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Scarcity drives prices on World's Fair collectibles

Scarcity drives prices on World's Fair collectibles

World Fairs have yielded perhaps more souvenirs than any other series of events.

December 13, 2014 10:00 amLoading…
Finest and best Limoges ware will always sell big

Finest and best Limoges ware will always sell big

The generation that collected Limoges during the last century is selling off, so amounts have depressed some prices.

December 06, 2014 2:30 pmLoading…
Smart Collector: Comparables, condition often dictate auction rates

Smart Collector: Comparables, condition often dictate auction rates

Early liquor licenses, particularly those with embossed stamps, appeal to collectors.

November 29, 2014 4:30 pmLoading…
Smart Collector: Know best sources for price information

Smart Collector: Know best sources for price information

Start researching value by checking Google for something similar for sale.

November 21, 2014 2:45 pmLoading…
Many collectors crave World's Fair memorabilia

Many collectors crave World's Fair memorabilia

Dad's gift of item from IBM pavilion at 1963-64 World's Fair has potential value.

November 15, 2014 8:45 pmLoading…
Historical connection can boost value of otherwise minor items

Historical connection can boost value of otherwise minor items

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?

November 08, 2014 1:00 pm
Start research online to peg value on old books

Start research online to peg value on old books

Reader wants some guidance on handling her great-grandfather's book.

November 01, 2014 11:00 am
Not all old (or ancient) things are valuable

Not all old (or ancient) things are valuable

Old fly fishing tackle can be a real catch for collectors.

October 25, 2014 1:45 pmLoading…
Beauty, condition count most in Victorian whatnot shelves

Beauty, condition count most in Victorian whatnot shelves

Victorians left no space undecorated, or under-decorated.

October 18, 2014 2:45 amLoading…
Factory-marked ceramic wares sell best, highest

Factory-marked ceramic wares sell best, highest

Grandmother's colorful ceramic parrots carry value - sentimental and retail.

October 11, 2014 12:00 pmLoading…
'Keys' open a path to God rather than a door

'Keys' open a path to God rather than a door

Smart Collector tackles the value of unopened 6-packs of M.A.S.H. beer and Billy Beer.

October 04, 2014 9:00 am
Interest soaring for works by African-American artists

Interest soaring for works by African-American artists

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.

September 27, 2014 9:45 amLoading…
Big story trumps small value of family heirloom

Big story trumps small value of family heirloom

Smart collectors know that times and tastes change.

September 20, 2014 1:30 pmLoading…
Authenticating etchings takes an expert's eye

Authenticating etchings takes an expert's eye

Giclee is a computerized print process that produces high quality photographic reproductions.

September 13, 2014 6:00 pmLoading…
Quality workmanship important in lapidary art

Quality workmanship important in lapidary art

Reader gets bad news about carved bear.

September 06, 2014 9:30 amLoading…
The Smart Collector: All the signs point to a reproduction

The Smart Collector: All the signs point to a reproduction

Scottie doorstops may not be authentic.

August 31, 2014 12:00 am
Repurposing antiques not always a no-no

Repurposing antiques not always a no-no

Reader weighs future use of inherited Victrola.

August 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Antique tobacco jar could interest a collector

Antique tobacco jar could interest a collector

Now that smoking is unfashionable, tobacco jar is fashionable collectible.

August 10, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Copper plate rare but not necessarily valuable

Copper plate rare but not necessarily valuable

Collecting is full of wild cards, and this is one.

August 03, 2014 12:00 am
Smart Collector: Vintage postcards still sell

Smart Collector: Vintage postcards still sell

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?

July 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Details loom large for Steiff bear hunters

Details loom large for Steiff bear hunters

German dressmaker Margarete Steiff made her first bear in 1884.

July 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Smart Collector: China sets don' sell easily

Smart Collector: China sets don' sell easily

Learn how your china stacks up to the competition for bigger payoff.

July 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Thrift-store rug looks like a real treasure

Tip: Items expressly made to be collectible will never have significant value 

June 29, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Family lore may or may not be true, but dates don't lie

Family lore may or may not be true, but dates don't lie

Also, a very old toy train set sells for big money.

June 22, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Vanished Ohio Valley potteries produced many popular lines of china and glass

Q: My dad gave me these seven plates and I just keep them boxed. Can you tell me anything about them?

June 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Dating pressed glass can take some serious detective work

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?

