Treasure Hunt 20/07/02

Dear Donna,
My name is Cathy and my daughter found this at an antique store in New Hampshire. She thought I would like it, as I work part time at Macy’s. I looked online and couldn’t find a bottle that looked like this one. It looks handmade, not mass produced, and it isn’t level when on a counter. I’m interested in how old it is and how much it may be worth.
Cathy from ​Hillsboro

Dear Cathy,​​
No matter what the value is of this bottle, the fact that you work there makes it fun to have. Macy’s is an interesting story to do research on. It’s been around since the middle to late 1800s.

Your bottle is a machine-made one that could have just been part of a bad run, so it’s a little misshapen. It could be tough to find the exact one because there were and are so many out there.​​

Having the paper label on is what still gives it charm today. Who doesn’t know Macy’s! And it’s also special to you because you work there now. The value is in the range of $30 for being a piece of advertising and in good condition. I hope this starts a collection for you.

Treasure Hunt 20/07/23

Dear Donna,
I’m trying to figure this watch out; it’s working, but other than that I know nothing. I bought it at a flea market a couple years ago and just recently dug it out of a drawer.

Dear Bev,
I am chuckling after your explanation of buying it and putting it away. So now it’s like buying it all over again and liking it once more.

What you have is a car clock that looks like a pocket watch. They were in automobiles in the early 1900s. They aren’t seen too often, and they usually don’t work. They were in the dashboards of automobiles and because they were so similar to pocket watches they were stolen frequently.

Yours is an Elgin, but other watch companies made them as well. They usually run in the $75 range when working. I can see why you would like it; it’s a fun piece of automobile history.

Treasure Hunt 20/07/16

Dear Donna,
Can you help me with this item? It looks to be silver, and we were thinking maybe it’s a tie ring. It is too big to be a ring for a finger, and the end is removable.

Dear Susan,
I have to say this is the first piece of Fernando Mendez Mateo I have come across. After doing some research for you I found the trademarks inside the ring to match his. It is silver, you were right. It is a key ring; that is why the end is removable. Remove the end, slide on the keys and replace for safety.

Fernando Mendez Mateo does very interesting work. Your key ring is just one of his animals, and he has other modern designs too. I found key rings, rings, bracelets, etc. The values were all different depending on the piece and design. I did find a couple keyrings similar to yours, in the range of $100 and up, so a little treasure it is.

Treasure Hunt 20/07/09

Dear Donna,
Would you have any information on the value of this set? I am interested in selling it. There are no blemishes that I can see.

Dear Nancy,
I have to start off by saying Hummels are a sad subject (interesting history to read about, though). They are so sweet and the figurines are so well done but they don’t seem to fit in anywhere anymore, so values on them can be as low as 10 cents, even the older ones, West Germany ones, Full Bee, etc. There were so many made in duplicates and brought here after World War II that many homes have some. It was a very popular collection for people for many years.

So when pricing them today you need to figure out where the real value is. Older ones are better, and condition is key. There can be no damage, not even a tiny chip, flake or crack. The mark on the bottom is very important as well. You can do most of this research online. So I would do the research, then try to find some that have sold and are not just listed for sale. That should give you an accurate place to start. Nativity pieces seem to be more desirable than common figurines, for example.

My value on the ones you have would be in the $150 range for the set. But saying that, it still could be tough to sell.

Treasure Hunt 20/06/25

Dear Donna,
I got this from my uncle when he passed away and was wondering what the value of it is. I also have lunch box baseball cards and costume jewelry from him I would like to get values on later.

Dear Donna,
Nice name! What your uncle has left you is a coin-operated pinball machine from the 1920s or 1930s. The company that made these made a few different versions. Most of them came on a metal base. Not sure if you might have that as well.
When trying to evaluate anything you really want to start with the complete piece. For now let us assume that you don’t have the base. You want to make sure that it is in working order and all metal balls are still hiding in there. If so and there is no other damage I would say it should be in the $200 to $300 range, and if by chance you have the base it would be more.
I hope this was helpful, and send pictures of the other items you have and I will try to help.

Treasure Hunt

Dear Donna,

I have a couple of hangers I’m looking to find out more about. They say ‘The Belmar Mfg Co.’ I thought they were very interesting when I bought them at a local thrift store. Any information and a value would be helpful.

Nichole from Weare, N.H.

Dear Nichole,

They are sweet hangers, and having the advertising papers still on them is amazing for the time that has passed and having been used. The Belmar Co. goes back to the late 1800s in Canton, Pennsylvania. They have quite the history in Canton as being one of the largest industries for a long period of time.

Who would think hangers could have such history? This company was owned by a woman first and started in a barn. The hangers were first made just for men’s trousers, then women’s as well. The value would be in the $20-to-$30 range each. I found others in this range that were in bad condition. But I’m not sure how strong the collectible level is for hangers these days. The history is good and that counts for something.

Donna Welch has spent more than 30 years in the antiques and collectibles field, appraising and instructing, and recently closed the physical location of From Out Of The Woods Antique Center ( but is still doing some buying and selling. She is a member of The New Hampshire Antiques Dealer Association. If you have questions about an antique or collectible send a clear photo and information to Donna at, or call her at 391-6550 or 624-8668.

Treasure Hunt 6/11/2020

Dear Donna,
Can you possibly tell me what this is and what it was for? It is solid wood and 3.5 inches. I recently found this in a barn and thought it was interesting.

Dear Ellen,
What you found is called a bung. I have seen many in the tops of old milk cans. I think, though, that they were used also in barrels such as whiskey, bourbon, etc., tapered like yours to be pounded in to fit tight and secure and prevent leaking. You can almost make out the ring around it.

Not all bungs are wood; they can be rubber, wax, cork or, I am sure these days, a lot of other materials as well. Yours is most likely an older one and looks to be in great condition. The value is in the $10 range, as they are not that easy to find in good condition. This is not a huge financial treasure for you, but it sure will make a fun story to share.

Concord Dairy Sign

Dear Donna,
I have this sign from The Concord Dairy. I’m not sure what to do with it and am wondering if you could help with a value. It’s a big one, 8’x4’, and it could be a plywood. I’m not sure of the age.

Dear Carl,
My first thought for you is if you market it in Concord, I think you might find collectors. The size is an issue, but it appears to be in good shape.
The Concord Dairy was around from the early 1900s till the 1970s, when it was bought out by Weeks. I hope you can find a buyer within the state. As I said, size is an issue for some collectors who prefer smaller items, but a restaurant or business might like it for wall coverage. And it’s a good piece of history within the state.
Carl, I would advertise that you are looking for a home for it. I think I would start off with a value at $200 and see where that goes. Thanks for sharing and I hope you find it a new home.

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