Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rose Medallion Porcelain - An Antique Chinese Import


Many items were imported to the U.S. from China during the 19th and 20th centuries. Rose Medallion china was one of these imports. This very colorful china was a real hit in the U.S., and today, you might find pieces at almost every sale you attend. In fact, I’ve found many great pieces at garage sales and was able to pick them up very inexpensively.

Once you are familiar with these very distinctive Rose Medallion patterns, they can be spotted a mile away. Almost every piece of Rose Medallion will have from four or more panels that are decorated around a central medallion. This medallion is either a bird or peony, and the panels evolve from this medallion. The panels show birds and people in a background decorated with trees of peonies and leaves. The colors are what gives its origin away. They include greens, pinks, and many other colors that appear to be almost pastel.

The great thing about this china is most people lump it all together as almost worthless china. By now, you should know that this works to our advantage. Also adding to our advantage when searching for Rose Medallion, is that it’s usually unmarked. Because it wasn't usually used for serving, the pieces can often be in mint condition and have very little wear on their bottoms. This is unusual for items that might be over one hundred years old. The variety of this china is limitless. You will find Baskets, Bowls, Candlesticks, Chargers, Garden Seats, Punch Bowls, Tureens and Vases. Always ask the seller if they’ll take less for this china because it is considered by most to be of little value. I have found it very easy to negotiate a price to my liking.

This is a subject where you’ll want to do a little research. You might start by going to eBay’s completed auctions, searching under “Rose Medallion Porcelain,” and then trying another word combination, like “rose medallion” or “rose medallion china.” I have found that you can come up with different items by the word combinations you use. I’ve suggested many times to search eBay, and the reasons why you might do this. First, to familiarize yourself with the different pieces and second, to see actual prices achieved at auction for the better pieces. Here’s sample from eBay: A Pair of Sauce Bowls $2500, Two Vases $1400, Wash Basin $1300, Platter $750 and a Bowl $700. Not bad for what most put little value on. Once you’ve searched eBay, do a search with a search engine, or even try searching by image.

I once went to visit a woman with many items to sell from her home, told me her father had spent many years in the Orient. I purchased almost everything she had for sale. It took every spare inch of my truck to haul away all the goodies. This is the same home where I purchased a large oriental urn, written about in my book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques and Collectibles.

I called a dealer friend of mine as soon as I returned home from her house, and he arrived to look at my treasures. He hardly keep his eyes off the large urn I purchased. He asked me for a price on the urn, and continued to ask me for a price on the urn. Finally out of frustration I said $2,500 and he said “Sold.” No one had to tell me that I just made a tremendous mistake, but it was too late. Yes, I only paid a few hundred dollars for it, but that isn’t a good excuse. I broke my own rule about not selling anything until I had researched it.

It was from this woman’s house that I also purchased some Rose Medallion. I probably spent $500 on pieces of this china. I was just guessing that it was old, but it did pay off for me. To the best of my recollection, those pieces brought me back over $7,500.

As you can see, I bought it all. If you ask that woman today if she was satisfied with the prices she received, the answer would be yes. That’s the way I like to do business.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

LINK:
eBay Completed Sales Page

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Antique Majolica - Know It by Sight and Win Big

Antique George Jones Majolica Butterfly Cheese Keeper with very slight damage sold on eBay April 27, 2008 for $4,500.

This wonderful colorful pottery known as “majolica” has been reproduced time and time again since the 14th century. As a kid I was always interested in watching films where the ground in great cities of the world were excavated, and the archaeologists uncovered wonderful vases and pots. Many of these had interesting designs, but it was the colors that caught my eye.

Majolica is produced by covering the body of a piece with an opaque, tin enamel, hiding the color of the clay. Whenever a Majolica dealer is set up at an antique show, I can’t pass their booth without stopping in.

Today’s Majolica Collectors have a wide range of items to choose from, so there is plenty of opportunity to form a rather substantial collection. My daughter, Dana, just became interested in these wares, and when Marsha found the oyster plate that I just wrote about yesterday, I remembered Dana’s interest. You see the oyster plate is Majolica.

But we are first in the business to make money, then, if we make some good buys and sells, we just might find ourselves being able to form our own collections from the good trades we've made. I told you once that when you follow my lead, you will know where the money is made. So, I’m telling you today, majolica is an area where you can still make some serious money. But you need to be on the inside track and know the secrets.

Many people are afraid to invest in Majolica for a couple of reasons. First, so much of the Majolica is unmarked. Second, it’s still being produced today and they might not know a vintage or antique piece from a current one. This fear keeps many people from investing in it and gives us a tremendous advantage if we seize the opportunity. Once you see the real thing, you won’t be fooled after that.

A book that I’d like for you to purchase, and it’s perfectly fine to buy it “used,” is The Collector's Encyclopedia of Majolica. (There's links to any of the books I mention at the end of the Blog). This is an older book, but its price makes it a great value compared to the other majolica book prices. Another fabulous book, though pricier, is Majolica: A Complete History and Illustrated Survey. Cindy says Abesbooks has a better buy on this today. These are single, used copies so they go quickly.

It’s also a good idea to get up close to some of these items, so next time there is an Antique Show in your area, make every effort to get there. In fact, I can’t stress enough the importance of attending Antique Shows. You’ll get a close up view of some of the finest examples of most of the items I write about. Nothing replaces a real encounter with an authentic piece.

I said that most majolica wasn't marked but there is still a lot of it that is marked. For example, one of the best known names in majolica ware is George Jones. If you come across his pieces, just shout “WOW.” Most people would recognize his pieces if they ran across them. Here’s why: There might be an English registry mark on it. His mark might be as simple as a very small circle with a “J” that passes through the G. Two other English companies you might recognize are Minton and Wedgewood. These companies produced majolica wares.

Here are just a few examples of values in marked majolica: George Jones Game Pie Dish – Fox crouching near dead bird – Jones 1875 – 11 inches - $8000. Garden Seat – Birds and Floral – Jones 18 inches - $15,000. I think you’re getting the idea. The wonderful thing about majolica is that there are always willing buyers, yet there are so few people who really know the better pieces.

I’m waiting for Marsha to call me because I might even have a bigger surprise in store for her. The oyster plate she picked up might be George Jones

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Books:

Collector's Encyclopedia of Majolica
At Abesbooks (BEST VALUE)
At Amazon

Majolica: A Complete History and Illustrated Survey
At Abesbooks (BEST VALUE)
At Amazon

George Jones Ceramics: 1861-1951 by Robert E. Cluett
At Abesbooks
At Amazon

Link:
Majolica International Society - History of Majolica

Monday, April 28, 2008

McCoy Pottery Teaches 31 Club Member the Power of Showing Up

Vintage McCoy Pottery Vase with Leaves recently sold on eBay for $43.99. There were 7 bids.

