Here we go with the WorthPoint Top 10 Worthopedia Searches for April 2010. Let’s take a look at what other people are looking at:
1. Spritzdekor: Number one this month is something I have not heard of before, but it makes tremendous sense. It is the German term of Spritzdekor. This is German for, technically, injecting decoration or adding life to an object. For example . . . a spritzer in a drink would mean to freshen it up. I had never thought about the origin of the expression. After seeing the term researched in the Worthopedia, I went to Google, where else, for help and read some German articles on Spritzdekor.
Apparently, with the poverty that during and following the First World War, it became very fashionable for Germans to add their own decorations to fabric, porcelain, metals, etc. This was much the way the U.S. did with stenciling, but the Germans took this to a new height with the Deco and Craftsmen designs of the times. This work is much sought after today and the art form still exists. I loved some of the robot designs that I saw while doing my research for this article. There are some very pleasing examples of this work by Eva Zeisel, a leader of this design, on WorthPoint. Her work is stunning and highly valued, with a small cup and saucer selling for almost $200. I will now look more closely at garage sales for this modern form of art. I can imagine more sophisticated styles going into the thousands of dollars, but you could find an enjoyable treasure at an estate sale for an affordable site.
Coors Light sweater
2. Coors Light sweater: . . . Hmm . . . I did not know we had these on WorthPoint, but we do not turn our nose up on collectibles at our site, and it is certainly out of season. I only could find one on our site and it must have a generated a lot of interest, as this item was viewed more than 1,000 times over the course of the month. It’s from the 1980s and sold for $32. Again, nothing to sneer at.
Lenox Roses of Peace
3. Lenox Roses of Peace: Lenox has been around longer than I have, I think, and is also quite collectable. I know my early 1970s tableware is from Lenox, and can still be easily purchased, although, apparently, there are serial numbers to determine whether it was made in the early 1970s vs. later. The Roses of Peace is a fairly new pattern and looks to be relatively inexpensive but popular. It likely was a popular Mother’s Day present.
Fairbanks Morse coffee grinder
4. Fairbanks Morse coffee grinder: These are cool, impressive looking machines, generally coming in bright red. I remember when they were at the Atlantic and Pacific (A&P) grocery stores in the early 1960s. The ground beans smelled great. This is obviously before the world learned of Starbucks. The problem with these machines, to a collector and dealer, is that they are big, bulky, use up a lot of space and are difficult to ship. Additionally, almost half of the population is too young to have ever experienced them. Thus, prices and demand are not generally increasing and they can be had in the $200-$500 range. There are good examples to be found in the Worthopedia.
Rat Patrol Lunchbox
5. Rat Patrol Lunchbox: This also brings back many memories. We generally never had the money for these metal lunchboxes in my family, but I remember other kids at school that had them. The Rat Patrol lunchboxes were made as an offshoot of the popular TV series “The Rat Patrol,” about a group of U.S. soldiers that went around North Africa in jeeps with machine guns shooting up the German North Afrika Corps during World War Two. The North African guy was played by Victor Newman from the “Young and Restless” (they now call these type of guys Somalian rebels). Depending on condition, and whether the thermos is included, these run from $50 to $300.
Duncan Phyfe furniture
6. Duncan Phyfe furniture: How to identify a Duncan Phyfe sofa. WorthPoint has a lot of useful articles on antiques and collecting. It is actually one of the larger libraries on the internet for these types of articles. Identifying the real Duncan Phyfe sofa from the 1875 rebirth of Early American furniture, or the later Colonial revival period, can be difficult. I am a firm believer the most foolproof way to do this is to pull off the upholstery. Thus you can see the construction of the frame and whether modern tools were also used in making the frame. Home owners and some auctioneers cringe when you do this, but it is about the only way to justify whether to pay the price for an antique piece. You have to see what you are buying.
Occupied Japan Figurines
7. Occupied Japan Figurines: The Japanese had a devastated economy after WWII and initially produced a lot of cheaply molded pottery and porcelain figures. They were easy to make and America—and the world—had a large appetite for them. From 1945 to 1952, the Japanese were required to mark their exports “Made in Occupied Japan.” Thus, items made for export during this period were generally marked, “Made in Occupied Japan.” Because this is a defined period, these items became very collectible, and by the early 1980s the prices ran up and the counterfeits emerged, driving prices down. Today, they are still collected and certain figures, such as fairies, will bring more than a plain doll. There are also some exceedingly high-quality reproduction pieces made that also do well.
8. Meito China: Meito china, which has been made in Japan for 102 years, has been very popular. Meito generally has a Western classical look to it with traditional patterns, gilding and large areas of white. Year in and out, this china will move as people are trying to fill in sets. It generally does command high prices, with platters selling $25 and up. Priced accordingly, it will sell as a market has existed for 100 years.
9. Yowe Kachina: These items were also searched more than 1,000 times in April. While we do not have many on WorthPoint, the one that was made by Emery Kyasyousie was quite stunning and set the buyer back about $500. The Yowe is a kachina held as the supreme spiritual figure in many of the Pueblo clans. He holds the say over life and death and has earned the moniker of the beheading or ogre kachina after Yowe killed a Franciscan priest by beheading in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in what was an attempt to maintain a religion independent of Catholicism.
Mahou sensei cards
10. Mahou sensei cards: Last but not least, I have commented that Japanese modern manga art is hot. It continues to be so. Mahou sensei cards are in demand. I tried for a few minutes to figure out the theme from the game and the characters, but it would take delving deeper into the subject. I would be glad to publish an article on these interesting cards on the site—and pay the best author $100 and give the author full credit. I love manga art and my youngest daughter is quite good at it. I expect it will remain popular for years to come.
Well, that summarizes what’s hot in antiques search for the month of April and I’m looking forward to see what stays hot in May.
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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