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‘Herzlichen Glückwunsch!’ Best Wishes on Starting a German Beer Stein Collection

Collecting something new can usually be overwhelming. When I first started collecting and selling beer steins, I was amazed by the vast variety available. A large majority of the antique steins you will find out there are low-priced “souvenir” steins. These types of steins generally don’t hold much value or collectability. Beginning collectors will usually […]

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  • 18

Music Items, Coin-Op, Advertising, Toys and Gaming to lead Fontaine’s Auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – For folks looking to start or increase their collection of musical items, coin-op, advertising, toys, country store, banks, gaming and more will have 365 lots of fresh, quality merchandise to consider in a March 29 auction scheduled by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. The musical items will feature rare Victrolas, gramophones, music boxes, phonographs […]

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  • 2

Whiskey Making Collectibles a Legal Way to Remember Our Moonshining History

Aug. 10, 1958, just north of Blacksburg, Va.: The blue ’58 Ford sedan was hard to keep on the road. Moving at nearly 90 miles per hour and heavily loaded in the back, the car’s front tires weren’t making good contact with the pavement, causing the vehicle to “dance” over the winding and hilly mountain […]

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  • 16

Q & A with Harry Rinker: A Bottle of 1969 Château Mouton Rothschild

QUESTION: I have a bottle of 1969 Château Mouton Rothschild. The bottle is No. 32124. The bottle label notes: “Shipped by / LEXIS /LACHINE & CO.” What is the bottle’s value and what is the best way to sell it? – KC, Hellertown, Pa. ANSWER: Château Mouton Rothschild, a legendary wine estate, is located in […]

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  • 16

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Lithograph Motor Race Game, Mechanical Whale Toy

QUESTION: I have a Motor Race Game, a 16-inch-square lithograph tin game board and the six cars. It is in very good condition. My wife and I play the game, careful not to scratch the surface. What is it worth? – AA, via e-mail ANSWER: Wolverine introduced its Motor Race game in the mid-1920s. The […]

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  • 9

From Public Health Necessity to Collectibility: The History of the Beer Stein

When the first beer steins were being produced, their future collectibility likely wasn’t being considered by those who produced them. It took roughly 400 years after the first steins were produced before stein collecting began to take off. The earliest steins can date back to the Late Middle Ages, more specifically the 1500s. The word […]

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  • 27

Treasures That Aren’t: The Most Faked Collectibles

In antiques and collectibles, you’ve got your share of frauds and scams. We’ve been shocked by stories of imposters who can create “authentic” paintings by the world’s masters, produce ancient art objects, forge signatures on baseballs, create “rare” books, “find” long lost stamps and “discover” historical letters or diaries. Even antique wine has been fabricated. […]

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  • 15

Cigar Store Indians: The Original Tobacco Advertising Pitchmen

In the 1600s, ships traversed the Atlantic Ocean as businessmen in England looked to expand commerce and consumption of tobacco from America to Europe. The tobacco trade connected settlers who grew the crops in Virginia near the Jamestown colony, sailors who transported the dried leaves and the brokers who sold tobacco to merchants and shopkeepers […]

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  • 26

Rinker on Collectibles: The Academic Historian vs. The Collector

On March 28, 2013, I presented a scholarly paper entitled “Celebrity Bounce” as a member of the Collecting and Collectibles: Collectors, Collections, and Value panels at the Popular Culture Association / American Cultural Association 43rd Annual Conference held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. This is the second paper I presented at […]

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Up in Smoke: From the Calabash to the Hookah, Collectible Tobacco Pipes Abound

Tobacco use has taken many forms over the last five hundred-plus years, from cigars to cigarettes, plugs and snuff. But none offer up as many collecting possibilities as the tobacco pipe. Use of the tobacco pipe has been in and out of fashion since first gaining stature in the 17th century. It fell out of […]

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