• 12 Jul
    2013

The Curious Phenomenon of 19th-Century Chinese Export Silver Bosun’s Whistles

傳送我上去吧, 史考特. 十九世紀中國出口銀海軍口笛的特殊實物 What we know as the China Trade began in 1757 when, by Imperial edict, a set of stringent regulations were implemented in order to try to control the non-Chinese merchant sea traders trying to set anchor in Chinese ports. An area at the mouth of the Pearl River was designated as foreign […]

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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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  • 15 Jun
    2013

Q & A with Harry Rinker: Sterling Silver & Tortoiseshell Cigar Box

QUESTION: I have an English sterling silver cigarette box with a tortoiseshell lid. It measures approximately 7 inches by 4 inches by 3 inches. Since the lid is tortoiseshell, I am concerned about selling it in fear that it might be confiscated by Federal authorities because tortoise products are on the endangered species list. What […]

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  • 24 May
    2013

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
    2013

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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  • 9 May
    2013

Michelle’s Antique Road Trip: A Shopping Gem on the Missouri River

I am all about quaint little towns with history, antebellum houses and terrific antique shopping. Fortunately, we have such a place about an hour drive from my home, Weston, Missouri. Weston is a place we discovered not to long after we moved to the Kansas City area and it quickly became a destination we visited […]

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  • 1 Apr
    2013

Advertising & Country Store Collectibles to pace Huge Showtime Auction

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – More than 2,400 lots from three major collections of country store, pedal cars, toys and firefighting memorabilia will be offered at auction on the weekend of April 12-14 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor/Saline Road in Ann Arbor. Internet bidding will be facilitated by […]

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  • 19 Feb
    2013

Unloved Antiques: Reproduction Victorian-Era Spyglasses

The next item in this series of Unloved Antiques is something that causes big problems in the antique and collectibles market: reproduction scientific instruments; the biggest culprits being optical devices like telescopes, binoculars, desktop magnifiers and periscopes. Before the 1970s, the chances of running into reproductions of this type were slim because the high cost […]

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  • 10 May
    2011

Dining with Antiques – Metal Lunch Pails

The first lunch pails were simply wooden or tin buckets covered with a folded cloth on top to keep out road dirt and flies. Those buckets accompanied field hands, mill workers and school children for hundreds of years, usually filled with cold meat, rustic bread and chunks of cheese. This changed in the 19th century […]

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  • 19 Apr
    2011

Unloved Antiques: Antique Singer Sewing Machines

The second item in this series of “Unloved Antiques” (the first edition is about Limited Edition Collectors Plates) is the Singer treadle sewing machine, an item that we receive inquires about virtually every week. The reason for the impression these machines have some great value is a mystery; one that’s often fueled by a well-publicized […]

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