Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daryle Lambert: UHL Pottery & Rural Antiques & Collectibles

Having been away in Kentucky for Christmas, I have to admit that this has been a hard week for me to stay focus on business, but I have enjoyed seeing my mother, children, and grand children. Old friends shared stories that brought back memories that had been storied away for years and they seemed to come from everywhere. We laughed and cried but that was then and this is now so it’s back to the work we have set out to do together.

If I were to start an Antique business today in Kentucky, I would have to study different items than I would in Chicago. However, with the internet, this problem isn’t as important as it was when I first started in this business.

I have seen interesting items this week I don't normally see in Chicago. First to come to mind is UHL Pottery. This company started in Evansville, Indiana around 1846. The company later moved to Huntingburg, Indiana around 1908, though they kept their Evansville business office until 1934. Over the years, August Uhl was joined in business by his brother, Louis who stayed until 1879, and then his son, George. It remained a family business and closed around 1944 due to union strikes, rising costs and Japanese imports. From 1944-47, the company was leased to Vogue Pottery who continued to manufacture some UHL pieces until it closed in 1947.

Perhaps the most interesting things that you might run across in your search of UHL are pieces that were produced by members of the family and signed by the potter. They are usually pieces of dinnerware, such as cup and saucers and plates. But the pieces I always looked for were the Miniature Christmas Whiskey Jugs. These little jugs often have paper labels from the twenties and thirties and can sell for several hundred dollars each.

Today's Photo: Miniature Uhl Christmas Jug sold on ebay for $143.76 12/16/07

You might not believe this, but tobacco items are in demand today. Kentucky is still one of the biggest tobacco producing states in this country, so you would expect there to be interest for these tobacco related items.

Cigar boxes with their wonderful graphics can bring some fancy money today and so can cigarette lighters and ashtrays. These items gain additional value if they are also have advertising associated with them.

Even cigarette packs are being collected. Can you believe it? Paper matches are collected by a large group of collectors and there are even collector clubs that have been formed for the lighter and match collectors.

You might have thought that collecting wouldn't be as popular in rural communities as it is in the city, but this presumption would be wrong. There are collectors everywhere.

Toy farm implements can sell for thousands of dollars if the have the right name on them and are produced by the right companies. All the major implement companies have toys made of their products. You can find tractors, combines and plows, plus many other items that are eagerly sought after by the collector.

I once went into a garage here in Owensboro, and up in the rafters was a paddle car that looked as if it had been there for fifty years. I ask if it was for sale. I was told I could have it if I could get it down, which I did. After examining it, I told the woman I couldn’t take it for nothing, so I gave her $200. This little car later sold to a collector for over $2,200. Great things seem to show up in the strangest places.

Quilts, guns, knives and primitive furniture bring big money in rural areas. And there can be huge money in duck decoys. A fine Kentucky sugar chest can bring $25,000 plus today, and a painting by some of the better rural artist are beginning to sell to record heights today.

There seems to be something for everyone's taste today, and this gives us the excellent opportunity to cash in on this insatiable demand.

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If you haven't yet had a chance to see what we've got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We've got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you'd like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us. Contact us here.

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