Cookie Jar

Q: I have a Liberty Bell cookie jar that is marked with the dates 1776-1976, so I assume it was made to commemorate our country’s bicentennial. Is this something worth keeping or passing along to my great-grandchildren? – Ruth, Barre, Vt.

A: I think you are probably correct that your cookie jar was manufactured to observe the 200th anniversary of the United States. Although there are a few collectors of bicentennial items, it will take a little more time before many of the items are all that much in demand. I have spotted plates, cups, posters and, yes, cookie jars at antiques malls and in shops, but prices do not seem to be increasing all that much. My advice is to keep your cookie jar, since it will probably be more valuable in the future. How much, I can’t begin to guess.


Q: I have a three-speed Capitol phonograph that my mother purchased for me 60 years ago when I was a teenager. Capitol only made a few, and mine still is in working order and in excellent condition. How much is it worth? – Aileen, Howell, Mich.

A: I spoke to several collectors, and they seem to agree that your phonograph would sell in the $75-$150 range. In your letter you also listed several other items, including dishes and guitars. Let me state again that in this column I do not make appraisals and take only one question at a time.


Q: I have an original edition of the Stars & Stripes newspaper announcing the end of World War II. I would like to know what it is worth. – Estelle, Sun City, Ariz.

A: Timothy Hughes is one of the leading newspaper dealers in this country and has bought, sold and appraised vintage publications for more than 30 years. His contact information is P.O. Box 3636, Williamsport, PA 17701;; and 570-326-1045. Check out his website at


Q: I have an Elks Jim Beam decanter from 1968. What do you think it is worth? – Charlie, Hobbs, N.M.

A: I found the decanter on eBay. It sold at auction for $12, which is probably close to what it is actually worth.


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