Long before catalogs, salesmen traveled with miniature versions of their products.
Watch enough "Antiques Roadshow" and you become convinced that any retouch of an antique is taboo.
Ivory collecting is fraught with peril.
Victorians loved cozy domestic scenes, and were mushy about animals.
Antique and vintage motorcycles are collected as avidly as automobiles.
Q: What can you tell me about this rocker? I’m told that my parents bought it at auction so my mother could sit in it and hold me when I was born.
Paring down can be a tough proposition — the trap lies in making hasty decisions
There's a market for 50s glass, particularly among young buyers.
Most appraisers are not specialists.
Q: Is it worthwhile to take my 16-inch Pairpoint lamp to an expert to have the shade repaired?
World Fairs have yielded perhaps more souvenirs than any other series of events.
The generation that collected Limoges during the last century is selling off, so amounts have depressed some prices.
Early liquor licenses, particularly those with embossed stamps, appeal to collectors.
Start researching value by checking Google for something similar for sale.
Dad's gift of item from IBM pavilion at 1963-64 World's Fair has potential value.
Q: I have a ticket stub from April 1996 that says, “Top of the World at the World Trade Center.” Does it have any value?
Reader wants some guidance on handling her great-grandfather's book.
Old fly fishing tackle can be a real catch for collectors.
Victorians left no space undecorated, or under-decorated.
Grandmother's colorful ceramic parrots carry value - sentimental and retail.
Smart Collector tackles the value of unopened 6-packs of M.A.S.H. beer and Billy Beer.
Q: Here is a painting that we own. We’re wondering if it’s an early work by Henry O. Tanner. We can’t think if it might be by any other African-American painter.
Smart collectors know that times and tastes change.
Giclee is a computerized print process that produces high quality photographic reproductions.
Reader gets bad news about carved bear.
Scottie doorstops may not be authentic.
Reader weighs future use of inherited Victrola.
Now that smoking is unfashionable, tobacco jar is fashionable collectible.
Collecting is full of wild cards, and this is one.
Q: My grandfather was in World War I and brought back postcards from places he visited, such as Versailles, tourist attractions and bombed-out houses. I have cardboard boxes of the cards, all in black and white. Do they have any value, and if so, how can I sell them?
German dressmaker Margarete Steiff made her first bear in 1884.
Learn how your china stacks up to the competition for bigger payoff.
Tip: Items expressly made to be collectible will never have significant value
Also, a very old toy train set sells for big money.
Q: My dad gave me these seven plates and I just keep them boxed. Can you tell me anything about them?
Q: This candy dish has always been in my family. It was a gift to my great-grandmother and has been handed down for generations. At the top is written in white, “My wife 1909.” I cannot determine origin and history. Can you tell me anything about it?
Q: What can you tell me about these plates that I found at a thrift shop? Are they worth anything?
Q: This chair from Pennsylvania is over 100 years old. My 86-year-old friend would like to know about it. It belonged to her husband’s grandmother.
Q: What can you tell us about this platter? The family story is that it was found hidden in the wall of a Baltimore hotel that was under demolition, and that it was put there to save it during the Civil War. My grandfather got it between 1920-1935.
Q: What can you tell me about this beautiful pen? Engraved on its point is “Aikin Lambert No. 5.”
Q: We have an 80-piece set of Wallace Sterling flatware in the Grande Baroque pattern, bought in 1957. We found the quality of the set is superior to pieces sold today. What is the value of our set?
Q: I’m intrigued by your column, where I’ve learned that items around the house may be more valuable than we thought. This box has been in the family for more than 60 years. Any info?
Q: What is current value on my two limited-edition phrenology pieces by Boehm?
Q: While cleaning out a storage room, I found these two lamps. Both are dirty; they were sitting in there for years. One of the icicles is missing and another has the tip broken off. Do the lamps have any value?
Q: How do I find value of my complete set of “100 Great Events of the 20th Century?” There are 100 coins plus their display box.
Q: I inherited this painting. It’s not signed, but it’s been in my family since the 1920s. The only thing I know about it is that it may have a California connection. Can you ID the artist and its value?
Q: I was given these two chairs and I know nothing about them. One has a small brass plate on the seat underside, reading “Pittsburgh.” Any info?
Q: Dealing with my mother-in-law’s estate, I found one antique ladies shoe, a child’s shoe, and two hooks. People tell me these are museum pieces. Any info on history and value? Who would be interested in having them?
Q: I recently inherited a squash blossom set from the 1920s. I don’t know a thing about it, but I want to sell. Who would buy it?
Sent along with the query were several images of what appears to be a fancy ceramic liquor decanter with a decorative stopper. The bulbous jug has a small raised spout plus handle. The mug is a column with a handle. Both pieces are painted with a design of corncobs, kernels intact, on a dark…