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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

INARCO Head Vases

The International Art Ware Corporation was too long a name and therefore most people know it by its shorter version, INARCO.  This company, which is known for its lady head vases, was established in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 60s but was later sold to NAPCO and moved to Jacksonville, Florida.  The company’s founder was Irwin Garber and it is believed that his wife served as a model for many of the head vases that the company created.
I have written about head vases before and NAPCO of course was one of the biggest producers of these; however I believe that some of the most beautiful collectible head vases were made by INARCO.  Most you will see have long eye lashes and are adorned with pearls or other accessories.  They come in the form of many different celebrities including Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.  INARCO head vases can range in price and the example pictured recently sold on eBay for $689.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recent Coin Auction Price

What is a dime worth to you?  In most cases a dime as we know is worth ten cents.  It is one tenth of an American dollar or ten American pennies.  In rare cases, a dime may be worth a little more if it is unique or in some cases a dime can be worth a lot more depending on condition and rarity.  Such was the case this past week when a single dime sold at auction for more than $1.84 million.
This rare dime was made in Carson City, Nevada in 1873 and was a “No Arrows” Liberty Seated coin.  Made as part of the Battle Born Collection, this dime was made before the mint closed down in Carson City.  It was auctioned sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries during the American Numismatic Association Convention.  Let’s see . . . $1.84 million equals how many regular dimes?  I believe that’s about 18,004,000,000 regular dimes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Antique Shows and Events for Mid-August 2012

I think anyone who has been following NOVA-Antiques via our Newsletter and or Blog knows by now that one of our favorite events of the year is the Lucketts Fair.  The antiques and collectibles are just a portion of this event because this it has a little bit of something for everyone.  Live Music, great food, especially the ice cream, arts, crafts and of course lots and lots of antique and Shabby Chic furniture and accessories.  This event will be held on August 18-19, 2012 at the community center grounds which of course is right across the street from our friends at Old Lucketts Store Antiques.
Another great antiques and collectibles show this weekend is in New York; The Madison Bouckville Antique Festival.  This show features hundreds of quality dealers and thousands of people from around the country in search of antique furniture, vintage pottery, china and glass as well as linens, rugs, antique lighting, vintage jewelry and memorabilia.  The Madison Bouckville Antique Festival is one of the largest and well known antiques shows in the nation and it will take place on August 17-19, 2012.

Next week, August 23-26, we look forward to the Baltimore SummerAntiques Show.  If you have never been to the Baltimore Inner Harbor, this is just another excuse to visit.  This antiques and collectibles show attracts over 500 dealers and thousands of people from around the world including Canada, England, Germany, France and Italy.  As such, the quantity and quality of the antique furniture, vintage collectibles, memorabilia, ephemera and jewelry is exquisite to say the least.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Upcoming Antiques Shows & Events

Here is another great opportunity to combine both of my passions; beach and antiques.  The Virginia Beach Antiques Show will be held this weekend August 10-12 the Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  This annual show has been around for a long time and attracts many quality dealers and thousands of people.  It features Americana, vintage collectibles, prints and art as well as books, rugs and antique lighting.
Another great annual antiques show is the Somerset Antiques Show on the streets of Somerset, Pennsylvania.  This show attracts hundreds of dealer and thousands of people from all over the country.  The Somerset Antiques Show features antique furniture, vintage porcelain, pottery, and glass as well as memorabilia and ephemera.  This show will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2012.

