Ask Mark Parker Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine
Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine

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Ask Mark Parker
Volume 31 September 1997

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FRONTIER FIGHTERSAsk Mark Parker Image 1

Q. Mark, I obtained this United Indian War Veterans (UIWV) watch fob from a family who had it in their possession for over 40 years. Could you please give me a little background on it, along with the age and value?

A. The UIWV was reportedly founded in 1928, following division within another group, the National Indian War Veterans, established in 1911. Since the Indian Wars era ended in the 1890s, membership and activity of actual veterans in the UIWV had greatly diminished by the 1940s, although descendants continued the organization for many years afterward. Your item, although designed like a fob, is said to have originally been the main portion of a membership badge, suspended from a ribbon with a "VETERAN" hanger bar at the top. Price estimates of dealers and collectors contacted by W&ET ranged from $150 to $250.


CHEAPER BY THE DOUZAINAsk Mark Parker Image 2

Q. Any idea what kind of coin this is, where it's from, what it's worth, etc.?

A. Your find is a silver douzain of Henry II of France, dated 1550, from the Poitiers mint. Because of the crowned crescents on either side of the coat of arms, this variety is known as the douzain aux croissants. A similar piece in slightly better condition recently sold for $130, and this one would probably bring around $75.


GET THE PICTURE?Ask Mark Parker Image 3

Q. While inventorying a lifetime of collectibles after a friend's husband passed away, I found this 2-1/2 x 4" card for "Woolen Cloths & Remnants at Manufacturers' Prices, Cheap for Cash at 37 Dorrance Street, Providence R.I." In the center is a small oval photo, with the caption "Lincoln & Tad" at the bottom of the card. I know it has value among Lincoln collectors, but how much ?

A. This is an advertising CDV (carte de visite) bearing one of the most popular and widely copied Matthew Brady portraits of Lincoln, shown with his young son Tad. Value? $80-120, according to Jonathan Mann of The Rail Splitter magazine, the quarterly journal of a society for collectors of Lincoln memorabilia.

For assistance in identifying, pricing, and selling Lincoln items-or for membership and subscription ($16/year)-write to Jonathan Mann, The Rail Splitter, P.O. Box 275, New York, NY 10044. When you write, be sure to enclose a SASE and mention W&ET.

IT'S MONUMENTALAsk Mark Parker Image 4

Q. Searching a local yard, I uncovered this large foreign silver coin .. Any information concerning it would be appreciated.

A. Struck in honor of Czar Alexander I, who died in 1825, it's a commemorative Russian rouble authorized by his brother, Nicholas I, in 1834. The reverse shows the Alexander I Monument. Proclaimed a hero for his defeat of Napoleon in the invasion of 1812, Alexander later became a figure of mystery as well. Many people insisted that his reign did not actually end in death, and that he secretly withdrew to Siberia to begin a new life as a religious hermit and mystic. A century later, deciding to put an end to such speculation, Soviet officials opened Alexander's tomb and found him... missing! There's no mystery about your coin, though: it lists for $125-150 in Very Fine condition.

GRAND OLD FLAGAsk Mark Parker Image 5

Q. A friend found this "Flag" lock & key in a tin can, in an old mining area in southwest Oregon. What can you tell us about it?

A. "Flag" was an inexpensive brand of iron lever padlock made by the Slaymaker Co. around the turn of the century. While I've seen it priced under $10 in various books and catalogs, I doubt you'd have much trouble getting double that for one (with key) in good working condition.

ON YOUR MARKAsk Mark Parker Image 6

Q. If possible, please identify this heavy cast metal oval, shown about actual size, with the letters UF flanking what appears to be an old steam-powered fire engine.

A. Our thanks to Glenn Hartley, Sr., secretary-treasurer of the Fire Mark Circle of the Americas (FMCA), for his help on this one. He indicates that your find, intended to be used as a paperweight, is a miniature replica of an 1862-77 "fire mark" of the United Firemen's Insurance Co. of Philadelphia. Fire marks were issued by fire insurance companies to policyholders and were attached to the building insured. The original "UF" fire mark (of which there are 11 known variants) was much larger- approximately 9 x 10-12"- and made of cast iron, and has been reproduced a number of times. Your paperweight is of modern origin and, although collectable, probably less than a $10 find. (An original, full-size "UF" fire mark would be worth over $100.)

Note: Readers interested in fire marks and related memorabilia are invited to apply for membership in the FMCA. For a free, informative brochure and application, send a SASE to Glenn Hartley, Sr., FMCA, 2589 Marlin Drive, Chamblee, GA 30341-5119. Our thanks to Glenn Hartley, Sr., secretary-treasurer of the Fire Mark Circle of the Americas (FMCA), for his help on this one. He indicates that your find, intended to be used as a paperweight, is a miniature replica of an 1862-77 "fire mark" of the United Firemen's Insurance Co. of Philadelphia. Fire marks were issued by fire insurance companies to policyholders and were attached to the building insured. The original "UF" fire mark (of which there are 11 known variants) was much larger- approximately 9 x 10-12"- and made of cast iron, and has been reproduced a number of times. Your paperweight is of modern origin and, although collectable, probably less than a $10 find. (An original, full-size "UF" fire mark would be worth over $100.)



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