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Top 10 Worthopedia Searches for January, 2010

by Will Seippel (02/18/10).

OK . . . I have been asked sooo many times about what are people looking for when they come to WorthPoint that I have decided to publish the top 10 items that people are searching for on our site each month. I am not going to comment if they are buyers and sellers, but these are things that people are interested in. We now have more than 62 million items listed on our site, so, there are a lot of searches and varied interests, but these 10 items are the hottest for January, 2010!

Pure White Hennessy Cognac bottle.

Pure White Hennessy Cognac bottle.

1) Pure White Hennessy Cognac: OK, are you a buyer or seller? I am a buyer and love this stuff. I do not know the value of a 1953 Hennessey vs. a 2003, but apparently this is a hot item and it matters. Are there readers out there who can help me learn something about cognac values?

1928 Luden’s Cough Drop/Smoking Drops advertisement.

1928 Luden’s Cough Drop/Smoking Drops advertisement.

2) 1928 Luden’s Cough Drop/Smoking Drops: I know that advertising and pharmaceutical items are well collected. Just how well is indicative of something this obscure making it to the Top 10.

1916 Liberty Standing Quarter.

1916 Liberty Standing Quarter.

3) 1916 Liberty Standing Quarter: This coin is a favorite of mine. It is the first year of what is a beautiful but short-lived coin, and it also has its own scandalous past. This is the only American coin that I know of that features a design with an exposed breast. Needless to say there was a public outcry, and congress immediately had Ms. Liberty put her top back on. No wonder people are looking for this coin and I would be a buyer of the Variety 1, topless, in good condition. The price of a Mint 10 Type 1 bare-breasted Miss Liberty Standing Quarter would be in the five digits, dependent on precise grade and mint mark.

Topps 1957 Mantle and Berra baseball card.

Topps 1957 Mantle and Berra baseball card.

4) Mantle and Berra Baseball Card: Number 4 on our list is card number 407 of the Topps 1957 baseball card set. This is the last card from the set for 1957 and features the two New York Yankee power hitters of the Year, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. It is a classic card in the set and a strong close to a beautiful set of cards. It is also a difficult card to find in a near mint condition. A mint condition #407 card would be in the thousands of dollars.

Wood Duck telephone.

Wood Duck telephone.

5) Wood Duck Telephone: A what? This just shows there is something for everyone. I would have not given something like this the time of the day, and suspect it quacks when it rings? There are more than 100 duck phones listed in the Worthopedia and are put out by Ducks unlimited and Abercrombie and Fitch. I saw prices from $10-$60. I bet there are some rarer ones of these that top $100.

F-4 Phantom Ejection Seat

F-4 Phantom Ejection Seat

6) F-4 Phantom Ejection Seat: OK, this is too cool. Only on the world’s largest price site can you find more than 70 items related to this. I have recently been selling the personal items of a Viet Nam-era F-4 pilot’s gear and know this stuff is hot. But when I saw this ejection seat I was jealous, as I did not get a seat with my gear. The one I researched on WorthPoint went for more than $2,000. Thus, if you find one of these on your garage sale searches, definitely go for it.

Blood on Blood” by Izumi Sakurazawa.

Blood on Blood” by Izumi Sakurazawa.

7) Soul-Eater Arts Material: I recently wrote an article about the evolving world of collecting and the new items replacing the traditional items. I had never heard of the soul-eaters and it was too good to pass up. The only soul collectors I knew of were venture capitalists. Thus, a trip into the Worthopedia on this showed me the world around Japanese manga art. It is hot and growing market. While this is an evolving market, I think it will be a lasting one, and where the patient could have some fun and make some money. I will try to get one of my daughters—who happens to be a magna artist—to fill us in more later, but I would love to get some user comments on the Japanese anime market, which is now more than 25 years old.

MGM Grand Las Vegas Bruno vs. Tyson $100 chip, front and back, from the March 16, 1996 fight between Tyson and Bruno.

MGM Grand Las Vegas Bruno vs. Tyson $100 chip, front and back, from the March 16, 1996 fight between Tyson and Bruno.

8 ) MGM Grand Casino Chips: Looking on the WorthPoint site there are more than 60 pages of these. This blew my mind, as I am used to playing poker, but with your basic chips at a casino. I did not ever think that a casino could have so many types of chips for so many occasions. This is obviously a broad and deep market with potential, as I saw chips valued in the $100s of dollars and imagine they would go well over $1,000 for the rare ones. Anyone out there with some special examples or a collection they want to showcase?

A copy of a Venice Italian plague mask.

A copy of a Venice Italian plague mask.

9) Venice Italian Plague Mask: I think this query was prompted by the “Ghost Adventures” show on the Travel Channel. Recently they had a show about the haunting on an island off of Venice where they took more than 100,000 people infected with the bubonic plague to die on the island and to be incinerated. The doctors wore masks resembling large toucon beaks that would be stuffed with spices to filter out the stench and disease. We had hundreds of searches on WorthPoint looking for these masks. Alas, all we had were the values of modern reproductions, and I imagine the originals would be in the thousands of dollar and very desirable. The two copies on our site went for more than $100.

1940 WWII U.S. Navy Quartermasters Mark 1 16X Spy Glass.

1940 WWII U.S. Navy Quartermasters Mark 1 16X Spy Glass.

10) U.S. Navy Quartermaster Spy Glasses: This description caught my attention as I thought the Nay had “messes” to eat at and the army had the quartermasters, thus I am confused. There are two pages of WorthPoint items that feature quartermaster spyglasses that span from the 1800s to WW II. There prices are nothing to scoff at, and the ones that caught my interest range from $100 to $500.

