Kyle on Antiques: Unusual bust should not be touched up – Honest!

Q I have three of these Coca-Cola posters, all with different girls and different things. They are clean and very beautiful. The Moxie clock has been in my house for years and still keeps very good time. It is 12 inches in diameter.
— H.G., Mooresburg, Tenn.

A I’m afraid both your Moxie advertising wall clock and Coca-Cola signs are modern copies based on early designs. Such pieces started being widely produced around the 1970s and continue to be turned out. In many cases the pieces are what are called fantasy items because they are not a direct copy of a specific old piece but just borrow designs motifs. I would just enjoy these as decorative accent pieces.

Q This bust is 18 inches tall and 8 inches wide. I’ve owned it for almost 20 years and I think I know where it was 50-60 years before that. There’s nothing to denote the artist, or the company that made it. It appears to be in very good condition. The “white” in the photo is darker than shown. I haven’t attempted to clean it. Can you give me an idea of its value?
— E.C. Elkin, N.C.
A This chalk ware bust of Abraham Lincoln is an interesting commemorative piece. It was most likely manufactured in the early 20th century, perhaps around 1909, the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. A great many decorative items featuring his portrait were made at that time. There is some wear to the paint on your piece but considering how fragile it is, the condition is good. Do NOT attempt any touch-up on the old paint; that will only hurt the collector value. Since this bust is quite unusual, it’s a bit difficult to set a value, but I could see it being offered in the $150-$350 range today.

Q This is a photo of my Limoges vase and two candlestick holders in excellent condition. They were left to me 15 years ago by a dear friend who died at age  80. Could you tell me the approximate age and value of my pieces? The wide gold band around the base is of rough texture, and on the corner by the flowers the name Osborne is written. On the bottom it reads P L LIMOGES FRANCE. Thank you for any information you can give me on my pieces.
—J.C., Lutz, Fla.

A The “P L Limoges France” mark is for the name of the factory that produced the undecorated blanks. The Osborne mark tells us that these pieces were painted at the Osborne Art Studios of Chicago. The firm was founded there in 1910 and did nice quality work, very similar to the products of the better-known Pickard China Company. Since Pickard-decorated pieces are more in demand, the Osborne examples don’t bring quite as much money. These pieces, with heavy gold accenting a stylized floral Arts & Crafts design, are very nice. I would guess the candlesticks might sell today in the $250-$350 range for the pair, and the matching vase, perhaps $350-$450. Of course, they could bring more from the right collector.


Contact Kyle: Kyle Husfloen has been an editor with Antique Trader for more than 30 years. He has written more than 40 books, including America’s best-selling annual price guide, Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide. Questions can be addressed to: Kyle on Antiques, Antique Trader, P.O. Box 5387, Palm Springs, CA 92263. Due to the volume of mail, personal responses and return of photos are not guaranteed.