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  • 7
    Mar

J.K. Rowling’s chair, in which she wrote the first two Harry Potter books, to cross the auction block

[caption id="attachment_2526121" align="aligncenter" width="424"] This chair has been sold twice at auction, most recently in 2009 for 19,555 British pounds (approximately $29,117 in US currency), of which some of the proceeds benefitted the charity organization Books Abroad. For comparison, a handwritten manuscript of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” was auctioned by Sotheby's in 2007 and purchased by...

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  • 7
    Mar

The 12 Biggest Small Business Mistakes Part 1

[caption id="attachment_2526112" align="aligncenter" width="650"] No matter what you small business is—online reselling on eBay or a small brick-and-mortar antique shop—make sure you don’t make these mistakes.[/caption] “Cliff, we love your column,” I hear often. “You give lots of good advice but you dole it out piecemeal, week by week. Every once in a while, can you pull together...

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  • 4
    Mar

Rinker on Collectibles: Antiquing Phobias

[caption id="attachment_2526105" align="aligncenter" width="605"] The Yaara Dekel-designed Coppelius Chair is designed to cast the shadow of an evil face. Even if you don’t have altussessiophobia, the name of the ailment afflicting actor Billy Bob Thorton, this chair is scary.[/caption] When I received a telephone call from a listener to WHATCHA GOT?—my syndicated antiques and collectibles call-in radio show—asking...

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  • 4
    Mar

Operator, Get Me MUrray Hill 5-9975: Collecting Candlestick Telephones

[caption id="attachment_2526091" align="aligncenter" width="602"] The sales description for this 1905 Strowger Pot-Belly candlestick phone says that it is all original with a replaced number card, the original cord and connector and a Bakelite-over-metal finish and mouthpiece. It can be yours for $4,500.[/caption] The eBay description is succinct, if not grammatically correct: “(sic)...the price is right 2 years ago...

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  • 4
    Mar

The Last Two Centuries Flew by at Warp Speed

[caption id="attachment_2526082" align="aligncenter" width="604"] When we bought our house back in the 1990s, the prior owner gave us this photo of the house as it stood 100 years ago, along with one of its’ prior unnamed inhabitants.[/caption] As we are bracing for maybe the last round of snow storm this week, it reminds me of a recent a...

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  • 3
    Mar

Andy Warhol’s Collectibles: More than 15 Minutes of Fame

[caption id="attachment_2526054" align="aligncenter" width="406"] Andy Warhol amid paparazzi.[/caption] When Andy Warhol died in 1987, it was quite unexpected. He very nearly succumbed in 1968 when a deranged acquaintance shot him three times. But he survived that attack and lived almost 20 more years. He passed away at age 58, after seemingly routine gallstone surgery. Five years later, his...

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  • 2
    Mar

A Marketing Success: The Ladies Home Journal and its ‘Doll that has come to Life’

[caption id="attachment_2526015" align="aligncenter" width="614"] An 18-inch Kestner 171 Daisy Doll from the author’s personal collection.[/caption] In order to mount a successful marketing campaign, you need to plan it, set your goals, promote it and deliver value. Beginning in 1908 and ending in 1915, The Ladies Home Journal published the Lettie Lane Paper Doll series that were illustrated by...

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  • 1
    Mar

A Primer for Determining Fair Market Value of Estate Art, Antiques and Collectibles

[caption id="attachment_2516940" align="aligncenter" width="425"] Uncle Bob’s collection had to be reviewed to determine its Fair Market Value before the estate could sell it. What collections or antiques to you have in your house—or attic—that will need to go through a similar review? Do you know what a FMV would find for your collection?[/caption] Uncle Bob has always been...

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  • 29
    Feb

The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection

[caption id="attachment_2526099" align="aligncenter" width="441"] An original California black license plate from 1969. It has an interesting number: ZEN 469. Someone found peace through it, paying $284.44 for it and its mate last November.[/caption] “Knowledge is power,” a quote attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, is the watchword of collecting and one reason WorthPoint is such a valuable resource: With...

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  • 26
    Feb

New Data Infusion Pushed Worthopedia Sales Records Past the 300 Million Mark

[caption id="attachment_2526005" align="aligncenter" width="300"] This 1933 Sport Kings Babe Ruth #2 SGC 35 Good+ 2.5 sold for $1,15.75 at Heritage Auctions in October of 2015. It is among the new infusion of auction and sales data added to the WorthPoint Worthopedia, bringing the database’s total to more than 300 million items.[/caption] WorthPoint.com’s Worthopedia™ database of antiques and collectibles...

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