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Homepage Archives Open in new window Index (06/2001) AMP (05/2001) AMP (07/2001)   Vol. 35 June 2001 
Ask Mark Parker!
As seen in the June 2001 edition of W&ET Magazine
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR FINDS

COMES A HORSEMAN


Question This silver ID pin is engraved, "Jas. H. Barnum, Co. L., 1st Mass. Cav." How much is it worth, and what can you tell me about the soldier who wore it?

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Answer James H. Barnum was a 20-year-old farmer from Adams, Massachusetts when he enlisted on December 2, 1863. A few weeks later, he was mustered into Co. L of the Massachusetts 1st Cavalry on January 6, 1864, as a private. Records indicate that he was wounded at Reams' Station, Virginia, on August 23, 1864, survived, and was mustered out at Washington, D.C. on June 26, 1865. Based on recent price guides and sales, the value of the pin should be around $1,000-1,200.


CROSSING THE BAR


Question Detecting at Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico, I dug this token which says, "Perry & Henderson / The Wellington / Globe, Ariz." and, on the back, "Good for 12-1/2" in trade. I'm hoping you can give me a little info on it.

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Answer The Wellington was a saloon in Globe, in 1911-12. Back then, the going price for whiskey was two shots for a quarter, and anybody who wanted change after the first one was likely to get a funny look and a 12-1/2, or one "bit," token in return. You may also see the tiny letters L.A.R.S. on the token, identifying its manufacturer, the Los Angeles Rubber Stamp Co. (not to be confused with L. A. Stamp, a later creator of many fantasy tokens). This piece is scarce and in the past has retailed for $125. It's possible that a few have been found since then, driving down the price; but I suspect that yours would fetch at least as much.


FOOTLOOSE & FANCY


Question A while back, I found this small (1/2" x 7/8") buckle which has a crown and the letters "GR" on it. Please identify it, if possible.

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Answer It's from a late 18th century clog (shoe) latchet, according to George Juno, a leading specialist in artifacts of that era. The crowned, script letters GR stand for Georgius Rex (Latin for "King George") and are the royal cypher of George III of Great Britain. Another example, found on a child's clog, reflects a very different allegiance, bearing a wreath and Independence for America. Like that one, yours is estimated to be somewhere in the $100-200 range. Incidentally, some relic hunters may note that your find is quite similar in size and shape to certain padlock keyhole covers, or "drops," of the late 18th and early 19th century. However, those are typically thicker and have a pivot on the back, and the crown/GR is smaller, stamped, and plain rather than script.


THE BUCK STOPS HERE


Question Not long ago, I was coinshooting at a one-room schoolhouse in Sagaponack, Long Island, New York. One of my finds was a Hopalong Cassidy ring from the 1950s, and only a few feet away lay this "Buck Rogers Solar Scouts" badge. On the back are the words, "To My Solar Scout Pal," with Buck Rogers' signature below. Could you please date and price it for me?

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Answer A premium of the radio show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, it was issued in 1936 by the makers of Cream of Wheat cereal, who sponsored the program that season. Created by novelist Philip Nowlan, Buck, as well informed (or well aged!) readers will know, was an interplanetary adventurer who rocketed to super-hero status in comics and movie serials in the early '30s. Inevitably, he conquered the airwaves, too, in 1932, and the early sci-fi series ran in syndication through 1947. Today, Buck's often worth big bucks, and even the common stuff can command nice prices. Your badge, for example, ought to bring $50-65 in Very Good to Fine condition.


GOING FIRST CLASS


Question I found this sterling silver ring near an old stump on a hillside in Tacoma, Washington. Age? Value?

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Answer It's a Boy Scout's "First Class" emblem ring dating from the 1920s, and when new it sold for a whopping 85. The same design was also available in gold-filled ($1) and 10K solid gold ($5.50). Some sources now list it at up to $60, but a Scouting memorabilia dealer & collector tells W&ET that it's actually closer to $25-35. For those who may have found the GF or 10K versions, I've seen those tagged for up to $60-75 and $100-150, respectively.


ON THE UP-AND-UP


Question How much is this silver souvenir pin from the 1939 New York World's Fair worth?

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Answer First things first. It may seem reminiscent of the Trylon & Perisphere (globe and spire) of that expo, but in fact it's an Air Transport Command (ATC) insignia from WWII. The same design in gold finish is the insignia of the Air Ferry Command, and the indentations along the rim, from about 9:00 to 12:00, are supposed to be Morse Code for AF and ATC. The ATC was created by the Army Air Corps on May 29, 1941, to deliver aircraft from U.S. factories to seaports, for shipment overseas. Later, when America entered the war, the ATC became a sort of "military airline," using civilian planes and pilots, along with reserve pilots and newly ordered aircraft, to transport cargo and troops. Your find is worth maybe $15-20+, although I recently saw one sold for $11, and another for even less.





HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR FINDS



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