Question: My mother received a poster from her mother around 1910. It's entitled, "The Afternoon Caller," by artist J.L.G. Ferris. Dated 1895, the poster was a freebie when purchasing a can of Cloverine salve from a door-to-door salesman. The framed poster hung in my parents' home up until 1958, the year I received it. It now hangs in my daughter's dining room. Do you have any idea of its value? - P.L.W., Vincent.
Answer: Wilson Chemical Co., best known as the producer of Cloverine Salve, was founded in Tyrone, Pa., in 1895, and went out of business in 1985, after being in operation for over 90 years.
At first having limited funds to market their salve on a large scale, the company developed a unique method of merchandising their product by placing advertisements for agents in various newspapers and magazines to distribute their product.
In fact, the company became the first premium house to ever use comic books to market its product. Three hundred thousand agents around the country answered their ad, 60 percent of whom were children from age 8 to 14, were sent through the mail, 12 boxes of salve along with 12 pictures. The agent would sell the salve for 25 cents each to customers, who would receive a four color, 9-by-11-inch picture with the product.
This continued up until the late 1960s when the cost of the pictures became too high to buy.
Your rare print, dated 1895 by artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930), was the first print to be ever given away as a premium by the Wilson Chemical Co., printed by the Gray Lithograph Co. of New York. Not knowing today the condition your print is in, or even seeing a photo of it, I do not want to estimate what it might be worth? If you want more information on your item and perhaps selling it at auction, contact Poster Connections Inc. at (925) 673-3343. or e-mail jweigelt@
posterconnection.com with a photo of your item and condition the poster is in.
Auction prices realized
1920s Peoples Bank metal sign, Keyser. W.Va., value $102.50.
1929 U.S. $10 national currency, Elm Grove, W.Va., value $ $128.50.
Dr. Pepper bottle (clear) Charleston. W.Va., value $6.
1943 Marietta telephone book, value $5.
1842 book titled, "Stockade Fort History," Marietta, value $15.50.
Marietta police patch, value $10.25.
Postcard Marietta, (1910) First Baptist Church, value $10.
1877 Ohio River map, Harmar, value $40.
W.P. Snyder sternwheel steamboat plate, value $16.50.
1922 postcard overview look of Marietta, value $8.
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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.