June 08, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Value on souvenirs varies widely

Value on souvenirs varies widely

Q: What can you tell me about these plates that I found at a thrift shop? Are they worth anything?

June 01, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
The Smart Collector: Savonarola chair is worth a few hundred bucks

The Smart Collector: Savonarola chair is worth a few hundred bucks

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.

May 25, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Smart Collector: Platter wasn't saved from Civil War, but it's a neat story

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.

May 18, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Condition is writ large for vintage writing instruments

Condition is writ large for vintage writing instruments

Q: What can you tell me about this beautiful pen? Engraved on its point is “Aikin Lambert No. 5.”

May 11, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
The smart collector: Like any other collectible, vintage silver has no set value

The smart collector: Like any other collectible, vintage silver has no set value

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?

May 04, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Vintage advertising sends a powerful message of nostalgia

Vintage advertising sends a powerful message of nostalgia

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?

April 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Best known for his stunning ceramic birds, Boehm had an intriguing sideline

Q: What is current value on my two limited-edition phrenology pieces by Boehm?

April 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Clues point the way for the savvy antiques detective

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?

April 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

'Created collectibles' do have value for interested buyers

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.

April 06, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Consult an expert to verify painting's supposed 'California connection'

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?

March 30, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
There’s good news and bad news on chairs, so fixing value can be iffy

There’s good news and bad news on chairs, so fixing value can be iffy

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?

March 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Vintage shoes in pairs have the most traction with buyers

Vintage shoes in pairs have the most traction with buyers

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?

March 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
When recording info on your treasures, make sure you have the facts straight

When recording info on your treasures, make sure you have the facts straight

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?

March 09, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Decorative value is still value

Decorative value is still value

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…

March 02, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Smart Collector: Incomplete tea sets can still have significant value

Smart Collector: Incomplete tea sets can still have significant value

Q: Attached are images of pieces from two tea sets. One set, a wedding gift in the early 1930s, is Asian. Another is gold-plated from Italy and was a gift around the 1960s. Do either have any value other than sentimental?

February 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Quality, overall appeal peg value of carved elephant tusks

Quality, overall appeal peg value of carved elephant tusks

Q: What can you tell me about a treasure I’ve had for a while? It’s a carved elephant tusk about 26 inches long. It was made for Kate Smith.

February 16, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Vintage tea service has value beyond its silver content

Vintage tea service has value beyond its silver content

QUESTION: What is the value of our silver service? It came from an estate sale in New York City. You can see that the service came from Vietnam. We think it’s heavy silver plate, not sterling. How can we sell it?

February 09, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Documentation is pure gold when pricing valuable items

Documentation is pure gold when pricing valuable items

Q: I inherited pottery that’s part of a valuable collection. It has been in storage for years; it is too valuable to keep and I don’t want to display it in my home. How can I sell? Will selling be a problem, as the pieces were part of a collection?

February 02, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Early Moser art glass is most prized today

Early Moser art glass is most prized today

Q: I inherited this vase from my mother but know nothing about it. Here are images, including the Japanese signature on the bottom. Info?

January 26, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Items supposedly tied to death of James Dean need verification

Items supposedly tied to death of James Dean need verification

Q: I have the stretcher used to pick up the body of James Dean. I’m good friends with the director of the funeral home that did the job. I also have the tools used to prepare Dean for burial. Kind of morbid, but do these items have any value?

January 19, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Research essential to gauge the market for artwork

Research essential to gauge the market for artwork

Q: We have two large museum-mounted ink etchings by Jose Miguel Pardo of Spain. In the late 1980s, he was the most sought after surrealist artist; his paintings sold for tens of thousands of dollars. I have little knowledge of the art market. How can I sell them?

January 12, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Details can make the difference for savvy collectors

Details can make the difference for savvy collectors

Q: We received these Chinese silver spoons from an antique dealer as a wedding gift years ago. We were told that they are 19th century, from the Shen Xing dynasty. What is their value today?

January 05, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Smart collector: Past sales are best way to gauge artwork's value

Smart collector: Past sales are best way to gauge artwork's value

Q: My grandfather bought this work by Charles Pont some time ago. It was signed by the artist in 1933 and is still in its original frame. How do I determine present value and how can I sell it? I understand that Depression art is hot now. Is that actually true?

December 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Wedgwood marks peg age, and often, value

Wedgwood marks peg age, and often, value

Q: Any info on value for this Wedgwood basalt tea set left to me by a relative? If it is valuable, I want to sell.

December 22, 2013 12:00 am

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