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Clever idea gives women a place for their stuff

"Where can I keep my keys?" "I need to carry paper and pencil." These aren't new problems, but the women of the 19th century often had no pockets.

The chatelaine was a clever solution. The lady of the house's keys, paper, pencil, scissors, a small purse, a watch, smelling salts and other useful gadgets were hung on small chains suspended from a pin or clip. Chatelaines had from five to nine accessory chains.

Most original chatelaines were made of silver, gold or even steel. Costume jewelry copies are being seen today at trendy shops. The chatelaine is back in favor. The one pictured has a pin cushion, pencil, tablet, locket and charm dangling from the chains. It sold for $785.

A worthy reproduction

Question: My mechanical bank says on the bottom, "Reproduced from Original in Collection of The Book of Knowledge." Does that mean it has no value and is just a copy?

Answer: The Book of Knowledge banks were issued in the 1950s to encourage the purchase of sets of the Book of Knowledge encyclopedia.

The original old mechanical banks are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Your copy is worth up to $100.

Current prices

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, sales, flea markets and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.

Wallace for President balloon, 1972, unused: $8.

Rin Tin Tin fan club pinback, 1930s: $35.

Army survival knife, sheath, Camillus, 12 in.: $40.

Cloth doll, American Indian girl, 1930, Averill: $65.

Railroad limited edition plate, Wedgwood, New York Central: $55.

Advertising tin pal, Jackie Coogan Peanut Butter, 3x3 in.: $350.

Soda fountain mixer, green granite, Machine Craft, California, patent pending: $295.

Send questions to: Antiques, Ralph and Terry Kovel, c/o the Times, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, Ohio 44122. Questions of general interest will be answered in the column. The volume of mail makes most personal answers or appraisals impossible. If you send photographs, include a double-stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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