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Hi, Connie Sue!

Can you help solve this fun mother-daughter “what-is-it” mystery? This little gal is porcelain and 6½ inches tall. I believe she was used to dispense baby powder and hold Q-tips in the back. There is even a faint smell of baby powder. Stamped on bottom is “Made in Japan.” She has only sentimental value because she is broken where she may have held Q-tips. My mom thinks it was meant for baking soda and to hold a toothbrush in the back. It belonged to my grandmother. I’ve spent enjoyable hours searching the internet to no avail.

It’s a real mystery to us!

Shelly and Lucy, Franklin


Lucy and Shelly,

The mark “Made in Japan” dates this porcelain after 1921 when imports were required to state the country of origin’s name in English. Sweet and whimsical Japanese porcelains weren’t made for a defined purpose. They were made to sell. Use was left to the owner. So both of you are correct.

Cute babies appealed to the majority of consumers at the time your little sweetie was produced. After the World Wars and the troops returned, a home-cooked meal was the first thing that came to mind. Second thoughts produced babies or wishes for such.


Dear Connie Sue,

My mom gave me this tool about 30 years ago when I needed something sharp to reweb chairs. The markings on the removable piece are “pat D Apr 6 09” with a trademark.

I would appreciate any info about it since so far none of the antique dealers I have asked knows what it is.


Dear Linda,

This hollow-handled tool is called an awl. It is used to punch holes in fabric or leather. The patented guard keeps the point from piercing too far into the material and determines the size of the hole. The handle may be sterling. The mark would be quite small in a smooth area near the blade. Similar pieces sell for $12 to $25.


Dear Connie Sue,

My sister gave this handkerchief to me. I’m assuming it’s from the ’30s, ’40s or ’50s, and I was told it was owned by my grandmother. I would like to know how much it’s worth. Have you seen these before, and is it an antique?


Dear David,

Paper tissues were introduced in 1924. My grandmother always had a clean handkerchief tucked in her sleeve or belt until her death in the 1960s. She thought paper tissues were wasteful. Your grandmother may have preferred a pretty cloth hankie well after paper was available, too. Today they sell for $1 to $3 each.

I think of antiques as something made before 1900.

Hi, Connie,

My late husband collected Griswold cast iron. How can I find the current value and dealers that might be interested in buying? The majority is in excellent condition.

I have all the skillets from #0 to #10 along with muffin pans, waffle irons, cornbread pans and Dutch ovens. I would appreciate any advice you can share.

Carolyn, Sparta


The value of your husband’s cast iron can be found at Enter “Griswold Cast Iron,” then the specific item — like “skillet.” On the left hand side of the page, scroll down to the box marked “SOLD Listings” for a list of items recently purchased. Do this for each item or category to determine a realistic selling price.

To sell the collection as a whole, total the prices paid of all and jiggle the total to make it appealing to bulk buyers. Email or take a list with pictures to antique malls and shops. Dealers typically need to pay half of retail in order to stay in the game.


About Author

Connie Sue Davenport

Connie Sue Davenport, ISA AM, offers antique appraisal events, private appraisals and estate sale consulting services to individuals, businesses and organizations. Sign up for “IT’S JUST STUFF,” her FREE quarterly newsletter, at Send your inquiry with photos to the mailing address or email below. Only published appraisals are free. Private appraisals are available for a fee. Call 615-672-1992 for an appointment. No appraisals are given over the phone. Connie Sue Davenport, P.O. Box 343, White House, TN 37188 615-672-1992 • email:

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