A clairvoyant writes in to ask about a basin she begin that was fabricated by Minerva’s Owen China Co., which won a gold badge at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
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Grand Rapids, Mich., was the centermost of appliance accomplishment in the United States by the 1860s. It was the appropriate abode at the appropriate time.
The country’s citizenry centermost was affective west. Homeowners were abundant afterpiece to Grand Rapids than to New England.
A new way of cerebration about a abode had evolved, too. By the additional bisected of the 19th century, acceptable beautiful appliance was a assurance of the acceptable life. Women were to break home and actualize a “proper calm environment” for the family.
Large houses had appropriate apartment — a parlor, library, hall, bedroom, kitchen and dining room. Each appropriate its own appliance — a dining table, anteroom timberline or washstand.
Often a parlor was furnished with a suite: a man’s chair, woman’s chair, four abate chairs, a daybed and conceivably a table in the aforementioned style. It was now accessible to accomplish appliance with less-expensive machine-carved parts.
The ancestors appliance was a cachet symbol, aloof as a media allowance or the latest sports car would be today. Paintings were important, too, and so were baby decorations like vases and figurines and the yards of bolt acclimated to accomplish apparel and upholstery.
The Phoenix Appliance Co. started authoritative Victorian-style parlor appliance for the average and high classes in 1876. In 1900, styles changed. Arts and Crafts appliance with beeline curve and actual little adorning abstraction was fabricated for apartment with beneath sofas and chairs and aerial tabletops and shelves.
Phoenix Appliance adapted its appearance and fabricated Arts and Crafts pieces, some with a blow of Victorian abstraction and trim. The aggregation had already fabricated the McKinley Armchair with beeline curve and a pikestaff bench aback in 1895.
It was one of the aboriginal accepted Arts and Crafts designs. Phoenix was acquired by Robert W. Irwin in 1911, but the Phoenix name and a account of a Phoenix bird connected as a brand on Irwin pieces until 1931.
Irwin went out of business in 1953.
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Q: I bid on a boxful of actuality at an bargain aloof so I could get the art books in the box. I begin a surprise, too — a ample basin apparent “Owen Minerva.” It’s in accomplished condition, has a scalloped bend and is busy with pansies. Another mark on the basal is “Gold Medal, St. Louis.” What can you acquaint me?
A: Your basin was fabricated by the Owen China Co. of Minerva, Ohio. The aggregation was founded by Edward (Ted) J. Owen in 1902 and backward accessible until the Depression affected it to abutting in 1932.
At the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, Owen won a gold badge for “best calm semi-porcelain.”
That’s why your basin carries the “Gold Medal” mark. Owen China Co. fabricated dinnerware, agenda plates and, from 1906 to 1908, some art ceramics with brownish glazes. Your semi-porcelain basin is account $10 to $20, depending on its size.
Q: I accept an old graniteware abrasion apparatus that was already a attic model. It has the aboriginal affectation assurance on it that says “Voss, It Washes from the Top, The Natural Way.”It has an electric motor, a analysis and a corrugated tub, and it’s formed “Chamberlain Corp., Waterloo, Iowa.” Can you acquaint me added about it?
A: William Voss invented one of the aboriginal abrasion machines because he capital to accomplish laundry day easier for his mother. William and his brothers, Fred and John Voss, accustomed Voss Bros. Accomplishment Co. in Davenport, Iowa, in 1877.
Early machines were operated by a duke crank or bottom pedals. Voss motor-driven abrasion machines were alien in 1905. Aboriginal tubs were fabricated of cypress wood. Ceramics and apply tubs were actuality fabricated by the 1920s.
Voss patented a architecture for corrugated tubes in the backward 1920s. Voss had some of its best years during the Depression, back it awash abrasion machines for $39.50. Chamberlain Accomplishment Corp. fabricated abounding altered products, including washing-machine wringers.
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Q: I accept an old floor-model almanac amateur and I admiration if bodies aggregate them. The characterization on the central says “Victrola, bogus by Victor Talking Apparatus Company, 1906, Camden, N.J.” and “Wurlitzer.”
A: The Victor Talking Apparatus Co. was founded in Camden in 1901. It alien the Victrola, a amateur with an centralized rather than alien horn, in 1906. Eventually the aggregation fabricated several Victrola models, including both attic and tabletop versions.
The name Wurlitzer on your Victrola refers to one of the banker networks that marketed Victrolas. The Victor Talking Apparatus Co. was awash to RCA in 1929.
Old Victrolas are collectible, but they advertise for a advanced ambit of prices depending on archetypal and condition. An aboriginal table archetypal in acceptable appearance can go for $300 or more.
HERE’S A TIP
Red wine agitated on the tablecloth? Sprinkle the bolt with alkali to blot the wine. Then ablution the tablecloth in your abrasion apparatus according to the admonition on the tablecloth’s tag.
Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices alter in altered locations because of bounded bread-and-butter conditions.
“The Man in the Iron Mask” cardboard lithographed amphitheater poster, affected beneath glass, c. 1900, 19 x 30 inches, $60.
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Bell System Public Telephone sign, porcelain, fleet dejected ground, white centermost with fleet dejected bell, backward 1940s, 11 x 11 inches, $90.
Calabash bottle, Sheaf of Wheat pattern, aqua, ample angled collar, c. 1840, 9.5 inches, $120.
Dagwood the Driver car, windup, characters of Daisy, Cookie, Blondie and Baby Dumpling on abandon of car, absorb 1935, King Features Syndicate, 8 inches, $400.
Patchwork quilt, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, six-sided printed blocks, c. 1880, 78 x 83 inches, $410.
Cast-iron book columnist with dolphin ends, amber columnist plate, c. 1850, 15 x 12 x 18 inches, $645.
Tiffany Studios account frame, comment pattern, gold dore finish, caramel charcoal canteen liner, 7.25 x 6.5 inches, $1,320.
Stickley Brothers lamp table, annular covering top, No. 132, trumpet-shaped cross-stretchers, 30 x 36 inches, $1,400.
Coin argent adulate dish, bulbous, aloft on egg-shaped foot, chaotic handles, active cherubim and broken palmettes, arch top, Copse & Hughes, 1850, 7.5 x 6 inches, $5,875.
George Ohr vase, bulbous, abysmal anatomy twist, bisected covered in matte blue-purple glaze, bisected in periwinkle, stamped, 4.5 x 3.75 inches, $6,600.
Terry Kovel answers as abounding questions as accessible through the column. We cannot agreement the acknowledgment of any photograph, but if a formed envelope is included, we will try. The aggregate of mail makes claimed answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York NY 10019.
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