A fun summary of items, and this list shows you can always learn something by looking at what others are looking at!

Will Seippel is the president and CEO of WorthPoint. Will has been an avid collector since 1974 and dealer of just about all things—with an emphasis on ephemera—antique since 1984.


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10 Responses to “Top 10 Worthopedia Searches for January, 2010”

  1. Ellen Charland says:

    WOW! Just finished reading this article (Top 10). WorthPoint has variety, for sure and it travels one end of the antique and collectible scale to the other…something for everyone. That’s why I’m a member! I usally don’t say much but like so many other members…I’m out here and appreciate WorthPoint being there for me. Take care.

    Best regards,


    • Matthew says:

      FYI @Nick Ryan: I served as a QM in the U.S. Navy and therefore am privy to the duties of this rate (job). Consequently, I must remark on your comment – although the quartermaster may have been responsible for supply duties in the past, today, in the U.S., this only relates to tasks of a soldier, i.e. an Army enlistee. Thus, in the U.S. Navy, a quartermaster is strictly a navigation related job and has nothing to do with supply – whatsoever. In fact, a naval supply position would be exclusively connected to a “SH” or “SK” position/rate – which is completely unrelated to the ship’s bridge/pilot house work.

      • Nick Ryan says:

        Hi Mathew, As I said the term has been diluted over the years, The British Army is the oldest of the modern day services, the title of Quartermaster originated in the Army and has been and is still currently used in Armies worldwide in connection with supply.

        When your Navy assigned the title Quartermaster to navigation, I wonder why they did not use the term Navigator or a related term? Is there any Naval history of navigators being suppliers in your Navy or any reason why they linked the two together.

        Just curious really.

        Kind regards, Nick

  2. Nick Ryan says:

    Hi, a Quartermaster (QM) was responsible for the supply of all clothes food and and equipment in the British army, of course and as usual the term has been watered down and reused since it’s original meaning.

    The term Quartermaster was first used in the 17th century.

    Can you give any indication of how many people actually searched for the items you have listed? Considering you have 62 Million items listed it would be interesting to know how many people actually use the search engine each month. And also what the monthly sales are from the 62 million items. surely of immense interest to prospective customers both buying and selling.

    Kind regards, Nick

  3. Michael Barnes says:

    One of the reasons those plague masks are turning up is because they are currently being seen by a lot of people in a very, very popular video game- ASSASSIN’S CREED 2. It’s set in Renaissance Italy, and the character interacts with Apothecaries wearing these plague masks. And they look really, really cool so it makes sense that gamers (such as myself) would be on the lookout for these. I think I’ve got my Halloween costume planned for this year.

  4. I noticed that two of your listed items (jet ejection seat and QM spy glass) were both recent items featured on the History Channel TV show called Pawn Stars ( I suspect WorthPoint members are double-checking prices mentioned on the show.

    Douglass Moody

  5. WOW! WOW!! WOW!! This is just what we need. I have a small site on Goantiques and LOVEEEEEE this! This would help us so much! Please do this every month! We could have a HOT list when we go shopping!

    Thanks Will!!

    Marlene and George

  6. Nick Ryan says:

    I for one would not want a hot list when I go shopping, anything highlighted as collectible will surely have inflated prices, I expect being English the scent of a bargain is strong in my veins, to sniff out a bargain and not be told what the current vogue is, come on guys use your imagination, stay ahead of the game and SPECULATE, ANTICIPATE future Antiques, it is so much more fun than being told what is “Current”

    Kind regards, Nick

  7. Debra says:

    I believe that what is going to be of the most value are useful things to not only collect but that we will be using on a daily basis. Americans have way too much stuff. we are finding out that our things are beginning to own us rather than the other way around. Environmental trends of the next decades look like downsizing is in order The statistics tell us that the U.S. uses way too much of the planet’s finite resources. That is especially true for petroleum based products such as plastic. Moreover, the FDA has finally admitted that plastic containers have more than acceptable levels of PCBs. If you really want to get ahead of the trend in the U.S. it’s a good idea to find out what Canadian and European countries are doing as far as environmental policies. Because the U.S. has a tendency to value profit over safety we are usually far behind other developed countries when it comes to acceptable dangers for products and how they affect the environment and the consumer. Furthermore our throw away society is causing huge problems for our oceans, waterways and lands. We can’t let the garbage and junk piles continue to grow. Recyclable materials will be a major trend in the 21 st century. Thus I see a shift from plastic containers to safer glass and metal. Old glass bottles, old thermos bottles, refrigerator or depression glass containers with glass covers, glass juicers, and mason jars for canning will become big items. They are not only useful and resilient but beautiful as well. There is actually an upside to our bad habits. When it comes to old bottles the U.S. is way ahead of the game in both quantity and collectible quality.That’s because the other countries had already been recycling, while we threw them away after one use. Therefore most of their bottles were used until they were broken up thus the quality and quantity has suffered.

  8. Marc says:

    On evaluating cognac bottle values about the subject in general:

    I recommend Cognac Expert. There is a part called “You’ve got a bottle?” where you can send photos of your bottles and the site helps to evaluate them, together with users etc.


    also quite cool articles sometimes, for those who are interested in the french brandy

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