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Clock with two Pilgrims on top may be cause for thanksgiving

Clocks are popular with collectors for many reasons. In addition to telling time, they are attractive. Many are made with fancy wood or metal trim, porcelain cases, enameled dials and figural parts. Collectors like clocks that move and make noise.

Figural clocks are especially popular. One very unusual, amusing figural clock was made by the Waterbury Clock Co. of Waterbury, Conn., about 1910. It is an 8-day carved oak clock with weight-driven movement. Two carved Pilgrim heads are at the top. It has brass hands, numerals, weights and a pendulum bob. There is also a gun showing behind the clock. The clock strikes every hour and half-hour.

Twine dispenser

Question: During the 1950s, my brother-in-law worked at a manufacturing plant in Minneapolis. When an old-timer who had worked there since the '20s retired, he gave my brother-in-law a large, heavy cast-iron twine dispenser that he said had been at the plant at least as long as he had. The dispenser has a twine hole at the top, surrounded by the words "Property of the U.S. P.O. Dept." Is this worth anything?

Answer: The words on the dispenser serve as a warning. It is still legally the property of the successor to the U.S. Post Office Department. The department was formed by Congress in 1872 and became the U.S. Postal Service in 1971. The post office in Minneapolis might have provided the dispenser to the plant to wrap parcels for mailing. Or some postal employee might have taken it and given it to someone at the plant. It's worth about $75.

Schuco windup toy car

Question: My father brought a little metal car home from Germany after World War II. The car is about 6 inches long and has a removable key that makes its motor run. My father always kept the car in a box. We could take it out every now and then to run it. When it is wound, it moves to the end of a table, then turns so it won't fall off. It is marked on the bottom: "Schuco, Patent, Made in Germany, 1010."

Answer: Schuco toys were made by Schreyer and Co., a manufacturer that worked in Nuremberg, Germany, into the 1950s. Schuco toys are eagerly sought by collectors. Your car is called a "turning car" because of its ingenious mechanism. The 1010 model is an early one, introduced in 1939. Because you have the key and your car works, it could sell for more than $100. If the box your father kept it in is the car's original box, the value of the toy would increase substantially.

Three-piece brooch

Question: After my mother died, we went through her jewelry. It is all costume jewelry, decorated with rhinestones, but we like a few of the pieces very much. One is a pin made of three separate pieces. Two colorful rhinestone bird clips, about an inch high can be attached to a third piece, a plain inch-wide pin, to form a brooch. Is this an unusual piece?

Answer: Your three-piece brooch is called a "duette" or "clipmate" because it features a pair of matching clips. The clips could be removed from the pin for use on a dress or fur. Duettes were popular during the 1930s and '40s and are not easy to find today. Duettes made and marked by Coro or Eisenberg sell for $200 or more. An unmarked one sells for about half as much.

Limoges porcelain vase

Question: I have had a 9-inch porcelain vase since the 1960s, and I'd like to learn more about it. It is copper-colored and decorated with three hand-painted fairies with wings. On the bottom is the mark "B & Co." above the word "France." There's also a handwritten signature I can't read. Can you identify the maker?

Answer: Your vase is a piece of Limoges porcelain. The mark suggests it was made by Bernardaud & Co. of Limoges, France, sometime between 1900 and 1914. Most vases and other art objects made by Bernardaud & Co. were shipped to the United States as "white wares," meaning they were plain and unpainted. American china painters decorated the porcelain once it arrived here. The vase in excellent condition is worth about $500.

Cobalt-blue Depession glass

Question: I inherited a set of cobalt-blue glass dishes that my parents had during the Depression. They told me that movie theaters gave the dishes to women who bought tickets. I have dinner plates, dessert plates, cups, saucers, wine glasses, three sizes of tumblers and a pitcher with a clear glass handle. The pitcher and tumblers match. Each one has three bulbous sections. I would like to learn more about the dishes.

Answer: You have a set of Depression glass dishes and glasses that were probably made by more than one manufacturer. We suspect that the pitcher and tumblers were made by the Louie Glass Co. of Weston, W.Va. The company, which worked from 1926 to 1995, made several beverage sets.

During the Depression, movie theaters and retail stores across the country offered glass and ceramic dishes as premiums. It was a way to drum up business during hard times. Today, these Depression glass dishes are still popular. An old cobalt-blue glass pitcher is worth about $100.

Porcelain marked "Nippon'

Question: I own a small collection of porcelain vases and dishes marked with a drawing of a pagoda surrounded by the words "Hand-Painted Nippon." Can you give me any information based on the mark?

Answer: Porcelain marked "Nippon" was made in Japan from 1891 to 1921. Nippon is the English spelling of the Japanese word for Japan. The U.S. government required imports to be marked with the country of origin starting in 1891. In 1921, new regulations required that the country of origin be written in English. There are hundreds of different Nippon marks used by various Japanese firms. The "Pagoda Hand-Painted Nippon" mark is one of those marks.

Rival Dog Food bank

Question: For close to 50 years, I've had a toy bank that looks like a can of Rival dog food. It was made as a bank, with a coin slot on the top. Can you give me any idea when or why this was made?

Answer: Advertising toys and banks are just a few of the products used by American companies to make their product names familiar to potential customers. A Rival Dog Food bank like yours was an accessory to a 1956-'57 Buddy "L" Rival Dog Food Delivery van. Buddy "L" was a famous brand of pressed steel toys.

Baby-top milk bottle

Question: I have a milk bottle that has a top section that looks like a young child's head. When was this kind of bottle made?

Answer: The baby-top milk bottle was the invention of Michael Pecora of Hazelton, Pa., in 1936. Milk was not homogenized at that time, and some milk bottles were made with a bulge at the top to collect the cream that rose to the top of the milk. The Pecora Baby Top Co. was the best-known source of the baby-face bottles. Many Cream Top Co. baby-face bottles are also known. The bottles were made by several glass companies.

Current prices

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

+ Thanksgiving postcard, cherub holding ear of corn, postmarked 1910, $10.

+ Fostoria glass juice tumbler, Mayflower pattern, footed, 4{ inches, $40.

+ Sterling-silver flatware cream ladle, Old Colonial pattern, Towle, 6 inches, $115.

+ Staffordshire plate, "Landing of the Fathers," blue, Enoch Wood, 10 inches, $185.

+ Cast-iron bank, Indian with tomahawk, Hubley, No. M228, 1915, 6 inches, $210.

+ Cranberry glass finger bowl, Reverse Swirl pattern, gold trim, set of 8, $400.

Send questions to Antiques, Ralph and Terry Kovel, c/o the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122. Questions of general interest will be answered in the column.