Dear John: This rocker has been in my family for about 100 years. I have never found another one like it. Would you have any information about its story and value? — Y.F., internet
Dear Y.F.: The rocker you have is a 20th century version, likely made in Asia, of American rockers of the late Victorian era. This means your rocker is not in the 20th century modern era style which also means there is no collector interest. Potential dollar value is below $100.
Dear John: The little pig in the photo is a hollowed out pecan shell with carved wooden legs, nose, ears and tail. The eyes are also separate pieces. The ears, nose, tail and eyes extend into the body so that when you catch a housefly and stun it, you can remove the nose and insert the fly. Replace the nose and when the fly awakens it moves around making the ears, tail and eyes wiggle. This was handmade in the 1940s. No batteries needed. I wonder if there is any collector interest. — F.I., internet
Dear F.I.: Wow, what a cool Folk Art item. I wish the photograph was better. You have triggered a pleasant Remember When moment for me. As a youngster in Michigan, I remember spending time after my chores were done catching flies placing them in my little pig and watching the results. The only difference being my pig had loose legs and would move around the table as the fly buzzed about the interior.
I had one, you have one, perhaps others may have them, but likely not in numbers large enough to create a collecting interest. The potential dollar value is in the catch-as-catch-can range, nowhere near the sentimental and fun value.
Dear John: My wife and I are interested in collecting advertising memorabilia. We enjoy the artwork that is found in these old signs used to illustrate many of the products we used as children. We already have purchased several from different dealers in our treasure hunting around the country. There seems to be a lot of the old signs that have been copied and sold as vintage when they are not really old. Do you know of a good resource where we could find original signs from a reputable dealer or auction company? It would be nice to buy with confidence. — T.R., internet
Dear T.R.: Yes, collecting original antique advertising signs can create lots of memories. Popularity of the category has brought a flood of reproductions and fakes into the marketplace, making it difficult for collectors.
A good resource to buy from is William Morford Investment Grade Collectibles. They offer a guarantee of authenticity and do not sell reproductions. The website is www.morfauction.com. Enjoy the hunt.
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.