Q I am curious about this rag doll. Could the face be a photograph of the little girl who owned the doll? Do you have any idea of its age? Were dolls like this one common? What is the value?
– C.W., Midland, Texas
A I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a rag doll quite like yours before. It may have been made from a kit, perhaps from a firm that offered to print the photo of a child’s face on celluloid to insert in the head. Whether it was homemade or factory-made, it’s a charming piece dating from about the 1930s. There’s some soiling on the clothing but other than that she appears to be in good condition. My guess is that this girl might be valued in the $50-$100 range today.
Q This glass car bottle is 20 inches long. Do you know its age? What was it used for?
– D.L.., Granbury, Texas
A This large car-shaped glass bottle is a mystery to me. The style of the auto would seem to date it to the late 1920s or early 1930s. I know that various household products, such as vinegar, were bottled in “figural” bottles during that era but if this had an identifying paper label it has long ago disappeared. Perhaps some reader can tell us more about this unusual piece. It certainly doesn’t seem to be listed in the various bottle references I checked.
Q Can you tell me the ages and makers of these items? I’ve been unable to find them in books. The vase in front is rippled and is aqua blue or turquoise. It has “Made in Italy” on the bottom. The candy dish in back has a black or very dark purple diamond-shaped finish. It does not have a maker’s name on it.
– L.P., Titusville, Fla.
A Your blue Italian chalice-form vase with the twisted stem would have been produced in Murano, the island off Venice, probably in the late 1950s or 1960s. Some “Murano” glass pieces were produced by talented artists in Modernist designs that are much in demand today. Your piece is more of a commercial production and probably has a modest value, perhaps in the $50-$75 range.
The diamond point pattern chalice-shaped candy jar in the background may have been a product of the Indiana Glass Company. They started making pieces in this design in the late 1960s and continued production for three decades. Your photo isn’t too clear but this appears to perhaps have a metallic “Carnival” glass finish. Such pieces are collectible and this piece might also sell in the $50-$75 range.