• 4
    Feb

Is the Doll Collecting Market Booming or Busting?

“Boom or bust” is a phrase I heard many times growing up in the coalfield region of Eastern Kentucky. The small burg where I grew up at one time had been a bustling mini-town with a movie theater, a roller-skating and ice rink, and several stores. Then, poof, the coal was mined out, the company […]

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  • 2
    Feb

Q and A With Harry Rinker: Mid-Century Die Cast Cap Gun

QUESTION: I have a western-style toy cap gun marked “KUSAN, INC. NASHVILLE, TENN. #280.” It is in excellent shape and completely functional. I am interested in knowing more about it. – JH, Brownwood, Texas ANSWER: Kunsan acquired Nichols Industries, Inc., in 1965. Nichols Industries, along with Hubley, Kenton, Kilgore, Schmidt, and Wyandotte, were among the […]

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  • 1
    Feb

Succeeding in Your Business: Private Labeling and Trademark Infringement Online

Two emails I received this week deal with a recent phenomenon in e-commerce—the so-called “private labeling” of merchandise on Amazon, eBay and other online venues. Here’s how it works: a seller buys merchandise in bulk from a manufacturer (usually in China or elsewhere in Asia). The merchandise is not trademarked or branded in any way. […]

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  • 27
    Jan

How to Bequeath Your Collection and Keep it out of Probate

To some, leaving behind a meaningful legacy upon death is important. To have built a house, written a book, created a business or performed a heroic deed speaks to one’s character and may have a more lasting effect on future generations than the dollars and cents that are passed on through one’s last will and […]

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  • 27
    Jan

Lost and Found Visuals: The Art and Value of Vernacular Photography

The old photograph was pasted into a scrapbook and had crusty brown rubber cement seeping around the edges. The image was a little girl with a sneaky smile and dark bangs, peeking out of the paneled window of a white frame house. Her tiny finger subtly pointed to the ominous city quarantine sign on the […]

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  • 25
    Jan

Bold as Brass: Cleaning Your Antique Brass Furniture Hardware

Most traditional furniture hardware is brass or brass looking, but that covers a multitude of sins. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is a nonferrous (no iron or steel) metal. Brass that is 70-percent copper is known as bright brass or high brass and shines up to be bright yellow. A higher […]

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  • 19
    Jan

Rinker on Collectibles: London Bridge is Falling Down

When my “Rinker on Collectibles” column first appeared in 1987, its focus was the emerging 20th-century collectibles market. Twenty-nine years later, the 20th-century collectibles secondary market has achieved a level of equality with the secondary market for antiques. In fact, many of the collectible categories about which I wrote in the last half of the […]

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  • 18
    Jan

Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles Announces 2016 Seminar Slate

The Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles has announced to two seminar series for 2016 that will consist of introductory and era-specific courses on antique and collectibles jewelry, as well as a Summer Camp that will teach basic researching and valuing techniques, understanding fine visual arts, and toys, games, and puzzles dating from […]

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  • 15
    Jan

Dining with Antiques – Monet’s Dishes

The breathtaking impressionist paintings of Claude Monet (1840-1926) have spawned a collectible industry of giant proportions. Prints, posters, coffee table books, calendars, Christmas cards, screen savers, neckties, refrigerator magnets, T-shirts, jigsaw puzzles and even napkins can be found with his artwork. And because he was also a gastronome—a lover of good food—books and documentaries have […]

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  • 14
    Jan

The Outstanding Pottery & Tile of Santa Catalina Island

The Catalina story is a fascinating chapter in the history of Southern California ceramics. In operation for only 10 years, Catalina Clay Products—a project of the Santa Catalina Island Company—produced an extraordinary array of articles between 1927 and its takeover by major mainland competitor, Gladding-McBean & Co., in 1937. Ownership of the picturesque island, located […]

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