Radio Bug


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: I have a very strange pottery bug with a tube of some sort on the underside. I remember seeing it at my grandparent’s home and we were never allowed to touch it. The bug measures 9 1/2” long, 3” wide and is pretty heavy. I have been searching for years to find out what this strange but cute item is. You are my last hope.

A: You are one lucky bug. Based on the photos and description I can tell you with all certainty that you have a crystal radio made by the Brush Pottery Company of Zanesville, OH in the late 1920s. It is called “A Radio Bug” they were made in three colors: green, brown and blue. They were sold under the “Mystic” brand. Other radio shapes sold under this brand name were a wall pocket and rolling pin. You could also purchase headphones to listen to your radio; these have the “Brush” name on them.

If your “Radio Bug” is free of chips, cracks and is in excellent overall condition it would sell for $400-$500. If it is still in working order the price would increase by $100-$150.

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 where you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about one half or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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