Here we go with the WorthPoint Top 10 Worthopedia Searches for May, 2010. Let’s take a look at what other people are looking at:
1. Hennessy Cognac: Hennessy cognac was the most searched item for the month. I spend more time enjoying this drink—when I can find a friend to buy it—than I do collecting it. Thus, I cannot comment a great deal on the collecting aspect. The search combinations on for it were somewhat surprising, as users were looking for many different combinations of Hennesssy. More than I knew that existed. I did not know White Hennessy existed, but will be sure to try it prior to next month. Perhaps I can reach out to the distillers, as an editor, to send us a few different types to try and comment on in next month’s letter.
Three Tier Sewing Box
2. Three Tier Sewing Box: A wooded three-tier sewing box from the 1950s seems to be a basic utilitarian object. Sewing items are always popular with the female buyers and I know several dealers who do very well meeting the demand for these items. Prices ranged widely and really depended what is included and how involved the kit was. For example, a simple small kit with a poodle design was $10 and a sophisticated modern wood Danish table was $500. Thus, understanding what you are buying and it’scarcity is very important if you are buying this for resale. If you are buying for yourself, well, buy what you like!
Star Wars Scout Walker Patrol Tower
3. Star Wars Scout Walker Patrol Tower w/ Swings: This was rather cool item as it looks to be a real live swim play set for kids that was modeled after the scout tower from an early Star Wars movie. Apparently it did not sell well in the U.S. and the play sets are rather scarce. I imagine it would be difficult to ship, but still a cool item for the back yard.
Newark New Jersey Obsolete Fire Badge
4. Newark New Jersey Obsolete Fire Badge: Fire badges are always hot . . . no pun intended. I sell them and actively seek them out to sell. The key item here is the word obsolete, as some jurisdictions tend to get upset if you are reselling their current regalia and I suspect there may be laws prohibiting one from doing so. Clearly, eBay prohibits the reselling of current items and has been known to be overzealous in its definitions of what is current. I have had constable badges pulled from the site only to later have them readmitted, as eBay user support agreed it has been a long time since anyone has seen a constable.
Pep Boys Bobble Head Collection
5. Pep Boys Bobble Head Collection: Well, Manny, Moe and Jack are popular, but run in the $10-$15 range in the box. Did not seem to matter at this point whether they were first edition. These looked to be rather new and I would guess that they are not old and scarce enough to have significant value.
Jock Sturges Photographs
6. Jock Sturges Photographs: Sturges’ photos have been controversial, since they often involve nudity. They also are art. Thus the controversy swirled and ultimately ended in the court room. The court threw out the charges and the work sells for often beyond $1,000. Thus, much of the public views his work well. There is an interesting book, “Portrait of a Muse,” that follows the life of one of his models and documents her life, her real everyday difficulties and goes beyond a beautiful image into everyday issues. WorthPoint has sales records for about 70 of his photos. Although Jock was born in 1946, and must still be working, I would expect that his work will appreciate.
Art Deco Waterfall Bedroom Sets
7. Art Deco Waterfall Bedroom Sets: These bedroom sets are common to find. While they often show great artistic merit, they are not the fastest movers. They became popular in the Art Deco periods of the 1920s and often have veneer problems or need to be refinished. Generally, the sell for a little more than $1,000, but will not be the first thing to move in an estate sale. If you are on the buying side, be sure that you are able to buy the entire set; the more pieces to the set, the better. Also, plywood became popular at this time, and my preference would be a solid veneer over hardwood, if buying to keep, and steer away from sets with veneer issues. Buying smart with these sets can produce lasting value for the buyer.
Sophia Juke Box Slide
8. Sophia Juke Box Slide: refers to a pretty costume jewelry item that was part of the Lia Sophia jewelry line that is distributed through woman’s home parties for that line of jewelry. They are generally attractive, relatively inexpensive items. This particular item, retailed for $36 and sold in new condition on eBay for $15. If described correctly in the listing, that it was made of silver and crystals, seemed to be a good buy, although they did not disclose the dimensions.
Henderson Artifacts Collection
9. Henredon Artifacts Collection: This is a particular Henredon furniture style. Henredon was started by four men in North Carolina who wanted to build quality furniture. Today, while the brand has thrived, it is part of a larger furniture company, Furniture Brands International. WorthPoint had two sales results for the artifacts line of Henredon and 550 for the broader line. Susanin’s Auctions seem to be a place where a lot of the sales were focused. Prices ranged from several hundred upwards to $1,000, and reflected solid resale value for solidly built American hardwood furniture.
Landshark Surfboard Sign
10. Landshark Surfboard Sign: These signs were produced to advertise the Landshark Beer. This was a brand that Anheuser Bush created for the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville chain of restaurants. The native landsharks are the local males that are discussed in his song, “Fins,” that are circling for prey among visiting female tourists in the local watering holes. The surfboard trade sign was a popular piece of advertising for the beer and sales for around $200 in good condition. There are numerous other fun advertising items related to the brand that are priced up to the $500 range. They are generally easy to find, but popular, since the brand was created in the last twenty years.
Well, that summarizes what’s hot in antiques search for the month of May and I’m looking forward to see what stays hot in June.
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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