Question: My dad was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. I have inherited his footlocker that contains some of his personal papers, a uniform, his flight jacket, an unopened ration kit, Zippo lighter with wartime-pack of Camels, and an assortment of hygiene products such as Barbasol, Listerine and safety razor. I would like to find out how much this collection is worth. I understand that WWII memorabilia has become quite collectible. Is this true? – Beverly, Tucson
Answer: Since the end of World War II, veterans, collectors and nostalgia-seekers have eagerly bought, sold and traded items such as the ones you mentioned. Values have remained fairly consistent. A quick check of eBay revealed a set of Army leggings ($30); a Bronze Star ($125); a Gillette safety razor set in original case ($40); a set of dog tags ($10); and a Hamilton military wrist watch in working condition ($175).
One of the better guides for collectors is Warman’s World War II Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide by John F. Graf (Krause, $24.99). This excellent reference features 3,000 listings with up-to-date prices, complete coverage of uniforms, footwear, headgear, accouterments, medals, pistols, rifles, daggers, swords and personal items. It also offers valuable advice on collecting, including reproduction alerts. Graf, who has been a military collector for more than three decades, is one of the country’s respected experts in this field of collecting.
A little closer to home is Jeff Albiniak who buys, sells and collects Civil War images, World War I and World War II uniforms and other related items. His mailing and e-mail addresses are P.O. Box 17389, Tucson 85731, CWBUFFSTER@aol.com and 404-3045.
In addition to his work for the Tucson Citizen, Larry Cox writes book reviews and a weekly collectibles column that are syndicated by King Features and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My aunt gave me two Hummel pieces, “Pigtails,” Hummel production No. 2052, and “Ooh, My Tooth,” Hummel production No. 533. Are these worth keeping? – Sue, Tucson
Whether they are worth keeping is a question that only you can answer. Each time I receive a Hummel question, I grab my copy of Luckey’s Hummel Figurines and Plates by Carl G. Luckey and updated by Dean A. Genth (Krause, $27.95). According to this guide your first figurine was a companion piece to “Lucky Charmer,” Hummel production No. 2071, issued in 1999 and currently valued in the $90-$100 range. “Ooh, My Tooth” was first issued in 1995 with a special event backstamp. It is worth about $145.
I have a piece of muslin glass and even though it is quite beautiful, I know nothing about it. – Bethany, Tucson
Muslin glass is a pattern glass made by overlapping the object with a wax soaked lace material and submersing it in an acid cloth. The major producer, according to Glass A to Z by David J. Shotwell, was A. Jenkinson of Edinburgh, Scotland. Muslin glass is mostly found in that country and rarely seen on this side of the pond.
Tucsonan Larry Cox’s “Shelf Life” reviews of fiction and nonfiction books run Thursdays in Calendar Plus. His “Our Favorite Cookbooks” reviews run Wednesdays in Taste Plus. And, his “Treasures and Trends” antiques column runs Fridays in Weekend Plus.
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