Antiques sleuth answers readers’ questions, December 25, 2021 | Ancient information and history education


Shirley Temple Paper Dolls: I found this Shirley Temple paper dolls booklet in my late grandmother’s attic, in an old dresser drawer. It has never been used.

I know Shirley Temple was a famous children’s movie star in the 1930s. There are three colored dolls, each a different size. The largest is 10-1 / 4 inches high.

Is it worth anything?

CB, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Responnse: Paper dolls would be of interest to a collector of paper dolls or a collector of movie memorabilia.

Although they have a long history, it was not until around 1854 that they were made in America for children. In the early 20th century, newspapers and magazines such as McCall’s and Ladies Home Journal were offering Rose O’Neil’s “Kewpies,” which were a series of paper dolls, for sale. In the 1930s, movie stars became paper dolls. Reproductions of Shirley Temple paper dolls have been made.

Your original paper dolls could sell to a collector for $ 100.






On Lithophanes: This teacup and saucer were in my neighbor’s garage sale. When I lifted the cup to the light, a portrait of what looks like a Japanese geisha appears. The saleswoman said it was a “lithophane” she had found in an antique store years ago. I had never seen anything like it. The price was $ 5.

What can you tell me about lithophanes and the value of my teacup and saucer?

MP, Des Moines, Iowa

Responnse: Articles with lithophanes became popular in the 19th century. To make a lithophane, a wax image is carved. Then a plaster of paris mold is made from it and porcelain paste is poured into the mold. It is cooked at high temperature.

Lithophanes have been and still are made around the world. Lithophanes on Japanese tea sets were popular before and after WWII.

A collector might pay $ 70 or more for yours.






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A historic cookbook: My late mother was a gourmet cook and cookbook collector. Her collection was given to me and to my two sisters. The only one of mine that I think might be useful is “The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook”. This is a first edition published in 1954 and in good condition, with the original dust jacket.

What can you tell me about the author, Alice B. Toklas? The cookbook contains recipes and, I guess, stories about his life with poet Gertrude Stein.

Do you have any idea of ​​its value?

TL, Kansas City, Kansas

Responnse: Your cookbook is the best-selling cookbook of all time, even though technically it’s not a conventional cookbook. The author and his companion lived in Europe during World War II.

Your first edition could sell to a cookbook collector or historian for $ 150.

About Oscar L. Smith

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