It does my heart good when I see something I have taught come true with my own eyes. In this case, finding treasure where other people dare not to trod makes a great subject for today’s blog.



Two days ago, Marsha, a 31 Club Member, called and asked if I would go with her to see some pottery that someone had placed a classified ad about. The vision of Teco, Grueby and Newcomb began dancing through my head. I could see that one special piece just waiting for us. Instead, Marsha told me the ad in the paper said 100 pieces of McCoy pottery, a lower end pottery, and the asking price was $500. Needless to say, my balloon was deflated rather quickly, but I agreed to go with her if she would pick me up.

She arrived within the hour, and we began our journey together. When we arrived at the location, I perked up when I saw it was familiar to me. I had attended many calls from this particular neighborhood, and most of them had been very profitable.



We were greeted warmly and invited in. McCoy Pottery was everywhere and the better pieces McCoy produced dominated every room of this gentleman’s home. In the basement there were over a hundred pieces of McCoy, perhaps ten pieces of Shawnee Pottery, and one oyster plate. These were the items he was interested in selling.

He told us what some of the better pieces would bring on eBay, and he was correct. This man knew his pottery. When I calculated the total, I could see the overall value could easily bring about $2,000. He knew this, too, but said he simply didn’t want to bother with them. He was so right on the money that I felt strange in asking if he would take less than the $500 he was asking -- but you know my rule. Thankfully, he supplied the courage for me when he mentioned that he hadn’t had any other visitors. I offered him $400. What a fantastic gentleman. He said if we agreed to take them all, he’d let them go for $400. Marsha had herself a deal.

Marsha and I headed back to the car to get some packing materials, and I asked her what she thought the profit on the pieces would be after she had sold them all.
“Maybe a thousand dollars,” she said. I asked her how she arrived at that figure. “I think I should get a least $10 a piece for them, don’t you think?” I didn’t want her to get too excited, so I told her that with the Shawnee pieces, it will probably be closer to $20 a piece. She was thrilled. Then I asked her, “What about the oyster plate?” She asked me what I meant. “The oyster plate will bring you more than you paid for all the other pieces,” I told her. She looked like a deer in the head lights. I can’t wait to see her final total after selling them all.

The ad for this pottery was in a public paper, but no one answered it. Why? I’ll take an educated guess and say that people saw the word “McCoy” and figured it wasn’t worth much. That was my initial response. Boy, were they wrong. This is an example of what I meant when I’ve told you never miss an opportunity to visit someone’s house. Many times when I’ve gone on a call, I didn’t end up purchasing the items I went to see, but walked out with some of the greatest treasures I have ever purchased. When you go on a call where there is no competition, you can take your time looking, and this is where your skills and knowledge come into play. You see, I immediately spotted the oyster plate and knew that we were going to make the deal.

It took Marsha a couple of trips to pack up all the items, but she got them all. I wish her well in selling them and advancing up the 31 Steps.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>




Sunday, April 27, 2008

Orrefors Glass


7" High Orrefors Vase: Edvin Öhrström's "Graal" with Portraits of a Man & Woman, 1941 is offered at FreeFormUsa.com at $18,500

Have you ever assumed you knew something, only to later discover how mistaken you were? This doesn't happen to me often but it has happened in the last few months. I figured that I was somewhat knowledgeable on most good glass produced in the last hundred years, however, this proved to be false. Orrefors was a name I was familiar with but had always thought it was too contemporary for me. How wrong I was.

The Orrefors Company was founded in 1898 in the province of Samaaland Sweden. It was fortunate to have some of the best glass masters to be found anywhere, and they produced marvelous bowls and vases. Some of the best known artists to work at the Orrefors Company were Edvard Hald, Vicke Lindstrand, and Nils Landberg. There never has been finer glass workers than these artists, and most of the finer pieces are signed “Orrefors” along with the name of the artist or his initials.

I don't have a current book on Orrefors, but after writing this Blog, you can be assured that I will order The Best of Modern Swedish Art Glass: Orrefors and Kosta 1930-1970. This book has a price guide, too.

I did find some information on the company in my book by Victor Arwas, Glass Art Nouveau to Art Deco, and this proved helpful. You must be asking yourself why this particular company caught my eye. The easy and quick answer to this question is the price that Orrefors’ better pieces bring in the market place. This is just the kind of item that we’re searching for. The ones that few people know much about. And, when you find the right piece, the rewards can be quite substantial.

Here are just a few of the prices from Kovels Price Guide to give you a little taste of what's out there. Vicke Lindstrand did a vase featuring a shark killer, depicting a nude man diving, carrying a knife. This 12 ½ inch tall vase could have a value approaching $15,000 or more. Other Orrefors vases, one depicting a Pearl Diver, as well as one of an Oriental Princess both list at over $4,000. This isn't bad considering they both are only 8 inches tall.

Orrefors still produces glass today, and that is where I got confused. The modern pieces bring very little money, usually. These aren’t the pieces we’re searching for. You should definitely do your homework on this fantastic glass.

I learned a very valuable lesson with regard to Orrefors. Never judge all things about a particular subject with the limited knowledge that you’ve gained until you have done a complete study of it. I broke this rule. You see, I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of Orrefors. Usually it has been extremely inexpensive, so I assumed all Orrefors pieces were inexpensive. Boy, what a mistake I’ve been making. But, for me, the worst thing is considering how much money I might have walked away from. I’ll not be making that mistake again.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>


Links for Other Recommended Glass Books:

Orrefors: A Century of Swedish Glassmaking

Miller's 20th-Century Glass: Over 2000 Items - Identified - Valued

Miller's Art Glass: How to Compare & Value

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Resale Jewelry - Everything that Sparkles isn't a Diamond

Uncut Diamond, the Sierra Leonean Giant Sefadu, was found in 1970 weighing in at 620 carats. Photo from BBC News

Last week, I had the opportunity to buy some nice resale jewelry, some for trade and a few pieces for my wife. There is wonderful money to be made from buying and selling resale jewelry, but you must have an iron will and a few set rules when buying resale jewelry.

I have never been offered great items at reasonable prices, so there has to be a lot of negotiating before you find a bargain. Since you likely aren’t a gemologist, you will be guessing as to size, color, and quality of the stones mounted in that ring, broach or necklace. Even if the piece comes with an appraisal, be skeptical. These can be easily made.

The content of the metal mounting is one thing that helps to reassure you of quality. If it is 24 carat gold, there is a much better chance the stones are real, and the same can be said about a platinum mounting. Once you get down to 10 carat gold, these pieces might very well have artificial or semi precious stones.

