Question: I have several dozen different miniature beer bottles. When were these bottles distributed by breweries, and do they have much value?--T.T.
Answer: Beer bottle miniatures became popular advertising items for the breweries in the years just before Prohibition and probably were reproduced through the 1960s.
The replicas were popular advertising items with such breweries as Budweiser, Miller, Pabst and Schlitz. Some smaller breweries also distributed the miniatures; if these are in good condition, they appear to command somewhat higher prices than the nationally advertised brands.
Prices seem to range from just a few dollars a miniature to about $30 for harder-to-find bottles, according to catalogues.
About 400 miniature beer bottles--ranging in height from 3 inches to just over 4 inches--have been identified by collectors and dealers.
One use for these miniatures is to convert them to salt and pepper shakers.
Q: I have tickets to the Dempsey-Gibbons fight. When was it?--S.P.
A: The Jack Dempsey-Tom Gibbons world heavyweight championship fight was held in Shelby, Mont., on July 4, 1923. Dempsey won in 15 rounds.
Larry Byrd of Los Angeles writes: "Here's an offbeat collectible for you: Pirates! I have been searching for, and occasionally finding, pirate-oriented items for about six years. They aren't very easy to find, though many such items have been made over the years (particularly in the 1920s and 1930s).
"I've found lots of children's items: toys, games, banks and the like. I've found Deco-style bookends, statuary and, most precious, books."
Byrd says he's formed a club for collectors of pirate-related items called Brethren of the Coast, which, he says, is what pirates called themselves.
For $18, he says, readers will receive a membership certificate, a subscription to the Jolly Roger magazine, and a subscription to a newsletter, Night Watch, plus unlimited free buy-and-sell advertising in the newsletter.
Byrd's address: 4054 Wade St., 6, Los Angeles 90066.
David S. Pedrick of La Mesa writes that his teen-age niece has a fixation with frog collectibles.
"My niece, who is 17, has been collecting frog bric-a-brac and stuffed frogs for years. Proof of her infatuation is her license plate: FROG N IT.
"Is there a club I could enlist her in? Our family is constantly on the lookout for gifts and such, but it's getting challenging. Some amusing and beautiful frog items have been collected, probably close to 1,000 pieces."
Collectors of frog items should write him at Box 761, La Mesa, Calif. 92041.
(In a catalogue, we noticed a number of frog collectibles ranging from candy molds to toys. Prices ranged from a $4 Christmas tree ornament to $225 for a mechanical frog bank.)
W.B. Thurston of Avila Beach says he's interested in starting a collection of old road maps published by gasoline companies and auto clubs. He can be reached at P.O. Box 2217, Avila Beach, Calif. 93424.