• 7
    Feb

The Collector’s Minute: Sonora Cabinet Phonographs and Radios

With the passage of time, the names of once well-known companies that were advertised 
daily on radio and in newspapers have faded away. Sonora is one such company. Sonora Phonograph Company was a large phonograph and radio manufacturer. Familiar Sonora slogans 
of the time were “The Instrument of Quality” and “Clear as a Bell.” The […]

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  • 17
    Jan

Danelectro Guitars: The Beginners’ Instrument Collected by Rock Stars

Vintage guitar auctions are heavily weighted toward the three big names in guitar history—Fender, Gibson and Martin—and rightfully so: in recent decades, those companies have produced the guitars that have shaped rock ’n’ roll and folk music. When a name-brand guitar owned by a big star goes to auction, it brings big bucks. Fender Stratocasters […]

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  • 14
    Jan

Q & A with Harry Rinker: 1950s Italian Ceramics, Philadelphia Tavern Prints

QUESTION: I own an urn-like vase that rests on a matching plate. The vase stands 8 ¾ inches high and is 3 ¼ inches wide at its widest part. The plate is 9 ½ inches in diameter. The vessel is marked “Italy / 1391” on the base. What information can you provide? – CM, Reading, […]

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  • 20
    Dec

Q & A with Harry Rinker: French Provincial Loveseat & Camp Granada Board Game

QUESTION: I have a French Provincial loveseat. I was told it was made in France or possibly Quebec, Canada, in the 1880s. Around 1900, my aunt purchased the loveseat in Toronto, Canada, and gave it to my mother in 1960. Shortly thereafter, she had it reupholstered in Collingwood, Ontario. It has been in my possession […]

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  • 9
    Dec

Bob Dylan’s Historic Newport Stratocaster to Soars to Nearly $1 Million, a Guitar Record

As comedian Don Adams used to say in his 1960-s TV comedy show Get Smart: “I missed it by this… much,” Christie’s appraisers had estimated that Bob Dylan’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster would bring $300,000 to $500,000 at auction. As I mentioned in an earlier article, my guess was that the guitar would bring closer to […]

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  • 15
    Nov

‘Introducing…. The Beatles’: A Story about a First Collectible

I’m old and I can’t remember anything. So when my editor asked me to write about my very first collectible, I was shocked (and somewhat disturbed) to realize I remembered every single detail. And I was interested to see that this same collectible has had a surprising trajectory in value over the years—a whole story […]

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  • 3
    Nov

When Dylan Went Electric: Historic Newport Stratocaster to be Auctioned by Christie’s

On Dec. 6, 2013, Christie’s of New York will auction the 1964 Fender Stratocaster guitar that was played by Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in July of 1965. The guitar is expected to bring between $300,000 and $500,000. Stratocasters of this vintage without notable provenance regularly sell for $30,000 or less. Apparently, rock […]

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  • 16
    Oct

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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  • 8
    Oct

D’Angelico and D’Aquisto: Masters of the Handmade Archtop Guitar

Handmade stringed musical instruments are seldom average. They are usually found at the extremes of quality: they are either gawdawful or sublime. The “worst of the worst” are poorly assembled, using woods with mismatched tonal qualities. I’ve seen some fretted instruments—guitars, banjos, mandolins and dulcimers—that were absolutely beautiful and a delight to hold but couldn’t […]

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  • 20
    Sep

I Inherited the Family Piano… Now What?

How do you stop an elephant from charging? Take away his credit card. Why do elephants have trunks? Because they would look silly with glove compartments. What do you give a seasick elephant? Lots of room. Silly, I know. But to Baby Boomers, these jokes are a reminder of the “elephant joke” fad of the […]

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