• 20
    Jul

What to do When You have to Sell Uncle Fred’s Militaria Collection

Chances are you or someone you know will have an opportunity to sell a military collectible at some time in your life. A bold statement? Not really. Consider: collecting militaria is a hobby dominated largely by the Baby Boomer generation and older. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, it is the eighth most popular collecting...

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  • 19
    Jul

The Stick Chair – Introduction to the Windsor

[caption id="attachment_2491031" align="alignright" width="282"] This fan back Windsor arm chair has another section rising above the crest rail called a “comb.”[/caption] One type of chair that everyone is familiar with is the ever present Windsor chair. But why are there so many of them and what is the basis for America’s love affair with that type chair? The...

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  • 17
    Jul

News on the Wire: Glass Telegraph Insulators Offer Collectible Cash

Something you see for sale at almost any flea market or tag sale are antique telegraph insulators. These are the heavy glass fittings found at the top of telephone poles, about the size of a softball, that hold and insulate electric wires from the wooden pole. They were manufactured by the hundreds of thousands, most of them are...

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  • 15
    Jul

Spiked Helmets Worn for Military Fashion not Function

The early Imperial German Empire took much pride in fashionable uniforms and headgear for its military, often choosing ornamental gear over more practical pieces. Brass helmets with colorful plumes, exotic bearskin and other exotic furs were made to create a sense of wealth and power. Grenadiers, or “grenade men,” wore high peaked hats to create a false sense...

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  • 14
    Jul

Three Affordable Mid-century Modern Lounge Chairs and Three You Probably Can’t Afford

OK, do you want the affordable (er, somewhat affordable) lounge chairs first or the astronomical designs with jaw-dropping prices? We’ll do affordable first, starting with an icon of Mid-century design: the 670 lounge chair and 671 ottoman designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller. Of course, these chairs can fetch upwards of $5,000 for a very...

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  • 13
    Jul

Creativity and a Little Sand Equals Great Folk Art

One of the hottest categories of antiques on today’s market is folk art. Though very broadly defined, the term “folk art” generally refers to individual creations by untrained or self-taught artists. From naïve, 19th-century paintings to whimsical sculptures from the late 20th century, good folk art has an inherent charm that, in recent years, has driven prices skyward....

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  • 10
    Jul

N.C. Wyeth’s ‘Deerslayer’ Illustration Sells for $1.3 Million

When the original art for a famous book illustration comes up for auction, I’m always curious. Where has it been? Why is it now being sold? Will a museum or benefactor buy it, so that the public will be able to enjoy it? Or will it just disappear into a private home? Often, book illustrations are as important...

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  • 9
    Jul

Comic Ephemera: All that Stuff in Your Comic Book Shop that aren’t Comic Books

If you’ve recently stepped into a comic book store for the first time, or the first time in a long time, you may have noticed; they don’t just sell comics anymore. Like any good hobby, the comic collecting business understands the importance of merchandising, which is why you can find your favorite heroes on everything from shoe laces...

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  • 7
    Jul

Format Wars Decide which Products will be Mainstream and which will be Collectible

Those of us over a “certain age” have seen format wars come and go: VHS vs. Betamax; 8-track vs. cassette; Apple Mac vs. IBM DOS; Blue-Ray vs. High-Definition video. Each of these technologies served the consumer in a similar way. Each format required compatible hardware in order to make its “software” work; Betamax tapes couldn’t be played on...

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  • 7
    Jul

Chinese Auction Houses: More Than Just Culture Shock!

The mad scramble by Western entrepreneurs and businessmen to “get into the China market” leaves visible scorch marks across the globe that are probably so pronounced they can be seen from outer space. But the Chinese didn’t build the Great Wall for nothing—the Middle Kingdom has always been insular and, in many ways, still is. Despite the fact...

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