The rule I use goes like this: I know what the gold or platinum is worth, and usually the offer I make is never more than twice the price I can get for the metal in the mounting. This way, I seldom get hurt, and often I end up with a bargain. Jewelry is one area that you should never feel guilty about your offer. To give you an example of what I'm talking about, I was once offered a tennis bracelet by a woman who showed me the receipt from when she bought it. She paid $3,500. Knowing the gold was worth close to $600, I offered her that, and she accepted it. To this day I don’t know what it’s worth, because I gave it to my wife. However, I do feel safe in saying that at today’s metals prices, I could at least double my money should I decide to sell it.

I’ve previously written a Blog about my friend Warner, who purchased a 24K designer gold watch for $200. One of the reasons he was able to do this was because it didn’t say 24K, but instead had a mark from France that indicated this was 24K gold. Today, this watch might bring as much as $10,000.

My grandfather was originally from Cuba, and when he came to this country he worked for the L & N Railroad all his life. Once when he was traveling though Kentucky, he stopped at our house, and before he left, he handed my mother three large stones that looked like common rocks. He told her they were diamonds. My mother stashed these away in a safe place for many years.

After my Grandfather’s death, my Dad suggested they check out whether or not these rocks were really diamonds. Louisville was the only city large enough to get this information, so off they went.

They shared the story with a store manager in Louisville and asked if they would be willing to cut the largest stone they could from one of the rocks. The store manager agreed to do that, so they left the rocks in his possession and returned home.

They soon received a letter stating that the diamond had been cut, so they returned to Louisville to a very suspicious and inquisitive greeting. Two men started to question my parents about the rocks, but after a lengthy period of time informed them that yes, the rocks were indeed diamonds, probably from Arkansas. The rock they were able to cut turned out to be about the size of a nickel, perhaps larger on its crown.

The manager handed them the bill for the work they’d done and told my folks that if they would allow the shop to keep the cuttings from this rock, they wouldn’t have to pay for the work. Being young and not having to pay out any money sounded like a good idea to them, so a deal was struck. They took their stone and other rocks home.
There is a sad chapter to this story, however. Over the many years and numerous moves, the other two rocks were lost. Boy, would I like to speak to my Grandfather and get the full story about where these stones came from and how they ended up in his possession.

The reason that I share this story with you is to state that everything that sparkles may not be a diamond, but everything that doesn’t sparkle may be a diamond in the rough.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Friday, April 25, 2008

Animated Art - Drawings and Cels

Mickey Mouse Colour Reference Drawing. Photo from Wonderful World Art Gallery.
Images ©Walt Disney Co.


It was a Saturday afternoon, back in the days of my youth, and I can still remember handing over my ten cents to the man behind the glass window, then getting a ticket to the greatest afternoon ever. I waltzed right through the theater doors and up to the refreshment stand and handed over my nickel for a Coke. If I was plush with money, I splurged on a five cent bag of popcorn. Scurrying on over to the room where the best afternoon ever would take place, I found a seat in the middle, about halfway back. There I sat, eagerly awaiting the beginning of a Disney film. I knew that real soon, the characters would be dancing before my eyes across the silver screen.

I must have seen all the Disney Cartoon Movies. I particularly remember Peter Pan flying through the air and Donald Duck chasing the children while his uncle threw his money around. What could’ve been better than that? I didn’t know I was poor. In fact, when I was able to attend the movies, I thought I was King.

In the heyday of the cartoon movie, there were hundreds of artists producing drawings and cels for movie producers, and the people who worked at the studios would often take these drawings and cels home by the handful, thinking they would some day be very valuable. Well, they were right. Today I wish some of my relatives would have worked for Disney and brought me home a hundred or so of these cels and drawings.

Drawings and Cels from the classic films can bring in the tens of thousands of dollars today. I don’t know the record high, and if anyone else does please let me know, but I’m guessing it would have to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Pieces from the 50’s or earlier will bring the greatest reward. I don’t think I have to tell you to be on the look out for these animated drawings, but be careful. There are drawings and cels being produced today by machine, and these have little value. There were several cartoon producers, but the greatest producer of these films was the Walt Disney Studios.

Let’s take a look at how the older cels were made. First, the artist would sketch the drawings and then these were photographed on to celluloid. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of these celluloid “pages” called “cels” for each feature length film. Each movement a character made had to be drawn, so that when they were put in sequence, you could see the action. This was a lengthy process, and even in the early days, it was an expensive process. Both the drawings and the cels are in great demand today.

The great thing about this merchandise is that most people wouldn't know a machine made piece from an original. This is where you come in. Find a place where you can familiarize yourself with the originals, and when the time comes to find the treasure that others miss, you’ll have the knowledge to recognize it. If you’re on vacation in a large city, look for galleries that specialize in Animated Art, and don’t leave until you ask every question you can think of and have received an answer you can understand. This knowledge can mean big bucks to you in the future. Believe it or not, some of the best pieces I’ve ever bought were from auctions where everyone in attendance thought these items were new.

How things have changed since the time I paid my five cents for a movie. At the age of nine or ten, I picked up cola bottles and sold them as a way to pay for a special day at the movies. I walked to the movie house because my folks didn't even own a car until I was twelve. I don't think it even occurred to me to ask for money to see a movie, not to mention a ride to the movie house.

Movies were a real treat back then, while today, my 9-year-old son has numerous discs he can just pop in the television and have a movie whenever he wants one. Yes, I think people my age yearn for those olden days, the days when things seemed to have more value. Maybe this is one of the problems today -- a lack of appreciation. Sitting there in that theater and watching a feature movie and a couple of cartoons made my afternoon one of the most memorable days of the year. I wonder what makes our kids' days memorable.

Be sure to check the link below to get a look at some Animation Art and further your education. But before you do that, join us here at the 31 Club today. The membership fee is ridiculously low right now, because we're building up our Club. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Link:

http://animationartgallery.com/

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Antique Soda Shop Items Have Stong Values Today

Antique Soda Fountain found at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont. Photo from roadfood.com


As a young kid, I remember going to the Olde Soda Shop in Lewisport Kentucky with my Uncle Jim. He was my father’s youngest brother, yet only four years older than me. The town of Lewisport had a population of about 500 back then, and everyone, including the adults, seemed to congregate at this shop on the weekends. It was the most popular place in town for feasting on delicious homemade ice cream and sundaes.

Little did I know back then that almost everything in the store would become a real treasure in a few year’s time. One of the biggest tragedies to this little town was when the government closed the ice cream shop stating sanitary reasons. Most people thought that the real reason was because the larger company making ice cream in the city couldn't compete in quality with the homemade kind being made in Lewisport. I have to agree with this assessment.

