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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
Antiques Corner

A Ship Stopper

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Question: This heavy iron doorstop came from my grandparents' home. The word stamped on the back appears to be "Albany." The doorstop is 12 inches high and 11 1/4 inches wide. Do you know who made it and how old it is?

Answer: Like most cast-iron doorstops found today, this one was made in the United States between 1900 and 1940. The decorative, as well as useful, weights were especially popular in the 1920s and early 1930s. Hubley Manufacturing of Lancaster, Pa., famous for cast-iron toys, also produced doorstops in many designs. The most common subjects are ships, baskets of flowers and animals. Albany Foundry Company in Albany, N.Y., made this Spanish galleon doorstop, but identical examples are attributed to several other companies. Condition and original paint are important. While better doorstops can sell for several hundred dollars, and rare ones can be worth thousands, the best auction price found for this common model is no more than $60.

-- By Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News