Q: We own a 6-foot cigar-store Indian made of either wood or some kind of composite. It weighs nearly 200 pounds. He is slightly stylized, with closed arms and legs. We paid $800 for it at auction about 20 years ago. There are no marks or words on it at all, but we know it was used in window displays at a Joseph Horne department store in Pennsylvania. The chain closed in 1994. What is the figure worth? We would like to sell it.
A: Your unmarked cigar-store figure could be sold at an auction of antique and vintage advertising. We suspect it would sell for roughly what you paid for it, because it was probably made for Horne’s in the middle of the 1900s and never sat in front of a real cigar store. The most valuable figures date from the late 19th or early 20th century and are realistic, with arms and legs posed away from the body. And many old ones are clearly labeled with the name and even the address of a cigar store.