Q: I am quite stressed. I gave a Fenton hobnail basket in amber to a friend and have since been told by a neighbor that it is quite rare and valuable. It was about 12 inches in size and had a ruffled edge. — Susan, Elizabeth, New Jersey
A: Chill out. I found your piece in “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price List” by Terry and the late Ralph Kovel. According to the Kovels, your Fenton basket is worth about $4. Yes, that is not a misprint: $4.
Q: At a recent yard sale, I purchased several older perfume bottles. I don’t collect perfume bottles, but was attracted their unique designs. Since at least three are Art Deco, I believe my bottles probably are from the 1930s and ’40s. How can I find out more about them? — EmmaLou, Flagstaff, Arizona
A: One of the better organizations that you might find helpful is The International Perfume Bottle Association, www.perfumebottles.org. I also like “The Wonderful World of Collecting Perfume Bottles: Identification & Value Guide” by Jane Flanagan (Collector Books). Even though this reference was first published in 2006, it remains my go-to book for answers in this field of collecting.
Q: I purchased a drinking cup showing the Cascade Fountains, an attraction of the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. It is black and white with gold trim. I paid $75 for it. — Steve, Cheyenne, Wyoming
A: You paid just about what it is worth. I found your cup referenced in “1904 St. Louis World’s Fair: Mementos and Memorabilia” by the late Robert L. Hendershott, who listed the tumbler’s value in the $50 to $100 range.
Q: I have three baseballs, all signed by major-league players from the 1940s and ’50s. I would like to have them appraised. — Steve, Alexander City, Alabama
A: Robert Edward Auctions, LLC, specializes in all areas of baseball collecting, including autographs, uniforms, World Series items and, yes, signed baseballs. I contacted the business, and it will provide you with a free appraisal of your baseballs.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail received, he cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
By Larry Cox
(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.