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February 25, 2014



What's the first thing you do when you stumble across something cool and unusual at a flea market or thrift shop?  That's right - you whip out your phone and bring up eBay.  But just because something is listed at an excitingly high price doesn't mean it's going to sell at that price.  So I can't but wonder,


"What is it really worth?"


A pair of pre-World War II figural andirons (Dachshunds were
especially popular between 1900 and 1940) could fetch $300.



Vintage clothing can be quite trick
 when it comes to assessing worth.
Well known designers and custom tailored pieces are the easiest
to value but the market is quite flexible.  Are you surprised that
this 1970s Pauline Trigere wool coat was appraised at $750?


Like clothing, vintage and antique fabric articles are more
fragile than collectibles made from sturdier material:
A Buster Brown scarf from the 1950s
should bring in the neighborhood of $150.


Political memorabilia is one of the least fluctuating in the collecting arena.
This Presidential campaign bandana from 1982 is worth about $1,200.



A Grimwades Ltd. pudding mold in pristine
condition is valued in the $70-$80 range:




I was disappointed to learn that this set of 6 antique fish plates marked "Altrohlau, Bohemia" is worth $100.

Last month I found 4 plates very similar to these in a 'reliable' antique shop for $150 and thought that was reasonable.

That's what I get for thinking instead of investigating!





Another disappointing revelation was the value
of this 1940s Revere home movie camera:

The field of collectible cameras and related equipment has gone
hog wild.  These types of articles can be found at estate sales quite
frequently but the $40 appraisal was a let-down considering that
the original leather case is included.




Grandma would be astonished to learn that the Jiffy Way
Egg Scale she paid $2 for in 1950 is now worth $100:
I wonder why cooks weighed their eggs?



Autographed first editions are wildly popular with book collectors.
An unsigned edition is worth about $50 but the author's
signature increases this book's value to at least $250.


Thirty years ago you could buy a 1930s brass mesh hand bag
for $25. Today you'd be lucky to find one in the low $200s.


Don't be fooled!
Cast iron banks were first mass produced in the late 1860s
and an original can command as much as $6,000 today.  The
market is flooded with reproductions that are only worth $25 each.
You're right - the original is on the right.




Just had a LOL moment - I had one of these Caro-Nan handpainted basket purses in the 1980s and gave it to my daughter to play dress up.  It's now worth $50.







Sculptor and ceramist Malcolm Leland was a prolific producer of pottery and houseware in the 1950s.  This pitcher, originally priced in Leland's catalog for $1.59, is now appraised at $1,500!  Always check the bottom for the maker's mark.





Vintage salt and pepper shakers are popular collectibles because they don't take up a lot of space and you can still find unusual sets at reasonable prices.  This kitschy cricket-inspired duo is worth about $40.


My mom has one of these 3 legged WWI era soda fountain chairs.
The shape allows more chairs to crowd around a little circular table:
We were surprised to learn that it's only worth about $25.


By now you're probably aware of the value of Bakelite items.
Invented by Dr. Leo Baekeland in 1907, Bakelite was the precursor to modern day plastic.  Baubles and bangles which sold for a dollar or two between 1920 and the late 1950s retail today for up to $1,000 for unusual pieces.  This 3 inch bow tie broach will command about $200.


As with all collectible purchases, do your research before plopping down big bucks for an antique or vintage item.  A good rule to follow is - buy what interests you, not what you think might go up in value.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Country Living magazine for the information on the items that were featured today.  And, by the way, the 1941 Steelcraft metal toy bus pictured at the top of this post has a current value of $1,200.  Examples like this that make toy collecting a $erious bu$ine$$!

8 comments:

  1. what a fun post...we go to lots of auctions and here's what I do...buy stuff to put on ebay and then when I get to ebay I see how neat my stuff is, so I buy it instead of sell what I bought to sell...crazy!

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    Replies
    1. I've done the exact same thing! New things? Don't care for them; Old stuff? Love it!

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  2. Nice things. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. You just never know what something is going to sell for, do you Jan? Amazing. Cute post! Susan

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. I'm always intrigued by how some vendors price their items. But $1,200 for an old bus? Amazing!

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  4. I know this is years after your post, but I have an egg scale that my family used on the farm -- it was for sizing the eggs to sell, not to weigh them for cooking. At least, my mother never used it for cooking. I love your blog, and have been going through it front-to-back for weeks, now. It's addictive!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know this is years after your post, but I have an egg scale that my family used on the farm -- it was for sizing the eggs to sell, not to weigh them for cooking. At least, my mother never used it for cooking. I love your blog, and have been going through it front-to-back for weeks, now. It's addictive!

    ReplyDelete