• 22 Aug
    2013

Beanies, Dolls and Plates: The ‘Valueless Collectibles’

We all know that the Beanie Baby craze was a wild ride for a couple of years. People were actually acquiring these plush little darlings in the hope of building a nice retirement nest egg. I know a few people who really saw the Beanie Babies as the answer to their financial troubles. I have […]

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  • 16 Aug
    2013

It’s All in the Marks: How to Identify Rookwood Pottery

For appraisers at Antiques Roadshow-type of events, it’s often like teaching condensed “Antiques 101” courses, with a narrow focus on one maker, artist or decorative-arts movement. In many cases, we first concentrate on the basics of identification to determine more detailed information from what we see. In this article, I’ll take you through the process […]

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  • 6 Aug
    2013

It’s all in the Marks: Using War and ‘Country of Origin Marks’ for Quick Dating

For appraisers and dealers, there are some instant identifiers to determine earliest possible dates of production, some as simple as the country of origin mark. In the course of human history, war often change the boundaries of countries, or even create new countries where none existed before. One prime example is Czechoslovakia. Simply seeing Czechoslovakia […]

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  • 14 Jul
    2013

It’s All In The Marks: Dating Porcelain and Pottery

The process of identifying any item examined by an appraiser is based on a number of identifiers. In the case of pottery and porcelain, it often involves looking for manufacturing and company markings, many of which are well documented and some with only the barest of references. I’m going to take you through the process. […]

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  • 12 Jul
    2013

Ask a Worthologist: Salt-Glazed Crock

Janice H. picked up a stoneware crock with a cobalt-blue design at a country auction. It does have some small damage, and she’s hoping to resell it if she can make a good profit. She used our Ask a Worthologist service to determine its value, and her request was forwarded on to me. Here is […]

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  • 9 Jul
    2013

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 Jun
    2013

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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  • 20 Jun
    2013

Lawn Art: The Oft-Overlooked Value in Estates

In American popular culture, the kitsch surrounding pink flamingo lawn ornaments appears universal. Mention such ornaments and visions of trailer parks in Baltimore come to mind; perhaps as a result of John Waters’ 1972 movie “Pink Flamingos,” with its subtitle: “An Exercise in Poor Taste”. Until the 1970s, upscale suburban homes sometimes boasted lantern-carrying lawn […]

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  • 4 Jun
    2013

America’s Early Antique Stores: When did the Industry begin in Earnest in the U.S.?

Having lunch with friends from the U.K., we discussed our afternoon spent browsing through antique stores. “Why aren’t there more antiques in your antique stores?” questioned Nigel. “There aren’t enough real antiques in America” chimed in his wife Susan, “except those that are imported from Europe, of course.” “America has a thriving antiques business” I […]

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  • 21 May
    2013

Massive Collection of Elvis Presley Memorabilia to Headline Memorial Day Auction

ST. LEONARD, Md. – A huge single-owner lifetime collection of Elvis Presley items promises to be the centerpiece offering in a Memorial Day antiques and collectibles auction slated for Monday, May 27, at Chesapeake Auction House. An expected top lot of the Elvis collection is a rare, limited-edition Aloha Hawaii Elvis Celebrity Series World Doll […]

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