Appraisal: Vintage Nestle Quik tin could be worth $150

Dr. George Marchelos explains why a World Series tie-in could make a vintage Nestle's Quik chocolate drink tin worth up to $150.
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Antiques appraisals from Dr. George Marchelos

Appraisal Inquiry

Nippon dresser set.

Nippon dresser set.

Question: First I want to say I enjoy your magazine.

When unpacking some boxes I found lots of things I didn’t know I had. I would like to know about these two things. I’m sure one is a dresser set, 5 pieces.

The folding screen is 24 x 12 and is red with gold designs.

My brother sent me some stuff when he was in the service in Japan and Korea.

- L.H., Yankton, S.D.

Vanity set appraisal

Answer:L.H. sent photos of a five-piece dresser or vanity set and a six-panel folding screen. He believes they might have been sent to him by his brother while in Korea and Japan.

The five piece dresser set is probably hand painted Nippon although he did not mention a mark. Most of these were sold through New York distributors until the 1920s when the mark changed because of United States law. Most, perhaps all, have gold trim and a tray which is somewhat larger than most seen today in shops. The floral motif is the same so this could have been an original set with trinket box, hat pin holder, powder, etc. with several pieces since replaced. These were widely popular until World War II and are fairly common today with many being seen in any region.

Unfortunately, pieces are discolored and one piece has a discolored crack through the lid which is very prominent. As a result, the value is low and the remaining pieces would be used to replace those missing from other sets which are in much better condition overall. A fair price in most areas would be $30-$40.

Folding screen appraisal

 Oriental tabletop folding screen

Oriental tabletop folding screen

Answer:The second item is a small folding screen from the Vietnam War era or later. Its theme is of agricultural workers, rural youth rendering service, which would be a theme throughout Vietnam after 1975 when it was unified. It is only 12 inches or so high so it was to be placed on a table or shelf. Pricing these is based upon the timeframe when made, the painter, whether there are any seals or signatures, condition and the theme. Often, small screens this size were given as gifts.

The condition appears to be excellent. It probably was hand painted using a pattern or template. The words are in English and they are generic, indicating this was made for tourists or export. The construction is modern with factory made hinges, etc. As a result, it is what it claims to be: a souvenir.

The chances are great that neither item above was sent from Korea or Japan by the brother, although the screen could have been. The dresser set was purchased in the United States by a family member or someone else of that generation in the early 1900s. The screen is probably a $75-$85 item for anyone collecting items from the Vietnam War era. It would add a nice background touch to other items displayed in front of it.

Vintage Nestle Quik Inquiry

Question:Found this old can of Quik in my grandparents basement. There’s nothing in it but it has a world champion Mets team and I believe I can make out an expiration date of 64 but don’t know how old it actually is. It’s in fair condition. 

It was headed for the trash but wanted to make sure it wasn’t worth something first.? Let me know.

- B.R., via email

Nestle Quik appraisal

 Vintage Nestle's Quik tin

Vintage Nestle's Quik tin

Answer:B.R. saved a 2 pound Nestle Quik tin from the trash can. That was a wise move on his part. Nestle Quik was first introduced in the United States in 1948 and is currently sold all over the world with a similar name. In 1969 the New York Mets upset Baltimore in the World Series, earning them the name “Miracle Mets.” Nestle took advantage of the excitement to put out this Nestle advertising piece which gave fans a chance to meet six of the heroes of the Mets team.

This tin is a crossover item because it is sought by collectors in several fields such as baseball, world series, food containers, etc. Although there are some age issues the tin is very presentable as an ancillary piece in any collection. 32 oz. Nestle Quik cans sell for $50 or more. Because of the historical connection to the World Series and baseball this one should easily fetch $150. 

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