Ask Antique Trader: Unusual pitcher worth $150

I will start be saying I enjoy the Antique Trader very much. I am 73 years old. I have a vase that was given to me by my aunt back in the ’50s. I can find no one to tell me anything about it. My aunt always told me the red dot in the vase was the maker’s signature. The vase is 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide in the middle. My aunt always told me it was very valuable. She came through the Depression in the 1930s, so valuable could mean very little today. Thank you.
 — A.M., Hagerstown, Md.

Your blown pitcher is a bit of a curiosity. It looks like it was produced similarly to the famous opalescent pitchers the Fenton Glass Co. produced in the early part of the 20th century. However the “gourd” or bulbous form doesn’t look to be like anything made by Fenton. Another tip that leads me to believe it isn’t a Fenton pitcher is the appearance of the little red dot. If this were a Fenton pitcher, a mark like this would have been considered a flaw, not a maker’s mark. Northwood Glass of Wheeling, W.Va., used a “gourd” form for its pitchers, however I was unable to find a pattern that matches the one you own. It may very well be that your pitcher is a studio piece, produced by a student or an independent craftsman. It has a value of about $150.

Fenton Glass
Fenton Glass searchable DVD; available at

My parents were given this charm bracelet many years ago from a friend. The bracelet is delicate but very heavy. It shows the various appliances that a person would have in the early part of the 20th century. Can you tell me how old the charm bracelet is and the value?
 — J.N., St. Louis, Mo.

Your lovely copper-tone charm bracelet dates from 1910 to 1920.  Charms were a popular gift for children due to their affordability. Cracker Jack used metal charms similar to yours as a premium in their boxed of snacks for nearly 25 years. Many children collected these charms from bubble gum machines. Boys would sew them to their fathers’ old felt fedoras, turning the brim up and cutting a zig-zag pattern along its edge. Girls hung them from bracelets. These charms usually sell for about $10 to $15 apiece now. As a complete set,  your charm bracelet is worth about $150.

I purchased this at an estate sale. It is a cast marble head of the Virgin Mary. Would you be able to find any more information on it and what the value might be? Thank you.
 — W.R., Saginaw, Mich.

This interesting commemorative piece was produced in 1982 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a detail from the Pieta by Michelangelo, housedin Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Your version is about 13 1/2 inches high and weighs a hefty seven pounds. The “facsimile copy” was authorized by the Vatican Museums. It was produced from a direct impression of the original sculpture and was cold cast with a refined marble and a plastic resin. The marble, about 65 ounces worth, is from the quarries at Carrara, Italy, the source of the single block of marble from which Michelangelo carved the Pieta. It is not uncommon to see versions like this for sale for more than $300, however a more practical value is $100 to $150. Many of these items were produced and many still survive.

“Ask Antique Trader” submission guidelines

You can send your questions to “Ask Antique Trader” either by e-mail with attached digital images (preferred) or by regular mail with color prints (photos cannot be returned). In either case, be as detailed as possible regarding condition, dimensions and markings. As always, we’ll select the best examples to feature in our pages.

ERIC BRADLEY is the editor of Antique Trader magazine. He has been buying, selling and trading antiques and collectibles for 13 years. He can be reached via e-mail at or in care of Antique Trader Magazine, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54945.

We love hearing from readers, so let us know what you like about Antique Trader and how we can improve the magazine. We cannot provide valuations of antiques and collectibles over the phone.

Ask Antique Trader
700 E. State St.
Iola, WI 54990-0001

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