Here we go with the WorthPoint Top 10 Worthopedia Searches for March, 2010. Let’s take a look at what other people are looking at:
Sheleighly: The number-one item for the month was a sheleighly. While I know a sheleighly is Irish weapon for whacking someone, I do not know enough to understand whether it is primarily whacking a leprechaun or another person (perhaps for a leprechaun to whack a person?). In my research to learn more about sheleighlies, I realized they are obscure, as you can not find it in dictionary.com and it is not in my Microsoft Word spellchecker. Hmmm . . . WorthPoint has one made by Blackthorn of Ireland that sold for $70. We’ll see if the Irish are searching for them now that St. Patrick’s Day has past or whether the popularity continues.
Coca-Cola Sample Ice Chest
Coca-Cola Sample Ice Chest: Second in popularity was a Coca-Ccola sample ice chest. I will also give it third place, as well, as people were also looking at the 1939 salesman sample coolers. We had a lot of other Coca-Cola searches last month, for that matter. Coca-Cola memorabilia is actually the most-collected group of items in the world, from what I have read. I always know I do not have any difficulty selling Coke memorabilia and actually have a good customer for the items on Malta. These salesmen samples are difficult to come by and were for the salesmen to carry to the stores to show the storekeepers what they would look like. (The miniatures are easier to carry around in your car!) I do not know whether Coke sold the chests or gave them to the store owners for selling their products. I could never imagine collecting the “real thing,” as they are so large, but imagine the size and rarity of the samples would make them popular.
Gold Lutz Marble
Gold Lutz Marble: The fourth item in the Top 10 is a gold Lutz marble. I love these, although I am not a “marble” person. I will also say, you “know one when you see it,” as a gold Lutz is unique and beautiful. Essentially, it is a marble with gold flakes/specks in it. While I would guess that these were for richer kids back in the day, gold sold for a lot less than today and it could be used to enhance a toy. Today, you would expect to pay several hundred dollars for a nice example, and they go up from there. There are many common antique marbles, starting with pottery Benningtons with a hard ceramic glaze. These are pretty and have infinite variations. Inevitably, the collectors advance and will want to advance to the sophistication of the Lutz.
Vintage Gas Pumps
Vintage Gas Pumps: Vintage Texaco gas pumps come in at number #5. These are really cool and a thing of the past, when a trip to the gas station was an adventure instead of a painful hit to the wallet. We have a few of these on WorthPoint that are fun to look at, including a set up of several pumps and oil rack that sold for more than $8,000. They were restored, but would look great with their vintage glass globes atop of the pumps lit up. These glowing globes were to ensure the passing driver could not help but see that the station was open and predate the large, lit gas station signs that shine out in the night today.
Rolls Razor: Sixth was a barbershop item; a 1927 Rolls razor in particular. I do not know if the name was a take-off of the automobile and meant to convey high-end status. The thing to remember is that—although there is always a buyer for razors, as they are very collectible—they are also extremely plentiful, as at one time, every man had one and they did not tend to throw them out. Thus, it is a case where only the rarest bring much money. In the case of the 1927 “Rolls,” they are much cheaper than the car, and most seem to sell for around $15. Several nicer ones in a case went up to the $100 range, though. If buying, I would be very careful if I did not know my razors, as there were many more in the $15 range.
Magna Art: Seventh was another Japanese magna art item. I had never heard of magna prior to this year, having been introduced to it by one of my daughters, who is taking a Japanese class. Apparently, it has been produced for years in Japan, but traditionally discouraged as cheap art. I sense the person who takes the time to look for the best as “underpriced art” will do well in appreciation. It is now the art of masses. I found more than 10,000 items in the Worthopedia. For this particular item, “Inuyasha doujinshi RARE kagome,” there were a dozen items and prices ran from $20 to more than $100.
World War Two Paper Memorabilia
World War Two Paper Memorabilia: Eighth was some Second World War paper memorabilia in “Insult the Axis Powers” cards. WWII stuff is always easy to sell, but I am amazed that these six sheets of stationary had so many people looking at them. They are much better than the usual soldiers’ stationary ones sees, and sold for a very reasonable $58. It does show you how much WWII items are in demand.
P.T. Barnum Circus Eisenmann Photos
P.T. Barnum Circus Eisenmann Photos: Ninth were some Eisenmann photos of the P.T. Barnum Circus. Taken around the turn of the century, they are traditional “cabinet” photos and there are many nice examples in the Worthopedia. The high-selling photo was an autographed photo of P.T. Barnum, which sold for $678. There was also an array of Side Show photos of giants, fat ladies and such that generally sold for around $100. I wonder if Larry Kellogg, our circus Worthologist, has perused through the Worthopedia lately.
Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks
Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks: Last, and maybe not the least, is the 1920’s Louis Vuitton trunks. These were the trunks for people who traveled in style. It is somewhat eye-opening to me that designer luggage has been around for more than 100 years. I had no idea before starting to do research for this article. There are thousands of sales recorded on WorthPoint for this link of luggage and I found some that were valued at much more than $5,000. There is obviously a lot more that can be learned here, as there has to be a reason as to why some are worth $5,000 and others $1,000. I am sure original condition and restoration come into play, but am also sure that there is a lot more than that.
Well, that summarizes what’s hot in antiques search for the month of March and I’m looking forward to see what stays hot in April.
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 a emphasis on ephemera—antique since 1984.
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