May 20, 2024

Antiques & Collecting: Hood ornament

The Spirit of Ecstasy, nicknamed the Flying Lady or Silver Lady, has decorated Rolls-Royce cars since 1911. This figure is a brass reproduction.

Looking for a little luxury? This “Spirit of Ecstasy” figure replicates the hood ornament from Rolls-Royce cars.

In 1909, car enthusiast John Douglas-Scott-Montagu commissioned sculptor Charles Sykes to create a mascot for his Rolls-Royce.

Sykes made a sculpture of a woman bent at the waist, leaning forward so her robe flows behind her like wings. The model was Eleanor Thornton, Montagu’s secretary and, secretly, lover.

By 1911, Sykes’s sculpture was made the official Rolls-Royce hood ornament. “Spirit of Ecstasy” is its official name, but it is also known as the “Flying Lady” or the “Silver Lady.”

The hood ornament was originally silver plated, but has since been made in other silver tone metals like chrome or stainless steel.

This brass version is a reproduction. It sold for $210 at Morphy Auctions — a very low price when compared to an actual Rolls-Royce car.

My grandmother loved Precious Moments figurines. She gave me the Precious Moments figurine of a bride called “Someday My Love” when I got married 20 years ago. Is it worth anything?

Precious Moments, like Beanie Babies, were wildly popular and people collected them assuming they would increase in value. Most have not.

Artist and illustrator Samuel Butcher began drawing pictures of stylized, cute children in the 1970s.

He and a friend began a company to make and sell greeting cards and posters that featured his “Precious Moments” artwork. In 1978, Enesco Corp. developed a line of porcelain Precious Moments figurines.

Demand was high. Sales kept growing, too many different figurines were made and the market crashed. Many buyers still love them, but they sell for very low prices.

Your “Someday My Love” figurine was made in 1988. It sells for anywhere from $14 to $25.

Tip: Do not store vintage fabrics in unheated attics or basements or areas that may get hot. The best storage is between 65 and 75 degrees.

Current Prices

Toy, puppet, penguin, gray beak and feet, wears red jacket, black and white checked shirt, articulated, Dee Segula, 20th century, 9 x 5 1/2 inches, $60.

Book, An Historical Atlas, Edward Quin, 21 maps, folding, aquatint, engraved, hand colored, R.B. Seeley & W. Burnside, London, 1836, $1,170.

Blanket, wearing, Navajo, woman’s, red field, seven black and yellow wave bands, red and white triangle border, 1900s, 80 x 51 inches, $3,445.

Terry and Kim Kovel

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