Q&A ON COLLECTING
Sewing machine a stitch in time
Q: This is a photo of an antique treadle sewing machine that I inherited. The machine is decorated with gold filigree designs and has the name “Minnesota” on the front. The cabinet is oak and stands 32-inches tall and 49-inches tall when it is open. Except for a good cleaning, it is in good condition and the cast-iron treadle still works. My sewing machine has been in our family for a long time, and I hope you can tell me about its history and value. Any information you can provide will be appreciated.
A: The Davis Sewing Machine Co., sometime between 1900 and 1913, made your sewing machine. Job Davis founded his company in the 1860s in Watertown, N.Y. They made the “Minnesota” for Sears Roebuck and Co. Richard Sears chose the name to honor his home state. The gold filigree decal decoration is typical for sewing machines made in the early 1900s. Some even had inlaid pearl and silver plated parts. Since the gold decals can be fragile, avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaners. Use a soft cloth and a small amount of mild soap and water. Always test an area first. Sewing machine oil will help lubricate moving parts.
Your sewing machine would probably be worth $175 to $275.
Q: I have enclosed my drawing of the mark seen on two pieces of china. One is a platter decorated with a turkey, and the other is a plate decorated with a man and woman dressed in Colonial-style clothes. A third person in the background is a man playing a flute. Both are trimmed with a wide band of gold and are in good condition. I would like any information you can provide.
A: Sabin Industries, Inc. made your plates. The company was founded in McKeesport, Penn., in 1946. Sabin Industries did not produce china. They purchased white china blanks from other companies and then decorated them. The center decorations were not hand painted; they were decals. The filigree bands were 22 karat gold. These plates, with scenes of people in vintage costume, are often referred to by collectors as “George and Martha” plates.
Your platter and plate were made around 1946. The platter is often seen selling in the range of $30 to $45 and the plate $20 to $30.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.