Treasure Hunt 21/05/13

Dear Donna,
I found this small horse charm and it says “Black Horse Ale NY.” It’s only 1 1/2” x 1” and is made of plastic. Can you give me any information and a possible value?


Dear Lynne,
I did some research on your horse charm and found out it was an advertising charm for Black Horse Ale. The story is a very interesting one but a long one as well; if you’ve got the time I would encourage you to do some research online to read the story of Black Horse Ale and see how one tiny plastic charm has such a history.

The interesting thing to me about this charm, and other small collectibles, is how did such a tiny piece even survive to today?

The value on it is in the $25 range but the history is priceless. I know that collecting charms from gum machines, cereals, Cracker Jack and premiums is still happening today. What’s amazing is how many old ones are still out there and the stories that go behind them.

Treasure Hunt 21/05/06

Dear Donna,
Enclosed is a necklace belonging to my great-grandma that I believe is of the Victorian era and made of brass. I have tried to research it but came up with nothing. There is also a cup and saucer, also belonging to my grandma, that says “J.P.L.France” and then “Limoges.” I believe it could be of some value, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jackie from Pelham

Dear Jackie,
Let’s start with your tea cup and saucer. The mark “J.P.L.” stands for Jean Pouyat Limoges. This was done during the middle to late 1800s. Definitely part of a much larger set for dining.

You are right about Limoges china having value, but in today’s market even value can sometimes be a tough market. The value on china is in the makers and mostly in the larger more uncommon pieces that are in excellent condition (which is hard to find). Then it would be in the hand painting designs (patterns). There is quite a history behind Limoges, and it’s interesting to read about in books or online to find out more about yours.

The value would be in the $25 range for the tea cup and saucer. Finding a buyer might be tough. though. in today’s market.

As far as your sweet necklace, unless pieces like it are marked it’s tough to find a value. So some things can give us a clue: material (gold or silver would have a higher value than brass); age (tough to tell in this case) and maker (if not signed then go by the design and condition).

It looks to be an earlier style, maybe from the same estate and period of time as your tea cup and saucer or a bit later. I think we’re safe to say it is in the $40 range but I would have it checked by a professional to confirm my view from here.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/29

Dear Donna,

I have a set of clear Pyrex bowls that I got at a yard sale. I’m wondering if they have value to them, being a set of three. All are in really great unused condition. I have seen pattern Pyrex pieces for much more than I paid for these, so I am curious.

Dear Linda,
I think the set of bowls is sweet, and being Pyrex is a plus. But keep in mind Pyrex is still produced today. Many patterns have changed and there have been some different styles as well over time. The company started in Corning, N.Y., but now is in Pennsylvania. Can’t think of any home that doesn’t have a piece or several in it. The stuff was made to last, and that it did.

I would say that values are in the patterns, age, condition and rarity of production of pieces. So clear and common form at any age would be in the lower end of values. Not knowing what you paid I still think in today’s secondary market the set of three would be in the range of $25. You can’t buy a good set of bowls cheaper these days.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/22

Dear Donna,

Are you familiar with the maker on this pendant? It says 14kt and Jabel, not Jared. I inherited this from my family and was wondering if you could share any information with me on a value.

Dear Mindy,
I have to say I had never seen the mark before, but then again there are so many jewelers out there.

What I did find out was that Jabel started off as a ring maker and later created pendants and other pieces as well. I feel safe in saying your pendant is from the mid-century era to the 1960s. I found a set of earrings that are almost a match to your design, but they were 18kt gold, so the price would be significantly higher.

I think we would be safe in thinking the value of yours would be in the $350 range in the market. It all depends on the maker, amount of weight in gold and the size and quality of the diamond.

So your family passed you down a treasure.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/15

Dear Donna,

We recently purchased a Victorian home in Hampton. We have three doors that are missing the match for knobs. Wondering if you might be able to help locate matches. Are they worth trying to find?
Rob and Shea

Dear Rob and Shea,
The value on antique doorknobs can run usually in the range of $10 to $50 depending on material and design. Now the tough part will be to find matches — like needles in a haystack, as they say.

