Q This lemonade set is made of hard plastic. It has a pitcher and seven glasses. Several of the glasses are etched from going through the dishwasher. I bought it at a yard sale for 50 cents. Can you tell me anything about it?
– L.P., Titusville, Fla.
A This plastic lemonade set is a bit of a mystery to me. The geometric design and pink color certainly have an “Art Deco” feel, circa 1930s, however, hard plastic dishes like this really were not produced until after World War II. There is interest in 1950s kitchenware but most collectible pieces were made of china or glass. So far I’m not aware of a big demand for 1950s plastic dishes but there probably are some collectors out there. As you noted, it is important not to put such pieces in a modern dishwasher. My best guess is that your set be offered today in the $40-$60 range.
Q My mother gave me this doll. It has an open mouth, with teeth. A tag on the jacket says “Made in Soviet Union.” The glass eyes open and close. It has gray-black hair, with a large hat. It is 12 inches tall. I’m hoping you might know something about it.
– N.H., Muskagee, Okla.
A This composition girl doll would date from the 1930s and may be wearing a regional Russian costume. There isn’t a big demand for Russian toys of the prewar era but I would guess this doll might be valued in the $50-$100 range.
Q Can you give me any information about this cast iron bank I bought at a garage sale? It is 10 ½ inches tall and has no markings. Could you tell me the age and value?
– V.S., Onalaska, Texas
A The original of this still bank is known as “Mammy with hands on hips,” and was manufactured from around 1915 into the 1940s. However, the bright colors and crude finishing of your example identify it as a fairly modern reproduction, not much more than 25 years old at the oldest. The value would only be as an accent piece.