Let’s take a look at some values of the items found in the Olde Soda Shop, like the ice cream scoop. The Gilchrist No. 34 Banana Split scoop was recently listed at $675.00. There are many that will bring even more than this, and if you’ve ever had a dip of homemade ice cream served from one of these, you’ll say it is worth every penny of that price. How about soda dispensers? Most of these were also advertising pieces of what they dispensed, like Hires Munimaker Syrup. Today, that dispenser would cost you $6,500. Today, a Scott’s Root Beer Barrel shape dispenser can be yours for the small sum of $4,500. These dispensers were in all kinds of soda shops, and you might find one at your next garage sale.

Advertising was what really caught your eye when you entered the shop in Lewisport. Coke Cola, Green River, Cherry Smash, Root Beer, and Grape Crush were just a few of the dispensers that you might see on the other side of the counter. Almost all of these dispensers today will bring over $500 and several will sell in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Not to be out done are the tin and cardboard signs that were sitting everywhere. This made it virtually impossible not to order something, and if you find one of these, their value will compare with the soda dispensers.

When I close my eyes, I can still catch the aroma of fresh fruit, candy, peanuts and chewing gum that filled the air. And there were dispensers and jars in which these items were contained, too. What stories these shops could share if they still existed today.

Ice Cream Parlor tables and chairs, stools, and benches will still bring a pretty penny today. Who says the old days weren’t worthwhile? Be sure to keep these in mind when you are on your search for treasures from yesteryear.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ungraded Silver Coin is Still a Sell

Now is the time to sell ungraded coin. Photo from Fox Valley Coins.

This week, when I took Joshua to a coin store to look around, I couldn't believe my eyes. There must have been six or eight employees working behind the counter plus twenty-five or thirty customers. I asked to speak to the manager. An extremely nice gentleman approached me and asked how he could help. “Is it okay to keep my little dog Bella with me if I hold her,” I asked him. He didn’t have a problem with that, and I was relieved she wouldn’t have to spend the hour in the car while Josh and I looked around. But what I really wanted to know was what all these people were doing here. He told me they were all either buying for their collection or selling their silver or gold. Just to give you an idea of the bedlam in the store, there were three people behind the counter just separating the coins that had no value to collectors and would be sold just for their metal content and then, there was a line waiting for their services.

Let me state this again: This is the time to sell your silver. With oil going through the roof, silver can't break out. It peaked at about $20 plus and now has settled in a trough between $16 and $18. This is when the value of silver should be setting the world on fire, but it isn't. Sell, Sell, Sell ungraded silver. I am betting my reputation on this.

I did gain a different perspective on collectible grade coins while I was there. This movement in the price of metal might have been what the market needed to attract new collectors in the coin market. If this is true, then investment coins may be something worth looking into. Remember that the rare and unusual coins will be the ones that can make you the money, not the coins that aren’t worth grading. Gold coins with low mintage are the coins I would recommend. If you are able to find them ungraded but in fine condition, there might be the opportunity to profit from the grading. This means sending them of to a company that will grade each coin against one that is in mint or proof condition. This is exactly what our member, Cecil, did and it proved to be the treasure that took him several steps in his race to the million dollars. However, you might remember he incurred the theft at the mall where he was displaying some of his coins, and this was a small set back for him. Be safe when you are dealing in rare coins, and it is best if you are a little secretive as well. I know that doesn’t sound like me, but in this case, it is better to be safe than sorry.

On another note, I was thinking back just eight months ago to when we were just beginning to formulate the plans for what is becoming one of the most successful clubs around, and I am astonished. Daily, I am getting calls from all across the country, and people are starting to realize just what being a member of the 31 Club can mean to them.

Today one of our members wanted to know how to sell some Indian Katina's, and while we where talking, he mentioned several other items that he might sell. Hopefully, we can help him and also save him money in the process. Another gentleman wanted to talk about some items that were coming up for bid at auction and about what price would be good to buy them at if he had the opportunity. Another member called wanting to know whether a piece was a print or a painting, and I had the pleasure to explain to her how one could tell the difference.

Your calls bring me great satisfaction. When the idea of the club started, it was about giving back for what God has given me. I believe this is being accomplished, and so does our staff. We are growing, and I am so thankful. It couldn’t have happened without you. Please be patient with the reconstruction of the site, because as I see what Jeremy and Cindy are doing, I know that it is all going to be worth it.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Napkin Rings to Dream About

Antique Tiffany Co sterling silver childrens napkin ring c1890
is offered at OneOfaKindAntiques.com for $900

Do you know a single napkin ring can bring up to $5,000? But be careful, because there are reproductions. Napkin Rings were fashionable from about 1860 to 1900, and no formal table would have been set without them. Where did the days of the formal table go, now that we are in the disposable age where everything goes into the trash as soon as the meal is completed?

Several years ago at an auction on the far west side of Chicago, I found 25-30 silver plated napkin rings from the late 1800’s. I was new to buying silver then, because my first love had always been pottery, so I was a little reluctant to buy these. But, I did buy half a dozen of them at prices from $75-$100. Soon after this purchase, a man approached me and asked if they were for sale. He was more familiar with silver than I was, so I declined to give him a price, and took them home instead. Then, I listed them on eBay.

My money doubled the first they were listed. You see people back then thought that a snipe was a bird, and they didn’t wait until the last 30 seconds to bid on something they wanted. The best of the bunch closed at over $500, and the rest were not far behind.

You must be sure of what you are looking at because some are still being produced today. The figural rings are usually the most expensive, and in Kovels Price Guide, some of these go up to $4,000. A silver plated 3 ½ “ ring with a Conquistador on top made by the Toronto Silver Plate Co. sold for close to $5,000. I would suggest that any older silver or silver plated napkin ring would fetch at least a hundred or two.

You will find all kinds of of Napkin Rings, and often, they will be round with just a letter engraved on them. Even these simple one can sell for $100 or more. But if you find ones with children, oriental figures, Lads and Lassies, animals or Samurai's, then you have found a treasure. It might seem strange, but it doesn't seem to matter if the napkin rings are sterling or plate and the maker seems to be the most as it pertains to price. And although napkin rings are made in many different materials, only the silver ones shine.

Often you will find napkin rings in box lots. Some of the time you really have to look thoroughly through the entire box to find where people have hidden them during the preview, hoping that no one else would know these valuable ones are there. If you locate a set of these in a house and can negotiate a price for them all, you should come out smelling like a rose when they are sold individually. These may not get you to the million, but they are definitely more than pocket changes.

Some of you wrote about yesterday’s blog, and you are right. Cindy did correct me. There doesn’t seem to be any Key Ring Clubs but she did point out to me that Key Rings and Key Chains are the same and there is a Key Chain Club. However, as I studied it, I found they aren’t offering what I had in mind.

Construction Alert: Yes, we are under reconstruction and you might see some glitches for a few days. But, when we are finished, you will be pleased. Thanks for your patience.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Monday, April 21, 2008

Key Rings and Keychains - Who's Going to Take the Bait?

