ANTIQUES and COLLECTING: Bentwood boxes selling for thousands

By Terry and Kim Kovel

This bentwood box, 4 x 9 x 6 inches, sold for $4,260, more than four times its estimate. (

Hand-decorated storage boxes were important for storage in the 18th century when there were few places, other than shelves, to store small personal items. Collectors today treasure the work of the Bucher family in Berks County, Pennsylvania, made from about 1750 to 1800. There are memorials with dates ranging from 1792 to 1876 with Heinrich, the father’s name.

Heinrich Bucher, and eventually his sons, made and sold bentwood boxes decorated with yellow, green, red and white trees, tulips and other foliage on a black background. The boxes sell today for thousands of dollars. This box sold in a Conestoga auction for $4,260 after 26 bids. It had been estimated at only $1,000.


Q: My daughter just got her first apartment, and I found her four Corning Ware casserole dishes in different sizes and one glass lid in a resale shop. I looked up the decoration and learned it is the Pastel Bouquet floral pattern. I paid less than $10 for the whole lot. Is it collectible?

A: Corning Ware was first introduced in 1958 by Corning Glass Works. The company was sold and is now known as Corelle Brands. The most popular patterns of Corning Ware are Cornflower Blue, made from 1957 to 1988; and Spice of Life, made from 1972 to 1987. Your Pastel Bouquet pattern was made from 1985 to 1990. Most pieces in this pattern sell from $15 to $50 each. It’s too bad you only have one lid, but you got a good deal!


TIP: Never store old paper collectibles and photographs in ordinary cardboard boxes or plastic bags. Buy the acid-free boxes and Mylar wrapping film that are approved for long-term storage. Many picture-framing and supply stores will have these items.


Wavecrest tobacco jar, cover, round melon form, blue flowers, green leaves, creamy white ground, swirled lid with words “Tobacco Jar,” C.F. Monroe, c. 1900, 5 inches, $155.

Lalique glass perfume bottle, Grande Pomme, apple shape, frosted body, stopper with clear stem and two leaves, signed Lalique France, 5 1/4 x 5 inches, $205.

Wooden, firkin, sugar bucket, wood slats, four finger lapped bands, brown paint, swinging wire handle, lid, New England, 1800s, 10 x 10 inches, $325.

Halloween, figure, black cat, humped back, long straight tail, papier-mache,  textured orange base, 1940s, 13 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 17 inches, $490.

Clock, tall case, Gustav Becker, oak, flat overhanging top, paneled door, carved arts & crafts design on paneled door, white and brass dial, scrolled Arabic numerals, c. 1900, 80 x 21 inches, $625.

Bicycle, Schwinn, Black Phantom, black and red, streamlined style, light on front fender, flat carrier over back fender, 1950s, $1,800.

Pottery, bowl, abstract sgraffito design, green glaze, round, short foot, marked, Edwin & Mary Scheier, New Hampshire, 1950s, 9 x 13 inches, $2,750.

Looking to declutter, downsize or settle an estate? Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2022 by Terry and Kim Kovel has the resources you’re looking for.


© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.