Welcome to the NOVA-Antiques Blog

NOVA-Antiques is the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique and collectible. Our website features antique & collectibles dealers, shops & malls; Flea Market Directory & Reviews; Monthly Antiques Show Calendar; Estate & Tag Sales Page; and our NOVA-Antiques Newsletter, which contains news, articles and information about the antiques & collectibles market. NOVA-Antiques Blog is an extension of our Newsletters.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Ever Popular Pfaltzgraf Pottery

As a collector and reseller of vintage collectibles, like many others, every few weeks go to the “lists.”  The lists are what tell us what people are searching for and we hope, if they are searching for, they are buying.  As webmaster, I also check my own list, to see what searches have landed people on my website, but there are also lists on Tias and eBay that are published periodically for all to see.  One name that has seems to be on these lists for a little while now is Pfaltzgraff.
The name comes up so often probably because they have been around for more than two hundred years and have made massive amounts of product in that time.  Based in Pennsylvania this company has thousands of people who collect their pottery.  Some of their most popular patterns include the Yorktowne, Naturewood, Pistoulet and the ever popular Winterberry.  Mind you, their pottery is normally not worth thousands of dollars, but the right pieces will sell and sell briskly.

Some of the best prices realized by antiques and collectibles dealers are for the antique crocks that are highly decorated.  Prices for some of the more sought after crocks can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars or more.   Pieces from their Winterberry collection on the other hand don’t bring in a lot of money, but they do sell.  We recently saw a serving platter go for about $50 and a set of appetizer plates for about $40.

Friday, July 27, 2012

August 2012 Antiques Newsletter Published

The August edition of the NOVA-Antiques online Newsletter has been published.  This edition contains about vintage and antique rotary telephone dialers; what they are and how they came about as well as an article on how decorators and designers love antique fireplace screens; and the recent auction of an usual antique vampire hunter kit complete with pistol, garlic and silver bullet maker.
The August edition of the NOVA-Antiques Newsletter also contains information about upcoming antique shows including the Lucketts Fair which will be held at the end of the month near Leesburg, Virginia and the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show in Baltimore, Maryland as well as the Hillsville Flea Market and the York Antiques Show.  Lastly, the Newsletter contains information about two upcoming auctions; a Country Store Sale in North Carolina and large estate auction in Clarence, New York.

NOVA-Antiques is the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique and collectible.  If you enjoy reading the NOVA-Antiques Newsletter as much as I enjoy publishing it, please hit the recommend buttons at the top of the page so that your friends can enjoy it too.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Fantastic Goodwill Find

On several occasions I have walked into thrift stores and have found items that were vintage collectibles and that I thought might have some worth to someone.  My finds include a Royal Delft Bowl, Some Replogle Globes, Moon and Stars Compotes, Asian Ivory Wall Hangings and even a vintage toy Kaleidoscope.  These have all sold for a nice profit and I am always on the lookout for the next “great find.”  Unfortunately, my luck has not been as good as the lady in North Carolina this past April.
Beth Feeback is an artist who bought two large paintings at the local Goodwill.  Her intent was not to make a profit on them, but to paint over them.  You see, large blank canvases can cost quite a bit of money to an artist.  So many artist buy used paintings on canvas and then recycle the canvas by putting their own artistic creations on them.  Usually this is a very smart move because the paintings you find at thrift stores are mostly done by amateurs or recreational painters.  However, not so in this instance.

When she got home, Ms. Feeback did what I, and just about anyone else, would have done.  She “Googled” the artist’s names and to her surprise found that one of the artists was not an amateur at all, but none other than Illy Bolotowski.  To a lot of people, including Beth, the name would have probably meant nothing if she hadn’t searched it.  But as it turns out, Illy Bolotowski was a Russian born abstract painter from New York.
The painting Beth was about to paint over was titled Vertical Diamonds and it is estimated that it will bring in some $20,000 - $30,000 at auction.  In fact, the painting will be auctioned off in September.  Not a shabby find at the Goodwill Store for Beth Feeback and a nice tidy profit of probably over $20,000. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Recent Auction of Antique Radio

