Received an interesting letter this week from Bill Elliot of Marietta, in response to the article I wrote a few weeks ago on the construction worker in Beverly Hills, California who paid 45 dollars for a box of old glass photographic negatives at a garage sale, only to find out later they were worth millions. It turns out the negatives were the lost work of famed nature photographer Ansel Adams, which were believed to have been destroyed in a 1937 fire at Adams' Yosemite National Park studio.
Elliot says the negatives were never in a fire and that Patrick Murphy, a friend of Elliot's, carried Ansel Adams' camera one summer in Alaska. Adams gave Murphy the negatives, which were believed to have later burnt up in the fire.
Elliot states in his letter that Patrick Murphy, his longtime friend, was orginally a gold prospector when he went to work for Adams in 1937-1938, and was orginally from Laguna Hills, California, where he lived in a small apartment behind a body and fender shop near the beach.
Elliot states that his friend has since passed away but he believes the story is still worth telling.
QUESTION: I love reading your column. One Question? Why did the book "Which the Justice, Which the Thief," by local author William Harrington, go for such a high price at auction? I requested a copy of the book online from the Washington County Public Library just to read. - E.G. Marietta
ANSWER: It wasn't a copy of the book that sold at auction, it was a "proof" copy of the orginal manuscript from the publisher that actually sold,
QUESTION: I have an American Bisque cookie jar that is children sitting under an umbrella. The only markings are U.S.A and 739.
Any information you can give me on the jar would be appreciated, -V.P. Alexandria. Virginia
ANSWER: Your cookie jar is called the "Umbrella Kids," manufactured by American Bisque in Williamstown in the early 1960s. It would be valued today at 90 dollars.
QUESTION: I have a 14-inch Bobby Kennedy Pennant. Can you tell me what it might be worth. -C.H. Reno, Ohio
ANSWER: Is it marked "Destined to Become President"? If so, the 1968 pennant is worth 45 dollars to a collector, in good condition.
QUESTION: My grandfather has a "Lone Ranger" rifle, with telescopic sight, "Lone Ranger" marked in script. Can you tell me what it is worth?-D.W. Marietta, Ohio
ANSWER: Marx Toys came out with a 23-inch Lone Ranger rifle with telescopic site in the 1950s. If it's in good condition it's worth 400 dollars.
Keep those e-mails and letters coming. See you right back here next week.
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, 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.