• 3
    Sep

Look with Your Brain, as well as Your Eyes, to Avoid a Costly Mistaken Identity

I was wandering around an antique mall in Tennessee one time a few years back and noticed some small tools and other oojahs in a display case. The attendant came over and pointed to several pocket kits and said, “I wouldn’t want to see a doctor coming at me with one of those!” I thought […]

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  • 12
    Jul

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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  • 15
    Jun

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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  • 19
    Feb

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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  • 2
    Aug

Cincinnati Offers a Hotbed of Early Firefighter Collectibles

Fathers, ask your sons today what they want to be when they grow up. The answer isn’t the same as it was when you were a kid, when the answer was reliable: a fireman. Today, however, he may say “rescue hero,” considering our ever-growing regard for the brave New York City firefighters since 9/11. More […]

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  • 19
    Jul

The Collector’s Minute: Chemical Cart Fire Extinguisher

“Chemical Cart” extinguishers were used in factories and towns all over the United States from the late 19th century onward. This one depicted in the advertisement was made by the Badger Fire Extinguisher Company in Boston, Mass. Most late-19th- to early-20th-century pieces like this were obsolete by the 1930s and few survived the scrap drives […]

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  • 21
    Jun

Ask A Worthologist Question: Koch Barber Chair

Jeff S. is trying to sell a barber’s chair he had purchased a few years ago. The prices dealers are offering are leaving him flat. So engaged WorthPoint’s “Ask a Worthologist” service, and it was forwarded to me. Here is Jeff’s question: “I paid $1,600 for this Koch Barber chair at an auction in 2006. […]

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  • 5
    Apr

Civil War Show Find: Finely Carved Spring-Loaded Lancet

My father and I participated in the Civil War Show at the North Georgia Trade Center in Dalton, Ga., during the first weekend of February this year. Participants exhibited items ranging from firearms, swords, dug relics, glassware, flags and medical items to household items used during the period. Wandering the show, looking for something to […]

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  • 30
    Jun

‘Neat’ Set of Apothecaries Measures

People become antique dealers for various reasons. Some do so when their personal collection becomes too big for their home and, at retirement, opening a shop seems a good idea. Others start collecting and trading at a young age and at some point realizes they are a “dealer.” However we come to it, we all […]

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  • 29
    Dec

Tools of the Trade: Amputation Saws

You know, if you read my blog on amputation sets, that amputations were the surgical procedures most performed during the Civil War. Resection was a procedure performed then as well, but it took a long time and it was a fact that soldiers had a better chance of survival the quicker the operation. The earliest […]

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