Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vintage Advertising Posters Do Sweet Business

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vintage Advertising Posters Do Sweet Business

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry and Kim Kovel King Features Syndicate

How can you tell if a paper poster is old or new? Many have been reproduced, so sometimes a magnifying glass helps. Reprinted posters usually have small dots visible when examined with a magnifying glass. Sometimes the original is a photograph, so the copy is harder to spot. Look for extra words at the bottom. Original Currier and Ives prints have a title and perhaps a reference to the Library of Congress. Reprints from calendars have added titles mentioning the company. The calendar was not meant to deceive, but when the pictures are sold separately and framed under glass, it is easy to be fooled.

Buy posters from a source you trust. We started buying advertising art in the 1960s and one of our first buys was from the man who started "Desperate Enterprises," the company that later made millions of reproduction metal signs and paper posters used to decorate restaurants or family rooms. He sold us the famous "Satin Skin Powder" poster, which pictured a woman with a fan and packages of skin cream, for about $30. A few days later, he called and gave us a partial refund. He found a stack of mintcondition signs - hundreds of them - and cut the price.

Today, there still are many original signs, as well as copies in many sizes. This sign originally was made for the Alfred F. Wood Perfume Manufacturing Co. of Detroit. It started in 1883 and lasted until about 1910, producing many different cosmetics and perfumes. The creams were advertised in newspapers as a cure for "cuts, burns, bruises, scratches and chaps." Samples were available, too.

The original Satin Skin Cream sign is a chromolithograph and is 40 1/2 by 26 1/2 inches in size. Reproductions are smaller. An original should cost $250 to $450, while a large mounted and framed reproduction sells for about $100 to $200.

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Questions from readers ...

Question: My father has a group of very old telephones and even a 1910 operator's headset in very good condition. He wants to sell them, but is at a loss as to what they are worth. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Old telephones sell at auctions and at antiques shows and shops. Prices vary depending on the age and style of the phone. Old rotary phone sell for $42$135. Old wallmounted crank phones sold for $75 to $120. Most will not work on a new phone line.

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Question: I have a dark purple Fenton glass candy dish with fluted or crimped sides. I was told it's "Wistaria" pattern and that Fenton intentionally spelled the word "wisteria" incorrectly. Do you know why?

Answer: There are two different Fenton patterns: "Wistaria" and "Wisteria." However, your candy dish is Wisteria pattern. Wisteria is a stretch glass pattern made from 1921 to 1928. On the other hand, Wistaria is frosted glass with an acidetched design, and it was made from 1937 to 1938. …

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