• 21
    Sep

With Pope Francis set to Visit the U.S., Here’s a Look at Collecting Papal Memorabilia

As Pope Francis comes to the United States for a three-city visit—Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia—throngs of Catholics and others will be lining the streets to get a look at the 266th pontiff and spiritual leader of about one billion Catholics worldwide. Francis, who is also the head of state of Vatican City—a country […]

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  • 18
    Sep

How to Know If Granny’s Old Books Are Worth Anything

At some point, most people find ways to dispense with the personal property of a loved one. Keepsakes are divided and estate sales are held. But one of the most difficult tasks is sorting through boxes and boxes of old books. How can you tell if any of them are valuable? Where can you sell […]

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  • 17
    Sep

Rinker on Collectibles: Two Three-Letter Words — New and Now

When a participant at the Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles 2015 Summer Camp asked “why are young adults no longer interested in buying objects from the past,” I was ready to provide the traditional soapbox litany of reasons. There are dozens, many of which I analyzed in previous columns. As I paused […]

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  • 15
    Sep

Large Supply of Official ‘Commemorative’ JFK White House Rocking Chairs Keep Prices Low

It is as iconic a symbol as Lincoln’s stovepipe hat or FDR’s cigarette holder. The rocking chair of John F. Kennedy endures as a symbol of his presidency. Throughout his short time at the White House, the JFK rocker was evident everywhere he went, from the Oval Office to Camp David, aboard the presidential yacht, […]

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  • 11
    Sep

The Ups And Downs of Depression-Era Southern California Pottery

When collectors think about California Pottery, they probably picture the vividly colored dishes produced in the golden state during the Great Depression years by the “Big 5”—that would be Bauer, Catalina, Gladding-McBean, Metlox, Pacific, and Vernon Kilns. Colorful pottery used to be a ubiquitous feature of the lifestyle in the southern part of the Golden […]

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  • 9
    Sep

Online Promises: You Believe Those Internet Articles, Don’t You?

If you use the Internet to find information, like I do, you already know it can be a great resource. But as I have found out—and as you probably already know—there is some information that is less than sterling quality. Especially when it comes to furniture. Online articles about older and antique furniture are a […]

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  • 6
    Sep

Sports Collectibles News & Notes: Home Renovation Yields Baseball Treasure

Imagine gutting the basement walls of a dilapidated home only to find a long lost treasure. We’ve heard these stories before: the guy who found an Action Comics #1 while restoring a Minnesota house or the rare Babe Ruth poster found while demolishing another Minnesota House. This time, though, the find was in Connecticut. Plantsville, […]

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  • 3
    Sep

Look with Your Brain, as well as Your Eyes, to Avoid a Costly Mistaken Identity

I was wandering around an antique mall in Tennessee one time a few years back and noticed some small tools and other oojahs in a display case. The attendant came over and pointed to several pocket kits and said, “I wouldn’t want to see a doctor coming at me with one of those!” I thought […]

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  • 2
    Sep

Mud on a Supermodel: The Inappropriate Hardware Detracts from Fine Furniture

Putting lipstick on a pig usually doesn’t make much difference in how we view the pig but the opposite application might have a dramatic effect. How about putting barnyard mud on a runway supermodel? Now that is bound to affect our perception of the beauty. The same thing happens, to a lesser degree of course, […]

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  • 1
    Sep

Salesman’s Samples: Colleting Scale Models of Turn-of-the-Century Merchandise

“She Ran Away With A Shoe Drummer” read the Chicago Tribune headline of April 19, 1890. The ensuing article told of a great scandal: a recently married young socialite left her husband to run off with a travelling salesman (“drummers” in those days were travelling salesmen, called such because they would “drum up” business for […]

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