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Collectors salute the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July has long been a holiday of parades, fireworks and flags. Collectors who once specialized in Christmas or Easter or Halloween are beginning to notice the souvenirs of past Fourth of July celebrations.

Firecracker labels and boxes, party favors, candy containers, toys, postcards and all sorts of depictions of Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty can be found. The patriotic symbols of the Fourth were also used on other types of signs and toys.

Collectors look for cloth "Miss Liberty" dolls, advertising posters that feature the flag or Uncle Sam and red, white and blue striped bunting that could have been used in a parade.

Store your unused paper plates, cups, hats and sparkler boxes from the Fourth for the next generation of collectors in the family.

Pine cobbler's bench

Question: The cobbler's bench that I bought is made of pine. There's a circular hole where there should be a seat. The working portion is flat, and part of it is divided into compartments. There are no drawers or shelves. How old could it be?

Answer: Flat cobbler's benches were simple in design and were probably used in the early 1800s. The missing seat was probably leather.

A simple bench like yours sells for about $300. More elaborate benches with drawers, cabinets and carved designs sell for more.

Glasbake nursing bottle

Question: My glass bottle has a ruler on the side and the word "Glasbake." The back says "McKee Nurser Heat Resistant Glass." The bottom says "Made in USA." Who made it?

Answer: The nursing bottle was made by McKee Co., a glassworks.

The trademark "Glasbake" was used just after 1918. It was being used by the Jeannette Glass Co. in the 1970s. The fact that it is heat-resistant glass suggests a date after 1940.

Current prices

Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary because of local economies.

Waffle iron, cast iron, Wagner Ware No. 8, square, with stand, dated Feb. 22, 1910: $110.

Zorro figure, vinyl and plastic, painted face, whip and sword, 1950s, 10{ inches: $285.

Shawnee figural elephant cookie jar, marked "Luckey" on front, gold trim and floral design: $750.

Gebruder Heubach dolls, twins, No. 8,192, sleep eyes, open mouth, 8 inches, pair: $1,320.

Shaker slat-back chair, maple, two rod slats, trapezoidal woven seat, stenciled "Mt. Lebanon, NY.," 13 by 17 by 27{ inches: $1,600.

Rock-Ola jukebox, model 1,422, 20 tunes, flashing lights, 1940s, 60 inches: $2,450.

Send questions to: Antiques, Ralph and Terry Kovel, c/o the Times, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122. Questions of general interest will be answered in the column. If you send photographs, include a double-stamped, self-addressed envelope.