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Thread: Signed vs Unsigned Collectibles

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Signed vs Unsigned Collectibles

    In your world, does it matter in terms of value and desirability if an item has a signature on it? For example, in my world (vintage Steiff Teddy bears, dolls, and animals) a signature from a Steiff family member or prominent collector adds "interest" in some cases but seldom adds financial value. In some cases with purists, a signature actually decreases value on all fronts. What is it like with you and what you specialize in?

  2. #2

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    Anybody have any thoughts or experience with this they can share?

  3. #3
    Member
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    I don't deal too much in modern collectibles, which are the items that tend to have signatures. Right now I am focusing on decorative antique and vintage items, and selling them primarily to people to are using them in their homes, not necessarily "collecting" them. Of course a mark is always helpful, for them and for me, to aid in identification. But I don't think that's what you are referring to.

  4. #4

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    Exactly. More like an author or designer signed the item that they either wrote or created.

  5. #5

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    Looking at signed or unsigned in Japanese antiques it can make all the difference in the world. The authenticity of the signature is also important.
    That isn't to say that unsigned will always go for less than a signed. Some items and eras didn't have signing as a regular activity.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Lynn Rosack
    Guest
    In my world of trivets, a signature's value and significance is relative to the era of the trivet.

    Most Contemporary Trivets were signed by the manufacturer with a stock number and/or the company name. Examples of 1950s-1990s era companies: Wilton, John Wright, JZH, Iron Art, Art Smithy and Virginia Metalcrafters.

    In the case of antique trivets: it was unusual for them to be signed and so a signature, initials, or lettering incorporated into the design increase the value dramatically.

    If unsigned, the composition and quality of the iron- the design- and the casting technique used will give provide clues to an advanced collector regarding the age of a trivet.

  7. #7
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    In my line it doesnt seem to make a great deal of value on the modern items. For instance its common to see a Michael Doulton signed figurine or character, and whilst it doesnt affect value, some people prefer them. With older Doulton products, a facsimilie type Noke signature even in the design can increase the value, similarly a Bunnykins plate that is signed Barbara Vernon is worth more than an unsigned one.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Hi, I'm Lisa in SC and I'm new. I deal mostly in Vintage items; glass and ceramics. A few months back I was perusing eBay (hate to admit it ) and noticed a porcelain figurine which I had in my collection. I purchased mine for about 5.00 some 13 years ago; the price on eBay was 89.00. Turns out this piece was made by Rubel-Servware in Japan and had the sticker to prove it. Mine had no sticker, but I did tuck away all the info on it's origins for future sales campaigns. Other than the missing sticker, my figurine was in perfect condition. I let the seller know that I had one, if she wanted another, but without the sticker, she would only offer me 30.00 and then 2 days later reconsidered and withdrew the offer. Given this experience, I say any information will enhance value and sales and that includes manufacturer's marks. I know that when I'm out "Picking", I carry a Marks reference with me. It helps me determine if I'm on to something or just looking at something that is pretty, but with little sales potential. Hope that helps, Lisa
    jholl99 likes this.

  9. #9

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    Great thoughts and comments Lisa, many thanks for posting!

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