Antique or Junque: Vintage mugs still haven't captured a profit
Mar 04,2009 00:00 by Anne_McCollam

Q: These ironstone mugs belonged to my mother. When we visited her, she always offered my husband a cup of coffee. She would get them out and ask him which one he wanted, the one with the saying "Party Guy" or the "Let's Go Crazy" one. His choice always was "Party Guy." After she passed away, we kept the mugs because using them made us remember the good times.

Vintage mugs, created by Papel Giftware, would probably be in the range of $10 to $15 each. 

Now that the "torch has passed," my husband gets out the mugs and asks the same question when our daughter-in-law visits. She defers to him and takes the "Let's Go Crazy" mug; he is still the "Party Guy." Marked on the bottom are the words: "Designed and Hand Decorated — Papel — Japan."

I would never part with them, but would like to know their history.

A: Phil Papel founded Papel Giftware in 1955 in Palm Springs, Calif. Their mugs were often decorated with catchy sayings that reflected the times. Many of their wares were made in Korea and Otagiri, Japan.

Based on the sayings on your mugs, they were made in the late 1970s. Recently, Papel vintage mugs have turned up on e-Bay in the range of $10 to $15 each.

Q: I have enclosed the mark on the bottom of my gypsy woman porcelain figurine. She is seated on a wicker bench next to a table with a black and green tablecloth, which is decorated with a pair of scales and a female figure. Before her on the table are a crystal ball and a deck of cards. In mint condition, she is wearing a red dress with a green shawl and a red scarf on her head. The overall height is 6 inches, and the letters and number "HN — 2159" are included with the mark.

I have owned the figurine for years and would like to know more about it and its value.

A: Located in England, Royal Doulton made your figurine, "The Fortune Teller," between 1955 and 1967. With her tarot cards and crystal ball, she is going into a trance to foretell a fortune. Leslie Harradine, one of Doulton's most creative and productive designers, designed it. Harradine was born in 1887 and started as an apprentice modeler at an early age. For nearly 40 years, he continued to create clay models for Doulton. The "HN" number is the design number for the "The Fortune Teller."

The value of your figurine would probably be $500 to $600.

Q: I have owned a framed painting of a young woman for 31 years. She is nude, has her back to the viewer and sits on a draped bench. In the background, there are trees and a blue sky. The size of the canvas is 27 inches by 33 inches; it is signed "Szantho Maria — Budapest."

Can you give me any information on my painting?

A: Szantho Maria was born in Hungary in 1897. Many of her paintings featured romantic and hedonistic young women posing against lush idyllic landscapes. Szantho Maria's first love was music and she often included musical instruments in her work. Many of her paintings were exhibited at art galleries in Budapest and the 1939 World's Fair in New York. She died in 1998 in Hungary.

Similar oil paintings by Szantho Maria have sold in the range of $2,500 to $5,000.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.