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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Beatles Memorabilia Eleanor Rigby Register Sells at Auction

Ah look at all the lonely people . . . where do they all come from? If you are a Beatles fan, and many people are, you will recognize the lyrics from their song Eleanor Rigby, which Sir Paul McCartney penned and released on the Revolver album in 1966. Since the album first came out and the song became one of the most popular Beatle songs, many people have wondered, who was Eleanor Rigby? As it turns out, Ms. Rigby was a nurse at Liverpool City Hospital around 1911, according to a recent document sold at auction for $177,000.

The document is a salary register that bears the signature E. Rigby, which had to be signed to get her wages at that time. After many years of speculation, the register surfaced in 1990 when McCartney reportedly sent it to Annie Mawson, who had appealed to him for a donation. Mawson, who is head of a charity called Sunbeams Music and uses music to help people with special needs, must have thought him a little crazy when she received an envelope with the register. The register was sold by The Fame Bureau an auction company in London.

On another note reports have Paul McCartney saying that Ringo Starrs’ outburst about not signing autographs for fans. He said that Ringo was not arrogant, but was “honest.”

Friday, November 7, 2008

Springsteen Donates Memorabilia Off His Back for Charity Auction

It has been reported that Bruce Springsteen took the leather jacket off his back at a charity auction and donated it to help raise money for wounded war veterans. The arrogant Ringo Starr should take a page out of a real artist’s book. Springsteen, apparently was taking part in the New York Comedy Festival for the Bob Woodruff Foundation and had already donated his 1994 Harley. When the bidding stalled at $40,000 for the bike, Springsteen threw in the jacket and together they brought in $70,000. He had also donated an autographed guitar which was purchased for another $50,000. No wonder he is one of President (Elect) Barack Obama’s, whose own memorabilia is flying off of shelves, favorite artists.

The Boss, as he is affectionately known to his fans, reportedly is also working on a Barack Obama inspired album which is due out sometime in January. Springsteen campaigned for Obama as well as performed shows to benefit the Obama campaign. The album is sure to include “Workin’ on a Dream” which The Boss performed with his wife Patti at an Ohio campaign event. Brendan O’Brien is the producer of the album and according to the published reports, the album may be close to finished already. I wouldn’t be surprised to run into Springsteen in Washington on January 20th.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dietology – The Art of Postcard Collecting

Deltiolgy is the formal name for postcard collecting. It is one of the fastest growing and is rumored to be one of the largest collectible hobbies in the world and it is no wonder considering that postcard collecting can take many different angles. For example, postcard collectors can collect just black and white postcards or colored postcards. They can collect postcards of U.S. cities or towns, or European cities or towns. They can collect funny postcards or vintage holiday postcards. In any case, there are many subjects and collectors tend to migrate to different collections.

There are two online auction sites that cater to dealers and collectors of postcards, delcampe.com and playle.com. Both of these online auction sites boast large inventory listings with Delcampe having over five million listings. Delcampe has also averaged over sales of over 100,000 postcards in recent months. The difference between these online auction sites and eBay is that these sites do not charge dealers for hosting their listings and the final value fees are in most cases lower. If you are a deltiolgist, you may find that card you have been looking for on these sites.

NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Archive – August 24, 2007 . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Cabbage Patch Kids Raise Money for Toys for Tots

I remember standing outside a Montgomery Wards Store in New Jersey, can’t remember if it was in ’82 or ’83, but it was cold outside and we were about the tenth in line at the ungodly hour of 4 am. Our friends had accompanied my wife and I and we were drinking steaming hot cups of coffee from thermoses, chatting and eagerly waiting for the doors to open at 6 am. No, we weren’t waiting to buy an X-Box or a new computer, they hadn’t even been invented yet. What we were waiting for on that cold and dank morning was the right to purchase the ugly but short supplied Cabbage Patch Kid doll.

When the store employees finally came out of the store, everyone in line crowded forward and I thought we were going to die as the people crushed us to get their hands on a slip of paper that was the “license” to buy the dolls. We did manage to come out of that mess alive, each with armed with two licenses. When the manager flung open the doors at 6 am, thermoses and coffee long forgotten, we raced back to the toy section so we could have the best selection. The only time I have seen people run faster is at the running of the bulls in Spain, except that we were the ones that looked like the bulls.

In any case, we did manage to get four of the ugly cabbage patch dolls, which we quickly turned around for a nice profit. At the time I believe we paid about $25 for the Cabbage Patch Kids at Montgomery Ward and we sold them each for an average of $125 at a flea market in New Jersey. Essentially, we made $400 by standing in the cold and risking life and limb from crazed “bulls” that wanted to stampede past us so they could get the prettiest of the ugly dolls.

