Comic collectibles remain popular as long as the comic characters are still seen or heard in comic books, cartoons, radio, TV, movies, plays or reruns. And B.O. Plenty, who was an early figure in the Dick Tracy comic strip that started in 1931, has been dropped and reintroduced many times. He married Gravel Gertie, and these two ugly people had a beautiful daughter, Sparkle Plenty, in 1947. Later, they had a very ugly son whose face was never shown in the strip. The tin windup toy by Marx picturing B.O. holding his daughter Sparkle just sold at a Bertoia auction for $118. The 8-1/2-inch toy shuffles across the floor while his hat tips. The Dick Tracy characters and inventions still are familiar. The original artist, Chester Gould, drew the strip from 1931 to 1977. Other artists have continued it. His characters, their strange names and the inventions used by policeman Dick Tracy still are popular today. The two-way wrist radio first mentioned in 1946, two-way wrist TV (1964) and Spacecar (1960s) all have become realities.
Q: My family heirloom is a divided child’s feeding plate decorated with scenes of a girl playing with or feeding her toys. The back is marked “Thompson.” What is its value?
A: Your plate was made by CC Thompson Pottery Co. of East Liverpool, Ohio, founded in 1868 and closed in 1938. They made porcelain plates after 1917. The decoration on your plate is a decal called “Dinnertime,” which was used by several companies. The dish was made sometime between 1917 and 1938. It would sell in a shop today for about $20, but should be worth much more to your family.
TIP: Use two hooks a few inches in from the edges of a picture to keep it straight on the wall.
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