Ask Antique Trader: Collapsible cup and holder could be worth $100

This “Lucky Lindy” plane was given to me by the mother of my constant playmate after he died of pneumonia at age 5. It was his favorite toy, and his mother felt he would want it given to me. We were the same age. I am now 79 years of age and believe the plane to be at least 74 years old. It is all cast metal. I don’t know a value. Many thanks for any answers you can give. – B.P.P., Walnut Creek, Calif.

A Shortly after the Hubley Manufacturing Company was launched in 1894, it built a reputation as a prolific producer of iron doorstops, vehicles, guns and toys, and bookends. Items were mass produced; however,  each piece was painted by hand. That’s why your little prop airplane still looks great after nearly 80 years.

The plane was produced in the 1920s-1930s and commemorated American aviator Charles Lindbergh’s famous solo non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927. “Lucky Lindy” was hailed a hero, a household name and a boon to toy makers such as Hubley. The company made several different versions of this Lindy airplane. Some versions of the Hubley Lindy airplane can bring more than $2,000 at auction, depending on the condition and the scarcity of particular colors and styles. Your version is a keeper, with its zinc wheels and still impressive paint job, although it has lost the pull string that was attached to the nose of the propeller. Its value is $150 to $250.

Q I am looking to you for guidance on this collapsible cup in a leather case. The top of the cup is 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall when open and 1 3/8 inches when closed. The handle folds into the cup – all shown in the photo. There are no markings on the cup or case and it appears to be silver plated with a gold tone interior. – W.H.S., Milwaukee, Wis.

A Your diminutive collapsible cup is unusual in that it has a small handle and retains much of its gold plating. The handle folds down into the vessel to allow it to fit snugly in its leather case. Cups like these were used by both men and women. They were used during the Civil War and by Boy Scouts of the 20th century. The utility and style was universal and even Tiffany & Co made its own version of the collapsible cup. An exact duplicate of your cup recently sold online for $100.


Ask Antique Trader Mystery Item

Ask Antique Trader wants to put you to work

Every week, “Ask Antique Trader” receives scores of inquiries from readers, seeking more information about a recent find, a gift from a friend or relative, or an oddity that’s been sitting on a shelf for years.

mystery antique itemWe pass all of these questions along to our panel of experts, but once in awhile, we get a question about an object that stops us in our tracks. We want to share these unusual treasures with readers in the hope that they’ll offer their opinions and perhaps enlighten us all.

“Ask Antique Trader” will feature these oddities on a regular basis in the print and online editions of the magazine. Send your comments to

This little fellow is about 4 inches tall, cast iron and appears to be a contortionist. His hat comes off and we think he’s a match holder, but the rest of his lineage is a bit cloudy. Any thoughts?

Click here to post your opinions on the Antique Trader blog.


Eric Bradley is the promoter of the Atlantique City Antiques & Collectibles Show. He has been buying, selling and trading antiques and collectibles for 13 years.

Contact Antique Trader: Send your questions and photos via e-mail (preferred) to, or mail to Ask Antique Trader, 700 East State St., Iola, WI 54945. Click here for more details and image requirements.