Vintage clothes can be inexpensive additions to a wardrobe, but sometimes vintage designer items are very expensive.
A recent auction sold Hermes and other famous branded purses for thousands of dollars each. A used, limited-edition Hermes “Noisette Gulliver Leather Quelle Idole Kelly Doll Bag” in excellent condition sold at auction in April 2014.
The humorous bag, with a smiling face, leather arms and feet, and a silver-colored metal “nose” and “eyes,” brought $18,750. The price included the dust bag and box. Dozens of other used purses sold for more than $10,000 this year.
Q: We inherited a collection of photographs that we would like to know more about. Each photo comprises duplicate prints pasted on a very hard card. The name “Keystone View Company” is listed on the side of the photos. This is printed at the bottom of one of the cards: “(97) 19163, Hail to the Heroes! Returning Troops on March En Route to Camp After Leaving Transport, New York Harbor.”
On the back of that card is a story about the pictures on the front. We have about 100 of these cards. Are they valuable?
A: You have a collection of “stereo cards.” When two almost-identical pictures are viewed through a stereoscope, it produces a 3-D image. Stereoscopes were popular from the mid-1800s into the 1930s.
The Keystone View Co. was one of the largest manufacturers of stereo cards, and had offices in several countries. The company was founded by Benneville Lloyd Singley in Meadville, Pa., in 1892. Keystone first published a series of stereo cards picturing World War I soldiers, battlefields and other military sites in 1923.
Keystone became a subsidiary of Mast Development Co. in the 1960s and closed in 1972.
The value of stereo cards is determined by maker and subject. A single card is worth $5 to $10. A complete set of World War I cards sells for about $100 to $150.
Q: I have a porcelain vase with the words “Fraureuth, Made in Germany” on the bottom. It is marked with a crown above a circle. Inside the circle there’s a small letter “c” and a capital letter “F.” Handwritten above the mark is the name “G. Wokaty.” Can you tell me who made the vase and how old it is?
A: Your vase was made by Porcelain Factory Fraureuth, which was in business in Fraureuth, Saxony, Germany, from about 1898 to 1935. It was successor to a porcelain factory that operated on the same site beginning in 1866.
The handwritten name is probably the name of the decorator.