A few months I wrote about radios and collecting vintage radios in both the Newsletter and on my NOVA-Antiques Blog.  It is really easy to fall in love with old vintage radios because of their beauty and also their nostalgia.  So it was no surprise to me when I saw on the news recently about an old antique radio that brought in more than $34,000 at auction.
This wasn’t just any antique radio though; this was a very rare Sparton Nocturne radio that was made in 1936 in the art deco style of the time.  These were originally made by the Sparks-Withington Company and they only made about 500 of them.  The radio that sold this past month did not even work; had it been in working condition, the radio could have brought in more than $75,000.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Antique Shows & Events July 20-22, 2012

The granddaddy of all antique shows in the Washington DC area rolls into town this weekend.  The DC Big Flea, is held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia attracts hundreds of dealers and thousands of visitors.  This antique show features everything imaginable; antique furniture, vintage porcelain, pottery and glass as well as vintage linens, lighting and clocks.  This show is definitely one of my favorites because if you can’t find what your are looking for here, you are probably not going to find it anyware.
If you are in the upstate New York area, another great show is The Great American Antiquefest in Liverpool, New York.  This is a three day show beginning today, that attracts close to two hundred dealers and thousands of people from around the country.  It too features furniture, vintage glass and porcelain as well as ephemera, sterling, jewelry, toys and other vintage collectibles.  This is another “can’t miss” antiques show.

If you are in Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you may want to visit The Antiques Fair at Renninger’s this Saturday or Sunday.  They have two locations, one in Kutztown and one in Adamstown, Pennsylvania.  This antique markets are very popular with antiques and collectibles dealers and are considered prime picking grounds.  The antiques market at Kutztown is normally open on Saturdays and the one at Adamstown is normally open on Sundays.
As a disclaimer, NOVA-Antiques does not own, operate or manage any of the antique markets or events listed on our webpages or blog.  We provide information for our readers and subscribers.  Sometimes owners and operators may change times and dates of events or cancel them altogether.  Please check with them before embarking on any journey.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trinkets and Trinket Boxes

This weekend, I did not go out of the house except to get a haircut and to go to the gym.  Most of the weekend was spent working on my website updating webpages and adding new inventory.  For those that do not have their own website, just to let you know, it can be tedious and time consuming.  The benefit is that you are not paying another site a lot of money to host your online store or kiosk.  But this story is not about my website, it is about a trinket or trinket holder that I came across while toiling away; and what exactly is a trinket?

Defining a trinket is really simple.  According to the dictionary, a trinket is an inexpensive piece of jewelry that is also not valuable.  Some would argue that an inexpensive piece of jewelry is not jewelry at all; and so therefore the name trinket.  And of course, where would one keep such items of non-value?  A trinket holder or box of course.  One wouldn’t want to mix trinkets with real jewelry, which of course should be kept in jewelry case or box.  So the story goes that trinket boxes go back to the 1600s and of course France.

The first trinket boxes were actually commissioned by nobles and were nothing if not very fancy and adorned with gold and silver.  In fact, one of the first trinket boxes was produced was in Limoge, France.  Made of porcelain and enamels and adorned in gold and silver, the trinket box was probably worth more than the trinkets it held.  And of course if you were to get your hands on one today, it would probably be worth a few million dollars.  The good news for those of us that don’t have millions to spend on a trinket holder is that there are far less expensive ones on the market that can be just as eye catching.
Trinket holders or boxes, also shortened to just trinkets by some folks, come in a variety of shapes, colors and made of many different materials.  There are inexpensive vintage glass trinkets made by glass manufacturers such as Fenton, Westmoreland and Jefferson.  And there are those made of porcelain from Limoges, Capodimonte, and Sorelle.  Then there are others that are made of wood, metal or enamels and come in interesting shapes, including animals and some that are appropriately named, casket trinket boxes because of course they look like a casket. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Antique Shows and Flea Markets This Weekend

The weatherman this morning said that the weekend temperatures will be normal for this time of year in the Mid Atlantic states.  In Virginia, that means about a sunny and pleasant mid-80s weekend.  This makes it perfect weather to get out and visit some of the area antique flea markets. 
In Washington DC the granddaddy of them all is the Georgetown Flea Market.  This antique market attracts some 50-60 dealers and thousands of people from the Mid Atlantic area.  This outdoor market is held outdoors and features everything from antique furniture and vintage collectibles to retro art glass and old advertising prints and artwork as well as linens and antique lighting and rugs.

