The smart collector: Value of gifts to grandkids is link to you

2013-01-13T00:00:00Z The smart collector: Value of gifts to grandkids is link to youDanielle Arnet The Smart Collector Arizona Daily Star
January 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Q: I bought this framed photo of John Lennon long ago at a yard sale. The man who sold it told me said it was a lithograph. The photo is marked, "1940-1980 Richard Avedon." Is it worth more than the $5 I paid for it?

A: Richard Avedon was a famous fashion and art photographer whose originals now bring serious money at auction. From the mark, it's clear that he took the original photo of Lennon, but this is a copy. The date range indicates copyright.

Value is whatever a buyer is willing to pay. Depending on condition and type of frame, you might get more than you paid for the large photo. It is not a litho.

Q: I've decided to give some ceramics, if they have value, to my grandchildren. Are these two pieces worth anything?

A: Forgive my frank advice, but I think you're going about giving in the wrong way.

If the ceramic pieces come from you and the grandkids associate them with you, they have sentimental value. That's precious, and something the grands cannot buy.

I can't tell you how many readers write about objects they hold dear because they were given by a family member. Perhaps they saw their object in Aunt Blanche's or Grandma's house, or it's something that triggers good memories.

Don't worry about intrinsic value. Give when/what it pleases you to give.

As for photos sent, one ceramic is a decorative European-made liquor decanter. A ewer with an interesting handle and applied gold may have moderate value. The bottom mark (not provided) will tell the tale.

Q: Any info on my small Eddy Arnold plastic guitar? It was bought as a souvenir around the early 1950s.

A: Country music singer Richard Edward "Eddy" Arnold performed for six decades before his death in 2008. Wildly popular, he inspired hundreds (if not more) of toys and concert souvenirs during that span.

I suspect that the reader's mini- guitar bearing Arnold's photo and signature is one of those concert mementoes.

The guitar was not a distributed toy, as there are no make or sales records for the model. I'm thinking that value would be whatever an Arnold fan will pay. I'd post it on eBay at a price you can live with and see what happens.

Shortly after Arnold's death, a single plastic Eddy Arnold guitar pick sold for $20.60.

Q: What can you tell me about my mid-19th-century family heirloom vase and silver spoons?

A: From images sent, I suspect that the pottery vase is a hand- painted souvenir from abroad. The bottom signature indicates that it was painted by Melecio. Looking at the decoration style, perhaps the vase was made in Mexico or another Latin country.

The engraved spoons need to be seen by someone to determine if they are coin silver. Some collectors prefer old coin silver to sterling. Ask a local antique seller you trust who knows early flatware.

TRENDS: Sally Schwartz and Danny Alias of the vintage lifestyle blog www.whendannymetsally.com have compiled a list of trend predictions for 2013. Here's what they see: Start watching for cowboy Gangnam style, anything cat-themed, and specific vintage vinyl records and record players. Collectors will also want vintage optics, such as telescopes, kaleidoscopes and the like. Add certain 1960s-'80s men's fashions (Pendleton) and industrial eyewear, such as goggles. To see the entire list and details, check the site.

Danielle Arnet welcomes questions from readers. She cannot respond to each one individually, but will answer those of general interest in her column. Send emails to smartcollector@comcast.net or write Danielle Arnet, c/o Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60611. Please include an address in your query. Photos cannot be returned.

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