Antique Answers

Friendly Ghost Pez Dispenser Worth Keeping Around

This Casper Pez dispenser from the 1950s is valued between $150-$175.
Larry Cox, September 2017

Q: Although I am not a collector, I have two Pez dispensers that I am curious about. One is of Casper, the friendly ghost, which I remember from when I was in grade school during the 1950s. The second is Bambi. — Steve, Rapid City, S.D.

A: I found both of your dispensers referenced in Warman’s “Pez,” by Shawn Peterson. According to this reference, Casper is valued in the $150 to $175 range. A die-cut base would add about $50 to its value. Bambi is valued in the $59 to $75 range. With copyright, add $100.

Q: I have an original typewritten letter from 1918 about military actions of the AEF. It is a very detailed letter documenting the travel and actions of the 47th Infantry, 7th Brigade and 4th Division of the 3rd Army of Occupation in Germany. The letter was written by my grandfather, and I keep it in a safety deposit box. I feel it may be worth something and would like any suggestions you might have. — Cindy, Walworth, N.Y.

A: You have an extremely important heirloom, and I suggest you keep it. I spoke to several collectors, who seem to feel your letter might be worth in the $50 to $150 range, but my advice is to preserve and cherish your grandfather’s letter.

Q: I have a sketch done by Chester Gould, cartoonist and creator of Dick Tracy. It is signed twice by Gould. Would it be of value to a collector? — Gene, Rio Rancho, N.M.

A: Contact “Autographs for Sale.” The business is bonded and will give you an expert opinion. Contact is 858-384-7057. For others who have written me recently about autographs, heads up.

Q: I have a heart-shaped cedar box with a mirror inside the lid. It has an original price sticker of 59 cents on the bottom along with “Pilliod, Swanton, Ohio.” The box can be locked with a small key. Any value? — Marilyn,

Oklahoma City, Okla.

A: You have a trinket box, probably from the 1930s. The heart design and the fact that it is crafted of cedar make it quite collectible. Boxes of this type were sold as souvenirs and often contained small pieces of jewelry and keepsakes. They were especially popular in the South throughout the 20th century. Trinket boxes generally sell in the $20 to $35 range, if in good condition.

Q: I have a child’s book, “Mickey Mouse in the Wild West,” published by Walt Disney. It is in fairly good condition. What can you tell me about it? — Mark, Springfield, Mo.

A: Your book was published in 1973 and is worth about $6.

A farewell note from Larry Cox:

Although I have researched and written about antiques and collectibles for more than 35 years, my first column for King Features appeared in January of 2003. That first column was a short one and answered three questions, one about tobacco pipes, a second requesting the value of an old Kodak camera and a final one concerning the rarity of amber jewelry. In the more than 14 years that followed, I received several thousand letters and emails from throughout the United States and Canada.

This column has been fun, and I probably learned as much writing it as others did reading it. Even though I tried, I was never able to answer every single question. In fact, I am still searching for a home for a collection of 300 false teeth owned by a woman in Ohio.

This is my final column for King Features. About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer, and this has been a challenging time for me. I came to a decision several weeks ago that my energy should be used to fight this disease. I can’t do that and still produce a weekly column.

Jim Clarke has been with me from the beginning, and he has become more than an editor, he is friend. I thank him for his help and guidance.

I also will remember my readers with a special affection. I hope you will wish me well and remember me in your prayers.


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