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, June 30, 2008

Victorian Trade Cards & Holders

Although trade cards have been in existence since the 1600’s, the advent of color lithography of the late Victorian era was what popularized them. Although they were part of marketing campaigns by companies who were eager for business and needed to advertise, these cards later became collectible in most households. In most Victorian homes, a table by the front door would have a table with a card holder. The card holder sometimes was made of glass or other material but others would have huge scrapbooks full of cards.

Black and white trade cards were the originals but with color lithography came more beautiful and ornately decorated cards advertising everything from dentist and doctor’s offices to tobacco products, which later included pictures of baseball players and became very collectible. However, ladies also carried their own trade cards and would leave them behind at homes they visited, but where the intended was not home.

The picture on the bottom shows a Victorian Card Holder made 1898 by the Tarentum Glass Company in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. This card holder is in the Heart & Thumbprint Pattern and is made of clear glass with gilt trim.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Royal Delftware Pottery

Although Delftware is commonly identified with The Netherlands, the truth is that the original patterns and for that matter the original potters were not natives to Holland. In the 16th century, Italian potters immigrated to Belgium and then later moved to on to Rotterdam. By the mid 17th century, the town of Delft was firmly established as a pottery center and at one time they had more than 100 pottery factories. The Konninklije Porceleyne Fles factory was founded in 1653 and still stands today. The name of the factory actually translates to “The Porcelain Bottle” and refers to the Royal Delft trademark.

The Artisans who work on the Royal Delftware must train for at least one year before they are allowed to work on their own. The Artisans use brushes made with hair of squirrels. The cobalt blue paint actually starts out as black with a cobalt oxide added. The cobalt oxide turns a rich cobalt blue during the firing process. The addition of water determines the shades of cobalt. Most of the scenes and or patterns on the Delftware are Dutch in nature. There are many copies of the famous Delft patterns, by the Chinese and Europeans, but none is as beautiful as a piece of the hand painted Royal Delftware Pottery.

The Royal Delftware bowl pictured to the right was a real steal at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Manassas, Virginia. It was late sold on eBay to a very eager buyer.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Great Scale Model Train Show

If you are a model train enthusiast or would like to spend some great family time with the kids, The Great Scale Model Train Show is for you. Even though we are not train collectors, we have spent many hours looking at all the neat layouts and watching as enthusiastic collectors skillfully build and operate their scale model trains. Another great thing about this show is that they show older films of trains in all their glory, in 16mm. Overall, it’s a great event for everyone, young and old.

The Great Scale Model Train Show is being held this weekend, June 28 – 29, 2008 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland. The show runs from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. For more information you can call, 410.730.1036.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Premiums From Larkin Soap Co. Now Antiques

Recently, while surfing on the Internet for interesting stories, I came upon some questions from readers asking about the worth of possible antiques. One question was about a music stand and another was about a rocking chair. In both instances there was a paper attached to these items that mentioned the Larkin Company of Buffalo, New York. Being originally from Buffalo, New York, this intrigued me and so I started doing some digging on Larkin.

It turns out; The Larkin Soap Company was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1875. The company was started by John D. Larkin, Elbert Hubbard and Darwin D. Martin. It started out as a soap company but in the early 1900’s it expanded to produce many other home products including furniture and even later they became pioneers in the mail order business. What is interesting to note about this company is that they were also pioneers in the marketing field. Items such as music stands and rocking chairs as well as other furniture were given away as premiums for product loyalty. This type of marketing became much more prominent during the Great Depression when other soap companies started putting Depression Glass into their soap boxes as incentives to buy and to maintain product loyalty.

Another interesting note about the Larkin Company was that the Larkin Building was built by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright in 1904. However after the Great Depression, the Larkin Company’s sales declined and they were forced into bankruptcy. The building was foreclosed on in 1945 and later sold in 1949. Sadly, in 1950 the building was demolished to make way for a parking lot of all things. Pictured is a chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Larkin Building.

Amberina Glass - An American Beauty

At the end of the 1800’s Libbey Glass Company hired Joseph Locke from the Cambridge Glass Company. In 1883, he patented amberina glass. This Victorian Era glass is distinctive in its colors. Gold was mixed with the molten glass to produce stunning reds and oranges that tapered into a fine amber color. Other companies, including Blenko, Fenton, Boyd and Kanawha later received licenses from Libbey to produce amberina art glass pieces.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Library of Congress Baseball Card Collection

The Library of Congress has a collection of 2100 of the most treasured baseball trading cards dating from 1887 to 1914 and features such legendary stars as Ty Cobb & Cy Young. The collection was donated to the Library by the poet and Lincoln biography writer Carl Sandburg. The collection was part of a larger collection of about 12,000 cards cataloged and preserved in albums by Benjamin K. Edwards.

