Antiques sleuth answers readers’ questions | Ancient information and history education


A question about copper pots: My great-grandparents came to America at the end of the 19th century. My great-grandfather was a candy maker in Greece and continued to make candy in America.

This copper pot that he allegedly used was passed down in the family. I intend to keep it as a family heirloom.

I think it was made in America around 1890. It has cast iron handles and is very heavy. It is 17 inches in diameter and 8 inches high. It is in good condition considering its age.

What can you tell me and its value?

BG, Evanston, Illinois

Reply: From your information and photo, it looks like you have an American copper cauldron made in the late 19th century.

Such coins are rare and a copper collector could shell out as much as $ 700.

An antique cocoa tin.

On the value of cocoa cans: I found this old tin can of cocoa in my late mother’s sewing box. She used it to hold needles and thimbles. It is in good condition and measures approximately 2 inches in height. The Dutch couple is pictured on the front and the other sides have a coat of arms and gold medals.

I intend to keep it, but does it have any value?

BG, Evanston, Illinois

Reply: Historically, collector interest began in the 1960s, when small grocery stores and drugstores closed to make way for supermarkets. Tin cans were thrown away.

Unusual examples have been rediscovered by collectors in flea markets and basements for $ 1. They have been reinvented as decorative accessories in offices and have been used for other purposes. In the mid-1970s, many reproductions appeared.

Currently, your genuine box costs over $ 100 on eBay sources. There is a price list on the subject.

C1106 ant det-qa-vanity set.jpg

A bakelite vanity set including a hand mirror and hairbrush.

An antique vanity set: This hand mirror and hairbrush belonged to my late grandmother. I found them in the drawer of his dresser after his death. Since I plan to keep them, I would like to know what they are made of, their age and their value. The brush is 10 inches long and the mirror measures approximately 6 inches by 14 inches.

BG, Evanston, Illinois

Reply: You have part of what is called a “vanity set”. It is done in the art deco style (1920s-1930s).

Historically, these sets were first introduced in the 18th century and were known as “toilet sets” and contained up to 30 pieces. In the 19th century, they were made of silver and the small powder boxes were made of glass. At the start of the 20th century, celluloid and bakelite sets were popular.

Your articles are in bakelite. Their retail value could be $ 50 or more.


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