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    Column #921 Copyright © Rinker Enterprises, Inc. 2004 

    Questions and Answers

    QUESTION: I own a copy of the April 15, 1865 New York Herald, an eight-page edition featuring articles about the events related to the death of President Lincoln and the swearing in of Andrew Johnson as President.  The paper was under an attic floor.  The fold creases have thinned the paper in these areas.  I want to downsize and was wondering what value, if any, my paper has.  --  BR, E-mail Question

    ANSWER: “Rinker on Collectibles” focuses exclusively on objects made in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The fact that I have chosen to answer your question is a clear indication that I believe your copy of the April 15, 1865 New York Herald is a much later reprint.

    The two most commonly reprinted newspapers are the January 4, 1800, Ulster County Gazette, announcing the death of George Washington, and the April 15, 1865, issue of the New York Herald, announcing Lincoln’s death.  If you have one of these papers, chances are you have a reprint.

    How can you tell for certain?  Jim Lyons’ Collecting American Newspapers (Published by author, 1989; 151 pages, out-of-print) notes that collectors have identified four, possibly five, different editions of the April 15, 1865 New York Herald.  The 2:00 AM regular edition had eight pages.  “Two o’clock a.m.” appears just above the caption “Press Despatches” in the third column and “The State Capital” heads the fourth column of the first page.  The 3:00 AM special edition also contains eight pages.  The first three columns of the first page are identical to the earlier editions, but “The Latest News” replaces “The State Capital” at the head of the fourth column.  The 2:00 PM edition is known as the Inauguration Edition.  Pages 2 through 7 are identical to the earlier editions.  Heavy black lines now outline the text on the first page.  The eighth page has been altered to include information on the inauguration of Johnson.  A 10:00 AM “Reward Edition” and possibly 3:30 PM “Special Edition” has been reported.

    Lyons states that the reprints “are usually printed on wood pulp paper rather dark in color and of poor quality.  Few are facsimiles of an original edition and nearly all are reprints with extensive rearrangement of text.  Most have heavy column lines and consist of two or four numbered pages.  Some of the reprints have a portrait of President Lincoln, without a beard, on the front pages; many include large advertisements on the inside pages for such items as Kitchell’s Liniment, Smith’s Buchu Lythia Pills, Dr. Archambault’s Paris Vital Sparks, or Grain-O-Coffee.

    “A few of the reprints include text reproduced from the 2:00 a.m., Regular Edition, but most purport to be an 8:10 a.m. ‘Mourning Edition,’ the existence of the original of which has never been proven.”

    An Internet Google search lead me to www.historicpages.com/lincfake.htm, a website by Phil Barber (PO Box 8694, Boston, MA  02114).  The web page begins “The Most Abundant Newspaper Reproduction.

    “If you have this ‘newspaper,’ you have one of the many thousands of reproduction editions printed between about 1880 and the early 1900’s.  They are extremely abundant and have little collector value.

    “The ‘April 15, 1865 New York Herald’ comes in more than twenty reprint variations.  Like virtually all reproductions of old newspapers, they look nothing like the originals.”

    Barber continues: “As few other fake antiques have, these spurious Heralds have created a great deal of confusion among the non-collecting public and they have fooled numerous antique dealers, librarians, and journalists….I see them on eBay constantly.  Most surprisingly, in their ‘History of American Newspapers’, the Smithsonian Institution shows one of the Lincoln portrait fantasy reproductions and claims it is genuine!....

    “Not a week goes by that someone does not contact me about one of these issues, which they are absolutely convinced is genuine because it has been in the family ‘since grandpa’s time.’  Despite the accompanying family legends, in all these years not a single one reported to me by the non-collecting public has proved to be a genuine 1865 Herald.”

    When one has been around this business as long as I have, you learn never to say never.  Barber’s website provides a checklist to identify an April 15th, 1865 printing.  If you get lucky (who in the trade does not dream of the big hit), you should know that period copies sell in the high hundreds to low thousands of dollars depending on condition.

    QUESTION: I have enclosed a photograph of a child’s tin tea set that I inherited from my mother.  I remember playing with it as a child.  The set includes three sets of six plates, each set a different size, a cake plate with led, sugar and creamer, tea kettle, six teacups, and a large platter.  The pieces are decorated with a child-like bride and groom standing before a judge sitting behind a desk.  A duck with a large bill containing golden rings is offering the groom a ring.  Smiley-face stars are looking down on the characters.  The cup bottoms are numbered “15” and “The Ohio Art Co. / Bryan, Ohio.”  I would appreciate any information you can provide.  --  MH, Landisville, PA

    ANSWER: Collecting Toys: Idientification & Value Guide (Krause Publication, 1999; 699 pages, $28.95), edited by Elizabeth Stephan, provides this brief history of Ohio Art: “Founded by dentist H. S. Winzler (sic.) in 1908, Ohio Art’s original intent was to make metal picture frames, but in 1917 the firm bought C. E. Carter (Erie Toy Plant) and began producing metal toys, including a climbing monkey on a string for Ferdinand Strauss.  Winzeler later sold the plant to Louis Marx, but continued making tin toys, while Marx, according to Ohio Art history, used the former Carter plant as the founding of his own company.  Ohio Art is still making toys in Bryan, Ohio.”

