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THE CLOCK TOLD TIME, IMPARTED A MESSAGE

Just as in the past, today's advertisers want to put their message in front of buyers. The places chosen for ads are often unexpected.

From about 1870 to 1900, clocks placed in public spaces, like barbershops or drug stores, were popular with advertisers. The earliest clocks were wooden with a pendulum or a spring-wound mechanism. Later clocks were electric with metal cases or, since the 1940s, plastic cases. The advertising clock is still used, but it might have lights or neon trim.

The old, wooden barbershop clock often displayed ads for razors. Many pictured a man shaving. Clocks were rented or loaned to the barbershop. The Gem Damaskeene Razor clock pictures a man busy shaving. He has a small mirror, shaving mug and brush perched on the arm of a chair. With one hand, he's shaving, while the other hand holds a squirming baby who has grabbed the man's towel. The clock was made by Sessions of Forestville, Conn., about 1910. This rare clock is worth more than $4,000.

Renaissance table

Q: I have inherited a marquetry center table from my grandparents. They purchased the table decades ago when a Chicago mansion was being torn down and all of its furnishings sold. The table is in the Renaissance Revival style and is made of walnut with walnut veneers. A faded paper label under the table top reads, "George Gilbert, 261 Wabash, Chicago."

A: Mr. Gilbert probably owned a retail furniture store at the Wabash Avenue address. The style of your table was popular during the 1870s and '80s. Many similar tables were made in the Midwest, especially in the furniture-making center of Grand Rapids, Mich. Depending on the workmanship and condition of your table, it should sell from $1,000 to $2,500.

See Jane run

Q: My sister and I have been cleaning out our parents' home and found an old "Dick and Jane" reading book that we used in grade school in the late 1940s. It's hardcover and titled "We Come and Go." Is it worth anything today?

A: The 1946-'47 edition of your book is valued at close to $50. The most valuable "Dick and Jane" book is the first in the series. It was a pre-primer published in 1930 by Scott, Foresman and Co. of Illinois. By the 1950s, more than 80 percent of U.S. first-graders were using the series to learn how to read. The "Dick and Jane" books included pre-primers, readers and workbooks.

A Moser vase

Q: My glass vase, which is clear with gold trim, has a faint mark -- "Moser" -- on the bottom. When and where was it made?

A: Moser glass was made by Ludwig Moser in Karlsbad, Austria. He decorated and sold glass by 1857 and soon had three shops. The glass pieces were purchased locally, then embellished with cut, engraved or enamel decorations. By 1873 he had showrooms in New York, St. Petersburg, Paris and London. In 1895, his company began making the glass as well as decorating it. The company is still working in Karlsbad, Czech Republic.

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