Mysterious antiques and collectibles often appear in shops and shows. Price is then decided by how unusual the collectible is, how attractive it is and how it can be used.
A recent auction offered this statue of half of a lady, from the waist down. The statue is life-size, 3½ feet tall. The legs are dressed in tights, boots and a cloth skirt. There is a purse that has jewelry and brothel tokens from the Silver Dollar Hotel in Denver.
Those who go to casinos probably know that this is an old base for a special type of slot machine. The base-and-slot-machine pair is known as the Prairie Rose Saloon Brothel Lady. She is dressed in 1880s style, but Prairie Rose was a famous cowgirl from the early 1900s, known all over the world. She performed in the Irwin Brothers’ Wild West Show.
In 1917, she went out in a blizzard to check on her animals, got lost and died. Her body was found years later.
It is not surprising that the Lady was sold at Morphy’s Victorian Casino Antiques auction along with many other gambling collectibles. Price: $3,000.
Q: I have my parents’ kitchen table. Markings under the table and leafs look like “Abraham-Richardson Mfg. Co., Beaver Falls, PA.”
I can’t find any information on the company. Can you help?
A: Your table was made by Ingram-Richardson Manufacturing Co., not Abraham-Richardson. The company was founded by Louis Ingram and Ernest Richardson in 1901. It made porcelain enameled signs, sinks, refrigerator linings, walls, license plates and other items. The company was sold in 1965 and closed in 1967.
Kitchen tables with enameled tops were very popular in the 1930s-’50s.
They are still very useful, and sell for about $350-$500 if the enamel is not chipped.
Q: I own a tennis racket that belonged to my uncle, who served in World War I and died at age 26. One side of the handle is marked “Greenwood,” and the other side, “A.G. Spalding Bros.” What’s it worth?
A: Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) played major league baseball from 1871 to 1878. He and his brother, J. Walker Spalding, founded their sporting goods company in Chicago in 1876. By the mid-1880s, the company’s products included tennis rackets. Spalding introduced its Greenwood model racket in 1905.
Antique and vintage wooden rackets are collectible. We have seen the Greenwood model for sale at prices ranging from $90 to $190. Spalding still is in business, but it no longer makes tennis rackets.