Antique Answers

Vintage Fountain Pens See Rise in Popularity

This Parker Duofold Senior pen could be worth $175.
Larry Cox, May 2017

Q: My dad was a banker in Kansas, and I never saw him use a writing instrument that wasn’t a fountain pen. I inherited one of his favorite ones, a Parker Duofold Senior. It is a beautiful pen, and I would like to know about when it was made. — Stan, Albuquerque, N.M.

A: Your pen was manufactured in 1958 and is quite collectible. I found it listed in “Collecting Pens,” by Edward Kiersh and published by House of Collectibles. Kiersh values your pen at $175, but this may be a little low since fountain pens have become a hot collectible and values have steadily risen. I occasionally write with a “Big Red” from the 1930s, and it is one of the pleasures of life to write a note or letter with a vintage pen.

Q: My grandparents immigrated to the United States from Europe in the 1920s. Among the heirlooms they managed to bring with them is a set of sterling flatware in the Acanthus pattern by Georg Jensen. What can you tell me about it? — Martha, Waco, Texas

A: Georg Jensen opened his silver business in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1904, and his craftsmanship made him famous throughout Europe. His mark is distinctive: a wreath topped by a crown and the words “Georg Jensen, Inc.” Georg Jensen Inc., USA, opened in New York in 1941, but closed within a decade.

Your pattern was introduced in 1917. Typical pieces of this pattern are three piece carving set, $800; dinner knife, $280; sugar tongs, $190; and salad fork, $120.

Q: I purchased a Quezal vase at a yard sale for 25 cents. It looks like a Tiffany, and I have several friends who wish to buy it. — Pat, Riverside, R.I.

A: Quezal glass was made from 1901 until about 1924 in the Queens, N.Y., studio of Martin Bach Sr. Other companies made similar art glass, including Loetz, Steuben and Tiffany. Since Quezal vases generally sell for well above $1,000, my advice is to contact a reputable dealer or appraiser in your area and find out if your piece is authentic. If it is, you have a good eye and made a wonderful buy.

Q: I’m not really a collector, but I have two McCoy cookie jars that I’m curious about. Both originally belonged to my mom and are probably from the 1950s. One is a Jack-o’-Lantern jar that was rarely, if ever, used. The second is a “Mr. and Mrs. Owl” and shows some wear. I remember the second jar always being full of vanilla wafers. — Cora Ann, Tulsa, Okla.

A: Your Jack-o’-Lantern jar was produced in about 1958, and according to “Warman’s McCoy Pottery,” by Mark F. Moran and published by Krause Books, it is valued in the $550 to $650 range. Since you indicated your jar is pristine, it would probably be worth on the high end. The same guide lists your owl jar at about $110. The Moran guide is excellent, and essential for anyone who collects McCoy items.


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