Q: Last autumn, my wife and I purchased a home in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. The house was constructed in 1934, and the kitchen still has its original cooking stove, an old Magic Chef range. We are at odds about whether we should replace the vintage stove with a new state-of-the-art appliance. What would you do? – Bob, Tucson
A: Before I answer your question, let’s review a brief history of Magic Chef.
The Magic Chef cooking system was introduced in 1881 in Saint Louis. Two features set it apart from other stoves: its distinctive design and the even baking of its gas ovens. In 1901, the company changed its name to American Stove but continued to produce Magic Chef ranges. By 1929, Magic Chef was the stove of choice with cooks throughout the country, especially in the heartland. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, the Magic Chef brand was acquired by Maytag in 1986. Maytag was subsequently bought by Whirlpool in 2006, and even though Magic Chef products are still being manufactured, the catalog is mostly limited to cookware, wine coolers, and small kitchen appliances such as microwave ovens.
Older Magic Chefs are highly collectible. Even in less than perfect condition, some of the better models often sell for upward of $2,000. Restored and in working order, they often sell for much more. I recommend that you keep this wonderful old appliance. If your stove needs parts, they are available at Magic Chef Appliance Corp., 777 Mark St., Wood Dale, IL 60191, and 888-238-0600. If it requires renovation, Antique Vintage Appliances is highly recommended. The contact information is 5020 E. Speedway Blvd., 326-8849.
Q: I have a punch bowl with 12 matching cups that originally belonged to my grandmother. During the holidays, a cup was dropped and the handle broke. I kept all of the pieces and wonder if you can direct me to someone who can repair this damage. – Bettie, Tucson
A: John Wakefield, owner of Artistry in Glass, can help you. His address and phone number are 3423 E. Grant Road, www.artistry-in-glass.com and 320-0104.
Q: Who in Tucson can help me appraise a collection of costume jewelry from the 1930s? Some of the pieces are by famous designers, but I have no idea how much they might be worth. – Rhonda, Tucson
A: Janet Gaynor specializes in costume jewelry and is based in Tucson. Her address and phone number are P.O. Box 35038, Tucson 85740, and 615-1544.
Editor’s note: Due to the imminent closure of the Tucson Citizen, this column will no longer accept antique or collectible questions from the readers.
BUY OF THE WEEK
This colorful Fish Drum from Tibet is $130 at Eastern Living, 242 S. Park Ave.