Question: Among some things I will be selling as administrator of my late father’s estate are items from his toy gun collection. I am particularly interested in knowing about a clear glass pistol or revolver that has a metal screw-on cap at the end of its barrel. It is about five inches long and marked with a V over a G. I would appreciate anything you can tell me about the toy. — N.W., Pleasantville
Answer: Popular and plentiful during the late 1800s, glass toys shaped like Liberty Bells and Independence Hall were introduced at the 1876 Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia.
By the early 1900s, well-known Pennsylvania glassmakers including Jeannette Glass Company, Westmoreland and Victory Glass Inc., creator of your gun, were mass-producing figural toys ranging from small animals and holiday designs to thousands of large Statue of Liberty models.
Many of the individually molded items were candy containers like your gun with its metal screw-on cap. Often filled with little round or heart-shape candies and sold at souvenir stands, railway stations, five-and-ten-cent stores or purchased through mail-order catalogs, the glass containers served as toys after the candy was gone.
Production of the toys waned until 1929 when it stopped. Revived in 1940, glass toys were replaced by plastic ones after the 1950s.
During 2019, several clear Victory Glass guns like yours sold for $15 to $26 each.
Question: I own five Eisenhower silver dollars given to me as change years ago by a seller I bought some merchandise from at a flea market. I recently found them in a drawer and would like information about them including present value. Two of the coins were issued in 1971, two in 1974 and one in 1977. All have been used but are in very good condition. — B.C., Ocean City
Answer: Your coins featuring a portrait of U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower are known as Eisenhower Commemorative Dollars. Also called “Ikes” they were the first large one-dollar coins produced by the U.S. Mint since the Peace Dollar series was discontinued in 1935.
The dollars are designed to commemorate the President whose portrait appears on the coin’s obverse (front) side. The reverse side of the coin, which shows an Apollo II insignia eagle landing on the moon, celebrates the 1969 Apollo moon landing.
The heavy coin, minted in a copper-nickel alloy instead of a usual 90% silver, 10% copper alloy, was designed by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, Frank Gasparro (1909-2001) a lifetime resident of Philadelphia.
Because most Ikes are not true silver dollars, they were and still are much more affordable than their 90% silver coin predecessors. Values most frequently listed for 1971, 1974 and 1977 Eisenhower Commemorative dollars are $1.25 each.
More detailed information about your coins may be available at Beachcomber Coins & Collectibles, 6692 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Twp., New Jersey 08234. The company has been buying and selling coins, currency, stamps, and sports cards as well as silver and gold coins and jewelry for almost 50 years.
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 email@example.com. Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.