Antiques & Collecting: Disabled artist cuts silhouettes by mouth
A recent catalog gave a description of a silhouette as “cut by mouth.” Martha Ann Honeywell (1786-1856) was a disabled artist who cut silhouettes and did needlework without using her hands. She was born without hands or forearms and was also missing two toes. She could cut and paste, thread a needle, embroider and write using her mouth, toes and the upper part of her arms.
Honeywell performed around the United States and in Europe for almost 60 years. She charged 25 cents for a silhouette which she “cut” out of black paper, pasted onto a white background, and signed in ink. Two needlework pieces, one inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in ink, framed together with a silhouette, sold at auction for $1,560 last year. A silhouette of a woman in a bonnet signed by Honeywell was estimated at $400 to $800 in another sale, but it did not sell.
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Q: I’d like some information about a Kundo 400-day anniversary clock. It’s brass and has a key wind mechanism. What is it worth?
A: Several companies made anniversary clocks in the 1950s and ’60s. They were the first clocks that didn’t have to be wound every day, but only once a year or about every 400 days. They were often given as gifts and wound each year on a couple’s wedding anniversary, a birthday or the anniversary of another significant event. Several models of Kundo clocks were made by Kieninger & Obergfell, a company in western Germany. They sell for less than $100, some as little as $15.
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Q: I see a lot of Bing and Grondahl Christmas plates in thrift stores. The prices don’t seem very high, which surprises me. I have a 1962 Bing and Grondahl plate with moonlit, snow-covered rocks. Is it worth anything?
A: Bing & Grondahl is a Danish pottery company formed in 1853 by Frederik Vilhelm Grondahl and brothers Meyer Herman and Jacob Herman Bing. It is known for high-quality porcelain and stoneware, tableware and decorative items. The company was acquired in 1987 by Royal Copenhagen. The first blue and white porcelain Christmas plate was made by Bing & Grondahl in 1895 and one is still produced each year. Each annual plate has the year and a Christmas scene. Most are not worth a lot of money on resale. A Bing and Grondahl 1962 Christmas plate is worth about $20. Early plates from the 1890s sell for up to $1,000.
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Q: I heard on TV that Wonder Bread is celebrating 100 years in business in 2021. I have a promotional piece advertising Wonder Bread that my mother got when she bought a loaf at our general store in 1936. The paper is folded into a 5 1/2-inch by 3 3/4-inch rectangle. It reads, “Here is the famous 1-2-3 test” and the word “See” above big eyes, “Feel” above fingers touching the bread, and “Taste” above an open mouth and a piece of bread. The eyes and fingers open out to reveal the ad in the main section that says “Compare Slo-Baked Wonder Bread with all other brands.” Is this a collectible item? What is it worth?
A: Wonder Bread was introduced by the Taggart Baking Company of Indianapolis in 1921. The term “Slo-Baked” was first used in 1925 after Taggart was sold to the Continental Baking Company. In 1930, Wonder Bread became one of the first sliced breads sold throughout the United States. People thought sliced bread would dry out too fast, so the company ran several ads promoting its freshness. Wonder Bread is now a brand owned by Flowers Foods. Advertising items are collectible, but paper items don’t sell for a lot of money. Some sell online for less than $5 or $10.
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Q: I have a Limoges plate painted by Nevada Wilson. It’s an art deco style picture of a woman with a scarf on her head and acorns around the edge of the plate with gold leaf. I’d like to sell it but have no idea what it’s worth. Can you help me?
A: Nevada Wilson (1877-1961) was known for her paintings of landscapes, flowers, animals and portraits. She lived and worked in Nevada and California. She opened an art studio in Reno, Nevada, in 1908 and taught art in local schools. Wilson moved to Los Angeles in 1916. Some of her oil-on-canvas paintings sell for several hundred dollars. Her work has also appeared on postcards. Your plate, painted by Nevada Wilson, is worth about $25.
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TIP: Check your credit-card statements carefully to be sure there are not charges you don’t remember. A dollar charge may be a test by a thief checking to see if you are careful and will notice missing money.
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Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer readers’ questions sent to the column. Send a letter with one question describing the size, material (glass, pottery) and what you know about the item. Include only two pictures, the object and a closeup of any marks or damage. Be sure your name and return address are included. By sending a question, you give full permission for use in any Kovel product. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We do not guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. Questions that are answered will appear in Kovels Publications. Write to Kovels, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email us at email@example.com.
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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.
Halloween, costume, witch, black fabric, laced bodice, skirt, cape and pointy hat with embroidered black cat decoration, c. 1940, adult size, skirt 40-inch waist, $95.
Dinnerware set, midcentury modern, turquoise center with turquoise and pink stylized flowers and black stems, white ground, dinner and salad plates, bowls, cups and saucers, Impromptu, Iroquois, Ben Seibel, dinner plate 10 inches, 30 pieces, $125.
Jewelry, ring, oval lapis stone, bezel set in raised oval disc, sterling silver mount, marked inside band “Georg Jensen, Denmark, 925,” stone 5/8 inches, ring size 6, $250.
Perfume bottle, Passion by Elizabeth Taylor, amethyst glass, art deco style, stepped fan body with center gilt diamond, gilt corded neck, flared fan stopper, factice (store display), 12 1/2 inches, $375.
Clothing, belt, black patent leather, trompe l’oeil chain buckle, stamped “Chanel Made in France,” 1990s, box, 34 1/2 inches, $490.
Toy, wagon, pine, brown wash outside, yellow pinstripe panel and scrollwork, gray wash inside, cast iron spoked wheels and axles painted red, Victorian, c. 1890, 7 x 16 x 10 inches, $560.
Alabaster urn, Neoclassical style, lobed bowl, extended handles with grotesque masks, pedestal base with beaded, leafy and egg and dart details, 15 x 17 inches, $985.