Readers’ Letters: Collector looking for Midwest fork collecting clubs; Raggedy Ann and Andy dates clarified

I have been a subscriber for about two years and thought I’d write and thank you for all the great information I find in your paper. I collect forks and have heard that there are actually fork collector groups out there. Can you clue me in as to where they are in this region?

I am a pattern collector and am always looking for one I don’t have. I also have a side collection of different types of forks and I have a list of 60, although some are merely renamed pieces. So I’m interested in any unusual forks (I already have a mango fork). I’m on the look-out for smelt, bacon hook, butter fork, canapé, haggis, marrow fork (I’ve seen a picture), sweetmeat, tea fork (?), tete-a-tete, and waffle. I would like to see more articles on silver flatware, but that is optional. I realize that there are hundreds of subjects to cover, so just kind of keep it in mind.
– John Lapsley
Olathe, Kans.

Readers, please let us know of fork collecting clubs in the Midwest and we’ll publish them in a future edition of Antique Trader magazine.

• • •

Surgical retractor.

There are no marks on this piece. The lady I bought it from didn’t know what it is and I wasn’t sure either. However, I saw a program about the ancient Roman doctor Galen, and while it didn’t tell what the piece is, it did show it with other medical instruments, so I concluded it was a skin retractor. The tines have very sharp points, so it isn’t for veins or arteries.

We did a bit of online research and found that you are dead-on with your assessment that this is a medical retractor. Retractors like these are made with either blunt or sharp tips. – Editor

Mid-Century roast holder made by Briddle for Carvel Hall.

I have been collecting forks for about 15 years and I have never seen this before on any of the catalog pages in various reference books. I was pretty sure of its general purpose.

The long tines work just like the usual carving fork we all know; but the curved section with the short spikes is for holding a curved roast or ham.

I thought I’d see if your readers could identify them or saw this before. It’s marked: Silver Plate / Carve Hall / Made by Briddle / CR’s Field, MD / Pat. No. 734986 / Ham-Roast Holder.

Your sleek, mid-century design ham and roast holder is made by Briddle for Carvel Hall, a brand also known for fine cutlery. If your holder were in excellent condition and still in the box, it might bring $50 to $100. – Editor

• • •

Raggedy Ann and Andy were publicly introduced after Gruelle’s daughter died

Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. These are current productions by Aurora.

Once again you have printed info about Johnny Gruelle which is incorrect. If you were quoting this Aurora group, then they don’t know anything about him either. I sent you this info before because of mistakes you printed.

In 2015, Raggedy Ann will be 100 years old. His daughter died in 1915, so she did not play with them. He did make up the stories while she was ill and dying, but she didn’t have this doll. She was dead.

Raggedy Andy, who is Ann’s little brother, was made in 1920, also long after Marcella was dead. Maybe you should keep the info this time and use it next time you write about Johnny Gruelle.
– Polly Hackett-Morey
Via email

In the Sept. 19 edition’s “Things We Love” column, page 17, we wrote, “Johnny Gruelle first introduced the characters in 1918, when he invented them for his daughter.” What the sentence should have read was, “Johnny Gruelle’s Raggedy Ann and Andy characters were first introduced to the public when published in a story book in 1918.” Antique Trader regrets the error.

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