Things We Love: Raggedy Ann, Howard’s Restor-A-Finish, Trunk Encyclopedia

Our staff loves old things, but these new products make our collections and investments all the more valuable. What’s your favorite antiques-related product? Tell us what you love, who makes it and where to get it, and you could win a copy of the Antique Trader 2013 Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide! Send it to: Things We Love, Subject: Things We Love.


What We Love: Raggedy Ann and Andy retro rag dolls. With bright red hair and vivid smiling faces, these soft plush dolls would put a smile on any tiny tot’s face.
Appropriate for ages 18 months and up, Raggedy Ann and Andy are soft and cuddly; keep them away from younger children, because though the plastic “button” eyes seem to be strongly fastened, having one accidently pop off would be a hazard. They’re handmade for Aurora World and come in 8-inch, 12-inch, 16-inch and 25-inch sizes. (They retail for $10, $15, $25 and $35, respectively.) Each doll comes with a gift tag attached, which includes a brief history of Raggedy Ann and Andy.

Who Makes Them: Aurora has been licensed by Hasbro to produce this new line of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls. Johnny Gruelle first introduced Raggedy Ann to the public in a storybook in 1918.

Where To Get Them: Aurora’s Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy can be purchased at retail or online at the official Aurora shop.

 What We Love: Howard’s Restor-A-Finish – a one-step product that revitalizes dull and damaged wood finishes. No stripping necessary.
This is a product that makes furniture pieces in the roughest condition look so much better – and it’s so easy!
Clean the dirt and dust from the piece you want to treat, apply Restor-A-Finish with super-fine steel wool and wipe away the excess. It really is that easy!

Who Makes it: Douglas G. Howard, founder of Howard Products, introduced Restor-A-Finish to the industry in 1969. He developed the product to revive and restore the original color and luster in one step without removing any of the existing finish. It’s that easy. Not for use on vinyl or laminates. Nine different finishes available in tones from neutral to “Ebony Brown.”

Where To Get it: Suggested retail price is $10.99 for a 16-ounce can. Available at Howard Products or 800-266-9545, on or at retail outlets nationwide.

What We Love: “The Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks” CD. Treasured Chests of Winston-Salem, N.C., has been restoring antique trunks since 1972. “The Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks” is a compendium of information the firm has gathered over the last 40 years, and it’s a great place to start researching antique trunks. It’s loaded with images of complete trunks and trunk parts that are helpful for both identification and trunk restoration efforts. The “Embossed Patterns” section on metal embossing is especially intriguing, enabling trunk enthusiasts and dealers to give a more specific trunk description. With thousands of entries, if you’re looking for an obscure trunk maker, you might find the information you are looking for on this CD.

“The Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks” is a Windows-based program that runs entirely from the CD; no information is downloaded onto your PC. (If you want to run it on a Mac, it will need to be running a Windows emulator.) The program is set up in a Web browser format with forward, back and table of contents navigation buttons. We found it a bit awkward to navigate until we got used to it. However, this encyclopedia just may be the tool for you to succeed in identifying and dating your antique trunk.

Exploring this CD is a great way to poke through old trunks without getting your hands dirty.

Where To Get it: Available from for $24.95; shipping is included. (N.C. residents must include sales tax.) For more information, contact


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