Last week, a lady on Sixth Street in Marietta was looking for Christmas decorations in her grandfather's attic when she happened to stumble upon a beautiful hand-painted wall plaque.
The plaque depicted an island surrounded by beautiful Florida palm trees and signed with the initials K V H, along with roman numerals, which I was able to identify as being painted by Katherine Van Horne in 1915.
Van Horne joined the decorating staff at Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati in 1907, and worked there up until her death in 1918.
The 95-year-old Rookwood Pottery wall plaque, in its original frame, valued at $6,000 to $6,500, will soon go up on the Cincinnati auction block with the newly revived Rookwood Pottery Auctions.
Question: I found in my basement, what appears to be, a glass paperweight. Can you tell me anything about it? - D.L., Marietta.
Answer: Your paperweight showing the capitol building in Charleston, W.Va., was made by the Libbey Glass Company of Toledo for the 1893 World's Fair. Your paperweight is worth $25 to $30 to a collector.
Q: Can you tell me anything about my "Popeye" cookie jar that was made by American Bisque in Williamstown? I took it to a local antique shop and was told it worth very little. - C.J., Reno, Ohio.
A: What you have is a 9-inch bust replica of "Popeye" that would sell for $65 on an online auction site. The original 12-inch "Popeye" in full body was recently sold at Hake's Americana Auctions in York, Penn., for $345.
In 1995, this same jar sold at auction for $775. Many of these cookie jars today have declined in value.
Q: I read an article you wrote several years ago telling of a woman in Ohio who purchased Barbie dolls for many years at Wal-Mart and sold them at auction to put her children through college. Can you send me a copy of that column you wrote? - H. D., Marietta.
A: I would have to dig through hundreds of columns to do that.
In 1959, when the first Barbie doll came out, had we known that it would be worth $10,000 or more today new, still in the box, we would have bought the entire stock at Woolworth's.
When the dolls first came out, sales were slow. Then suddenly, every kid in the entire country was crying for one. Today, they still are right here at Christmas time.
Collectors today will pay big bucks for certain dolls to add to their collection.
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.