Q: I have attached photographs of a couple of pictures in their original frames that belonged to my grandfather. I am curious if they are worth anything. One is “Pretty Polly” by Bradshaw Krandell and the other is a boy and girl by George Iverd.
A: These were your grandfather’s and they are also very attractive, so they are worth something even if it is only sentimental value.
We are going to start by addressing the image titled “Pretty Polly” and signed by Bradshaw Crandell (not Krandell). John Bradshaw Crandell was born in Glen Falls, N.Y., and became known as the “artist of the stars.” Carole Lombard, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner posed for him, as did Judy Garland and Bette Davis.
Crandell was primarily an illustrator who began his career in 1921 with an ad for Lorraine hair nets, which were sold exclusively at F.W. Woolworth. That same year, he created a cover for Judge magazine. He established John Bradshaw Crandell Studios in 1925 but dropped his first name from the business name around 1935.
He was something of a pinup artist and did some calendar work, but he also did oil on canvas portraits and poster work for 20th Century Fox. He created some nudes — notably “Water Nymphs” — and he did several different images of a woman with a colorful parrot, of which “Pretty Polly” is a wonderful example.
It is unfortunate you did not tell us the size of her piece, but we suspect it was probably created in the 1930s or 1940s and would retail in the $65 to $85 range if it is in good, undamaged condition.
Any unsightly damage whatsoever could reduce the value below the $10 range. It should be mentioned that Crandell also did work under the pseudonym “Barclay Grubb.”
The other piece is signed by Eugene Iverd, the pseudonym for George Erickson (1893-1936), an illustrator, painter and very successful teacher. He is best known for his cover art done for Curtis Publishing.
He created 29 covers for Saturday Evening Post, and his covers can also be found on issues of McCall’s and Ladies’ Home Journal, among others.
Iverd/Erickson did commercial illustrations for many famous American companies, including Winchester Western, Pure Oil and Monarch Foods. He came to Erie, Pa., in 1926, where he worked at Academy High School.
Iverd/Erickson is known for depictions of the joys and wholesomeness of childhood. He used the children of Erie as his models.
This image of a sunny little girl dressed in a vividly yellow dress placing a flower in the overalls of a barefoot young boy makes the viewer long for simpler, purer times.
We must assume this is a print probably made between about 1926 and the artist’s untimely death in 1936. The value of this as a print is in the $50 to $75 range.
In the highly unlikely event this is an original, the value would be much, much higher.
Opalescent glass vase
Q: This vase may have been a wedding gift to my mom when she was a young woman. She is now 83. She recently passed it on to me and I would like to know more about it.
A: Your original letter failed to mention how tall her vase happened to be. We wrote back and asked for the measurement because it is an important piece of information when we have to assign a monetary value.
Sometimes vases such as this one can be very tall and are sometimes called “funeral vases” because they were often used to hold large bouquets of flowers in funeral homes.
This particular piece, however, is just 11 inches tall, which means it was probably meant for home use.
We feel the piece was made sometime in the 1910s or ’20s by any one of several glass companies working in Ohio or West Virginia. It is called opalescent glass, and believe it or not, it was made using a deadly poison that often figures in old fashioned whodunits.
Opalescent glass was made by forming a parison (an unshaped mass of molten glass, sometimes called a “gather”) with either clear colorless or colored glass and coating it with a clear layer of glass containing bone ash and arsenic. The glass is then forced into a mold, either mechanically or by hand-blowing, which leaves raised areas on the body of the glass.
When the piece was removed from the mold, it was reheated and the raised areas turned milky white. The process produced a variety of designs that range from spots, dots and stars to stripes and floral decorations. The opalescence can also be found just as a border around the rim.
Opalescent glass was a very popular product made both in the United States and in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. It was made in vast quantities during the first quarter of the 20th century, and several modern glass companies revived it in the late 20th century.
It can be found in a variety of background colors that range from blue and green to cranberry, canary yellow and clear.
Collectors tend to prefer the cranberry pieces, with blue, yellow and green glass following behind. Unfortunately, clear examples are generally the least desirable. The piece has a simple loop design with a white rim, and examples with this coloration and design are not difficult to find.
This is a piece of pressed opalescent glass that was probably an everyday part of your mother’s home before she was born. Today, a vase such as this one retails in the $45 to $65 range and is much more important as a cherished heirloom.
Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson have written a number of books on antiques. Contact them at Joe Rosson, 2504 Seymour Av., Knoxville, TN 37917, or e-mail them at treasuresknology.net. If you’d like your question to be considered for their column, please include a high-resolution photo of the subject, which must be in focus, with your inquiry.