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Antiques and Collectibles: Any info or opinions on this?

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Forum: Antiques and CollectiblesReplies: 4, Views: 104
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Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
3:55 PM

Post #9035034

My Mom--long gone--bought our first house in 1957.

It was a small, sturdy bungalow-type house built in the mid 1930's-- sometime.
It had a room in the basement that was all concrete. walls--floor--ceiling.
We thought that this may have been a room where coal was delivered--or maybe a bomb shelter ?
A "cool room" for storing canned goods???

In the basement this was hanging above the utility tub. Seems to have been for holding
paper towels(?). Were paper towels around then? if not--then maybe it was used for hanging a hand-towel.

It is not in any kind of great condition. It is made from some kind of pressed board maybe 3/8" thick..
You can see this in the hanging hole in the picture of the close-up of the face.

Would this be considered Black Art--or just something someone made--for the fun of it.
There are NO markings on the back.

Thanks, Gita

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Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #9035042

In the corner of this same all-concrete room was an Ivory Soap barrel.
Probably been there forever!
I still have it--but want to get rid of it as it takes up a lot of room in my Shop.

There is no bottom to it and it is made from rather thin wood. The labels are peeling and faded.
I am sure there was a lot of dampness in this concrete basement room.

We have researched this a bit and found out that around 1937 or so, Ivory Flakes were sold in bulk.
Hence--maybe--the one open end to this barrel.

I have the results of our search printed out--somewhere...

Can anyone shed some light on this? I would like to sell it to some shop that deals in antiques.
One of my daughters used this barrel as a side table. So--it has a thick, round glass top that can sit on top of it.

Any info. would be welcome.

Thanks again--Gita

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Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

March 8, 2012
6:47 PM

Post #9035201

Black Folk Art has a fairly high market (no, there weren't may paper towels in the 50's)
It's highly collectable. Whether or not it's signed, it's still fairly old.


Clarksville, TN
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
1:50 AM

Post #9035397

I agree. It's probably a hand towel holder, mass-produced, but that doesn't necessarily make it less valuable. Black Americana has been very collectible. I haven't had my shop for several years now, so I don't know how the values are currently. Here is something similar but it is damaged whereas your piece is whole (perhaps a replaced dowel)

You could be right about the Ivory Soap barrel having been in a store although people bought entire barrels as well. Some people like those for their value as advertising art if the signage is in good condition ... or as just a funky thing to have. It's pretty cool. :)

The concrete block room could have been a coal storage bin. You can usually tell if it has been used for that purpose. Coal dust is tough to eradicate completely. Those rooms usually had a small access door in the outside wall where they dumped the coal delivery into the bin room. Those openings usually have old cast iron doors. Root cellars and cold cellars were also popular back then.

Your items from another era are very nice to see. :)

This message was edited Mar 9, 2012 3:52 AM


Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9035580


Thanks for posting the link to the towel holder. Seems similar in use--anyway...

The concrete room did not have any coal residue in it. No shelving--nothing. Just a med. sized room.
There was a small, casement window, from the back yard side. The door that connected it to the rest of the basement
was just an opening--NO door on it. Smooth sides all around...

Since we bough the house in 1957--and it was built in the mid 1930's--who knows what happened
in the years in-between?

Thanks for your input...Gita

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