The Collector: Will collectible cause a 'Stampede'?

Glenn Erardi

Dear Collector: I bought this sign at an estate sale for $25.  Do you think it is worth anything or was $25 too much?

While I’ve seen a few displays similar to this, yours is the most complete, even containing a working electric light. This import from Canada (courtesy of Miller Brewing) is rather exceptional, putting its value way over the price you paid; all the way up to $250.

Dear Collector: The tulip vase in the enclosed photo was purchased at the Van Briggle Pottery Co. in Colorado Springs in 1946. The original receipt shows a cost of $1.98 plus two cents tax. Can you tell me its present value?

By the time you visited this renowned pottery (founded in 1900 by husband and wife, Artus and Anne Gregory Van Briggle), it had been the hands of new owners for several decades. Using the original molds, various designs were reproduced until the 1970s. Of course, yours is a truly vintage vase worth $60-$70.

Dear Collector: Can you tell me the value of this $50 bill? I found it in a cardboard box that belonged to my deceased mother.

Called a “National Bank Note,” this series 1929 bill from The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has a current value of $75. If it were in better condition, value could inflate to over $200.

Dear Collector: Please advise on the small lion in enclosed photo. How old is it, and what’s the value?

Your little plastic animal is one of a set of about two dozen that were offered as prizes in Cracker Jack. Value on this early 1950s premium is $2.

Dear Collector: Enclosed is a copy of a ticket from the Chicago International Exhibition of 1933. I am curious as to its value.

Celebrating the centennial of Chicago’s incorporation as a town (it was originally founded as Fort Dearborn in 1803), this World’s Fair carried the theme of “A Century of Progress.” Your ticket stub has a value of around $9; however, an unused ducat could be worth three times that much.

Dear Collector: Would you please tell me how old this little statuette is, and what you think it’s worth?

Depicting a nude female in bronze on a stone (perhaps marble) base, your art deco era piece may be from the Viennese studio of Carl Hagenauer. If that’s the case, then value is slightly in excess of $300.

Dear Collector: I bought this first edition “King and I” plate for $15 about five years ago at an antique store. I would like to know its value.

As with most limited edition items, your plate designed by artist William T. Chambers, and manufactured by Edwin M. Knowles carries a date upon its back. In your case, this date is 1985. While much too new to comment on (remember, my focus is on pre-1970 items), I will say that the price you paid is in agreement with similar articles sold on eBay.

Recommended reading:  “Recommended reading:  “Official Price Guide to Mint Errors,” Alan Herbert (House of Collectibles, 2007, $21.95).  “2007 Baseball Card Price Guide,” Joe Clemmons (KP Books, 2007, $21.99).  “Official Price Guide to Glassware,” Mark Pickvet (House of Collectibles, 2007, $24.95).

Prices quoted reflect retail values, and as with many antiques and collectibles these values vary.  Readers are encouraged to submit questions with photos to The Collector, P.O. Box 229, West Boxford, MA 01885-0229, or ask online at  Please don’t ask help in buying or selling your items. Sorry, photos cannot be returned and will become the property of The Collector. For a personal reply, send $25 per item check or money order to The Collector at the address above.