This Vintage Pan Am Logo Keychain Sold on eBay for $61.


During the time that my friend Warner and I worked together buying and selling antiques, the Lotton Glass Club was formed, initially through Warner’s hard work, and this Club has become one of the most successful ones on the net. Over the weekend, an idea came to me about another great club. A Key Ring Collecting Club. So, I tried to find out if a club like this existed. I couldn’t find one. Do you realize that there were over 6,000 Key Rings for sale on eBay. This doesn’t include the 16,000 completed auctions for key rings. This looks like something that has the potential to be a great business.

There is all kinds of information on the internet about starting clubs, and if I could help in forming this kind of club, I would certainly want to volunteer.

Collectible Key Rings and Keychains has all the elements necessary to become one of the most collected of all the items I am familiar with. Their prices run from fifty cents to well over a thousand dollars. By not being larger than a bread box, key rings and key chains meet my rule for collecting and dealing. The variety in key rings is without limits. Sports, Cars, Animals, Fashion, and on and on. They can be gold, silver, plastic, wood, leather or almost anything you can imagine.

Who will grab the bait first? What a great business this could become. You might start by picking up several Key Rings and selling them on eBay to get a feel for them. Quite frankly, I’m stunned this hasn’t already happened. If you find that a club is already formed, please pass it on to me.

Things that ultimately become serious collectibles are items that most people never thought would be collected – like Key Rings. And, there are thousands of great ideas, but they are only great ideas if they’re acted upon. If I desired to make this my full time occupation, I truly believe it could be very financially rewarding.

Warner and I first started his club with a few of his friends. Then, they told everyone they knew about this fabulous Lotton Glass. The same thing can be done with Key Rings, if someone was willing to band together and start the club. I believe it can mushroom into a truly rewarding experience. I can even see where this could start you on the race to the million dollars.

A Key Ring Club would have collectors of all ages, and this would add to the fun. Who’s going to take the ball and run with it?

On another note, I just discovered that we are close to the top in rank on Amazon. I have asked you to pass the word, and it seems you have. Thank You! Keep spreading the word while your staff at the 31 Club makes every effort to make this a fun and profitable experience for all.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Antique Bookmarks

Cracker Jack Bookmark from SilverBookmarks.com


I was looking for a way to be lazy today and I found one. You see, my partner, Cindy, asked if I could do a simple blog today, because she has family in town and isn't going to have a lot of time to devote to it. Along came Howie. Howie Schechter is a collector of silver bookmarks and has a collection of over 1,000 antique and vintage bookmarks.

Bookmarks are items that have never caught my attention. I always thought there weren't enough different ones to have a real collection. Boy, was I wrong, as Howie has proven. If I ever find a very nice silver bookmark for a small amount of money, now I will add it to my inventory. I never paid much attention to them before.

Today's picture is of a bookmark that came in a box of Cracker Jack and is now part of Howie's collection. In addition to appealing to bookmark collectors, this would be of great appeal to Cracker Jack Collectors. While Howie's collection is mainly silver, he has many interesting book marks made of different materials such as brass, bronze, copper, lucite, enamel, pewter and many others. I encourage you to read the story of how Howie got started collecting book marks, and then take a tour through his very interesting site.

Here's Howie: Silver Bookmarks - The World's Largest Online Collection

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Carnival Glass part II

We had a good response to the Carnival Glass Blog so today, I will add to it. If you have a real interest in Carnival Glass, you might want to join a Carnival Glass Club or Association. If you search the Internet you’ll find many. The Heart of America Carnival Glass Association is one I’ve recommended in the past. If there is a club local to you, it’s a great way to meet collectors and learn from them as well.

After purchasing The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass and obtaining the reference information on the latest and best auction price guide on Carnival Glass from Cindy, you will be knowledgeable enough to compete with the pros. Just remember, condition is everything in Carnival Glass. Email Cindy at cindy@31corp.com with “Carnival” in the subject, and she’ll send you the information on this truly excellent price guide.

I’ve bought and sold Carnival Glass all throughout my life, and naturally I have some Carnival Glass Adventure Stories. Most of my stories usually have important information you can extract, and this one is no exception.

I was browsing around town one day when I received a call on my cell from an elderly lady who wanted to know if I’d be interested in some things she owned. She told me she had a lot of knick knacks. I could tell that even if she did have something of value, she probably wouldn’t be able to tell me that. She just plain didn’t know.

I wasn’t doing anything much that day so I figured I’d go check it out. When she told me she lived on the far South Side of Chicago, I found myself hemming and hawing in my mind. Did I really want to bother to go all the way there? After all, I was way up north. Past the City of Chicago by a long shot, out in the Far Northern Suburbs. I was considering whether or not it was worth it to take that long drive through all that city traffic. At this time of day, figured a 2 hour ride was likely, not to mention the ride back. My inner desire to find treasure wrestled with my practical side, however, as you might guess, I gave in to my desire to find treasure.

Battling the stop and go traffic, I was thinking I was wasting my time. After all, she couldn’t tell me a thing about what she had. When I finally arrived, hot and tired, I was greeted at the door by a warm and pleasant lady, who graciously invited me in and set me up with a nice cool drink. I learned that she was a retired school teacher, and we spoke for some time. Then, she lead me into a room where she had some of her items.

Carnival Glass everywhere! A huge oak cabinet was crammed full of some of the finest Carnival Glass I’d ever seen. I didn’t want to seem overly excited, so I continued (biting my tongue) down the hall to another room. Here, the site of art pottery, perfume bottles and many other fabulous items filled my eyes. She had some of the most wonderful items I’d seen in a great while, and I sat her down and told her so. I asked it would be possible for me to buy them all.

“If you’re willing to pay the right amount, of course you can buy them all,” was her response. I spent some time looking at and counting the items. I asked her if she would accept $5,000. I knew I couldn’t say anything else until she responded. Boy was it difficult to wait on that one.

“No, I can't, “ is all I heard before my heart began to drop. “But if you’ll buy my oak cabinet, too I will take your offer.” I knew the cabinet was worth about $750 at the time. I asked her how much she wanted for the oak cabinet and she told me $350. Now, as I rule, I don’t buy furniture. For me, I don’t like to bother with moving it, storing it, and everything else about it. But in this case, I quickly threw that rule out the door. I wrote her out a check as fast as my hand would write it.

I knew there was no way I could take all the items with me that day, and she agreed I could return the next day with a truck. And a deal was made. I drove home on the clouds.

As you probably know, I couldn’t leave without asking here where she got all her things. Her answer surprised me. “I’ve been going to the thrift shops for over twenty-five years,” she told me.

I ended up with about 200 pieces of Carnival Glass, Lalique and Steuben perfume bottles, as well as Roseville, Weller, and Rookwood pottery pieces. Needless to say, I stayed within my 25% rule for purchasing and this lady was very satisfied. There had been others who visited her and offered her far less than I. She wisely turned them down.

