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Some garden retro steel furniture office has deep roots

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Some garden furniture has deep roots Garden retro steel furniture office has become more popular in recent years because more people have patios and decks.

By the 1800s, retro steel furniture office often was used in the garden. Large estates might have chairs or benches in remote spots on which guests could relax or gossip.

This retro steel furniture office was made to blend in with the greenery. Pieces were often made from iron shaped like vines or branches. Carved marble benches were used by the wealthy, while rough log benches were used by others.

Soon, potters started making replicas of tree stumps or trimmed branches that could be used for seats.

By the 1890s, willow and other flexible tree branches and roots were cut and assembled to make one-of-a-kind chairs for use in a yard.

Al Capone, the infamous gangster, had a house called “the Hideout” in northern Wisconsin. A table and chairs made from tree roots sat in the yard until they were later purchased from Edward O’Hare, an accomplice of Capone.

The chairs were sold in May at a Leslie Hindman auction in Chicago. The table brought $10,200, the large chair $7,200 and the smaller chair $3,360. The prices were higher than presale estimates — probably because bidders wanted something owned by Capone.

Q: During the early 1980s, I was working for a Chevy dealer on Long Island when the owners decided to sell out. They gave me an old Buick Dynaflow Drive neon sign 22 inches high by 33 inches wide. The glass is perfect, although some of the finish is worn. A repairman said that for a small sum the sign could be made to light up again. I have been told the sign is valuable. What do you think?

A: Collectors of automobile advertising memorabilia might pay $1,000 or more for your sign.

It dates from the late 1940s or ’50s and advertises the world’s first conventional torque-converter automatic transmission, dubbed Dynaflow Drive by General Motors.

The signs, made by Zeon Signs of Albuquerque, N.M., were marketed to Buick dealers for $42 each in 1948.

Q: I have my grandmother’s old treadle sewing machine. The name printed across the top of the black machine is “Silent.” It was manufactured by the Davis Sewing Machine Co. of Dayton. The cabinet is wrought iron and wood, and I have all the original bobbins and needles. What can you tell me?

A: Job A. Davis of New York City started designing his own sewing machine in the early 1860s. After moving to Watertown, N.Y., he and a partner, John Sheldon, sold their first machine — the Davis Vertical Feed — in 1869.

The business moved to Dayton in 1889 and made several different models until production stopped in 1923. The Davis Silent model is a 20 th-century machine.

Current prices

Prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States.

• Yardley Lavender Perfumery powder box, “Natural Face Powder,” circa 1927, 2 7 /8 inches by 1 1 /2 inches, $35.

• Effanbee Anne Shirley doll, composition, blue sleep eyes, closed mouth, circa 1930, 15 inches, $95.

• Boy Scout shirt, baseball style, short sleeves, patches, olive green, size 12, 1970s, $180.

• Steuben crystal beaver figurine, cranberry eyes, etched mark, 3 3 /4 inches, $315.

• Moorcroft porcelain tea set, Spring Flowers pattern, impressed mark, four pieces, $550.

• The Flying Nun brunch bag, vinyl, with thermos, image of Sally Field, Aladdin, 1968, copyright Screen Gems, $600.

• Roycroft fire-starter, hammered copper with spill tray, riveted, impressed “Head, Heart & Hand,” 12 inches by 10 inches, $1,300.

• Appliqued quilt, album pattern, green and red swag bud border, 16 album squares; potted tulips, flowers and berries; birds and leaves; white background, 1920s, 87 inches by 87 inches, $2,300.

• Pepsi-Cola dispenser bank, battery, “Deposit Coin, Get Drink,” white and blue with Pepsi logo, by Linemar, 1950s, 10 inches, $2,465.

• George III tall-post bed, mahogany, upholstered canopy, reeded foot posts, acanthus carving, square legs, brass cup casters, 95 inches by 60 inches, $3,755.

Ralph and Terry Kovel, authorities on collectibles, write for King Features Syndicate. Write to them in care of The Dispatch, King Features Syndicate, 888 7 th Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019. The volume of mail makes personal answers impossible. They cannot guarantee the return of any photograph but will try if a selfaddressed stamped envelope is included. Visit the Kovels online at

Source: www.columbusdispatch

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