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Furniture Got the Royal Treatment

February 17, 2001|RALPH KOVEL and TERRY KOVEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Furniture styles in America are named for monarchs or makers who influenced the shapes. William and Mary (1690-1720), Queen Anne (1720-50) and Victorian (1830-1900) are all styles named for monarchs. Chippendale (1750-75), Hepplewhite (1785-1800) and Sheraton (1800-20) are named for makers.

English books and auction catalogs use slightly different names for furniture periods. They list such styles as Stuart (1603-1714), Georgian (1714-1810), Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-10).

Occasionally, the names of other monarchs are used. The William IV style was named for the few years William reigned (1830-37). It is a bridge between the Regency (1810-30) and Victorian periods. Pieces made with elements of both periods are referred to as William IV style.

He disliked ostentation and influenced a simpler look. When his niece, Victoria, became queen, she influenced a style that has remained popular for more than 100 years.

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Question: In 1958, my aunt gave me a large, cup-shaped vase decorated with painted Disney cartoon characters. She said Walt Disney had these pots made by Hagen-Renaker as gifts to Disney employees. My aunt worked for Hagen-Renaker in Monrovia at the time. There's a tiny, circular gold seal on the bottom that includes the words "Walt Disney" and a copyright symbol. What was Hagen-Renaker's connection with Disney?

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Answer: Hagen-Renaker Inc. was founded in 1945 and is still working. It moved from Monrovia to San Dimas in 1966. Hagen-Renaker first made licensed Disney character figures from 1955 to 1961.

During this same period, Disney banks and cookie jars were made by other potteries for Hagen-Renaker. All of these ceramic items are popular collectibles today. Your vase might have been a special product made by Hagen-Renaker or by another pottery under contract with Hagen-Renaker.

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Q I have heard of rose bowls and nut cups, but I have never heard of orange bowls and orange cups. I recently saw them advertised in a collectors newspaper. Can you help?

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A The reason you haven't heard of an orange cup or orange bowl is because they're no longer included in sets of china dinnerware. Orange cups were never common, but during the early 1900s they were made and used to serve orange halves at the breakfast or dinner table.

This was during a period shortly after Americans who lived north of Florida and east of California had been introduced to citrus fruit. At the end of the 19th century, refrigerated railroad cars kept the fruit fresh enough to ship across the country.

An orange cup has at least three prongs around the inside edge to hold the orange half in place. An orange bowl is a deep, oval bowl used to serve whole or sectioned oranges.

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Q I just found an old toy that belonged to my grandmother. It is a tin windup toy. A little boy with red hair and a red suit is riding a tricycle. When you wind it up and push the start switch, the boy pedals the bicycle and a bell rings.

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A The toy is probably the "Wonder Cyclist." It was made in the 1920s by Marx Toy Co. of New York. The Unique Art Co. of New Jersey made a similar toy.

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Q While cleaning out a relative's attic, we found an old advertising sign for Coca-Cola. It pictures a lady in a pink dress that's trimmed with white lace. The name "Betty" is at the bottom of the sign. The words "Drink Coca-Cola" are at the top. It is 32 inches by 41 inches. How old is it?

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A Betty was the image on a Coca-Cola sign issued in 1914. It was a lithographed tin sign made in 14 colors. More than 10,000 were produced, but today it is rare and expensive. Copies have been made in recent years.

For a listing of helpful books and publications, include a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents) envelope to Kovels, Los Angeles Times, King Features Syndicate, 235 E. 45th St., New York, NY 10017.

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Current Prices

Figures are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary because of local economic conditions.

* Howdy Doody dinner plate, shows Howdy in full cowboy gear with lasso, Taylor, Smith & Taylor, 1950s, $50.

* Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy Question & Answer Game, Whitman Publishing, 1938, 22 Edgar's question cards, 22 Charlie's answer cards, $65.

* Rainbow Hawkeye folding camera, model B-2A, Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y., 1940s, $70.

* Borden milk bottle with Elsie's picture on two sides, square, 1 gallon, $80.

* Horsehair carriage blanket, stitched to felt back, original lifetime guarantee label, Edes Roibe Tanning Co., circa 1900, 76 by 80 inches, $210.

* White Bear Coffee cardboard container, white bear on ice cap with sunny sky and blue water, 4 1/2 by 3 by 6 inches, $290.

* Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympics mascot Shuss, terry cloth, smiling, first mascot, on skis, 5 inches, $575.

* G.I. Joe Official Space Capsule set, 1966, painted hair, spacesuit, Hasbro, 12 inches, $650.

* Victorian davenport desk, walnut and walnut burl, lift-up writing surface, bird's-eye maple interior, three drawers on side, circa 1870, 35 by 23 1/2 by 25 1/2 inches, $3,200.

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