Dear John: The photo is of two of dozens found at a 1950s logging camp in Alcona County, Mich. Some have a name scratched on them. They are near-perfect 2 3/4 inch cubes. The stones are likely from nearby Grindstone City; they are not granite.
Locals are puzzled and the Lumberman’s Monument curators have not been able to identify them or their use. I am hoping you have better luck than us. You have helped me before a couple of times. Thanks. — J.G., internet
Dear J.G.: All I can say is I have never seen such an item. My guess is they were used as spacers for some purpose. Perhaps our readers will have something to say about them.
Dear John: I inherited an old cookbook from my mother. The title is “Ida Bailey Allen’s Modern Cook Book,” formerly published as “Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus Service,” copyright 1924, 1935, by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. The binding on the outside is torn, but all in all, the book is in good condition. Can you tell me if it is of any value? — D.M., internet
Dear D.M.: Cookbooks are a specific category of collector interest. In the last few years collector interest has considerably increased, resulting partly from several price guides published dealing exclusively with cookbooks. The most desirable are those published during the 19th century. Cookbooks published during the first three decades of the 20th century are still quite affordable, selling generally from $10 to $50.
I found several listings for cookbooks by Ida Bailey Allen. One listed almost made me salivate; it is titled “Luscious Luncheons and Tasty Teas.” Your cookbook in as-is condition has a potential dollar value of $15 to $25.
Dear John: I have a pair of vases from my aunt. They are hand painted and 12 inches tall and 7 inches wide at the center. They each stand on three legs. They have gold lions on each side. They are marked Royal Bonn, made in Germany by Franz Ant. Moblem. There is a boy on one vase and a girl on the other playing in a garden semi-hiding behind a tree.
They are both in excellent condition. The Royal Bonn mark is clearly marked on each piece. I know my aunt thought quite highly of them. Any help you can give me on their history and value would be appreciated. — R.B., internet
Dear R.B.: Royal Bonn has been a specific category of collector interest for over 20 years. They produced a huge variety of decorative porcelain and pottery during the 19th and 20th centuries. In order to help you further, I need good clear photographs of the vases and especially of the Royal Bonn backstamp.
Dear John: Could you please help me out? This camera was found in a friend’s house. On the front it reads “Garflex Speed Graphics.” It has five plates that go with it, as you can see in one of the photos. It is in very good shape; also, is there anyone in the Citrus County area who would be interested in it? — D.L., internet
Dear D.L.: There is considerable interest in the large box cameras that were produced in the late 19th to early 20th century. The one you have would likely sell in the $250 to $500 range. I am not aware of any collectors, etc., in the Citrus County area. I suggest you place an ad in the Citrus County Chronicle. Good luck.
John Sikorski has been a professional in the antiques business for 30 years. He hosts a call-in radio show, Sikorski’s Attic, on WJUF (90.1 FM) Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. Send questions to Sikorski’s Attic, P.O. Box 2513, Ocala, FL 34478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.