RINKER ON COLLECTIBLES —
Column #1163 Copyright © Rinker Enterprises, Inc. 2009
I have a 1971 Hedstrom convertible baby carriage.
It is blue and green plaid and coverts into a
car-bed and stroller.
We used the carriage for our daughter.
It is in excellent condition.
We would like to sell the baby carriage.
What should we ask? – WC,
Carl H. Hedstrom, E. Gustaf Hedstrom, Knute W.
Hedstrom, Wilfred P. Shuffleton, and Walter Beaman founded the Hedstrom Company,
Gardner, Massachusets in 1915.
The company moved several times
in its early years, finally locating on
In 1919 Hedstrom bought an interest in
the Union Manufacturing Company, established two years earlier by William
Carlson, Oscar E. Fowelin, and Ernest Johnson.
The company made reed-bodied baby carriages and
The Hedstrom Corporation still exists.
However, it no longer makes baby carriages.
on the wicker and wooden side Hedstrom baby carriages made in
My gut says $10.00 to $15.00 at a garage sale and a difficult to impossible sale on the Internet. Clearly, any amount over $25.00 makes you a winner.
CAVEAT: I did find a plaid 1960s/70s Hedstrom baby carriage listed on eBay for $295.95 or best offer. The listing suggests the carriage would make a great vintage movie or stage prop. The seller qualifies as one of the world’s biggest optimists. If anyone pays anywhere near this price, he or she deserves the title of one of the world’s biggest suckers. As in life, there is no rule against asking. The seller needs only one fool.
I have a 1920s era leather
football helmet that my father was told belonged to Chris “Red” Cagle, an All
Christian “Red” Keener Cagle (May 1, 1905 / December
26, 1942) was a colorful character.
He was born in DeRidder,
football for Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the
Cagle was appointed to the
Cagle played professional football for the New York Giants (1930-1932) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1933-34). Cagle and John Simms “Shipwreck” Kelly, also a former New York Giants football player, were co-owners of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The purchase price was $25,000. Cagle sold his half interest to the team to Dan Topping in 1934.
On December 23,
1942 Cagle, now employed by an insurance company, was found unconscious at the
bottom of the steps of a
According to Dan Hauser, Ed Turner, and John Gennantonio’s Antique Sports Uniforms & Equipment, 1840-1940, Baseball-Football-Basketball: With Price Guide (published by Schiffer Publishing, 2008), hard leather helmets from the late 1920s, sell in the $300.00 to $500.00 range. This value does not include “historical association,” i.e., the added value associated with the fact the helmet belonged to a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1954).
The old adage of “let your conscious
be your guide” will determine what happens next.
If you are motivated by finding
a good home rather than achieving maximum value for the helmet, then sell it to
the U.S. Military Academy at
If the sale is about money, then
$300.00 is too low.
Potential buyers include
I know Barbie turns 50 this year.
I have a one piece black and white stripped
Is this an “original”?
If yes, what is its value? – DB,
ANSWER: Barbie turned fifty in February 2009, none the worse for wear but with a slightly reduced bust size and a little bit more fat on her waist. She remains Mattel’s international “billion dollar baby,” albeit her popularity is fading with the younger set.
Barbie’s black and white stripped swim suit is her classic look. While the suit adorned the first Barbie, it also appeared on millions of Barbie’s that followed. According to the website, fashion-doll-guide.com, “Vintage Barbie Black and White Swimsuit was the original outfit for the first Barbie dolls. The ponytail Barbie dolls sold in 1959 to 1961 were wearing the famous zebra striped suit. The first Bubblecuts were also wearing this.
“In 1962 Barbie’s outfit was change to the Red Helenca Swimsuit…The swimsuits are very ‘stretchy’ and are prone to stretch out, especially at the bust. They are also prone to runs and usually look ‘dingy.’ They do clea up well with a soak in Oxiclean. They are fairly easy to find.”
The full ensemble for an early Barbie includes the swimsuit plus black open toe heels and white sunglasses with blue lens. A vintage ensemble is worth between $8.00 and $10.00. The swimsuit sells on the secondary market between $4.00 and $6.00. Beware of modern reproductions.
QUESTION: I have several Hummel figurines from the late 1930s. They are not in perfect condition. What is their value today? – NW, E-mail Question
ANSWER: They have little to no value. The secondary market for Hummel figurines has collapsed. Values have fallen by two-thirds to three-quarters from what they were fifteen years ago. However, this is not issue here. Condition is.
Collectors want objects in fine or better condition. Once an object is damaged, it is the kiss of death. Given the large quantity of Hummel figurines produced, no collector will invest in a damaged example, no matter how scarce it is. There are plenty of examples in very fine or better condition to buy.
The only value remaining in the Hummel figurines you have are what they mean to you. Keep them and enjoy them.
Harry L. Rinker welcomes questions from readers
about collectibles, those mass-produced items from the twentieth century.
Selected letters will be answered in this column.
Harry cannot provide personal answers.
Photos and other material submitted cannot be
Send your questions to: Rinker on Collectibles,
You can listen and participate in WHATCHA GOT?, Harry’s antiques and collectibles radio call-in show, on Sunday mornings between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM Eastern Time. If you cannot find it on a station in your area, WHATCHA GOT? streams live on the Internet at www.gcnlive.com.
SELL, KEEP OR TOSS?: HOW TO DOWNSIZE A HOME, SETTLE AN ESTATE, AND APPRAISE PERSONAL PROPERTY (House of Collectibles, an imprint of Random House Information Group, $16.95), Harry’s latest book, is available at your favorite bookstore and via www.harryrinker.com.