Question: My photo shows a set of wood bookends my father-in-law brought from England after World War II. My husband thinks the animals' horns might be ivory. Information and value are appreciated. - K.B., Millville
Answer: Your Art Deco-style bookends, decorated with antelopes poised to leap, typify handmade items created in South Africa during the 1920s and 1930s. Produced for export and the tourist market, such pieces often feature various African antelopes including impalas and gazelles.
The bookend stands may be African walnut wood, while the stylized antelope carvings appear to be made from a darker wood, possibly African blackwood. Although ornamental horns found on such pieces usually are animal bone, you can test yours by following eBay's ivory test instructions at reviews.ebay.com. Type "Real Ivory vs. Bone or Resin" in the search box, then click on the purple title.
Art Deco devotees and bookend collectors presently pay $20 to $45 for a set such as yours.
Question: I am attaching a list of 164 old tin lithographed toys I recently inherited and want to sell. Please tell be about them, their values and a way I might be able to sell them other than online. - B.N., Mays Landing
Answer: Although I cannot cover all the tin-litho toys listed, I will discuss six made from the 1920s to the 1960s by important American toy makers Ohio Art, the Wolverine Supply and Mfg. Co. and J. Chein & Co.
A complete six-piece 1920s Ohio Art "ABC Kitten" child's tea set featuring lithographed kittens at play with matching alphabet-bordered tray recently sold for $160 while the company's 1938, 8-inch diameter Donald Duck pressed-tin beach sand sifter is valued at $120 to $140. Chein's mechanical, six-car Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Ferris Wheel, produced from the 1930s until the 1960s, sold for $300 last year and its mint "Clown Head Mechanical Bank" circa 1931 through the mid-1940s, is bringing $60 to $70.
Wolverine's 13-inch high, wind-up "Drum Major" touted from the 1930s through the 1950s as a toy that played "stirring rhythms" sells for $225. The company's unique No. 48 "Zilitone" mechanical xylophone with a player that taps out five tunes supplied on small metal discs is among Wolverine's most desirable collectibles. Made from the 1920s to 1931, it fetches $425 to $600, based on paint and playing condition.
Bertoia Auctions, a well-known, highly respected auction house near your home may be an ideal place to sell your tin-litho toys. Located in Vineland, the company has been selling important collections of toys, trains, holiday pieces, Americana, advertising and other popular items to and for dealers and collectors around the world since 1986. For information, call 856-692-1881 or visit bertoiaauctions.com
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist whose consulting firm, Treasures Unlimited, is based in southern New Jersey. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email: email@example.com
Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.