Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:
Q: These cute little figural candles have been in my family for years. I don’t want to burn them because they are so adorable. One still has a label on the bottom that says “Gurley”. Can you tell me anything about them? Thank you.
A: You are right. These Gurley candles are precious and becoming harder to find in good, unused condition. The Gurley Novelty Co. began life in 1939 as the W&F Mfg. Co. owned by candle maker Franklin Gurley. Mr. Gurley worked with The Socony-Vacuum Oil Company to reuse the paraffin byproduct from oil production to create a number of wax products including candle figures. The first candles were marketed under the name “Tavern.”
In 1949 Mr. Gurley purchased the rights to the Tavern name and changed the company name to the Gurley Novelty Co. where production focused on candle figurines for just about every holiday then some. Sales were excellent until the 1970s and the company eventually closed.
The Vermont Country Store purchased the Gurley molds and still produce the candles. Since many of the Gurley candles lost the label on the bottom you need to learn the difference between the original Gurleys and the contemporary pieces.
You have a wonderful grouping of the original Gurley Novelty Co. candles. I notice that you are missing the small Pilgrim girl but this set would still fetch a nice price of $45-$50.
note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.