ANTIQUES

‘Silent Woman' a reproduction of old tavern sign


Small iron plaques are 20th century novelty items.

Courtesy of John Sikorski
Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.

Q: We bought these at a thrift store the other day; they are scanned at actual size. We have a friend, antique dealer extraordinaire. He looked at them and is unsure what they are. We would like to know what you think they are.

— M & D., Internet

A: You have two small iron plaques. One depicts a clothed woman without a head, with the words “silent woman” above the figure, the date “1761” at the top, and at the bottom, “entertainment.” There is considerable information available on the Internet about the Silent Woman. There was a tavern in Massachusetts in 1761 called the Silent Woman Tavern that used a wooden sign having the same depiction. There also was a restaurant in Waterville, Maine, named Silent Woman. It was in business from 1960 to 1980. I think you have a novelty item made in the 20th century reproducing the old tavern sign.

The other iron plaque with “1786” and an eagle on it is of the same nature.

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Q: I am attaching photos of a few keepsakes in our family. First, are two matching vases. It is hard to read the stamp. On the bottom of both is “Austria” and a number, maybe “35” or “33.”

Next, are two prints my mother and I picked up in antique shops, because she had a similar print when she was small. One has “Forgive Me Dear” on the bottom.

I am hoping maybe you could give me the history and value.

— C.M., Internet

A: The two cute little porcelain matching vases were made in Austria. The flower decoration appears to be a transfer print. Depending on size, potential dollar value is $5 to $10 each.

The two storybook- theme prints depicting the sad event of two children and a broken doll whose head has come off is of no specific collector interest. Potential dollar value is catch-as-catch-can.

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Q: I purchased this clock at an estate sale for $10. Did I make a good purchase? The clock and alarm run good and keeps time. It has “Gabriel” on the front, and printed on the back is “Abertshaw Controls Co. Lux Time Division, Lebanon, Tenn. USA.” The photographs do not show the color on the back, as the light of the flash shows the top as dark. But it is really a nice even gold on the back and sides. The bells show its wear a little.

— J.E.D., Ocala

A: Paul Lux worked for more than 20 years at the Waterbury Clock Company. In 1912, he started the Lux Clock Company in Waterbury, Conn. They produced a wide variety of novelty clocks. One of the more memorable is the figural Shmoo alarm clock. Your clock, the Gabriel model, first appeared in the early 1970s. Lux clocks are a category of specific collector interest. The one you have is low on the totem pole of collector interest. At $10, you made a fair market buy. It is not likely you could get one for less. If you bought it to resell, the margin of profit will not be much.

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 The Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608-2015; or email absantique@aol.com.

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