Dolls rarely look like real babies or children. Today there are dolls with oversized heads, exaggerated bodies, or monster or cartoon shapes. There were many earlier dolls that had unusual features or expressions.
Googly-eyed dolls were popular in the 1920s. One type was made under the 1927 copyright of Oscar Hitt, an American illustrator and cartoonist. Some of his characters were turned into dolls by George Borgfeldt in Germany. The bisque head has a flanged neck. The face has side-glancing eyes with thick dark eyeliner and curly eyelashes, a very tiny nose and either painted hair or a wig.
These dolls are very rare and one sold in January at a Theriault's auction in Annapolis, Md., for $23,940.
Brandt dining set
Q: I recently bought a dining room set that includes an octagonal table, six chairs and a buffet. The buffet has two drawers over four louvered doors. The owner said the set is oak and belonged to her mother 50 years ago. Inside the buffet drawers it indicates it was made by A. Brandt of Fort Worth, Texas. Can you tell me something about the maker and age of this set?
A: August Brandt founded A. Brandt Co. in 1900. The family sold the company in 1986. It went out of business and the remaining inventory was auctioned off in 1988. The company's popular Ranch Oak line of furniture carved with western designs was introduced in 1938. It was sold nationwide and also was made for lodges in national parks.
Lady Head vases
Q: I've been collecting Lady Head vases for about 25 years. I would like to know what they are worth.
A: Lady Head vases, usually showing a pretty woman from the shoulders up, were used by florists primarily in the 1950s and 1960s. They are often decorated with imitation jewelry and other accessories. They became a "must-have" for a few years. Books were written, clubs formed and prices went up. Then the collectors lost interest and prices fell to the present low level.
Most head vases were made in Japan and the United States. Lady Head vases of a famous person or with imitation jewelry or other added accessories sell for the highest prices. Common Lady Head vases sell for $25 or less, while a Jackie Kennedy Lady Head vase has sold for more than $100.
Q: I recently restored a 150-year-old Italianate home. It has a pair of brass and metal gas-powered chandeliers made by Christian Cornelius of Philadelphia. Each has six glass globes. They are original to the house. All my antiques friends have given their opinions as to the value, but I'd like to get your expert advice.
A: Christian Cornelius was a Dutch silversmith who emigrated to the United States in 1783. He began making lamps in 1825 and started Cornelius & Co. with his son in 1827. It became the largest manufacturer of lighting in the U.S. Christian died in 1851. The company was run by family members under various names until 1900. Lighting fixtures made by Cornelius & Co. and its successors were used in many state capitol buildings in the U.S. and in countries around the world. A six-light Cornelius & Co. chandelier could sell for as much as $7,000 to $10,000, but the price depends on condition and the design details.
Terry and Kim Kovel will answer as many letters from readers as possible through the column only. For return of a photograph, include a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents) envelope. Write to: The Kovels, c/o King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The website is www.kovels.com.
Prices are from shows nationwide.
Carnival glass bowl, Blackberry Wreath, green satin, 16 panels, crimped rim, Millersburg, 2 3/8 by 8 3/4 inches, $60.
Pembroke table, Federal style, mahogany, bow front drawer, tapered legs, Kittinger, 20th century, 38 inches, $240.
Dr Pepper fan pull, Drink a Bite to Eat, pumpkin head man, two-sided, cardboard, 1930s, 7 inches, $300.
Sterling silver bowl, pierced, reticulated, monogram, Graff, Washbourne & Dunn, about 1945, 2 1/2 by 11 inches, $345.
Gumball vending machine, coin-operated, dome glass, Vendex Co., about 1927, 12 1/2 inches, $390.
Pin, micro mosaic, Pantheon, Rome, onyx tablet, gold frame, C-hook bar pin, 2 by 1 1/2 inches, $405.