began making can openers in Burlington, Vt., in 1928. Patent No. 1894556 was granted in 1933 for a “device for removing screw threaded tops from jars or bottles.” The company still is in business making “can-opening solutions” and equipment for the food service and food processing industries. The company was bought by the Ali Group in 2010. An item that is at least 100 years old is considered an antique. If it’s at least 50 years old, it’s usually considered vintage, and anything under that is just collectible. This jar and bottle opener was made for several years with a metal plate with rounded ends. By the 1950s or ’60s, the metal plate had slightly pointed ends and the handle was a modern shape and in modern colors. Vintage jar and bottle openers like this sell online for about $10-$15.
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.
- Sugar and creamer, purple band, purple bird, green handles, PM Moschendorf, Bavaria, 2 pieces, $5.
- Butter Chip, geranium leaf shape, yellow, green, majolica, Griffen, Smith & Hill, c. 1860, 2
- inches, $100.
- Black, spice rack, six Aunt Jemimas labeled with the spice names, red rack, shaped spices, 4 inches, 7 pieces, $145.
- Bronze sculpture, Ready to Fly, nude girl, on toes, arms spread, geometric base, 9 x 5 inches, $235.
- Stuffed tiger, plush, orange, brown & cream mohair with green glass eyes, reclining pose, Steiff, 1950s, 20 inches, $245.
- Bennington pottery, coffeepot, streaked glaze, brown, cream, flint enamel, helmet lid, marked, c. 1850, 12 inches, $420.
- Bristol vase, birds, perched on cherry branch, silver moon, bamboo tree, shaded tan, 12 inches, pair, $595.
- Halloween decoration, witch face, hand painted paper mache with black and gray horse hair and burlap hat, cleft chin and wart, 1920s, $750.
- Buffalo Pottery plate, Chesapeake and Ohio railroad, George Washington, 1732 bicentennial 1932, 11 inches, $935.
You may write to Terry Kovel, c/o Features Department, Winston-Salem Journal, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102. As many letters as possible are answered in the column, but the volume of mail makes most personal answers or appraisals impossible. If you send photographs, include a double-stamped, self-addressed envelope.