Morbid paper-pushers would respect this spooky gadget

When Halloween approaches, it’s time to look into the spooky facet of antiques. Whereas there are many vintage decorations and toys made particularly for Halloween, you possibly can see associated symbols in additional on a regular basis items.

Skulls particularly present up on all types of collectibles, from poison bottles to Victorian mourning jewellery to toy pirate ships. Memento mori objects reminiscent of jewellery, timepieces and collectible figurines have been made because the sixteenth century. Latin for “keep in mind you need to die,” memento mori served as reminders of the transience of life and encouragement to stay virtuously. They typically included skulls or skeletons as symbols.

Apparently, this type has but to die out, as seen on this bronze paper clip with a three-dimensional cranium ornament. It offered for $625 at Rago Auctions.

Q: I’ve an intensive assortment of Napoleonic gadgets — busts, statues, plates, loss of life masks, and so forth. — that I want to promote to collectors. Any info you could possibly present could be enormously appreciated.

A: Napoleon Bonaparte was a French army and political chief who rose to prominence throughout the French Revolution. He was the chief of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804. From his self-coronation within the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris in 1804 to his exile on Saint Helena in 1815, he constructed one of the crucial formidable empires in world historical past that additionally resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths within the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleonic gadgets can promote for $10 to tens of hundreds of {dollars} relying on the item and its rarity. If a lot of your gadgets are of excessive worth, you need to have the ability to discover an public sale home or seller that may promote your assortment. You can too attain out to the Napoleonic Collectors membership on Fb for different collectors and occasions.

Q: I’ve my late great-grandmother’s White treadle stitching machine, and I used to be questioning what yr it was made. The U.S. patents go from March 20, 1877, to March 20, 1890. The serial quantity is 1824745. In case you have any details about this machine it might be enormously appreciated.

A: The White Stitching Machine firm was based in Templeton, Massachusetts, by Thomas White in 1858. The corporate moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1866. The serial quantity in your stitching machine signifies it was made between 1904 and 1914. Gross sales of American-made machines declined after cheaper foreign-made stitching machines turned accessible within the Fifties. White purchased a number of equipment manufacturers and have become White Consolidated Industries in 1964. It was purchased by Electrolux in 1986 and resold to Husqvarna, a Swedish firm, in 2006. White stitching machines weren’t made after 2006.

Q: I’ve had a Ball Mason jar for fairly a number of years. The Ball emblem isn’t underlined. What makes it particular is the spelling. The phrase “good” is spelled “PERFFCT,” with two “F”s and lacking the second “E.” Does the error make it price something?

A: 5 Ball brothers began the Wood Jacketed Can Co. in Buffalo, New York, in 1880, making wood-covered tin cans for kerosene, paint and different merchandise. They started making glass canning jars in 1884. Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Co. was included in 1886. Ball Good Mason jars have been made in a wide range of colours from about 1910 to 1960. The Ball script emblem with out the underline was used from about 1923 to 1933. Many Ball jars made at the moment have lacking letters or components of letters. Molding machines needed to be swabbed periodically to do away with carbon buildup that might trigger defects. Molds have been recut when the embossing turned too exhausting to learn. More often than not an error doesn’t improve the worth of the jar. Ball Company continues to be in enterprise, now with headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. Ball jars weren’t made after 1996. The corporate now produces aluminum beverage cans and designed the optical expertise and mirror system for the James Webb House Telescope.

Q: I’ve my great-great-great-grandfather’s Civil Struggle diary. He enlisted within the CSA in 1861 and was a part of the seventh Texas Infantry. He was captured on the fall of Fort Donelson in 1862 and held as a POW at Camp Douglas in Chicagos. He was freed in a prisoner alternate and re-enlisted. Now we have his papers from his unit’s give up and a diary he saved whereas at Camp Douglas. I’d like to donate these to a museum in Texas that might protect them and share them with the world. Do you will have any recommendations?

A: Camp Douglas opened in 1861 as a coaching camp for Union troopers. The primary prisoners despatched there have been these captured by Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson in 1862. Private diaries and letters from Civil Struggle troopers are of nice curiosity to historians. There are a number of museums which have collections of Civil Struggle gadgets. If you wish to hold your great-great-great-grandfather’s papers in Texas, contact the Texas Civil Struggle Museum in Fort Value ( or the Historic Analysis Heart on the Texas Heritage Museum in Hillsboro ( If there may be curiosity within the papers, learn how they’ll protect them and show them to the general public earlier than deciding the place to donate them.

TIP: Put books within the freezer in a single day to do away with many sorts of bugs.

On the block

Present costs are recorded from antiques reveals, flea markets, gross sales and auctions all through america. Costs range in several places due to native financial circumstances.

Halloween sweet container, jack-o’-lantern, papier-mache, paper inserts behind eyes and grinning mouth, wire deal with, 7 inches, $65.

Boot scraper, black cat, strolling, elongated tail, forged iron, black paint, early twentieth century, 16 inches, $185.

Lamp, electrical, mushroom, white enameled metal, cylindrical stem, domed shade, Laurel, 29½ by 8 inches, $275.

Steuben cocktail shaker, clear glass, rounded cylinder type, large mouth with two pour spouts, spherical stopper with overhanging high, marked, 10 inches, $370.

Map, globe, terrestrial, J.L. & Cie, Paris, hand tinted map, papier-mache, metallic stand, late 1800s, 9 by 4 inches, $550.

Furnishings, stitching stand, painted, Adam type, formed high with oval cartouche, village fishing scene, rose vine border, allover flowers, ribbons & bugs, drawer, slender tapered legs, initials BSK on again, 30 by 20 by 15 inches, $725.

Financial institution, constructing, palace, forged iron, japanned end, authentic tower, Ives, 7¾ by 8 by 5 inches, $985.

Field, work, wooden, darkish stain, dovetailed, hinged lid, inlaid bone compass star, drawer, bone pull and heart-shaped escutcheon, recessed handles, whaleman made, circa 1870, 6 by 14 by 7 inches, $1,125.

Cane, strolling stick, Turk’s knot deal with, whale ivory, crosshatched and twist carved whalebone shaft, brass ferrule, circa 1850, 32½ inches, $2,765.

Jewellery, necklace, pearls, single strand, white Akoya, single Tahitian flanked by diamond spacers, 18K white gold and seed pearl clasp, marked, Mikimoto, suede envelope, 17 inches, $3,075.