I hope you've extracted a thing or two from this story. I shiver when I think about how close I came to missing this opportunity.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.>

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flow Blue China - The Error that Made Money

Flow Blue Porcelain China Teapot with Lid sold recently on eBay for $516.00

I had a special request to do a blog about Flow Blue from Joann Woodall of the Wagon Wheel Antiques Co. Joann is one of the people from whom I purchased the wonderful pottery at the Arlington Park Antique Show. I am always looking for items of interest to write about, so in the future, please email any requests you might have.

The porcelain that is known as Flow Blue was first produced about 1830. Those companies producing this porcelain were mainly located in England, however several others in France, Germany, Holland, and America also produced this fine porcelain. By 1940, Flow Blue was the rage in America because it was relatively inexpensive compared to fine china.

The creation of Flow Blue came about by accident. The story goes that a company was experimenting with a cheap form of dinnerware when some mixed chemicals were accidentally spilled on some of the wares that were waiting to be fired. This went unnoticed because the type of china awaiting firing was known as Transferware, and the pieces were covered with a blue pattern. After the firing, it became apparent that the transfer had bled onto the white porcelain. At first, the employees were horrified, however upon close examination, they noticed this mistake covered imperfections in the china. Isn’t it amazing how many worthwhile things come about by accident?

There are three periods in Flow Blue. About 1830, the Victorian period started, and patterns were used in Flow Blue from Chinese Imports. About 1860, the second Victorian period began, and these patterns consisted of mainly floral patterns. The late Victorian period started about 1880, and went back again to the oriental patterns.

Anything that could be produced from china was made in Flow Blue, like tureens, serving platters, dishes, chamber pots, vases, and even smoking accessories. Prices were reasonable, and that was the appeal.

There were so many companies producing Flow Blue China that I won't try to list them all, but you can find most of them by going to eBay and doing a search for Flow Blue in the completed listings section. As much as I have written about how unfair I believe eBay has been to their customers, I do have to commend them for the research information they provide. You will also find price guides for Flow Blue, but be careful because the prices in some of these are outdated.

Currently, eBay is showing a German Flow Blue Vase sold for $4,826.76. Two Vases with Blue Babies brought $1,350, and believe it or not, a Flow Blue Toilet sold for $749. There are 1,874 completed items listed under “Flow Blue” with most items bringing over $100.

While attending an auction here in Chicago, a large Flow Blue Tray came up for bid. It had a pattern of a very large bull in a primitive decoration that showed there was some serious age. I was bidding against someone I knew quite well, but when it got to be over $500, I stopped bidding. So, my bidding opponent purchased it for around $600. I later found out that this tray’s value ran as high as $3,500. Over the years, I have purchased many pieces of Flow Blue, most of which have been large platters averaging about $500 when I sold them.

This is one collectible that always seems to hold the collectors’ attention and at most Antique Shows you will find at least one booth that features nothing but Flow Blue. Reasonable purchases of these items can bring money to your pocket, so keep your eye out for Flow Blue.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carnival Glass, Virus Caution & Club Updates

The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass is a valuable tool to add to your 31 Club Took Kit.

Late last night, I received a call from Cecil R. informing me that a comment posted on yesterday’s Blog was a VIRUS. I immediately deleted it. We will do everything in our power to protect you, but I encourage you to email us about anything suspicious you see someone place on our site at any time. I believe the comment was left by “akinogal” and was about running virus software. Keep your eye out for this one.

Back to the business at hand, Cecil also told me about another great piece of Carnival Glass he found. This time, it is an 11 inch, two flowers electric iridescent bowl. It seems like the better pieces are beginning to surface now. I even received a call early yesterday morning from a member, informing me of several Carnival pieces she was previewing at a local auction. There was a 10” Cherry Ice Cream Bowl and a Sugar Bowl at this particular auction.

Should you come face to face with Carnival Glass on your treasure hunting excursions, here’s a few tips: 1) Damage is deadly. Stay away from pieces, even if they have only a very small flake or chip. 2) Color is everything. Look for the pastels in ice blue, ice green, white, aqua, red, and check the Carnival book for others. 3) Plates usually less than 2” bring great money. These might appear to be “swallow bowls”, and can be 6” to 11” across. 4) Funeral Vases are a collector’s delight. They can be 15-18” high and have a head than can be 8-10” across. 5) Patterns can make the average piece of Carnival Glass command prices in the thousands. Animals on a piece almost always assure it will bring a fair price. If there is advertising on it, the price can double or triple. 6) There are auctions that deal in nothing but Carnival Glass, and if you should purchase a special item, they are more than willing to provide the sales service for you.

I’ve been interested in Carnival Glass for many years. I once purchased a pastel colored plate and sold it to a gentleman from Texas. He was so excited about this find that he drove all the way from his home to personally pick it up, and I was very pleased to accept his $5,000 check. Carnival is one of the items that has treated me well over the years. With a little study, you can become somewhat of an expert on it and cash in on your knowledge. I recommend some time spent with The Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass, by Bill Edwards. Abesbooks has older copies of this book beginning at $1.61 for a 1998 copy and moving up in price from there. Amazon also has many used copies of this book. The April 2008 edition of this book is available in paperback for about $9. We really appreciate those who purchase through the blog. Every little bit helps keep us up, running and able to bring you this information everyday. There’s also an annual book of the top Carnival sales, and if you e-mail Cindy, listing “Carnival” in the subject, she will give you that information. cindy@31corp.com

I’ve been receiving calls from members for assistance while they are at auction previews or estate sales, and nothing pleases me more than to be able to help you in making decisions on pieces you see out there. This is what will help you achieve your goals and help 31 Club grow. Where else can you get questions answered and send you on your ascent up the 31 Steps and win your race to the million dollars? There’s been a missing link in this business for far too long, and 31 Club is that missing link.

Thanks so much to all the responses to our request for listing items in the 31 Marketplace. These listings will start to appear when Jeremy finishes with our website reconstruction. When others discover 31 Club has many of the rare and unusual items listed at fair prices, below retail, our traffic will increase tremendously, and your items will get huge exposure. Why below retail? Remember, we want to quickly turn the items so we can keep our money moving at all times. That means we don’t have to get retail for every item.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Collectible Knives - Big Boy Toys

7-1/4" Randall 40's Vintage Hunting & Fighting Knife and HH Heiser Sheath sold recently on eBay for $6,607

Mumblepeg was a game played with a knife that I played when I was a little boy of nine or ten. Knives in hand, two boys faced each other and took turns throwing the knife, aiming to land its point in the ground close to his opponent’s foot. The opponent would then move his foot to touch the knife. The object was to stretch your friend until he couldn’t reach the knife. When you stretched your opponent further than he could stretch, you won. As the winner you got to take a stick, the size of a match stick, pound it into the ground with five blows of the knife and then watch your opponent dig it out of the ground with his teeth. There are several versions of the game, but that’s how we played it.

