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THE KOVELS | Antiques and collecting For fans of all kinds of windup toys, tin is in



Published: Sun, September 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Toys are favorites of children and adults.

The tin windup toys of Louis Marx & amp; Co. are especially popular because many collectors remember the toys from their childhood, and the toys are available in good condition.

Louis Marx and his brother founded the toy company in New York City in 1919. They soon made toys in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and had plants in other states.

Marx stopped manufacturing in the 1950s, but the company continued to sell toys made in other countries.

Automotive toys are among the most popular types collected today.

Marx made a number of toy comic autos with erratic motion and comic drivers. These toys are all worth hundreds of dollars.

Q. At a local house sale, we bought a round table with a tripod pedestal base. The style looks like Chippendale, but the table was painted white with gold highlights. We believe someone was trying to make it look French Provincial. The table's top can be tilted 90 degrees on a hinge. We stripped the table and stained it maple. There is a label on the bottom that reads & quot;Zangerle Tables, Chicago. & quot;

A. Your table was manufactured between 1910 and 1950 by Zangerle & amp; Peterson Co. of Chicago. The firm was founded in 1892, when Joseph Zangerle (1847-1910) and George Peterson (1852-1933) bought the Northwestern Parlor Suit Manufacturing Co. on North Clybourn Ave. Zangerle & amp; Peterson made frames for upholstered furniture. Sometime after 1910, Zangerle's son, A. Arthur (1882-1959), became president of the company. The company added tables, desks and other furniture to its production lines. Your table is a reproduction of a Chippendale tilt-top tea table. The top tilts so that after tea, the table could be stored against a wall.

Q. My mother gave me a complete set of pink-and-gold dishes that she purchased in the late 1950s. The set includes eight six-piece place settings, plus a coffeepot, teapot, sugar, creamer, three platters and two serving bowls. They were made by & quot;Sascha Brastoff of California. & quot; The pattern is called Surf Ballet.

A. Sascha Brastoff dishes and decorative accessories are sought after by today's collectors. Brastoff (1918-1993) studied art in Cleveland, his hometown, and New York City. After serving in the Army during World War II, he started his own ceramics business in West Los Angeles in late 1947. For more than 25 years, Sascha Brastoff Products Inc. manufactured Brastoff's designs, producing pottery and porcelain, enamels on copper, and plastics. Surf Ballet was a popular Brastoff dinnerware pattern introduced in the late 1940s. The dishes were made of pottery dipped in real gold and platinum. The pattern was produced in several colors, including pink, yellow, blue, green and coral. For decades, Surf Ballet dishes were produced in large numbers. But a complete set's value is high -- well over $1,000.

Q. Your column about old typewriters prompted me to dig out my mother's old typewriter. The machine is small, with a base that measures 12 by 7 1/2 inches. It has a pointer in front that moves across a semicircular display of letters. To print the selected letter, a small lever on the left side is pressed. A label below the letter display is marked & quot;American Typewriter Co., 265 Broadway, New York, Patented. & quot;

A. Your early typewriter was patented in 1893 by L.P. Valiquet of New York City. It is called an & quot;index machine. & quot; An index machine has no keyboard. Instead, it has a pointer that's moved to select a letter, or it has a wheel that rotates to a printing point. Index machines were much less expensive than keyboard typewriters. They sold mostly to small offices and businesses, and to some households. At first, American Typewriter Co. index machines were manufactured at the Williams Typewriter Co. of Derby, Conn. Later, American manufactured the model at its own plant in Bridgeport, Conn. The first models sold for $10. By 1912, the Sears, Roebuck catalog was advertising the machine for $4.98. Today it is considered a toy by many typewriter collectors. Still, it would sell for about $100.

Q. A few years ago, my sister found an old bottle in the woods behind her house. We have been trying to identify it. The 12-ounce bottle is green with the word & quot;Veep & quot; on the front in large, white, capital letters. Also written on the bottle is the phrase, & quot;Product of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. N.Y. Inc. & quot; No one at our local Coca-Cola bottling company could help us. Can you?

A. Your sister's bottle did not contain Coca-Cola. It held a lemon-flavored carbonated soda called Veep. Beginning in the 1920s, companies across the country that bottled Coca-Cola also bottled -- and later canned -- fruit-flavored drinks with brand names unfamiliar to us today.

Tip

Don't wrap jewelry in a tissue. You might accidentally throw it away. Terry Kovel's aunt once threw a tissue-wrapped diamond ring out the car window.

XThe Kovels answer as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for its use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names and addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, The Vindicator, King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019.

& copy; 2002 Cowles Syndicate Inc.




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