If you are in the New York area, ArtHampton takes place this weekend, July 13-14, 2012.  ArtHamptons takes place once a year and is a fine arts fair in Bridgehampton, New York.  It attracts hundreds of art galleries from around the country and around the world and features art from among other locations, Spain, Korea, Russia and England.
If you are further south such as in Southern Virginia or the Carolinas, you might want to visit Smiley’s Flea Market and Antique Mall.  Located near Fletcher, North Carolina, this antique market is open Friday thru Sundays and has over 100,000 square feet of vintage collectibles, furniture, vintage toys and glass as well as porcelain, china and of course North Carolina pottery. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hurricane Lamps are Collectible but Functional

A few weeks ago, a storm rolled through the Mid Atlantic states, and pretty much the whole midsection of the United States.  After a stretch of hot and humid days with temperatures reaching the 95 – 100 degree range, we were hit with what some folks are now calling a “Derecho” or in my estimation one of the freakiest weather events that I have ever lived through.  I watched out my back doors as the neighbor’s large trampoline flew across, took two sections of my fence and landed in our yard.  A few minutes later, the winds picked it up again, sailed it across the opening in the fence and put it right back where it had come from, minus a few pieces.
The thunderstorms, lightning and winds combined to take out not only a portion of my fence with the help of the trampoline, but it took down large sized tree limbs and of course power lines, cable lines and telephone lines.  Hundreds of thousands of people were left without utilities.  This then reminded me of the hurricane of 2004 that hit us while we lived in Mclean, Virginia.  This time we were one of the lucky ones because we didn’t lose power, the last time we lost power for three and a half days; no Internet, no TV, no air conditioning  . . . like our forefathers before us, we played cards and read by candlelight. Some people might think that fun, but being an Internet junkie, for me it was a torturous.  But there was a bright side to all of this, as people started thinking of alternatives to candles and ways to “light up their life.”
The weekend after the hurricane, I was set up at the Clarendon AntiqueMarket in Arlington, Virginia and wouldn’t you know that I sold every single oil lamp that I had in inventory.  It didn’t matter if they were pretty, or ugly, vintage glass or retro ceramic, every single one of our hurricane lamps flew off our tables and shelving.  It was amazing, because all the while, I had had those in my inventory and had never thought to bring them out during the power outage for my own family to use.  It wasn’t until they were flying off the shelves that I realized I didn’t really have to use candles.  Not that it would have made my situation any better, life without power and for me the Internet would have been unbearable regardless.

Which then leads me back to a previous article that I had written; more folks are buying functional antiques and collectibles.  Vintage oil lamps or hurricane lamps are not only collectible, but functional during a storm.  And the nice thing about vintage oil lamps is that they are available in so many colors, styles and shapes; they fit in with any décor in any home.  Sure, you can go to Walmart or Target and get a brand new oil lamp, but they just don’t have the character and the beauty of the old lamps.  Additionally, without power you don’t have Internet, so sit back gaze at the flame in old oil lamp and you can make up stories in your head about where it has been in the past, and the stories it could tell.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nostalgic Salt & Pepper Shakers

This weekend I started cataloging my new inventory of vintage collectibles that I have acquired within the past few months so that I could include them in the Outasite!!Collectibles website.  In this process I found many interesting things that I had forgotten that I had.  I found some nice vintage toys, including a 1968 Effenbee doll and a retro, mid 1970s WaltDisney Goofy Doll.  However, in one box, I found some salt and pepper shakers that brought back many memories of when I was a young kid.

As a child I remember when we all piled into my Dad’s 1963 Chevy Impala and went and visited relatives on the weekends.  As most times, when we visited, we ended up sitting and visiting in the kitchen, because that’s where all the good eats were.  At my aunt’s house, I was always intrigued by the Toaster Salt and Pepper Shakers that she had sitting on the table.  It looked just like a toaster from the 1950’s with two pieces of toast sticking out.  One slice of toast held the salt, the other, darker piece of toast held the pepper.  When the button lever on the side of the toaster was pushed down, the toast would pop up allowing you to easily grasp the salt or pepper shaker out of the toaster.  Of course it wasn’t a toy and I always got in trouble for playing with it.

