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Q: My great-grandmother used to collect everything "baby." We found this little print in a mailing tube and I think it's delightful. I plan on framing it for my children's bathroom, but I would love to know what its story is.

A: Your print was a 1940s Swan Soap premium made from an illustration by artist Louise Rumely. She did several similar illustrations of babies used by Lever Brothers in print ads for its Swan brand of bar soap for babies. The ads explained that you could mail in soap wrappers and get a print. That's probably what your great-grandmother did. A 1940s print in excellent condition sells for $40-$50. But be careful. Reproductions of the prints are being made today. They sell for about $12 each.

Letters from readers help us keep track of the changing world of antiques and collectibles. We wish we could answer all questions individually, but that just isn’t possible. We do read every letter, but only a limited number of questions of general interest are answered. Values given are average for the type of antique, not a specific appraisal. No questions about coins, stamps, books or oil paintings, please. Send written questions to P.O. Box 22200, Beachwood, OH 44122. Photos should be in focus and processed by a traditional photo lab; computer-generated prints on regular paper cannot be used. We try extra hard for subscribers, so include your newsletter label and a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope. Email questions and digital photos using this form. We regret that we cannot return any photos. We retain the right to use them in this publication or other Kovel forums, regardless of medium. Please do not send old letters, cards or papers of value. Sometimes research takes time, so please be patient.


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