Did you hear about the 150-year-old photo found recently in a North Carolina attic that sold for $50,000? Turns out the rare photo was of two young black boy slaves - one named John, barefoot and wearing ragged clothes, perched on a barrel next to another undentified boy.
Art historians believe it's an extremely rare Civil War photo of children who were slaves in the early 1860s. Selling along with the photo was a document detailing the sale of John as a slave to a white man for $1,150.
It's very rare today to find photos of slave children. Readers you just never know what's tucked away in those attics.
Letters from readers:
Question: I enjoyed the article you wrote some time ago on August James Weber, the famous artist who was born in Marietta. I just wanted to say that St. Mary Church in Marietta has one of August James Weber's paintings titled "Stations of the Cross."
The painting may be in storage today, but I remember it once hung on a wall in the dining room of the church. My mom, Ann Wakefield, is a descendant of August James Weber and owns two of his paintings today.
One is of an alleyway she used to walk down on her way to St. Mary School. She bought the paintings from the Weber family, who today has tons of his work in storage.
I do know that a fire destroyed much of Weber's work at an art studio in Cincinnati. This was before his mother became ill and he moved back to Marietta. Sincerely S. E. Thomas, New York, N.Y.
Answer: Thanks for your interesting letter. August James Weber (1898-1957) of Marietta was a very talented artist.
Several of his painting's have sold at art auctions around the country for several hundred dollars. Some of his work also hangs in various art museums around the country.
Q.: I have been searching for someone to fix an antique clock I have that was orginally my grandfathers.
However, I do not know who does this kind of work or of anyone that could recommend someone. Do you have any suggestions?
The clock I have fell and broke into several pieces, but I have all the parts and none of the wood broke - just came apart at the seams. I look forward to your suggestion. My mom said you were the first to ask, so I looked you up on the Internet. C.F., Bartlett.
A.: There is a place in Parkersburg that repairs and restores old antique clocks. Contact Mackey's Antiques & Clock repair on Gihon Road at (304) 422-7274.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta, Ohio 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph.
QUESTION? I live in Weirton .W.va but was born in Marietta, My mom is moving into a smaller place so we are going through all her things to downsize, for years she has used a Red Top Brewing Company wooden barrel/keg as a night stand. it stands about 2 1/2 feet tall . and is in excellent condition . I have googled this item on the internet for 2 days now and cant find anything on Red Top Brewing Company, , Do you think it would be worth anything? S.R. Weirton. W.va
ANSWER> The Red Top Brewing Company was based in Cincinnati. Ohio, the company went out of business sometime in the late 1950s. Brewery collectors including advertising collectors around the country today would be much interested in buying your item , if its in excellent condition it would be worth around 200-250
QUESTION? In 1947, My parents took me to Nashville, Tennessee to the Grand Ole Opry, While there they bought me this doll , it is made of printed fabric and measures 12 inches in height, can you tell me anything about the doll from the photo I'm sending . C. K. Parkersburg. w.va
Answer , What you have is a Roy Acuff doll. who was known as the king of country music. and was a major star of the Grand Ole Opry from about 1938 on, his trademark song was "The Wabash Cannonball" your doll is a crossover collectibile and worth about 125.00 to a celebrity doll collector.
*Readers In next weeks colum tell you all about some other valuable treasure thats out there tucked away in those old attics, basements and barns around Washington and Wood County , in the meantime check out those local flea markets, garage sales, and antique shops,and write me at Treasure in the attic. C/o Marietta Times or email me at email@example.com , see you right back here next week you hear.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.