The Library of Congress website states, “The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Capodimonte Porcelain

Capodimonte porcelain dates back to the reign of Charles of Bourbon and the Kingdom of Naples in the eighteenth century. Charles initially set a side a small building at his Royal Palace to produce porcelain under the artistic director Giovanni Caselli and chemist Livio Ottavio Scheppers. However, by 1743, he had determined that the conditions of the small building did not allow for an appropriate and efficient work environment, so he commissioned construction of a new factory in Capodimonte.

Charles ascended to the Spanish throne in 1759 after the death of Philip V. When he left Naples he ordered the Capodimonte factory demolished and took all of his porcelain manufacturing secrets with him to Madrid, Spain. Charles’ son, Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Naples and started another factory where his father had pulled up roots. By 1772, a new factory, known as the Royal Factory, had been built and production resembled the original Capodimonte factory.

NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archives January 5, 2005 . . . .

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Record Auction Price for Monet Painting

A painting titled “Water Lily Pond” by the master impressionist Claude Monet sold today in London for more than $80 million. This painting was part of four that Monet painted in 1919. “Water Lily Pond” had been auctioned in 1971 and had sold form a mere $320,000. That is one heck of an appreciation in price in 37 years. Of the four paintings, this is only one of three that survive. Another is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the third was purchased at auction by a private collector in 1992.

Monet who was born in Paris, France in 1840 is the founder of French Impressionist painting. He intentionally created a water garden in Giverny, France so that he could paint as great a variety of water lilies as possible. Monet is not only considered one of the greatest impressionist painters by those of us who art, but by his fellow painters of the time as well. His fellow painters, Degas, Renoir and Cezanne, to name a few, considered him a leader and he influenced their work. Claude Monet passed away in 1926.

Outasite!! Collectibles - Murano Art Glass

Collectible Moonstone Glass

Anchor Hocking glass was “raised from the ashes” so to speak, as the venerable glass company sits on the site of its original premises. The Anchor Hocking factory, called the Black Cat, is partially named for the Hocking River, on which shores it sits.

Better known for its Royal Ruby glass and Fire King products of the 60’s & 70’s, the company is also known for its very popular Moonstone, Depression glass, which is very collectibles. The Moonstone Pattern was produced between 1941 and 1946 and is quite distinct. Some people confuse it with other makers such as Fenton Glass because of its hobnails and its white opalescent quality.

Another good thing about the Moonstone pattern is the fact that it is quite affordable as a collectible. Many of the smaller pieces can be picked up for a few dollars and a collection can build up quickly. Pieces can be found at many area flea markets, auctions and estate sales.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How to be Successful in the Flea Market Business

Some people think it is easy to start a flea market business. They dream about making big money by signing up and taking their merchandise out there. However, sometimes, it’s not as easy as it seems. Here are some things to think about if you want to be successful at a flea market.

First, you want to decide what type of merchandise you want to sell. Do you want to sell new merchandise, vintage collectibles or antiques? You want to choose something that you know a little bit about and can readily obtain at
wholesale prices. For example, if you want to sell sunglasses, you should know something about fashion as well as where to obtain wholesale sunglasses. The same holds true if you want to sell vintage Murano art glass; you have know something about art glass and you may have to visit a few auctions and yard sales.

Once you know what it is that you want to sell, you must then decide on where to sell it for maximum profit. You have to choose the right flea market for your merchandise. An antique and collectible flea market may not be the best place to sell sunglass, as a matter of fact; some promoters wouldn’t let you in the door with them. On the other hand, an inexpensive flea market is probably not a good place to sell your
antique sideboards and lap desks. Some flea markets are high end and some are lower end. The main thing is to choose a flea market that will allow you to sell at the right price.

This brings us to pricing at
flea markets. Most flea market dealers expect that there will be some haggling on price. Therefore you have to insure that you price accordingly. Some dealers mark up the price by 25% in order to haggle down to what they really want. However, with the way the economy is today, you may want to be careful about the pricing. Customers at flea markets expect that prices are lower at a flea market and that is why they shop there. Otherwise, they could get the sunglasses at any local drug store or big box store. Another thing to remember here is that you don’t want to hang on to inventory too long, you want to turn it around as quickly as possible. Customers who frequent flea markets do not want to see the same things every time they come out.

Displaying the merchandise is as important as customer service. Regardless of the where the flea market is located or what type of flea market it is, you want to insure that your merchandise is eye appealing and place impulse items in front where customers can readily get to them. Use movement to get the shoppers attention. If an item is not selling where you originally displayed it, move it somewhere else. Everything has a buyer; it just takes the right person to come by your booth. Once they come to your booth, you want to make sure you treat them nice. Although it is not like a store, you still can get many repeat customers by treating everyone with respect. Always have bags and change.