Today however, there are no shortages of Cabbage Patch Kids and prices for a new doll hover around $50 for a brand new one and vintage ones from the late 70’s and early 80’s bringing in hundreds of dollars at auctions. One particular auction on eBay, today featured one of a kind 25th Anniversary Cabbage Patch Kids that were made to look like our presidential candidates McCain, Palin, Obama and Biden. I have to say that they probably didn’t have to do too much creative design to Palin’s doll since she kind of looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid anyway.

The auctions, that ended today, the same day in which we will vote for our next president, were spirited as presidential memorabilia buffs tangled with Cabbage Patch Kids collectors, vintage toy doll collectors, vintage toy collectors and plain ordinary folks who want a piece of history. This time the profits however will not go into someone’s pocket, like ours did oh so many years ago. This auction that raised a total of $36,000 benefits the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation, which raises money every year to help provide gifts for needy children.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Collectible Lenci Dolls were Madame Alexander’s Inspiration

Many of us have heard of Madame Alexander dolls, which are very collectible, but few of us realize that a lot of the inspiration for these dolls came from Elana Scavini and her creation, the Lenci doll. Scavini and her husband started their doll company as early as 1918 in Turin, Italy and became a huge success throughout the world. Although all Lenci dolls are valuable as a collectible, the ones made in the early 20’s and 30’s are the most sought after.

Lenci dolls were very well designed and constructed. Lenci dolls were made of felt and had faces that were painted with oil based paints. Usually the ears were sewn on individually and were made of double felt. What is interesting about these dolls is that they were jointed in such a way that the heads, shoulders and hips swiveled and then they were dressed very finely and elaborately dressed. The dolls also usually feature eyes that look off to the side.

Because the Lenci dolls are made of felt, condition problems may occur which will affect the bottom line of the doll as a collectible. Many of their earlier dolls whose clothing were also made of felt and sewn directly onto the doll are in the worst condition because the clothing is not removable. The Lenci-Dolls.net offers 12 Tips for Cleaning and Care of Lenci Dolls.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Brief History of Seth Thomas Clocks

Did you remember to set your clocks back this last evening before going to bed? Of course I didn’t as you can tell from the ungodly hour that I am posting this. Anyway, after I woke up I picked up the Big Ben, which sits atop my dresser, and looked to see what time it was. Thinking it was later, I came downstairs, put the coffee on and proceeded to boot up the old computer. While the computer was booting up, I glanced out of the corner of my eye at the time on the bottom right hand corner, which is automatically update by Windows, and realized that of course I had forgotten to turn the clocks back one hour. When I went back into the kitchen for a coffee refill, I looked up and saw that the vintage Seth Thomas clock needed to be set as well.

Now some of you may have a Seth Thomas clock of your own, as a matter of fact, your grandparents, parents or aunts and uncles probably at one point or another probably had their very own. Seth Thomas clocks have been around since about 1810, when Mr. Thomas purchased Eli Terry’s Clock Company in Wolcott, Connecticut. Starting with tall clocks made of wood and in 1817 joining the movement by making shelf clocks of wood and still later in the 1830’s the bronze and glass clocks of the era. After his death in 1859, Seth Thomas’s sons took over and grew the clock business even further by diversifying their products.

In 1931, The Seth Thomas Clock Company became a subsidiary of General Time Instruments Corporation and was later moved to Georgia. After some financial and production troubles, the company almost died but was resurrected by the Colibri Corporation and the Seth Thomas Clock, at least in name is still available for purchase today from many stores and boutiques. They still make a line of wooden shelf clocks as well as many of other types of clocks for home and office. However, whether you buy an antique, vintage collectible or modern Seth Thomas clock, you will still have to remember to fall back in the Fall or spring forward in the Spring.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sebastiano Ricci Long Lost Painting to be Auctioned

Sebastiano Ricci an Italian Baroque style painter was born in August 1659 in Belluno, Italy. His early career as an artist took a bad turn when at the age of 19 he was accused of trying to poison the mother of his unborn child. However, one of his benefactors intervened on his behalf and he was released, at which time he moved to Bologna and where he got his first commission to paint the Decapitation of John the Baptist by the Fraternity of Saint John of Florence. His career took off after that as he was commissioned by more and more churches, statesmen and others for works of art.

His painting, The Vision of Saint Bruno, which had been thought lost, will be sold at auction on November 20, 2008. The painting, which measures about 36 inches by 48 inches, is believed to have been painted around 1705 and once belonged to a European nobleman and most recently to an American family in Texas. Heritage Auctions, which will handle the sale of the painting, expects the painting of a robed Saint Bruno looking at angels in the sky to bring in over $600,000. Ricci, the artist who almost blew it by going to jail, passed away in 1734 leaving the world with some of the most beautiful paintings or his time, over forty of which reside in world class museums today.