Our collectibles this month are, as always, an interesting and diverse bunch. A few would be comfortable in many settings today, including a small, delicate porcelain figurine, a weathered duck decoy, and a wall-sized metal sculpture. Two others – a pair of watercolors painted by a minor Austrian artist and a 1900-era mantel clock – will primarily appeal to collectors with more specialized tastes.
Sculpture of raindrops C. Jere
Q. I got this at the old Jewish Women’s Council thrift store that was once on 10th and Alder in downtown Portland. Spent $ 50 on it and brought it back at lunchtime to my office at First and Market in the rain. It is marked C. Jere ’73. It is approximately five feet long and can be hung horizontally or vertically.
A. Your sculpture is the work of artists Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels, who have sold their work under the name C. Jere. Freiler was the production manager and Fels was the designer. Their goal was to create “gallery-quality art for the masses,” and their production house in California employed artisans to produce a number of sculptures. Raindrop sculptures are among their most popular. The company still makes metal sculptures, but production is now based in China. At auction, you might see a sale of $ 1,000 to $ 1,500. Mid-century modern design dealers might charge $ 5,000 to $ 7,000 or more for this piece.
Q. My mother has a porcelain figurine of a girl riding a turtle. It is 10 1/2 inches high and is in mint condition. Can you tell me how old he is?
A. Your Art Nouveau style figurine is from the Dux porcelain factory in Duchov, Bohemia, commonly known as Royal Dux. It was made before 1919 and probably dates from 1900-1910. Royal Dux was founded in 1853, went through difficult times during and after the two world wars and is again making high quality porcelain today. At auction, you might see a sale of $ 200 to $ 300. A dealer specializing in European porcelain can charge $ 700 to $ 900 or more if it is in excellent condition and in good condition.
Watercolors by Jurutka
I have two Jurutka watercolors – 12 inches x 16 inches and in excellent condition. Jurutka lived in my neighborhood in Austria after WWII, and I inherited it from my parents. He is well known for his oil paintings but I did not find any watercolors in his portfolio. I would appreciate any information you could provide.
RW, Southeast Portland
A. Your watercolors appear to be by the Austro-Hungarian artist Joseph Jurutka (1880-1945). He is best known for his oil still lifes, and Hitler purchased one of his paintings especially for his private collection. At auction, you might see estimates of $ 120 to $ 180 each for these watercolors. A dealer can charge between $ 600 and $ 800 each for these paintings in a nice, similar framing.
Seth Thomas pendulum
Q. I bought this clock from an antique store several years ago. Can you tell me how old and how valuable it is? It works well. It measures 11 1/2 inches. The movement is stamped Made in USA and 890.
PC, Twin Falls, Idaho
A. Your clock is an “Adamantine” clock from the Seth Thomas Clock Company, of New Haven, Connecticut, and is dated approximately 1900-1910. In the 1860s, French clocks in slate, onyx, or marble cases became popular in the United States. These cases were expensive, and many American clock makers, including Seth Thomas, produced less expensive iron or wood cases of similar appearance. The company’s popular Adamantine black mantel clocks used a patented celluloid veneer made to mimic the grain of wood, onyx or marble and glued to a wooden case. At auction, it could sell for between $ 150 and $ 250. A dealer specializing in American clocks might charge between $ 500 and $ 750 for this clock in excellent working order.
Q. I inherited a duck decoy that belonged to my grandmother’s brother. It is 14 ½ inches long and has a lot of wear and tear. Can you tell me something? Is there a market for such an item?
MP, North Portland
A. Your decoy is a Bluebill hen decoy from the Mason Decoy Factory in Detroit, Michigan, which made decoys from 1888 to 1894 and again from 1903 to 1924. Yours is from the first quarter of the 20th century and is their grade. “Challenge” – a descendant of the highest rank. At auction, you might see a sale of $ 150 to $ 250 for your lure. A collector’s lure dealer might charge $ 300 to $ 400. Mason’s decoys are highly collectable, and if yours were excellent with most of the paint, it would fetch three or four times that amount.
About today’s collectables
The values discussed for the items presented in this column were researched by Portland assessor, Jerry l. Dobesh, ASA, an accredited senior appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers, with a specialty designation in Antiques and Decorative Arts. Its services include providing assessments for inheritance rights, charitable contributions, insurance planning and loss, and fair distribution needs.
To find an appraiser, contact the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America. The estimates suggested in this Collectibles column are for general information purposes only and cannot be used as a basis for sales, insurance or IRS purposes.
In order for elements to be considered for inclusion in future columns, please send us your high quality images, preferably at least 300 dpi, 1MB in size and in jpeg format. Photos should show each object in its entirety and should be clearly focused and well lit to show detail. If there are any maker’s marks, please include a picture of them. Include measurements and information about the condition of the part.
Send to: [email protected]
or at: Today’s Collectibles / Houses and Gardens
1500 SW First Ave., suite 400
Portland, OR 97201
Please include your name and city, as well as your contact details; phone number or email address. Contact details will not be published. The Oregonian will retain the rights to use the photographs for its print, marketing and online media.