Sweet memories of Whitman’s Chocolate

Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.

Q: This is a picture of the Whitman's Chocolate girl. It has been in my family for many years. My great-grandfather was the first Whitman's Chocolate salesman and this picture was given to my grand mother. Can you tell me anything about its value or interest? The origin of the painting and company was Jackson, Miss.

G.P., Internet

A: I suspect your letter about Whitman's Chocolate has triggered some memorable moments for many of our readers. The company has certainly withstood the test of time. Stephen F. Whitman, a young 19-year-old Quaker, started the company in Philadelphia in 1842. I was not able to find any mention of a specific Whitman Chocolate girl as an official logo, although the company has used both men and women in their advertisements over time. I think your advertisement would sell in the $25 to $50 range.

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Q: Enclosed are photographs of a large dinner set and serving pieces of what I think is Bavarian china. It was purchased by my brother while he was serving in the United States Army during World War II in Germany.

The set is large, consisting of service for12. On the bottom it has “Rosenthal” with a crown over “Selb- Germany” and “Pompadour.” Any information will be appreciated.

C.T., Summerfield

A: Rosenthal is a name widely recognized for quality china and porcelain figurines. Collector interest is mostly in the figurines and china designed in 20th century styles such as Art Deco or Modern ism.

Your china is in the Pompadour pattern, a Rococo style popular in the 1700s and produced by Rosenthal in the mid 20th century. Current potential dollar value and market interest is low. A bargain for the buyer, a pittance for the seller.

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Q: I am attaching photos of two items I am seeking to identify and determine their value. The vase is puzzling because of the short indentation in the top that does not seem too useful as a vase.

The wallet is old; it probably belonged to my grandfather around the end of the 19th century. It is fine leather with divided sections and what appears to be a place for business cards.

K.B., Internet

A: The decorated glass bud vase has no specific collector interest. The quality appears to be at the commercial level, probably marketed during the mid-20th century at a five-and-dime store. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.

The leather wallet would have to have been made by a recognized notable maker to be of specific interest in the vintage menswear market. The poor condition eliminates any casual interest or value other than sentimental.

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Q: I have an invitation to attend and participate in the inauguration of Richard Milhous Nixon on the twentieth of January 1973. Does this have any value?

S.W.P., O'Brien

A: In the category of presidential memorabilia, your invitation to attend Nixon's inauguration is low on the totem pole of collector interest. Potential dollar value is below $50.

John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, ‘'Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608, or e-mail absantique@aol.

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