Large, ornate Victorian furniture is selling for low prices at auctions for many reasons.
Houses are smaller and bedrooms have more windows and closets, so there are fewer plain walls for large double beds or dressers. Plus, the elaborate carvings are out of style. The furniture also is very heavy and hard to move. Sometimes the headboard is too high for a modern room with an 8-foot ceiling, and the bedroom sets have too many pieces.
A few makers are so important that their work is treated as art. John Henry Belter, Alexander Roux, Joseph Meeks and John Jelliff are a few designers who still are getting very high prices. However, bargains also exist in well-made, stylish Victorian pieces manufactured away from the East Coast.
The H.B. Mudge Furniture Co. of Cincinnati designed and made a Victorian suite consisting of a washstand with mirror, commode, dresser and a bed with a high, carved headboard and footboard. It descended in the Mudge family and was auctioned by Cowan Auctions of Cincinnati for $5,400, including a buyer's premium. The company was founded in 1837 and made many kinds of household furniture.
Q: I have about 100 old baseball coins from the early 1960s. Most of them are plastic and some are metal. They came in Junket Brand products like Salada Tea. I have coins with Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Don Drysdale, Roberto Clemente, Early Wynn, etc. I also have about 20 football coins. Can you provide any information on these?
A: Salada Tea and Junket were both part of Salada Foods, Inabout. Individual coins picturing baseball and football stars were packed in Salada Tea and Junket products in 1962. The 1962 baseball set included 1½-inch-diameter plastic "coins" with a piece of paper picturing a player on one side. The complete set included 221 players, plus 40 variations. The 1963 baseball set called "All Star Baseball Coins" included 63 metal coins with paper inserts. The top 10 stars of each team were pictured. Coins for American League players had blue rims, and coins for National League players had red rims. Information about the player is on the reverse side. Holders and a box were issued to hold the coins. You have coins from both the 1962 and 1963 baseball sets. Many coins sell for less than $5, but superstars' coins sell for much more. Recent prices include $45 for a 1962 Yogi Berra coin and $90 for a 1962 Roger Clemente coin. A complete set of 1962 coins, plus 1963 coins for Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, sold at auction for over $1,800.
Write to: The Kovels, c/o King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The website is kovels.com.
Prices are from shows nationwide.
WWII photo, V-J Day parade, soldiers in car with American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags, black and white, 1945, 3 by 4 inches, $10.
Sports sign, Little Leaguers, baseball player at bat, ball stitch design, crescent shape, wooden with white and red paint, 1950s, 10 by 20 inches, $55.
Advertising display rack, Tom's Peanuts, metal open crisscross design, two shelves, red and silver, 1950s, 14 by 9 inches, $165.
Brass inkwell, the Mayflower, tall ship, textured square base with removable ink pot, 1920s, 5 by 5 inches, $280.
Wedgwood platter, Peace pattern with dove and olive branch, flaming torch and quiver of feathers, garland border, about 1880, 17 by 14 inches, $495.
Apple peeler-corer, cast iron, hand crank and gears, table mountable, marked Rival No. 2, Pat. date June 25, 1889, 15 by 27 inches, $600.
Punch bowl, pink and purple grapes with gold trim, teal enamel pedestal foot, Tressemann & Vogt, France, about 1900, 7 by 16 inches, $975.
Mantel clock, carved wood with brass dial, turned pillars and peaked roof with finial, musical alarm on disc, Germany, about 1880, $1,800.
Carved wood crucifix, Jesus Christ on cross with crown of thorns, hand-painted, icon from a Mexican church, about 1870, 49 by 24 inches, $2,600.