The wedding cup that looks like a woman holding a swiveling cup above her head is showing up at modern wedding celebrations. The cup is used for a toast and as a trial for the bride and groom. According to tradition, the earliest swivel cups were made in about 1450 in Nuremberg, Germany. A wealthy nobleman disapproved of his daughter’s choice of a husband, a goldsmith. The father had the goldsmith sent to a dungeon, but the girl became ill and her father finally agreed to a test for her beloved. If the goldsmith could make a chalice that two people could drink from at the same time without spilling a drop, the pair could wed. The goldsmith made the the swiveling cup and they were permitted to marry. Today the cups are being made again and a newly married couple must drink from the cup at the same time to assure a happy marriage. The lady-shaped cup is turned upside-down and the husband drinks from the skirt, the wife from the small cup that has now swiveled to be right side up. It is a difficult but possible task, and happiness is, of course, assured. Look for old cups made of silver or glass. Several were offered this year at the Stein Auction Co. for $700 to $2,400. Reproductions can be found online.

Q: I own a beautiful Kroehler buffet that belonged to my grandmother. She and my grandfather bought it when they were first married, decades ago. I have never used it, and it’s in great shape. Now I would like to sell it. What should I ask for it?

A: Peter E. Kroehler bought the Naperville (Ill.) Lounge Co. in 1902 but didn’t name it Kroehler Manufacturing Co. until the early 1910s. By the 1940s, Kroehler was one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the United States. It struggled through the 1970s and closed its Naperville factory in 1978. The brand still exists, but the original company closed. Generally, it’s a good idea to sell a large piece of furniture locally. So advertise it in your own city. What you can get for it depends on its style, age and condition. Assuming your buffet dates from the 1930s or ’40s, you could try asking $500, but you probably will have to settle for less.

Q: We own an old Hires Root Beer countertop barrel dispenser. It’s wooden and encircled with six metal hoops. It has one large spigot on the side and two metal signs. The large red sign on the front says, “Drink Hires, It Is Pure.” The plain small sign on the back says, “Loaned by The Charles E. Hires Co., Philadelphia, U.S.A., No. 15294.” What can you tell me about it?

A: Charles E. Hires (1851-1937) was a Philadelphia pharmacist when he developed his own root beer concoction in the 1870s. Dispensers like yours (with either a copper or ceramic lining), as well as ceramic dispensers with pump tops, were used at soda fountains to pour syrup into a glass or mug. Your dispenser probably dates from the first few decades of the 20th century. We have seen similar dispensers for various brands sell for $400-$500. But the value also depends on the condition of your barrel.

Q: I would like information about a set of dishes I bought. It’s a service for eight. The dishes are marked on the bottom “Made in German Democratic Republic” with a crown and the words “Von Herreberg Porzellan 1777.”

A: The mark “Von Herreberg Porzellan 1777” indicates that your dishes were made by Graf von Henneberg. The porcelain factory was founded by Christian Zacharias Grabner in Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany, in 1777 and operated under various names. It was nationalized after World War II and became VEB Porzellanwerk Graf von Henneberg. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was in existence from 1949 to 1990, so your set of dishes was made during that time. The company went out of business in 2002.

Q: I’ve been collecting dolls for a very long time but have never been able to find any information about a doll I got in 1957. She is 101/2 inches tall and has a child’s body, blond hair and open-close eyes. She’s wearing a pink-and- white striped dress with silver trim, a “mink” stole and white shoes and socks. She’s never been out of the original box. On the outside of the box, it reads “Here Comes ‘Little Miss Addie.'” Can you tell me anything about this doll and its value?

A: Little Miss Addie was a premium offered by “AD,” a laundry detergent, in 1957. AD stood for “Automatic Detergent.” The doll was advertised as “a $6.95 value for only $3 and an AD box top.” An 8-inch little-sister doll was offered in 1958. The dolls are attributed to the Block Doll Co. Not much is known about this company except that it sold inexpensive toddler dolls during the 1950s. Your doll is worth $30 to $40 if it’s mint-in-box.

Terry Kovel answers as many questions as possible through the column. By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of any photograph, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The volume of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.


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