Ever wonder who invented the first watering can? When were small gardens numerous enough to have customers willing to pay for a better way to carry water to their plants?

Historic records say the first was a watering pot made in about 1580. It was a container with a handle and small holes in the bottom for the water to flow out.

It was another 50 to 100 years before someone thought of adding a spout. The earliest mention in print was in 1692 in Timothy Keeble’s diary.

Early watering cans were made of pottery, then zinc, brass, copper, tin and other metals. They were bucket-shaped, then milk-can shaped and then funnel-shaped. More recently, there were small watering cans that hold liquid in a round ball shape with a spout.

Twentieth-century watering cans can be plastic, tin or even canvas. Every shape includes a round hollow part that empties through a spout with tiny holes. It is called a “rose.” It was the early 1900s before sprinkling cans were mass-produced and had a metal company’s logo included on a tag or impression.

And small collectible children’s tin sprinkling cans with colorful decorations were first popular in the 1930s. The most artistic sprinkling cans were made in the Aesthetic style in the 19th century.

The painted cans had decoupaged or painted birds, flowers and other outdoor designs. One sold at a Rago auction for $214. It probably was used indoors.

I have an Elvis doll made by Hasbro in 1993. The box is labeled “Elvis Jailhouse Rock, 45 RPM.” The doll has never been on display and the box has never even been opened. Can you tell me what is in the box and whether it has any value?

In the 1990s, Hasbro made three Elvis Presley dolls to honor the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Your doll’s box includes a numbered 12-inch posable Elvis doll dressed in a red jacket with black trim, a white shirt, black pants and white shoes. He has a removable guitar to commemorate the photo shoot for his hit record “Jailhouse Rock.”

The doll is packaged with a doll stand that has an Elvis facsimile signature and a certificate of authenticity. The other dolls in the series commemorate Elvis “Teen Idol” and the Elvis “‘68 Special.”

Each doll’s value today is $30 to $40. Sometimes Elvis memorabilia sells higher around his Jan. 8 birthday and Aug. 16 death.

Current Prices

Depression glass, cherry blossom, cake plate, pink, footed, Jeannette Glass Co., c. 1930, 10 1/2 inches, $30.

Doll, Madame Alexander, Sonja Henie, black dress, gold trim on bottom and neck, ice skates, blond hair, 1939, $120.

Copper cauldron, iron bail handle, rounded bottom, dovetailed, 1800s, 17 x 25 inches, $258.

Lap desk, pine, mixed woods, reticulated brass mounts, hinged lids, ink wells, 1800s, 4 x 13 x 10 inches, $319.

Tip: Custard glass and milk glass can now be repaired by blacklight-proof methods. Be very careful when buying antiques.

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com. © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.

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