• 31
    May

Chinese Clouds Have always had Silver Linings! China Puts a Large Value on Silver

Historically, silver has always had a greater value within China than anywhere else in the world. Today, as with most things Chinese, we find history repeating itself. In the 16th century, silver had a value in China double to that of Europe, the very same phenomenon I am seeing today. While items of Chinese Export […]

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  • 24
    May

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Arcade Cast Iron Farm Toy, Uncle Sam & Hitler Button

QUESTION: I own an cast iron, Arcade blue corn planter toy. I acquired it as part of a boxed lot at an auction. What is its value? – J, West Bend, Wis. ANSWER: Edward H. and Charles Morgan founded the Novelty Iron Works in Freeport, Illinois, in 1868. In 1885, Albert Baumgarten, Edward H. Morgan, […]

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  • 23
    May

Steve Santini: A Collector of Things from the Dark Side

Steve Santini. Does the name ring a bell? From the moment I first saw him on TV, I had me a married-woman, middle-aged crush. He has that tough-guy-with-an-edge look. He is a collector. He is passionate about the history behind the items he acquires. He is an extreme escape artist. And, he has actually handled […]

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  • 15
    May

Chinese Export Silver: The Silver Category That Eluded Everyone

It’s not uncommon that I get torn off a strip by antique silver experts for the fact I’m forever extolling the virtues of Chinese Export Silver, but the more I research this silver, the more proof I unearth that this is not only a highly significant silver category, but it is also a vast one. […]

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  • 1
    May

Gold Alert: From Investing in Gold to Buying it over the Counter

As an appraiser often I am asked, “Should I invest in gold?” Let me go over the basics before you decide to invest in gold. I watch TV and listen to the radio and I hear all of the commercials about investing in gold, and if you have read my article on “Selling and Buying […]

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  • 8
    Apr

Rinker on Collectibles: Money, Money, Money—the Obsession with Monetary Value

When I began my career researching antiques and collectibles in the 1970s, the single question that dominated the collector’s and general public’s mindset was: “What is my object worth?” In 2013, it still is the most frequently asked question. Focusing exclusively on this question turns antiques and collectibles into commodities, stripping them of their stories, […]

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  • 1
    Mar

Antiques Auction Forum Podcast: Adrien von Ferscht on Chinese Export Silver

In this week’s installment of the Antiques Auction Forum podcast, Martin Willis speaks with Adrien von Ferscht, of Glasgow, Scotland, on the subject of antique Chinese Export Silver. Von Ferscht is a pure academic researcher and provides an astounding amount of resources on his blog, Chinese Export Silver. He has published a catalog of marks from […]

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  • 10
    Aug

Unloved Antiques: Silver-Plated Souvenir Spoons

The next item in this series about unloved antiques is mid-20th century silver-plated souvenir spoons. Most owners of these collections think they are quite valuable, often under the impression they are all made of Sterling silver. Most everyone has at least a couple, received as a gift from a traveling relation from some exotic locations […]

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  • 20
    Jun

Dining with Antiques – Gelatin Molds

Gelatin—the translucent thickening agent made from animal collagen—has been in use as a food additive for thousands of years. It was undoubtedly discovered while boiling bones and probably first used as a sealant to protect fish and other perishable foods with an airtight glaze. By as early as the 14th century, it was molded into […]

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  • 13
    Jun

Unloved Antiques: 1847 Rogers Brothers Flatware

The sixth item in this series of Unloved Antiques is early 20th century flatware; the 1847 Rogers flatware sets in particular. Such sets were often referred to as “Grandma’s Sterling,” ¹ received as wedding or anniversary gifts after the turn of the 19th century and passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter. These sets […]

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