• 15 Jan
    2016

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
    2016

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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  • 4 Dec
    2015

Victorian Trash for Christmas: A Fine Pin Cushion Doll

For almost 40 years, I have been on my hands and knees, digging through trash. It is to the point where more people know me by my “a.k.a.” name—The Downeast Digger—than by my actual name. It started innocently enough, as my older brother towed my sister and me out in the trailer of our old […]

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  • 1 Dec
    2015

Love ’Em or Hate ’Em: Thomas Kinkade Christmas Figurines Abound

I received a note from a collector of Thomas Kinkade figurines who had received a new one every two months, thanks to a subscription. She wanted to know if they will increase in value over time. Thomas Kinkade (Jan. 19, 1958 – April 6, 2012) is like liver and onions: either you like him or […]

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  • 20 Nov
    2015

How to Remove Stains from your Antique China, Pottery and Porcelain

Have you ever passed up purchasing a wonderful piece of art pottery, flow blue, transferware or any other collectable ceramic or porcelain because it had horrible crazing or other stains? I know I have. Condition, condition, condition is the mantra that has been drilled into our heads. Only buy the best when purchasing our collectables and antiques.

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  • 17 Nov
    2015

Brayton Laguna set the Trend in Early Southern California Pottery

“In view of its innovation and influence, Brayton Laguna Pottery ranks as one of the foremost companies in the history of Southern California pottery.” Thus began the Brayton chapter of my book, “Collector’s Encyclopedia of California Pottery,” that Collector Books released back in the 1990s. Its importance, in my estimation, has only increased over the […]

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  • 17 Nov
    2015

The Antique Turkey Platter: Rarely Used Dish Could Pay for Christmas and then Some

It’s that time of year where family heirlooms are dragged out of their hiding places in china cabinets and buffets to serve on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners without much though about their value. Year after year, pieces like vegetable bowls, gravy boats and platters are loaded with all the good things that […]

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  • 13 Nov
    2015

‘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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  • 13 Oct
    2015

Bauer Pottery: Color for the Dinner Table and Beyond

Most people are familiar with the brightly colored ceramic dishes known as Fiesta. Homer Laughlin China of West Virginia introduced this line to an enthusiastic public in 1936. But the story of dinnerware in a range of cheery primary colors had its beginnings six years earlier, when the J A Bauer Pottery began producing its […]

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  • 9 Oct
    2015

How to Detect Repaired Porcelain, Art Pottery & Clay Pieces

Antiques and collectibles enthusiasts often find themselves frequenting community charity auctions, local antique shows, neighborhood garage sales and internet web sites searching for their next “Great Find.” But buying from someone you don’t know—and may never be able to find again—is sometimes risky business. For collectors of different types of ceramic art, including porcelain figurines, […]

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