• 24
    Mar

Unloved Antiques: Cavalier Cedar Chests

Some items, even if in good shape and approaching the magical 100-year mark that turns a “vintage” item into an “antique,” do not appreciate in value like one would think. In cases like the Cavalier cedar chest, one reason its value is low is
 its availability—they aren’t rare—and the fact it’s made by a lesser-known […]

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  • 12
    Jan

Unloved Antiques: Old Master Prints

No yard sale or flea market would complete without a few Old Master–type renderings of works by notable artists like Rembrandt van Rijn. Some them look quite convincing in their gilt frames with layers of dust, but they are all decorator prints, like the one pictured here by 
the Turner wall-art company. The Turner Manufacturing […]

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  • 12
    Nov

Unloved Antiques: Capodimonte Ceramics

I don’t have a week go by that I don’t get a call or email about a “fantastic” piece of Italian porcelain by “Capodimonte.” It’s nearly always claimed to be an inheritance, as I don’t recall actually meeting anyone who admits to buying a piece of it. For those of you unfamiliar with this type […]

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  • 4
    Nov

Unloved Antiques: Bronze Commemorative Medals and Coins

Nearly everyone has a bronze commemorative coin or medal kicking about the house. I must have a half dozen or so myself from local events. I have the 125th-anniversary coin of the founding of my town, an academic medal my mother received in 1944 and a Canadian centennial medallion I bought for $2 in 1967. […]

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  • 19
    Feb

Unloved Antiques: Reproduction Victorian-Era Spyglasses

The next item in this series of Unloved Antiques is something that causes big problems in the antique and collectibles market: reproduction scientific instruments; the biggest culprits being optical devices like telescopes, binoculars, desktop magnifiers and periscopes. Before the 1970s, the chances of running into reproductions of this type were slim because the high cost […]

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  • 15
    Jan

Unloved Antiques: Great-Great-Grandma’s Spinning Wheels

The next item in this series of Unloved Antiques is something that once was almost a requirement in any antique shop: the spinning wheel. During the early years of the 20th century, there was a rebirth in interest in all things Americana that resulted in the market for antiques of the American Colonial and Federal […]

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  • 5
    Dec

Unloved Antiques: The American Old Family Bible

Next in this series of “Unloved Antiques” is the American “Old Family Bible.” Most families have one, often said to be “At least 200 years old,” inherited from some distant deceased relative and nearly always with a fantastic tale relating to the Frontier, Old West or the Civil War. To date, we must have examined […]

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  • 14
    Nov

Unloved Antiques: ‘Starving Artist’ Paintings

The 14th item in this series of Unloved Antiques is really more decorative arts than antique, but we get a huge number of requests for information regarding this item, more than for just about anything else. It’s what I call the “starving artist” painting. Based on the number I see, I think every home in North […]

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  • 31
    Oct

Unloved Antiques: 19th-Century Pump Organs

The next item in this series of Unloved Antiques is the 19th-century “pump” or “reed” organ, or the Estey “Eastlake-style”* organ, to be more precise. The reed organ was once an important domestic instrument, offering a cheap alternative to the ever-popular family piano while, at the same time, providing a suitable instrument for accompanying family […]

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  • 17
    Oct

Unloved Antiques: ‘Stradivarius’ Style Violins

The twelfth item in this series of “Unloved Antiques” is the world-famous “Stradivarius Violins.” Nothing hits the popular-culture’s buttons better than the idea of a found treasure, which shows like “American Pickers, “Storage Wars,” “Auction Hunters” and the venerable “Antiques Roadshow” highlight on a weekly basis. The rarer the item, the more a collector’s heart goes […]

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