Sheet music, prints and more are given values

I found this great advertising sign several years ago at a flea market. Though I don’t collect advertising signs I bought this to hang up as a decoration for my office. As you see it is a lithographed tin of an elephant advertising “Browns Jumbo Bread.” It measures 15” x 12.” I paid $25. It is in good condition. Any idea of age and value?

B.T. – Wellington, Fla.

What a find!  Brown’s Bakery opened in Defiance, Ohio in 1873. I wasn’t able to find when they first made their jumbo loaf bread. However, the tin-lithographed sign probably dates to the 1920s, or 1930s. The benefit to using this type of sign was it could be hung outside in all types of weather. Periodically the Jumbo elephant signs come to auction. A recent auction price was $325.


This beautiful old print of three Pears was tucked into a family scrapbook. I was told that it is known as a “botanical print” by British artist George Bradshaw and could be several hundred years old and worth hundreds of dollars. It measures 10” x 13” and appears to be hand-colored. I plan to have it framed and hang it in my kitchen. Please tell me all about.

M.T. – Pittsburg, Penn. 

 You have a late 19th century reprint from the illustrated book “Pomona Britannica” by the famed British, botanical artist. George Brookshaw (1751-1823). He created paintings of the many varieties of fruits to encourage gardeners to experiment growing fruit. Your print, made in the late 19th century could sell in a gallery for $150 or more. If it was from the original book the price could be in the thousands of dollars.

I recently purchased an old piano bench that had a pile of old sheet music inside. Most of had no art on the covers that was interesting. However, one had a colorful cover with a patriotic theme. It is titled “The Bugle Girl” and has a woman on a horse. It measures 9” x 12.” Any information? Are there any collectors of old sheet music with interesting covers? What could be the price?

There are many collectors of artistic sheet music covers as well as museums. Early covers were lithographed. By 1900 photo reproductions were used. Actual photos weren’t used till the late 1920s. Before 1918 the size was 11”x14.” After

World War 1 the piano bench became fashionable. Sheet music size changed to 9”x12” to fit inside. Yours dates around 1908. Many factors determine price: rarity, historical importance, art, subject and signatures. One of the most valuable, the 1st edition of the Star Spangled Banner sold for $505.05 in 2010 at a Christies Auction. Your decorative piece could sell for $50 or more.

Do you have an antique item and need more information? For a personal reply send a photo, history, size and any signatures with self-addressed, stamped envelope and $25 to Anne Gilbert-Strawbridge, 1811 Renaissance Cmns. Blvd. #2319, Boynton Beach, FL 33426.