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Reproduction furniture sells for low prices when compared to antiques, but there are still companies making useful, accurate copies of 18th-century pieces. This tavern table cost only $469.

Sometimes a reproduction of an antique is worth almost as much as the original antique. Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) was a collector, expert, photographer, furniture maker, author and an important part of the Colonial Revival in the U.S. He went to Harvard, married and started taking photographs of the New England scenery.

Soon he furnished his home with authentic antique American furniture, using the furnishings as props in pictures he staged with men and women dressed in Colonial clothes. The pictures were black and white, but he hired colorists to turn the pictures into color photos. He sold millions of copies that soon hung in the average home. The furniture was admired, and he soon made accurate copies to sell to the public. This, too, was a success. He also wrote books about New England, furniture and history.

A 20th-century reproduction Nutting tavern table was sold by Garths Auctioneers and Appraisers a few years ago for $469. It is short, has an apron, turned legs and a box stretcher. This type of table was used as a serving table in the tap room of Colonial taverns.

Q: Are old milk bottles worth much? I have a half-pint glass milk bottle from Kinnett’s Dairies in Columbus, Georgia. It’s embossed “sealed 01-11-14,” which is Jan. 11, 1914, and means it’s 107 years old. I’ve had it about 20 years, and it’s in very good condition. What do you think it’s worth?

A: The numbers on your milk bottle aren’t the date it was made. Kinnett’s Dairies was not founded until the 1920s. However, the numbers identify the manufacturer of the bottle, Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Co. of Elmira, New York. States required milk bottles to be labeled with the manufacturer’s name, trademark or an identifying number. Numbers were assigned by the states, but not all states used the same numbers. Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Co. was given the number “1” in Wisconsin, “11” in Maine, and “14” in Michigan. The company used “1-11-14” on its milk bottles so it would meet the requirements of all three states. The word “sealed” guarantees the bottle holds the volume of liquid listed on it. Most embossed bottles were made before the 1930s, when pyro glazed (applied color) labels became common. Kinnett’s was sold to Parmalat in 1998. Embossed half-pint milk bottles sell for $10 to $15. Some pyro glazed bottles sell for higher prices. Clever logos or sayings add value.

Q: I have a Holly Hobbie tea set with teapot, sugar, creamer and six cups and saucers. The bottom is marked “Limited edition, made in Japan, especially for American Greetings.” My father was a salesman for American Greetings. It’s my understanding that American Greetings made 1,000 of these sets for their salesmen. Does my tea set have any value other than my sentimental attachment?

A: Holly Hobbie, a character created by Denise Holly Ulinskas, first appeared on greeting cards made by American Greetings in 1967. She became one of American Greeting’s most popular characters and Holly Hobbie tea sets, dishes, dolls and many other items were made by the 1970s. The original character was a little girl wearing a big blue bonnet that hid her face, but soon she was pictured so her face showed. Many Holly Hobbie tea sets have been made by different makers with different images and different shaped teapots. Your limited set sells for about $25. We don’t know anything about a set made for salesmen. Perhaps they were given some of the first sets made.

Q: I inherited a large original painting of Mickey and Minnie Mouse with “© Walt Disney Productions” pasted at the bottom of the drawing. It looks like it was an original painting used for reproductions. Is it valuable?

A: Original production cels are one-of-a-kind pieces of art used to create animated films or television shows. Each was hand painted by studio artists on a piece of celluloid acetate and photographed on a background painting to create a frame of a finished cartoon. Cels were either given away or sold at Disneyland. An expert appraiser or dealer should see if it is authentic, but here are some things to look for: See if your animation cel has peg holes at the bottom or sometimes at the top for color registration. This indicates that it is an original. Early Disney artworks have two pegs; later, Disney changed to a five-peg registration. Your family history of knowing the artist and the paper label is a good indication you have an original cel. The iconic Mickey and Minnie also add to its potential value. A cel from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) sold for $3,750.


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.

Cut glass perfume bottle, double miter and hobnail pattern, cylindrical shape, hinged gilt silver cap, engraved crown over GW monogram, Brilliant Period, c. 1885, F. Purnell, London, 11 inches, $65.

Clothing, sneakers, Dolce & Gabbana, red leather, red lace inset on top, black leather band around heel, black cord trim, woman’s size 8 1/2, $215.

Paper dolls set, Lilly Beers, two Victorian girl dolls in petticoats, 10 dresses, two hats, stand, McLoughlin Series, 1859, dolls 4-inches, $360.

Liverpool pottery pitcher, creamware, transfer portraits of George Washington and General Lafayette in leafy cartouches, eagle & stars, in commemoration of Lafayette’s visit to U.S., 1824, 6 x 7 inches, $450.

Folk art table, ship’s hatch top, wood, three boards, metal ends, iron legs, curled feet, 17 1/2 x 59 1/2 x 27 inches, $525.

Pair of chairs, Barcelona, curved chrome frame extends to splayed legs, brown tufted leather cushions, designed by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, 30 x 30 inches, $615.

Toy, rocking horse, wood, carved, speckled paint, hair tail & mane, two runners with knuckle ends, three-board center platform, dangling metal stirrup, 1858, 29 x 51 inches, $900.

Jewelry, necklace, pearls, single strand, knotted, 18K yellow gold bow-shaped clasp, marked, Mikimoto, 22 inches, $1,350.

Tiffany silver center bowl, round, hammered panels, flared out shape, pedestal base, marked Tiffany & Co., Special Hand Work, 1907-1947, 5 x 15 1/4 inches, $2,340.

Copper umbrella stand, hammered finish, applied Arts & Crafts decoration, nail heads, tapered shape, spread foot, 2 handles, Gustav Stickley, c. 1905, 24 x 13 inches, $3,000.

Terry and Kim Kovel answer readers’ questions sent to the column. Send a letter with one question describing the size, material (glass, pottery) and what you know about the item. Include only two pictures, the object and a closeup of any marks or damage. Be sure your name and return address are included. By sending a question, you give full permission for use in any Kovel product. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We do not guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. Questions that are answered will appear in Kovels Publications. Write to Kovels, (Collectors Journal) King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at collectorsgallery@kovels.com. Antiques shopping? Looking to buy or sell? Use the new “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles 2021 Price Guide.” Kovels’ is the only antiques price guide that empowers collectors with the most up-to-date price information based on actual sales and market data. Featuring an easy-to-read format with tips, marks, and logos, Kovels’ 2021 price guide has 11,500 prices, 3,000 photographs, and 500 factory marks for identification and dating, all arranged in 700 categories that include toys, pottery, jewelry, furniture, glass, Tiffany and more. PLUS, enjoy a special section, “Collecting Trends: Iconic Designers of Twentieth-Century Lighting,” as well as a picture gallery of antiques and collectibles that sold for record-setting prices in the last year. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal, Sept. 2020; paperback, 592 pages, 7 x 10 in.; $29.99 plus $4.95 postage and handling. Order today from Kovels.com and receive a FREE “Fakes, Fantasies & Reproduction No. 22” booklet, a $7.95 value! Or, order by phone at 800-303-1996, or write to Kovels, P.O. Box 22900, Beachwood, OH 44122.

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