    Lisa Kerr’s Ohio Art: The World of Toys (Schiffer Publishing, 1998; 160 pages, $29.95) pictures the 31-piece 1950s “The Wedding” lithograph tin child’s tea service and notes: “This set remains a mystery.  It seems clear that it is representative of a particular story, but despite our efforts, we have not determined which story it could be….”  Kerr values the set complete and in very good or better condition between $150.00 and $200.00.

    In July a “The Wedding Set” brought $140.17 on eBay.  A broken set consisting of four plates, three saucers, and four cups sold on eBay for $36.76.

    Ohio Art children’s lithograph tin tea sets appear regularly on eBay.  When complete and in very good or better condition, the popular sets realize strong, almost book, prices.  Sets of less interest to collectors tend to close below $50.00.

    Evaluating the picture that accompanied your letter, your set appears to be in very good to fine condition.  Its value is between $125.00 and $150.00.

    QUESTION: I have a bucket loader all metal toy that I received in the late 1940s or early 1950s.  It is marked “The Charles Wm. Doepke Mfg Co. Inc. / Cincinnati, O. / Model Toys / Patent Pending.”  The decal on the side reads “Authorized by Barber Greene.”  The toy measures about 12in in length and 18in high.  Any ideas on its present worth?  --  GU, Backus, MN

    ANSWER: Elizabeth Stephan (ed.)’s Collecting Toys: Identification & Value Guide (Krause Publications; 1999; 699 pages, $28.95) provides this information: “Charles Wm. Doepke Mfg. Co., Inc., also known as Doepke, was located in Rossmoyne, Ohio.  Each of their toys was an authorized replica of the actual vehicle, right down to the decals.  The exception was the manufacturer’s own ‘Model Toys’ design.  Doepke ‘Model Toys’ advertised their toys as outlasting all others three to one.

    “At the end of World War II, Doepke hit the market with five models, the first in a line of heavy-duty metal operating replicas employing metal treads or authentic miniature tires….

    “The first five numbers in the toy series were 200, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007….

    “No. 2001: The Barber-Greene high-capacity bucket loader, thirteen inches high, ten pounds, dark green all steel and rolling on steel tread, was designed as a toy to lead earth haulers; hand crank.”  Doepke made the Barber-Greene bucket loader for ten years, 1945-1955.

    Evaluating the photograph that accompanied your letter, your Barber-Greene bucket loader appears to be in fine to very fine condition, an extremely lovingly and carefully played with toy.  An example in excellent condition sold in early September on eBay for $345.00.  Another example in good condition sold for $94.98.  Both prices indicate the current market for this toy is very strong.  Examples in fine or better condition are selling at or above book value on eBay.  Your example is valued between $275.00 and $300.00.

    QUESTION: My mother bought a copy of Memories, a board game issued in 1990 by Pam Murphy, at a garage sale.  The game is numbered 809 out of 2,000 and in mint condition, i.e., never played with.  My mother is hoping it might be worth something.  Can you help clear up things for us?  --  D, E-mail Question

    ANSWER:  Collecting is all about memories.  If something is not used or, in this case, played with, there are no memories.  No memories equal little to no value.

    I did an Internet search and came up empty.  An eBay search proved equally negative.  I am afraid Pam Murphy’s Memories game is a fading and perhaps fully distant memory.

    Limited edition games of this nature have very little interest to game collectors.  They are collected more as curiosities than a major subcategory within the boxed board game general category.  When collectors do find them, they gladly will pay a few dollars to add the example to their collection.  Ten dollars would be far too high a price.

    My advice is simple.  Play the game and create some memories.

    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 returned.  Send your questions to: Rinker on Collectibles, 5093 Vera Cruz Road, Emmaus, PA 18049.  You also can e-mail your questions to rinkeron@fast.net.  Only e-mails containing a full name and mailing address will be considered.

    Watch Harry as the COLLECTOR INSPECTOR on weekdays at 11:30 AM ET/PT on Home & Garden Television (HGTV).  Check your local TV schedule for the exact time in other time zones.
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