Salt-and-pepper shakers popular collectibles

Hummingbirds require a great deal of energy to maintain a wing beat of 20 to 200 beats per second. Well-prepared sugar water placed in a clean feeder will likely attract birds.

Question: Years ago, a neighbor who decided to sell her salt-and-pepper shaker collection gave me two ceramic sets I admired. One is a pair of 4 1/2 -inch high Bob's Big Boy figures marked "Japan" and the other is a small lustre condiment set featuring a golfer figure surrounded by golf-ball shape salt-and-pepper shakers and mustard pot. The set is on a triangular green base marked with a crown over "Crown Devon" and "Fielding Made In England." Information about the sets is appreciated. - T.P., Linwood

Answer: Opened in 1936 by Californian Bob Wian, Bob's Pantry diner soon became Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain, famed for its double-decker cheeseburger. During the eatery's first year, Bob had a frequent visitor, a six-year-old boy he called "Big Boy," the name eventually chosen for his popular sandwich. Shortly thereafter, a movie studio animator used the child as his model for the chubby figure clad in checkered overalls that became Wian's company trademark icon.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, salt-and-pepper sets were among numerous Big Boy advertising pieces made and sold nationwide which included dolls, banks, matchbooks, cigarette lighters, lamps, books and comic books. Recent high prices paid for Big Boy items include $6,000 for a large outdoor figure and $800 for a bound 13-volume book of Big Boy comics. Your set will attract folks who collect salt-and-pepper shakers as well as advertising and Big Boy memorabilia. Such sets bring $20 to $45, with top prices paid for examples complete with original stoppers and without chips, cracks, crazing and paint loss.

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Your 1930s Crown Devon Lusterine figural set bears a mark used by S. Fielding & Co. from 1913 through the 1930s. Founded in 1878 by Simon Fielding, the English Stoke-on-Trent pottery was a leading producer of quality ceramic ware until it closed in 1982. Noted for its majolica and lustre items, the company also made a well-received group of "Royal" and other lines exported worldwide.

An uncommon item that will appeal to serious salt-and-pepper shaker collectors, Crown Devon enthusiasts and golfers, your set is valued at $125 to $150 when complete and mint.

Question: Attached is a list of Candlewick glass items my late wife collected over the years. I hope you can tell me what they are worth. - A.M., Vorhees

Answer: Candlewick crystal glassware, made by Imperial Glass Corp. of Bellaire, Ohio from 1936 to 1982, was the company's most popular pattern. The ware's name and beaded decoration are based on early candlewick needlework. Highly collectible during the 1980s and 1990s, Candlewick's glow faded for awhile but sales during the past several years indicate renewed interest. Although space constraints will not permit me to provide values of the many items you listed, following are some price ranges based on recent sales.

Punch bowl set, 15pcs. $100 to $200

• Lazy Susan, 2 pcs. $100 to $150

• Chip & Dip, 2 pcs. $100 to $150

• Large pitcher $130 to $150

• Deviled egg plate, $40 to $70

• Fan Vase, $40 to $55

• Mayonnaise set, 3 pcs. $20 to $25

• Round divided dish, $15 to $18

• Candle holders, pair $10 to $15.

Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email:

Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.

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