Toys are fun to use, but they also are learning tools. What child wouldn’t want a toy tractor that looked exactly like the big one used on the farm? Cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and other toys can be dated by looking up the history of the adult version. A toy Fordson tractor sold at a Bertoia Auction in 2014 for $185. It is marked with the name of the maker, Arcade. It’s easy to find the history of this toy. Ford made tractors and trucks with the brand name Fordson from 1917 to 1964. Arcade Manufacturing Company worked from 1902, but the first farm toy it made was the Fordson Tractor in 1922. There were different versions of the tractor, one with W&K tires, and one with steel wheels. But watch out. Many reproductions have been made.
Q: I found a Florence Ceramics Delores figurine in my mother’s attic. It’s a woman in a rose-colored dress, with a bonnet, shawl and gloves. What is it worth?
A: Florence Ward began making figurines in her garage in Pasadena, Calif., before establishing the Florence Ceramics Co. in the 1940s. She designed all the figurines and other giftware items made by the company. The company was sold to Scripto in 1964 and different products were made. That company went out of business in 1977. The Delores figurine was made in several different colors, including moss green, pink, teal and yellow. Your figurine’s rose-colored dress probably is what is called “pink.” Delores in a yellow dress is rarer than the others. There has been a big drop in the price of figurines like this, and they are worth only $21 to $50 today. Rarities sell for $100 to $250.
Q: I have a set of yellowish Depression glass dishes and wonder what they are worth.
A: Your dishes are “Madrid” pattern, and the color is called “amber,” not “yellow.” Madrid was made by the Federal Glass Co. of Columbus, Ohio, from 1932 to 1939. Madrid was made in green, amber and crystal (clear). Blue (“Madonna” blue) and pink pieces were made for a limited time. Beware of reproductions. In 1976, Federal reworked the molds and made amber sets called “Recollection.” There is a small “76” worked into that pattern. Recollection was made in crystal in 1982. Later, blue, crystal and pink pieces were reproduced by Indiana Glass Co., which removed the date from the molds, creating identification problems between old Madrid and newer Recollection. Collectors aren’t as interested in Depression glass as they were in the 1970s, but Madrid is a popular pattern. Current prices for some amber Madrid pieces: dinner plate, $50; luncheon plate, $10; platter, $18; cup and saucer, $15; flat salt and pepper shaker set, $50; and pitcher, $35.