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Bad Headlines Can Spell Good News for the Seller

August 20, 1987|RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

Question: I understand that the now-famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline of 1948 in the Chicago Tribune has brought collectors offers of up to $1,000 for editions in top condition.

In 1980, there was a blooper related to the Republican National Convention when it appeared for a while that ex-President Gerald R. Ford would accept the No. 2 spot on a national ticket headed by Ronald Reagan. The Chicago Sun-Times bannered, "It's Reagan, Ford," when, in fact, it became Reagan and George Bush. What price is this newspaper blunder bringing?--M.T.

Answer: Depending on the condition of the newspaper, collectors say editions of the Sun-Times could bring up to $50.

Incidentally, that Chicago Tribune blooper you cite may well be one of the most valuable newspaper editions of this century.

Q: We have an old Franklin stove in our mountain retreat. Outside of a few scratches and a dent or two, it still works, because we've maintained it well over the years. What can you tell me about its value?--D.F.

A: We recently saw a "For Sale" sign, for $300, on a 150-year-old ornate black Franklin stove that the owner said was fully restored. This seemed to be something of a bargain in a field where price tags can be much higher.

In fact, $1,000 and up isn't unusual for 19th-Century stoves, a period of great interest to collectors. This was the era when cooking stoves with ovens first appeared on the American market. Before that time, most cooking was done over an open hearth.

Collectors say they look for two things in antique cooking stoves: whether it works and its decorator value.

On a related note, antique heating stoves also command collector attention. Again, depending on the design and workability, such stoves can sell for anywhere from $200 into four figures.

A number of readers have written about their Civil War memorabilia. Among the letters there appears to be a consensus that their most valuable items are firearms.

The next most valuable category, several collectors said, is uniforms--and then come uniform items such as buttons and belt buckles. An authentic Union Army greatcoat, for example, could sell for several hundred dollars.

We might add that we recently spotted what was purported to be a genuine solid brass cavalry bugle with a $325 price tag.

Obviously, the buyer should go to some lengths to authenticate the merchandise because it is not unusual to find fake Civil War items in the marketplace.

Dolls were the third most popular collectible last year after stamps and coins, according to the Official 1988 Price Guide of Antiques and Collectibles (House of Collectibles, New York).

The book noted that at a Los Angeles auction last Sept. 6 "a 'Jumeau Triste' doll (so called because of her sad, pensive expression) brought a new world's auction record of $45,000." The previous record of $38,000 had been set in 1983.

Date Book

The Los Angeles Historical Bottle Club will hold its annual antique and collectible show and sale Sept. 26-27. Post cards, advertising, photographs, boxes, Coca-Cola items, tins, telephones and bottles will be among the items at the show. Temple Beth Ami, 3508 E. Temple Way, West Covina. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission, $2. For additional information, call (213) 451-0517, (818) 338-5480 or (818) 332-6751.

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