At my mother’s aunt’s home, an every Sunday go to church kind of woman, who could also cook up a storm, the eats were even better and the toy for me was the TV salt and pepper shaker that sat on her kitchen table.  This salt and pepper shaker looked just like a TV from the late 1950s or mid 1960’s with four long legs, and in a cubicle on top sat the salt and pepper shakers.  On the front of the TV, the channel changer knob turns to move the salt and pepper holders up so that you can easily grasp them.  It was really cool and it actually looks like a piece of dollhouse furniture, although I never played with a dollhouse or dollhouse furniture.

I am sure a lot of baby boomers like me will recall these and other salt and pepper shakers that sat on tables across America.  They came and still come in various shapes, sizes and colors and mimic everything from vintage irons to cats, dogs, cows and other animals.  I think salt and pepper shakers are nostalgic because we tend to remember the smells and sounds associated to them when we first saw them.  My aunts rice pudding with coconut and raisins; my mother’s aunt’s fried plantains and not least of all my Italian neighbor’s lasagna and ravioli cooking.  As I sat at many of these tables in my youth, I could not keep my hands off the functional yet toy looking salt and pepper shakers.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vintage Collectible Thermometers

What a week we have had temperature wise here in Northern Virginia; the mercury has risen to over 95 for something like ten straight days and the humidity has been total craziness.  So much so that hundreds of thousands of people lost power due to a freak storm that rolled through from the west and knocked out power lines.  And they say that the temperature will not go down for another few days.  Phew!! . . . who invented the thermometer anyway?

If you are a historian or scientist, the answer to that question is not an easy one to answer, for really there were a few people who actually “invented” it.  Actually, it was more of many people improving on everyone else’s “invention.”  Galileo invented what some want to call a thermoscope and then others added to it; including Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, who later added the first scale to the thermometer back in 1714.  Then about thirty years later Anders Celsius added a scale and then a hundred years later Lord Kelvin added to it.
Given that they have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, there is bound to be one to compliment and decorate just about any room or home décor.  They come in all shapes and sizes and colors.  There are long and oblong ones; there are square one and round ones.  There are blue, green, yellow and a lot in Shabby Chic  white.  They are also made of many materials including plastic, tin and wood; and they were used by many companies to place their advertisements on. 

Now, those old thermometers of course have become antiques and vintage collectibles that many people pride themselves in collecting.  These thermometers appeal not only to scientific artifact collectors, but the advertisement collectors as well; such as Coke item collectors.  A lot of times the thermometers were also mounted on other functional items, such as clocks or mirrors.  So these thermometers are appealing to not only the thermometer collectors, but those folks who collect clocks or barometers as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Interesting Thoughts on Collectible American Flags

With Independence Day coming up on Wednesday, I started thinking about putting up Old Glory; strong winds a while ago took down the bracket that held it up in front of our house.  This in turn got me thinking about information that I had written a few years ago for the NOVA-Antiques Newsletter.  The article was titled Collecting Early American Flags and it was more of an excerpt of information from John Bridgman’s article in Country Home Magazine.

In the intervening years, here are some more things I learned about collecting the American Flag.  First and foremost, in Virginia and some of the southern states, Civil War flags are very collectible.  Many of these flags have only 35 stars.  On the more desirable flags, The 35 stars are normally embroidered by hand, but people also collect them if the stars have been machine embroidered.  The 35th star on a Civil War flag represents West Virginia, which became as state on July 4, 1863.

Although there are many Civil War collectors looking for flags from that era, there are quite a few other collectors that look for any American Flag.  One of the most famous and most recognizable to most of us because of our history lessons in school are the 13 star flag.  The thirteen stars, of course, represent the thirteen original colonies, and we were all taught that Betsy Ross was the designer and maker of this famous American Flag.  What most people don’t know is that Betsy’s granddaughter sold many of those flags from her establishment in Philadelphia.

Other flags, besides the Civil War and Betsy Ross flags, that people collect include flags early 19th Century and the country’s Centennial and Sesquicentennial celebrations.  But one thing is certain, regardless of what era the flag comes from, the flag collectors all have one thing in common, they are American patriots, who love their country and their flag.  I admire them, the collectors and the flags both, for I too am a patriot and although my flag is neither old nor collectible, it will fly proudly in front of my house on July 4th.