A 97-year-old Rookwood Pottery wall plaque painted by Lenore Asbury at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati in 1913 will soon go up on the Cincinnati auction block in September, estimated to bring $4,000 to $5,000 at auction.
The lady on Maple Street in Marietta that wrote me about the wall plaque told me the plaque had hung over her mother's living room mantle for many years up until a few years ago when it was stored in the attic, and had no idea today that the plaque might be valuable. She described the plaque being in an oak frame size 10 x 8 , depicting a grove of trees by a riverbend. When she mentioned the flame mark on the back xlllv/ and the initials L.A., I was then able to identify it as being painted by Lenore Asbury, who was a decorator at Rookwood pottery in Cincinnati from 1894 up until 1931. Readers, you just never know what may turn up in those old attics around Washington County, so keep your eyes peeled,
Letters from readers:
Question: I have several books written and signed by Dorothy Jane Roberts. Wasn't she originally born in Marietta? Is she still writing today? - D.E, Marietta.
Answer: Dorothy Jane Roberts was actually born in West Virginia in 1903, but once lived for several years in Marietta in what is now the Anchorage. While living in the Anchorage, which was originally built in 1859 by Douglas Putnam for his wife, Eliza Putnam, she wrote such New York best sellers as, "The enchanted Cup," published by Doubleday Publishing in 1953, and 13 other best sellers. In 1964, at the age of 61, Dorothy retired from her writing career and moved from Marietta to Palto, California, where she died in 1990 at the age of 96.
Q.: I have an old pump organ that was made by The Stevens Organ Company, Marietta. Can you tell me anything about the organ and what it would be worth? - F.T., Devola.
A.: Stevens & Klozk Organ Company operated on Gilman Avenue on the west side of Marietta from 1885 up to 1897. When Klotz retired, it became The Stevens Organ Company and operated up until 1919. Your piano case organ was made around 1914 to 1915. In complete restoration, your organ is valued around $1,300; unrestored, it's value is around $500.
Q.: I have an old cookie jar school bus 7 1/2 inches high marked Cardinal U.S.A. Is it valuable? - S.T., Marietta.
A.: Your Cookieville school bus marked Cardinal U.S.A. was actually manufactured by American Bisque in Williamstown. Cardinal was a distributing company that had its merchandise made to order and sold through a chain of show rooms and outlet stores in several states from the late 1940s through the 1950s. While Cardinal did make some pottery early on, I have yet to find out what they actually did produce. Your cookie jar is worth $350.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.