When the Parkersburg Sentinel first started out as a weekly newspaper on July 17, 1875, by its owners, R.E. Horner, proprietor, and John W. Horner, editor, newspaper delivery was delivered on motorcycles. One of these motorcycles made by the Thor Motorcycle & Bicycle Company of Parkersburg was found recently in need of repair in a barn at Walker, W.Va., where it had been sitting for 107 years. The owner of the motorcycle today has plans on restoring the motorcycle to its original condition, if parts can be found. The Thor Motorcycle Company went out of business in Parkersburg in 1920. Copake Auctions who specialized in buying and selling antique bicycles and motorcycles have shown interest in the motorcycle. Thor motorcycles made in Parkersburg are collector items today and worth several hundred dollars in good condition at auction.
Question: I recently purchased a piece of Roseville pottery at a local flea market. I took it to an antique shop to sell it and they told me it was a new piece and wasn't old at all. Is this true? - H. W., Marietta.
Answer: Trademark names like Roseville, McCoy, Bauer pottery and other pottery are being used today on new pieces of pottery. Once a company goes out of business and the trademark lapses, it can be used by another company. Watch what you pay big bucks for.
Q.: My grandfather has an old rolltop desk that was made by Derby and Kilmer Desk Company. Can you tell me anything about the desk and its value from the photo I'm sending? - F. W., Watertown.
A.: George Derby opened a small furniture company in Boston in 1872, producing roll top Derby desks. A partner joined him the following year and his business became Derby & Kilmer Desk Company. Its headquarters was in Boston, and a large factory in Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. The company expanded until it was bought by another firm in 1931. Derby rolltop desks sell for a few hundred dollars into the thousands today, depending on style and condition,
Q.: I have a B.P.O.E Marietta elk head cut diamond stick pin in 14k gold. Can you tell me how old it is and what it's worth? - C. S., Lowell.
A.: It was made in 1920, and is worth about $100 to a B.P.O.E. collector.
Q.: I have an old apple butter copper kettle. It has the iron swing handle. Can you tell what it is worth? - S. W., Bartlett.
A.: Your kettle is worth around $150 to $200.
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.