New Year's Eve is the holiday represented by a clock. Some say a ticking clock is the heart of the home. But since modern digital clocks don't click, that means getting an old clock.
The tall case or grandfather clock can be found in antique and new versions. But check to be sure the clock case is not more than 8 feet high unless you have a room with an extra high ceiling.
There are many other types of antique clocks to choose from. Look for the banjo clock, named for its shape, first made about 1800, or the rectangular carriage clock found after the 1820s. Children like German-carved wooden cuckoo clocks made since the 1700s or even more modern plastic versions.
A late Victorian home probably had a black mantel clock placed above the fireplace or an octagonal schoolhouse clock with a "drop" section hanging below the face.
The round alarm clock didn't appear until the 1880s, but there still are some being made. And 20th-century styles include plain wooden Mission or simple Art Deco clocks.
Today, clocks come in many strange shapes and sizes. There even is an alarm clock that rolls off the table to the floor so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. But these clocks only tell time — they don't tick.
Treadle sewing machine
Q: I'd like information about a treadle sewing machine I've had for several years. It has a metal plaque attached that says "Manufacd by the American Button-Hole Overseaming and Sewing Machine Co., Phila. Pa." Patent dates of 1850, 1865, 1866 and 1868 are listed. The machine is missing the bobbin but is otherwise complete. What can you tell me about it?
A: The American Button Hole & Overseaming Co. was founded in Philadelphia in 1863. Later the name became the American B-H O & Sewing Machine Co. and still later it was called the American Sewing Machine Co. The company patented several improvements to sewing machines in the 1870s and 1880s. Its early machines included improvements patented by others. The company was in business until about 1896.
Vertex casserole set
Q: I have a three-piece casserole set marked "Vertex." Can you identify the maker and age?
A: Your casserole was made by Vertex China of Pomona, Calif. The company was founded in 1989 and is still in business. It makes china for restaurants, hotels, caterers, cruise lines and other industries.
Q: Does an engraved name on a pewter trophy decrease the value of the trophy? We have tennis trophies from the '50s and '60s that were my aunt's from the Bay Head Yacht Club in New Jersey.
A: The trophies have little value if they are pewter. The value depends on what's engraved on it. If it lists former winners, the name of someone famous adds value. If the trophies are silver or silver plate, they would be more desirable. Even when engraved, a sterling-silver trophy can sell for meltdown weight, or the inscription can be buffed off.
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.
Bohemian glass bowl, melon shape, yellow opalescent, crimped rim, textured body, Kralik, 9 by 12 inches, $180.
Leather jacket, beaded multicolor flowers, fringe, antler buttons, about 1915, man's, 28 inches, $240.
Toy, Hansom cab, dapper driver with top hat, passenger seat, horse, red wheels, about 1915, 11 1/2 inches, $355.
Pianoforte, Hepplewhite, mahogany inlay, Broderip & Wilkinson, Haymarket, London, 1807, 33 by 66 inches, $590.
Tiffany pendant, zodiac signs, calendar page, 14K yellow gold, round, 1 1/2 inches, $690.
Paris porcelain, jardiniere, amorous couple, floral bouquets, waisted oval body, leaf handles, 11 by 19 inches, $800.
Sterling-silver wine cooler, Louis XVI reproduction, baluster ribbed shape, Dominick & Haff, 8 by 7 1/2 inches, $980.
Advertising sign, Drink a Punch & Judy Cocktail, It Recuperates, red, celluloid, about 1910, 12 by 7 inches, $1,020.
Mirror, neoclassical style, giltwood, cushion, pierced quiver, torch, Belle Epoque, 59 by 37 inches, $2,340.