Legend says the two-part bridal cup was created in the 1700s to win a bride. A nobleman in Germany was upset when his daughter refused her rich suitors because she wanted to marry a goldsmith. Her father imprisoned the goldsmith and his daughter became ill because she was denied her true love. The nobleman thought he could trick the daughter by agreeing to the marriage if the goldsmith could do an impossible task - make a cup that two people can drink from at the same time without spilling a drop. But the clever and talented goldsmith made a silver figure of the girl. Her skirt was hollow so it could be used as a cup. Her raised arms held a small swinging cup. Both of the lovers could drink from the cups at the same time.
Today, the wedding cup symbolizes love, faithfulness and good luck for the bridal couple that drinks from it. An antique German cup marked with a British import mark for 1908 was sold by New Orleans Auctions in 2015 for $522. To get a cup for a bride to use today, check antique sales and shops. A number are sold each year and there are even new ones available.
Q: I have a Worley Water Waver. It’s a device for curling or waving ladies’ hair that was invented by my Grandad in 1926. I also have the original patent that was issued to him in 1927. Hair could be curled in a“Marcel” wave, a popular style of the day, by pressing it against the wavy surface of the steel chamber that held hot water. It was a forerunner of the modern curling iron. But not many were made because the financial backers of the project went under with the stock market crash. After the crash, my Grandfather moved from the northeast to Florida-and with a supply of the wavers, which he sold as he traveled down the highways. The cords were removed because they were sold to women on farms where electricity wasn’t very common, but putting hot water in the chamber still curled the hair! I’m curious to know if it has any value other than sentimental.
A: There aren’t many Worley Water Wavers around, but there was one listed in an online shop for $75. There is a similar device, called the West Electric Water Waver, also from the 1920s that could be used to curl or wave hair, which sold for about $25. Your waver may be worth a bit more than $75 because you have the original box and patent document. A local history museum or a collector who specializes in kitchen or cosmetic appliances might be interested in your waver, as well as your grandfather’s story.
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Q: I have a felt doll with a painted face and mohair wig. She’s wearing a Spanish dancer’s costume and is about 12 inches tall. She has a gold tag that reads“Klumpe, Patentado, Barcelona.” What is the doll worth?
A: Klumpe is one of several companies in Barcelona that made molded felt dolls dressed in Spanish costumes for the tourist trade in Spain from 1952 until the 1970s. The felt is molded over wire, making the dolls posable. Effanbee and other companies imported the dolls into the U. S. Dolls made before the mid-1960s are of better quality that those made later. Dolls with accessories sell for more than those without. Klumpe and Roldan are two makers collectors look for. The dolls are not very popular with collectors. They sell for about $10-$20.
Q: I’ve been collecting old books and magazines for many years. Some are“The New Peerless World Atlas” from 1918,“Frye’s Complete Geography” from 1898, old“Look,”“Life,” and other magazines. Are they more valuable intact, or should I remove the maps from the atlases and the covers and ads from the magazines and sell them individually?
A: Old books don’t sell well unless they are first editions or are rare and there isn’t much interest in old magazines. Keep them intact and take them to a used book store to see what you can get for them. They may not be interested in the magazines, but will give you a price for the books. Expect to get half the price they will sell them for. You might be able to sell interesting ads that are framed, but check online to see what kind are selling.
Q: We have a cameo glass vase signed La Rochere and would like to know something about the maker.
A: La Rochere is a French company that has been in business since 1475, when Simon de Thysac was granted permission to build a glassworks at“Les Rochiers,” in the Franche-Comte region in eastern France. La Rochere is the oldest glassworks in Europe. It became Cristallerie de La Rochere in 1960. The company makes both mouth-blown and machine-made glass and is a popular tourist destination today. Cameo glass was made in the 1950s.
Write to Terry Kovel at King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. For more information: www.kovels.com.