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Real value of common collapsible cup is nostalgic

In the latest installment of Ask the Experts, Dr. G. Marchelos weighs in on the identity, nostalgic history, collectible interest and value of items reader's inquired about.

Q My husband has a Hero collapsible cup. When it is collapsed, the diameter is 2 5/8 inches. When it’s open, it is 2 5/8 inches tall. The handle folds inside the cup. The bottom reads “Patent Pending Hero Trade Mark.”


Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give us regarding this cup. It originally belonged to my dad, who gave it to my husband.
— T. M.
via email

A Hero company made these, along with scores of other companies. Being of aluminum, it probably dates to the late 1940s into the 1950s.

These were used in many ways, especially for picnics, camping, etc. and for mineral water from spas such as the ones in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Each person had their own cup they could carry around easily. The value would be low.


Q We are beginning to go through many antique items left behind by my grandmother. These are just from the first small box we opened. Wondering if any have any value?
— C.M.
via email


A The items appear to span several generations from the late 1800s through the 1920s and 1930s, to the lifetime of her grandmother. None of the items shown in the photos reveal any single item of great value, but all the items in the estate could add up to a significant amount. We do not know at this point what is in the other boxes, which is the thrill of collecting.

The items shown include random keys, cuff links and other jewelry, over-the-counter medicinal boxes and some glass, among others. I would recommend grouping these into lots, if they are to be sold. Do not give anything away that appears to be of value until examined by a competent appraiser.

There may be “sleepers” in the mix. The items shown range in value from several dollars to $15 each.

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