I would try online first to see if a match is on any selling sites. Try Googling antique brass doorknobs (you might have to replace them both if you find what you are looking for in a complete set). Or maybe you’ll find similar knobs with the same aged patina (coloring of the aged brass). Next I might try flea markets and salvage shops as well.

All of these suggestions could take time, so it depends on the amount of effort you want to put into replacing them with original ones, or finding similar ones from the same time period that will fit into the rest of the doors.

Treasure Hunt 21/04/08

Dear Donna,

Can you tell me anything about this sweet doll? She is 3 1/2” tall and seems to be made out of string.

Dear Tina,
Your doll is part of a family for 1960s doll houses. I think they are made from a rubber plastic with string applied over it for a natural color and look and possibly durability.

Any kind of toys that made it through the 1960s to now should be priceless. I was a 1960s child and I played hard with my toys so it amazes me whenever I see such toys in good or unused shape.

The value of your doll would be higher if you can find the whole family of them together. Alone I would say that for collectors of miniatures she might be in the $10 to $20 range.

Treasure Hunt 21/03/25

This was a necklace that we found in my mother’s jewelry collection. It seems to be a coin in good shape. Can you give me any advice on it? Should I leave it in the casing or remove it? Any information will be helpful.

Karl from Dover

Dear Karl,
What your mom has or had is a Morgan 1921 silver dollar. It wasn’t uncommon to find dollar or half dollar coins in necklace form (sometimes other coins as well). Condition on most is poor but the coins, if older like hers, are usually real silver.

The Morgan dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904 and then again in 1921 like yours. If you look closely on the back of the coin, between the D and the O of “dollar,” there should be a tiny letter. That will give you the mint where it was struck (made).

The value on them in general for the year 1921 is in the range of $25 to $40 depending on the condition. If it were mine I would leave it in the setting until you bring it to someone to see. If you are looking to sell it, let them remove it. Until then don’t clean it; just keep it as you found it.

Note: Never clean coins yourself. Always let a professional in coins handle that, because cleaning can lower the value of coins.

Treasure Hunt 21/03/18

Dear Donna,
My sister came across these glasses at a flea market. We decided to get your input on them. They are different, but do they have any value?

Kim and Bev
Dear Kim and Bev,These glasses are fun and wild! They look like mid-century style opera glasses. That is how women would use their spectacles back in the day — to watch operas, plays, etc. — and maybe they were used for the same purpose even in the 1950s and ’60s.

It’s tough to tell the age from a photo but if they are from the ’50s or ’60s they would probably have a value in the range of $100. Beware, though; these glasses were reproduced because they were so funky and fun. New ones would be in the range of $10 to $20.

I think for you to really determine the value you should have them looked at in person. But until then you have a general idea, and time to have fun with them. They could still be used today depending on the lens strength.

Treasure Hunt 21/03/11

Dear Donna,

This is a set of placecard holders. At least that’s what they look like to me. Curious about your thoughts.

Dear Nettie,
You are right; they are placecard holders.
Your made-in-England Coalport flower placecard holders are from the Coalport potteries. They have been around since the late 1700s (in England). The placecard holders were a common form and still are available today.

Who doesn’t like flowers, right? I think that’s why they are still around. Some have such fine detailing in the porcelain and vibrant colors. The more flowers, the finer the detailing, the higher the values. In general a set of six would be anywhere from $30 to $60.

Treasure Hunt 21/03/04

Dear Donna,

This is a bath set (commode set?) that we believe is from the 1800s. Any information you could share would be helpful.

Dear Lynn,
It was most likely made during the Victorian era (mid to late 1800’s) or later. It’s unusual to find several pieces matching still together today, due to damage, disuse, or being lost or given away.

Back in the Victorian era they had a real need for almost all the pieces. Pieces consisted of covered chamber pots for under the bed, bowl and pitchers, toothbrush holders, main slop pot (for chamber pot contents), etc. I have seen sets with up to 20 different matching pieces.

Yours is considered earthenware (pottery). Tough to figure out the manufacturer by the mark, but it could be English, German or Australian. They imported so many of them and lots were unmarked, but it’s not that important to the value of your set.

The secondary collectible market isn’t high for such items today. The decorative need isn’t there, and there’s not much use for them today either. But having several pieces could make your pieces in the range of $150 as long as they are not damaged.

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