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  • 23
    Sep

Mysterious Devenish Mechanical Bank Sale at Bertoia Auction has Collectors Atwitter

[caption id="attachment_2524007" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Made by Shephard Hardware Co., circa 1885, this Speaking Dog mechanical bank with box (red dress) features an oversized dog seated by young girl. It is expected to bring between $6,000 and $10,000 at Part I of the Clive Devenish collection at Bertoia Auction.[/caption] A mysterious collection of mechanical banks that were designed for...

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  • 21
    Sep

Papal Games: If You Can’t be the Pope, at Least You can Play one at Home

This week we will get an up-close-and-personal look at Pope Francis. I often wonder what it would be like to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and the appointed worldwide leader of the Catholic Church. It’s kind of a cushy job and it comes with an awesome hat. Not to mention the fact that you get to...

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  • 21
    Sep

With Pope Francis set to Visit the U.S., Here’s a Look at Collecting Papal Memorabilia

[caption id="attachment_2523920" align="aligncenter" width="260"] Among the most common papal memorabilia collected are the rosary and the scapular (right). Rosaries can be made of everything, from plastic to precious metal.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2523927" align="aligncenter" width="235"] This banner, welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to Washington, D.C., in 2008, brought $200 in an auction on eBay.[/caption] As Pope Francis comes to the United States for...

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  • 18
    Sep

How to Know If Granny’s Old Books Are Worth Anything

[caption id="attachment_2512727" align="alignleft" width="204"] Identifying the first state of Pearl Buck’s 1931 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel “The Good Earth” depends on several different points, including a subtle change in the name of the publishing company and the color of the top stain.[/caption] At some point, most people find ways to dispense with the personal property of a loved one....

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  • 17
    Sep

Rinker on Collectibles: Two Three-Letter Words — New and Now

When a participant at the Institute for the Study of Antiques and Collectibles 2015 Summer Camp asked “why are young adults no longer interested in buying objects from the past,” I was ready to provide the traditional soapbox litany of reasons. There are dozens, many of which I analyzed in previous columns. As I paused to collect my...

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  • 15
    Sep

Large Supply of Official ‘Commemorative’ JFK White House Rocking Chairs Keep Prices Low

[caption id="attachment_2523815" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The 14 or so rocking chairs used by President John F. Kennedy were made by the P & P Chair Co. factory in Asheboro, N.C., but the upholstered back, seat and arm rests were made by the official White House upholsterer, Larry Arata.[/caption] It is as iconic a symbol as Lincoln’s stovepipe hat or...

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  • 14
    Sep

Oh Lord, Forget the Benz… Won’t You Buy Me Janis Joplin’s Iconic Porsche 356c Cabriolet

[caption id="attachment_2523799" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Janis Joplin sitting on her unmistakably wild 1965 Porsche 365C 1600 Cabriolet in front of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The car, which Joplin drove the care daily, will be auctioned in December by RM Sotheby’s.[/caption] NEW YORK – She may have famously sung about wanting a Mercedes-Benz, but legendary singer...

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  • 11
    Sep

The Ups And Downs of Depression-Era Southern California Pottery

[caption id="attachment_2523746" align="aligncenter" width="600"] An assortment of Bauer Pottery of the 1930s & '40s includes the ring pattern along with kitchen ware and a small strawberry jar from the firm’s extensive garden pottery. Glazed earthenware. (This photo was the cover art for the out-of-print Collector Books guide “The Collectors Encyclopedia of Bauer Pottery” written by the author)[/caption] When...

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  • 10
    Sep

Letter Signed by Father Junípero Serra on offer at Upcoming Bonhams Auction

[caption id="attachment_2523738" align="aligncenter" width="600"] This letter, written in Spanish in a scribal hand with an official seal on Feb. 7, 1775 in Mexico City, is to the various heads of the California missions and signed by Junipero Serra and four others. It carries a presale estimate $60,000 to $90,000.[/caption] NEW YORK – A two-leaf decree letter signed by...

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  • 9
    Sep

Online Promises: You Believe Those Internet Articles, Don’t You?

[caption id="attachment_2523803" align="aligncenter" width="600"] This table was made by Paine Furniture Co of Boston. Does it look valuable? One website article says yes, indeed. The author begs to differ.[/caption] If you use the Internet to find information, like I do, you already know it can be a great resource. But as I have found out—and as you probably...

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