Why did my mind take me back to these wonderful days? I was looking at some knives the other day, and I began to wonder what value my childhood knives would have today. In my day, no little boy would’ve been caught dead with out his pocket knife. How would he have whittled or dug things out of the ground, or fought the bears like Daniel Boone?

I had a Hopalong Cassidy knife, and my friends had Superman, Roy Rogers, Dick Tracey and many others styles and types of knives. I'm so glad to have grown up in the times I did. Today, I wonder if a father could even start a knife collection for his son and avoid ending up staring into the face of a judge after the authorities received an anonymous tip from a well intentioned neighbor.

But, big boys can still have their toys, and if you find any of these knives from yesteryear, you’ve found something of value to many collectors. And that means money to add to your growing stash of cash.

A search on eBay completed knife listings might just cause you to gasp when you see the results. You’ll find single items selling for thousands of dollars. It looks like the knife collectors are a hardy bunch and take their knife collecting quite seriously. I hadn’t realized there were so many famous makes of knives like Randall.

It will do you well to recognize some of the better knife makers, ( hint, hint) as these often turn up in box lots at local auctions. And, if you remember from a previous blog where I discussed box lots, you’ll know that it’s usually best to buy the whole box. There might be some great surprises in it and you’ll have purchased what you want a lot cheaper than if you purchased items individually.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting skills. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Buying and Selling Skillfully in Today's Antique, Collectible & Art Markets

Cecil's Carnival Horse Medallion Bowl currently available on eBay. It previously had 23 bids but did not reach the reserve price.

Timing is everything, and right now the time is right to be buying at bargain prices. At times like these, when people are stricken with fear, we'll be able to make our best purchases. Barry Bond’s last home run ball just sold for under $400,000. What a bargain, considering the record setting ball brought over $1,000,000. The one who bought Bond’s ball in this cautious market will be smiling all the way to the bank in a very short period of time.

Our 31 Club Member, Cecil, listed a Carnival Glass Bowl and it did not meet its reserve although it was a rare pattern with horse heads. It should have found a buyer. He also has a Weller vase listed presently for $2,700 which might be worth $4,000 to $5,000. This is the time to make money by knowing what is worth the money and what isn’t.

When negotiating on price with a seller, you can back down on price now by saying the market is soft, knowing that the best is still the best and will bring top dollar regardless of the times. Yes, the market is fluctuating, but that is what we need to be successful. A constant market eventually works against us. If the market is stagnant, the seller will want too much and the buyers will want to wait for a better price.

Over the next few months, you should be able to complete several steps in your race to the millions, because out of fear, people will likely to be selling their better items. You’ll be able to buy at prices that can make you fat and sassy. Buy where there is little interest, and then sell in the right selling venue.

In my book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, I spoke about taking time to consider where to sell each item. In our marketplace today, this will be a very important decision to make. Remember, where you sell your items can likely make the difference in the level of profit you’ll see. Sell at places that specialize in what you are offering. Rookwood might bring a huge price at the Cincinnati Art Galleries Auction, but you might find it priced reasonably during these times in Texas. California Art might be bringing record prices in California, but what kind of prices would it get in Kentucky? So, keep your eyes out for items that seem out of place. You might be able to cash in on this. The 31 Gang did this very thing when we spent $240 to purchase a Harvey Joiner painting that hadn’t sold at auction from an east coast auction house. We later sold it at an Indiana auction house close to the Kentucky border for about $3,700. Why there? Harvey Joiner is one of the most collected artists in Kentucky.

Ebay might not be the best place to sell at the present time. The problem with eBay is that it is very impersonal, while an auction house can have the feel of being a part of the family. In hard times, that is often what we search for. Early’s Auction is an auction house that doesn’t do online auctions. They had their spring art glass sale this past weekend, and I understand prices were very firm. Considering that almost all plane traffic to Cincinnati was cancelled, they still had excellent results. Now when you consider they don’t do online auctions, this makes their sales success even that much greater.

This is the time to know your markets, act on them, and carefully consider the selling platform that might get you the biggest bang. When you do that the big money will come your way. Remember, collectors are a special breed, and they often won't buy a piece from a shop at almost any price. But let them get involved in bidding at an auction who represents what they collect, and it often seems the sky’s the limit. In the Antique Trader, Antique Weekly and The Maine Antique Digest, you will find a list of specialty auctions. If you have items that fit theircategorizes, do yourself a favor and list them there.

Buy, Buy, Buy. This may be the chance that won't come along for the next ten years. In these markets is when the easy money is made. Jjust be sure you have the knowledge to take advantage of it.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.



Monday, April 14, 2008

Automobile Collectibles and Memorabilia is a Hot Market

René Lalique Mascot / Hood Ornament, "Spirit of the Wind" #1147 recently sold on eBay for $1,625.

While you are out there finding all those great license plates I talked about in our blog the other day, be sure to keep your antenna up for other collectible automobile items. There isn’t a larger group of collectors than the car enthusiasts, with the exception of sports collectors.

My neighbor,”Miss Susan,” as my son Joshua calls her, has been writing about this very subject for many years. In fact, she has a website called Women With Wheels, and I hope she will be a frequent guest writer on our blog in the future. The 31 Club may be involved with her in a joint venture in the near future, and I hope you will be hearing more about that. Listening to her has taught me that the number of items collected by the car enthusiast is almost unlimited.

I have known about the special hood ornaments sought after by collectors for a long time, and the value of these can be tens of thousands of dollars. If you go to eBay’s Complete Sales list and do a search, you will find Lalique ornaments of a nude sold for over $$2200, and one in the shape of an Indian face for $2000.

Let’s look at some other items to keep your eye out for. Tin Signs from the car factories, especially automobiles that are no longer manufactured are prized, as well as hub caps, gasoline station tin signs, and pieces from famous race cars such as fenders grilles and hoods are also collected. Oil and gas cans, replacement parts for older cars and auto industry paper collectibles also have a place on this list. Antique gas pumps are a great collector item, and the glass globes from these antique gas pumps are collectible. This is only a partial list, and truthfully, it would take many blogs to cover them all.

Paper collectibles has been something that Miss Susan has been selling for years. Some of the most collectible items are the owners manuals for special models. These can bring in some fancy money if they are for the right car. Also, dealer signs and advertisements often catch the collectors fancy. Magazine ads are also serious collectibles.

