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Antiques & Collecting

Many of us have used an antique egg cup to hold a boiled breakfast egg, but few have ever seen an egg cup frame with six egg cups and spoons made of sterling silver over 200 years ago. New Orleans Auctions had many unusual serving pieces in an auction, and the rare 7-inch-high by 8-inch-wide egg cup frame brought $1,625. It was made in London about 1808 to 1811 according to the hallmark. The silversmiths were Robert & Samuel Hennell. The hexagonal frame has six legs with lion’s paw feet, a canopy with a shell and scroll finial, and receptacles for the six egg cups and spoons. A frame was used for large breakfasts as a centerpiece and usually held soft boiled eggs. A breakfast menu usually included eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom toast, grilled tomatoes, baked beans and tea or coffee.

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Q. I’m interested in selling a collection of over 200 Vera Neumann scarves. They were made throughout her career, no two are alike, and they’re in very good condition. I’d like to sell them in groups or as a whole collection, not individually. How can I find interested buyers?

A. Vera Salaff Neumann (1907-1993) was known for her silk scarves with her signature, “Vera,” on them. She was a fashion illustrator, textile designer and muralist. She and her husband, George, founded Printex in 1946. She designed placemats and other linens. The first silk scarves were made in 1947 after the company bought a supply of army surplus parachute silk. Designs were screen printed, based on Vera’s watercolor paintings. She held the copyright for 8,000 designs. George died in 1962 and Vera sold the business to Manhattan Industries in 1967. She sold her company, Vera Licensing, in 1988. Target bought the rights to reproduce 17 vintage Vera scarves in 2013. Vera scarves are still popular. Check online shops to see what they are selling for. Shops that sell them will also buy them. Expect to get about half what the shop will sell them for. An auction gallery that sells clothing might buy the scarves, but 200 is too many to sell at one time.

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