Antiques & Collecting: Krampus was suppressed, but making comeback
Krampus is a legendary German figure who visits children on December 6 to find bad children, catch them with his very long tongue, beat them with sticks and take them away to the underworld. Good children get gifts at Christmas from St. Nicholas.
This evil man was part of holiday lore for centuries, but this frightening idea was suppressed. The Catholic Church forbade the celebrations, and it was considered an evil political idea after World War II.
Antique figurines and drawings of Krampus are still found in searches for antiques, although rarely are recognized. But in the past 25 years, Krampus has reappeared in two new books of the old postcards picturing him, a comic book, a TV show, movies and an art exhibit for the “cool” crowd. In Europe on December 5, there have been celebrations with drunken men in devil costumes chasing people in the streets. But some are remembering Krampus in a friendlier way, by selling pieces of chocolate shaped like devils. This 33-inch tall Krampus figure with golden horns was made in Germany. He is covered in black fur and holds a chain and basket full of naughty children. It sold at a Bertoia auction for $1,560.
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Q: What is an old carbide lamp worth? It was used by my grandfather in the Allegany County, Maryland, mines in about 1936. Imprinted on the sides is “Justrite, made in USA, Patent, May 7, 1913, pending.” The bottom is imprinted “Patented December 30, 19 … (the rest is unreadable).
A: The first patent for a carbide lamp was issued in 1900. They were used by miners and other workers until the 1930s, when battery-operated lamps became common. A carbide lamp has two chambers, one above the other. Water in the upper chamber drips down onto calcium carbide in the lower chamber, producing acetylene gas, which is fed to the wick. The flame is controlled by controlling the drip. Justrite Manufacturing Co. made miners’ lamps and safety cans for storing kerosene in the early 1900s. The company was founded in Chicago in 1906 and is still in business, now making safety cabinets, specialty containers, fire-prevention safety equipment, and other products. Carbide lamps were made from about 1911 to the 1930s. Vintage examples sell for about $60.
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Q: I have a Campbell’s Kid girl doll dressed as a chef in a pink dress with a white apron and hat. She is six inches tall and still in the unopened Campbell’s soup can with a see-through side. How much is she worth today?
A: The Campbell Soup Co. was founded by Joseph A. Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer, in Camden, New Jersey, in 1869. Illustrator Grace Drayton created the chubby-faced Campbell’s Kids in 1904. The first dolls were made in 1910, by the E.I Horsman Co. The composition dolls were sold by mail order through Montgomery Ward and Sears as well as in local stores. In 1928, the licensing rights went to the American Character Doll Co. The dolls were dressed in chef’s clothing like in the advertisements. The Kids weren’t used in advertising much from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s. But they were brought back in 1954 to celebrate their 50th birthday, and new dolls were made. Your doll is from the 1998 “Junior Series,” a commemorative set of four dolls, each packaged individually in a tin can with a removable sticker, so the can could be used as a bank. Asking prices online are up to $25 for one in original packaging, but without the can they sell for about $5 to $8.
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Q: I have what I believe to be an antique large rimmed soup bowl with a blue transferware decal. I’m trying to find the maker by the mark, but all I have is the name “Shannon.” Can you help me?
A: Shannon is a pattern made by one of the potteries in Staffordshire, England. There have been many potteries working in the six towns in the district, and thousands of pieces of pottery and porcelain have been made since the 1700s. Unfortunately, there is no maker’s mark on your bowl that would tell which pottery made it. Pieces sell online just listed as “Shannon” or “Shannon Pottery.” A soup bowl sells for about $30.
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Q: I have a Coca-Cola collection I don’t want to store; it includes a lot of fairly new Christmas ornaments. Also, I have bottles and other random stuff I’d like to sell. I would like to sell it all in one lot. I’m sure there are places around my home, but I’m not sure how to find one that would take the whole lot. Can you help?
A: It won’t be easy, perhaps impossible, to find someone to take everything. Dealers will buy big collections, but want collectible vintage items, especially old, large signs and tin trays. The Coca-Cola Collectors Club (www.cocacolacollectors.club) has a national convention every year. Check out its website for information about the convention, local chapters and events. Consider giving it all to a charity. Prices for Coca-Cola collectibles are much lower today than 10 years ago.
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Tip: To remove coffee stains, try wiping the cup with a damp cloth and baking soda.
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Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.
Decanter, green cut glass, split concave leaf design, pattern cut stopper, Japan, 11 inches, $25.
Art deco figurine, woman holding crystal, silvered cast metal, signed, Max Le Verrier, 1900s, 10 3/4 inches, $235.
Fauteuil chair, mahogany, upholstered, lion’s-head arms, turned stretchers, hairy paw feet, $250.
Vase, pottery, green, gray, stretched surface, lacquer lid, marked Makoto Yabe, 1980, 10 inches, $310.
Tall case clock, cherry, brass, tombstone arch door, 8-day, 1810, 83 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches, $350.
Kerosene lamp, junior, banquet, yellow glass, ball shape, metal foot, Argand, applied jewels, 1750, 18 x 4 inches, $410.
Inkstand, bronze, parrots, penholder, letter opener, painted, onyx base, Italy, 1900, 9 x 18 x 18 inches, $440.
Pewter vase, mermaid and waterspout, scalloped rim, signed J. Garnier, 1890, 15 x 7 x 6 inches, $500.
Napkin ring, silver plate, figural giraffe, palm tree, Rockford Silver Plate Co., 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches, $615.
Muller Freres cameo glass vase, night scene, red owl, trees, earthy background, 8 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches, $7,380.
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