Question: Among some of the used metal containers left in a kitchen cupboard of a house we bought some time ago was an empty tin potato chip can decorated with bright, glossy, colored photos of TV hero Hopalong Cassidy. The round container is 11½inches high, 7½ inches in diameter and its lid is marked “Bar 20 Bulletin” and “Kuehmann Foods, Inc.” We would appreciate information about Hopalong and would like to know if items associated with him are collected. — A.C., Pomona
Answer: Hopalong Cassidy was a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 by Clarence E. Mulford (1883-1956) who wrote popular short stories and 28 books based on the Hoppy character. Cassidy, who resided at his Bar-20 ranch, was given his Hopalong nickname after receiving a leg injury during one of his early gun battles.
Adapted to radio, film, TV and comic books, Mulford’s immensely popular cowboy, played by actor William Boyd, was one of the earliest TV western series heroes, appearing on NBC from 1949 to 1951 and again from 1951 to 1952.
The show’s popularity produced a wealth of licensed products, usually copyrighted by Boyd. Items include books, figure sets, roller skates, furniture, radios, watches, clocks, games, clothing, cap pistols, holsters, lamps, lunchboxes, dishes and glassware, art, bedding and even hair tonic. Many of these items are presently collected.
Your 1950 potato chip can and its original contents were made by Kuehmann Foods Co. Inc., of Toledo, Ohio, founded by German immigrant Carl. J. Kuehmann during the 1920s. The decorated sheet metal container, once filled with Kuehmann’s “Q-Man” potato chips, advertised Hopalong and his adventures.
Last year, a Hopalong Cassidy potato chip can like yours in very good to excellent condition sold for $100.
Question: A while ago, you answered a reader’s question about a table accessory called a sugar nip. Recently, I purchased a similar piece tagged “Sugar Nip Doll” at a charity auction. The sterling silver, 5-inch-long by 1¼-inch-wide “doll” has a square enameled head with painted blue eyes, rosy cheeks and red lips. Marked “C & C London 1890” its jointed arms and legs are activated to pick up a sugar cube by squeezing the arms together. Anything you can tell me about my sugar nip’s age, maker and value is appreciated. — L.L., Asbury Park
Answer: Before the advent of granulated sugar, sturdy sugar pincers with sharp blades were used daily to cut large pieces of sugar from hefty cones. By the time your early 1900s piece was made, dainty decorative metal sugar nips lifted small pieces of sugar and dropped them into teacups.
Your Edwardian-era novelty sugar nip’s mark indicates it was made by Carrington & Company, a London silversmith, goldsmith and jeweler founded in 1873. Highly respected by England’s Royal Family, the firm was issued Royal Warrants by Queen Victoria and other British Royals.
A Carrington & Company sterling, square-faced, Edwardian novelty sugar nip doll fetched $375 in 2018.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Living section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, NJ 08232. Email: treasuresby firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.