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Antiques & Collecting: Crepe-paper flag made in 1936

Would you have kept a crocheted crepe paper flag for more than 80 years? An Oklahoma woman, probably a collector, made the flag, and her family saved it until last year when they realized it might be valuable. They sold it at auction for $344. Unique vintage pieces are often of interest and will sell for a good price.
Would you have kept a crocheted crepe paper flag for more than 80 years? An Oklahoma woman, probably a collector, made the flag, and her family saved it until last year when they realized it might be valuable. They sold it at auction for $344. Unique vintage pieces are often of interest and will sell for a good price.

Folk art, by definition, is a homemade or handmade piece by an untrained artist. It can be as large as a huge sculpture of found pieces of metal or as small as a peach pit carved and made into a pendant. A realistic duck decoy, a quilt with original designs or a carved wooden bust of a president can also be folk art.

Women often made needlework pieces to use that are collected today as vintage folk art. A 33- by 55-inch crocheted flag was sold at a Garth’s auction in Ohio recently. It was made of crepe paper and signed by Meta Schmitt of Omaha about 1936.

The 48-star flag was probably made to display at a patriotic gathering, like a Fourth of July or a “Welcome Home Soldier” party. After the event, she must have carefully stored it in a dry, dark place away from newspaper ink or loose colored crepe paper that might bleed.

With the flag was a 90-inch-long pole painted silver to look like a metal pole. It must have been stored with the flag.

Collectors learn the hard way that parts of a set or a combination of parts often get misplaced when moved around in storage areas. Boxes or wrapping must be marked or labeled on the outside.

If there is a special history or story, such as who made it and when it was used, write it down and put it in the box or tape it to the wrapping. Family photos of the party with the flag also will add to a selling price.

Meta’s paper flag sold for $344. She probably would have been pleasantly surprised.

My felt Batman pennant is marked “National Periodical Publications Inc.” from 1966. It pictures Batman and Robin swinging into action and is in good condition. I’m wondering how much it is worth.

Batman and Robin are characters created by Bob Kane. Batman first appeared as “Bat-Man” in a 1939 issue of “Detective Comics.” The first Batman comic book was published in 1940.

National Periodical Publications published several “Batman” comic books beginning in 1966, and the characters also became part of a television series that year. The pennants sell for about $50 if in excellent condition.

Current Prices

Buffalo Pottery Chamberstick, white flowers, green leaves, turquoise band, Emerald Deldare, 6 3/4 inches, $625.

Cigar store figure, holding cigars, headdress, green tunic, yellow leggings, 23 x 5 3/4 inches, $1,320.

Console table, Dunbar, midcentury modern, 3 file drawers, 2 doors, shelves, 29 x 136 1/2 inches, $1,970.

Steamer trunk, monogram canvas, leather & wood bound, fitted interior, four compartments, lock, Louis Vuitton, 22 x 43 1/2 inches, $7,380.

Tip: Display groups of at least three of your collectibles to get decorating impact.

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com. 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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