I have been a car enthusiast since I was a teenager, and while still in high school, can remember meeting a man at an auto show in Indiana who had driven his Cord to the show from Kansas City wanting to sell it. It was the model with the huge supercharger pipes and retractable head lights. He was asking only $1,800 for it, and I almost died when I had to tell him I just didn’t have the money for it.
My love of the automobile has continued even till this date. I have owned a MG-TD, supercharged Corvette and several Mercedes, however my favorites have always been what I call my “junkers.” I’m still searching for a 1953 Super 88 Oldsmobile. If you want to make a true friend for life, just tell me where I can find one of these. This is the car I drove in high school, and most people wouldn’t believe the stories it could tell.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Daryle Lambert Blog: Valuable & Collectible Paper-Mache


Did you ever make paper-mache while you were a young school kid? I don't know about you, but this was always a favorite of mine. I liked it so much because I had absolutely no artistic talent, but with paper and glue it didn't matter. If you're like most parents, you might have paper-mache items at home that your children have made with great pride. I know I do.

But did you ever think that pieces like these could have value? This never occurred to me until I found a section in one of the guide books on paper-mache, and I couldn't believe my eyes. Most of this work is unmarked, but from what I have read, some fabulous artists used this medium to express themselves. The surprising thing about pricing paper-mache is that like most folk art, its beauty and value lies in the eye of the beholder.

It seems that this form of art came into its own in the 1800”s and was likely brought back into the country by soldiers and sailors. The best of these items usually combine other elements in their construction. This might give you a clue when you are in the field searching for these treasures. Pieces will often be decorated with mother of pearl, brass inlay and bamboo. The corners can be metal, and many of the most valuable pieces are lacquered inside and out. Many pieces have Victorian scenes or religious themes.

Boxes are much sought after by collectors, and a 13 inch box featuring three horses racing in carts is listed for $1,035. But this is just a start. A 6 inch 1880 egg, with one side showing the resurrection and the other side a view of the Kremlin might well bring you over $2,500. But I left the best for last. A tray stand, Regency, with black lacquer and Chinoiserie figures within a landscape is listed for $10,350.

This almost makes me want to pull out the old newspaper and glue and get busy. But seriously, I think that you'll agree that not many people will be out there looking for these pieces, but from what I can tell, there certainly is a ready market if the piece is exceptional.

If you'll go to a museum or antique show and examine this type of work and then examine the many Asian imports that have little value, you'll soon be able to distinguish between the valuable and the less expensive items.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Daryle Lambert: 31 Club Newbie Scores Big with Art Market Find

31 Club Member discovered a painting by Texas Artist, Jim Rabby at an estate sale.


Yesterday I was deeply entrenched in thought about how to improve our club when the phone rang. A young man on the other end told me he was new to our 31 Club and was on his way to an estate sale. He wondered if I could give him some advise.

I tried all the standard words of wisdom I could gather up. He thanked me, and told me he’d call later. A short time later, the phone rang and it was the same young man. He was at the sale and told me that there was so much stuff there that it was overwhelming. He asked about a G. Harvey print for $2,000 and I said “I don't think so.“ Next he mentioned a small oil by Jim Rabby but he couldn't find anything about this artist. I turned to my computer, and it didn’t take long for me to locate the information I needed.

Jim Rabby is a contemporary Artist from Houston, Texas. I couldn't find him in Ask Art but as you are going to see that doesn't matter much. Every artist of value won't be found in the guides books or online resources such as Ask Art. I did find him by searching further on the internet. He has an interesting story I’ll give you a link to so you can sit back and enjoy his life as much as I did. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two.

But back to the story. I then ask if he had purchased the painting and he told me he hadn’t, but at $45, he thought it was cheap. I told him to run back to the house. Not to walk, but run, and say a prayer that it will still be there. He called me again shortly after his run, to announce that the purchase was made, and the painting wasn’t quite as small as he originally thought. It seemed to be about 20 by 24 inches. This put it in the range of about $2,500 to $3,500 for one of Rabby’s works.

I wish all my students could start off with a first purchase like this one. Maybe that’s not possible, but it does show you that with support from the 31 Club, all the information you need is at your fingertips. Just give us a call and we’ll try our best to see that purchases like this will be yours. I can still hear him say how overwhelmed he was, yet his find was probably the golden ring at this sale.

Time and time again, I'll say that when you just get out there, fabulous things will happen. Believe it. Isn't it amazing that a new young member and avid reader of the 31 Club blog might just have completed the first four steps in his race to the million dollars by spotting this painting, while all the pros who went through that house passed by this great find. I’ve promised to help him place his painting in the proper venue and will keep you updated on the results.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.



Link:

Jim Rabby

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pilkington Tile and Pottery Co. - A Hidden Value


Everyday, I search for things of interest that might just prove to be a treasure to us. I believe I have come upon an item I would add to the “What’s Hot” list. Remember trends are identified by people that have a gift that allows them to see them. Often a new trend is right there before your eyes, but by the time you see it this trend might be in mid-cycle. That’s not where you want to be. It is much better to be there at the start of a trend.

Pilkington Pottery is something you want to watch for and purchase. It has been on the market since the late1800's, up until 1937 when this division was closed. The company did survive and operates under the name Pilkington's Tiles Ltd., even today.

We are only interested in the period of manufacturing from 1903 through 1937. This is when the Royal Lancastrian line was introduced. The new opalescent glaze that was applied to the Lancastrian line became an instant hit with the buyers. These pieces where manufactured during the war years, so I would presume that there were fewer pieces made and even fewer that survived. These are some of the most beautiful pottery pieces ever produced

Pilkington, in my opinion, is of equal quality to the finest English pottery of the time, and I think much rarer than most of the others. However, if you aren't familiar with the company’s marks, you might come across a piece and think it is just a contemporary vase or bowl. The Kovels New Dictionary of Marks will provide the information for most marks out there, and I have suggested that everyone who wants to follow the 31 Club plan purchase this necessary book.

The surprising thing about Pilkington is that their pieces don't have to be extremely large to command some very healthy prices. For instance, a 7 ½ inch Lancastrian vase decorated with four Galleons at Sea, produced around 1908 might fetch $5,000 today. A Floral 9 inch vase could easily sell at auction for $3,500 or more.

Since most people will not know how to identify this company’s ware, you might be fortunate enough to pick up one of these for as little as a couple hundred dollars.

I can promise you that if one of these presents itself at a garage or estate sale, it will probably be waiting there for you. As you pick it up, don’t be surprised if the person next to you says, Oh, that’s nothing, and it’s so overpriced”

The oyster is ugly, but inside there can be a beautiful pearl. That’s what I think this business is all about. Yes, we will open many oysters to find those pearls, but how sweet it is along the way when we find them. By the way, the oyster isn’t all that bad either.

Don’t just follow the daily Blog. Join with like-minded 31 Club Members. Turbo charge your treasure hunting. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to build a bank account to last a lifetime, buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Visit our Website, here.