Ask Antique Trader: Coffee grinder runs $200

Q I was wondering if you could help me I have a 1940s Holwick commercial coffee grinder that I would like to know more about.
Thank You.
— D.H., via e-mail.

A Your Holwick coffee grinder is a more modern version of a coffee grinding tool that was made since the early 1900s. Holwick was one of the first companies to produce electric versions of the household coffee grinder. Grinders have been popular collectibles since they first came out — they take little counter space, are mostly made of cast iron, as in the case of mills, or stamped  metal, such as yours. However, yours is a commercial grinder, which may have been part of an in-store display or service counter. It was  designed to grind pounds of coffee at a time. Yours dates to the 1930s-1940s and is probably worth about $200 based on condition — and the fact that the market for such a large unit would likely be small.

Q Can you give me an idea of an age and value of this piece? It is crazed with no chips or cracks. Thanks.
— M.V., via e-mail.

A You have a nice cookie jar made by Shawnee Pottery. Based in Zanesville, Ohio, Shawnee Pottery started producing whimsical wares in 1937.  The company produced numerous designs and several quality books have been produced in the last decade that do a great job listing the variations. This piece is marked “Puss N Boots” on the bottom and is one of the more common versions of this model, which was produced in numerous variations. It is worth $100 to $150, depending on the market.

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Mystery item is a ball weeder:

This is my favorite gardening tool, perfect for getting dandelions out of the lawn!
Linda Vogue
Via e-mail

The strange device pictured in the Antique Trader of Jan. 13 is indeed a weed digger. I’ve had one for years that was handed down to me, but only used it once on weeds and found other methods easier to use.
Howard Chatt
Via e-mail

I too believe it is for digging out weeds …
It’s called a Ball Weeder … here’s a link to a new, more updated version:,-fulcrum,-ball,-dandelion,/Detail
All The Best In The New Year.
Fine Estate Sales
Via the Antique Trader blog

My first impression was that the tool was a kitchen squeezer, but later I saw the fork on one side. Could it be both?
Carpinteria Lagunas
Via the Antique Trader blog

I have an item that looks like the one pictured in your Jan 13 issue. It’s 10 inches long, with remains of red coloring, and has a metal band on the fork side next to the ball.  On this metal band there is an oval with an S, with a double line over the middle of the S.  Under the oval it says “Made in USA,” with a “II” under the USA. 
I had no idea what it was when I purchased it at a garage sale, but thought it looked interesting. Because most of the paint is worn off the fork side of the ball, I thought it might be a nail puller. 
Please let me know if you come up with the answer.
Jan Arneson
Via e-mail

Eds: There seems to be an overwhelming consensus that this is, indeed, a weed puller.


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