A great place to find vintage collectibles and antiques is the Columbus Flea Market in Columbus, New Jersey.  I used to set up at this market many years ago and it is one of those great places where you never know what you are going to find.  Along with produce, baked goods and flowers, this market also has an eclectic mix of antiques, vintage collectibles, old jewelry and vintage clothing.  The Columbus Flea Market is open on Thursday through Sundays but some of my best finds were found on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Record Auction Price for Avengers Comic Book

What can you buy for $492,937?  Well many of us could buy a house and a car.  For others it can buy a college education at one of America’s fine colleges or universities.  Yet still for others, the people that have boatloads of money and are aficionados of the X-men, they could buy a comic book.
Granted, this was not just any comic book; this was a prime time quality Silver Age Marvel comic book from 1963.  It was rated a CGC grade of 9.8, in which a score of 10 is perfect, and is only one of two of the finest copies that have survived.  The X-men comic book record price at auction was realized at a recent auction at Heritage Auctions in California.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Antique Shows and Events for August 3-5, 2012

The weekend weather in the Mid Atlantic states is supposed to be beautiful this weekend, which means everyone will want to get out of their homes and outdoors.  This is a good thing since there are many good antique shows and events happening this weekend.  The first you could actually combine with a trip to the beach, Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
The All Saints Antiques Show is being held on August 2-5 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.  This is an annual antiques and vintage collectibles show that attracts many quality dealers and hundreds of visitors from New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC and New Jersey.  The show features antique furniture, vintage porcelain and glass as well as antique lighting, rugs and ephemera.  If you have never been to the Delaware shore, this is the best way to combine two events into one; relax at the beach after hitting the show.

If you are in the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, Washington DC metro area, you may want to hit the Civitan Flea Market in Arlington, Virginia.  We used to set up at this flea market many years ago and it really used to be a seller’s market.  We sold a lot of antique and vintage glass and collectibles.  Nowadays it is more a buyer’s market, and you can find some really good bargains here.  At this flea market you will find vintage collectibles and some antiques along with household items and products.
If you are in the Central New York or Northern Pennsylvania area, you may want to stop at the Park Avenue SummerArt Fest.  If you were to judge by the name, this art festival would be located in New York City, but it is actually in Rochester, New York.  The Park Avenue Summer Art Fest attracts over 300 artists and thousands of visitors and features paintings, jewelry, and furniture.

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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

NOVA-Antiques Newsletter Published for July 2012

Following up on my post right before Father’s Day on what to get Dad, I kept thinking more and more about vintage cufflinks.  This led to a couple of the articles in the newly published NOVA-Antiques Newsletter for July 2012.  This edition of the Newsletter contains articles and information including, A Short History of Cufflinks; Authentic or Commemorative Presidential Cufflinks; Widdicomb Furniture; and A Recent Auction of Les Paul Guitars and Memorabilia. 

Additionally, the NOVA-Antiques Newsletter also has information about upcoming antiques shows and flea markets as well as upcoming antiques and collectibles auctions.  Great antique shows coming this month include the Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza, the DC Big Flea, the Middleburg Summer Antiques Fair and the BRAHM AntiqueShow as well as a vintage glass auction and model train auction.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NOVA-Antiques July Calendar Updates & Venues

The NOVA-Antiques Calendar has been updated and published for July 2012.  This antiques and collectibles calendar of events features shows in the Mid Atlantic region including the Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza, The Christmas in July Doll Show in Trenton, NJ, Art Hamptons, Steel City Con, and the Middleburg Summer Antiques Fair.  Additionally, the calendar contains a preview of an article to be published in our Newsletter this coming Friday.
NOVA-Antiques has also created and published a few more pages in the last few days for some flea markets and farmer’s markets in the area per the request of the owners/operators.  These include the AyaCommunity Market in Washington DC, which will provide a much needed resource for fresh produce in South East DC and the Dumfries Farmer’s Market in Prince William County Virginia.  The new flea market pages are for the Essex Flea Market in Essex, Maryland and the Re-Flea at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Maryland.
We are always happy to hear from our reading audience and welcome the opportunity to add more pages to our website to get the word out about new antiques and collectibles events and venues.  However, please keep in mind the NOVA-Antiques in my hobby and as such I can only devote a certain amount of time to updating and creating new pages.  I will get to your requests, but it may take a little time.  Thanks for your readership.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying

If you are a vintage collectible or antique reseller like me, and if you are reading this you probably are in one way or another, then there is hardly a flea market, yard sale, estate sale or antique market that you can pass without stopping.  In fact, for me, the best part of being a vendor is being the hunter or picker.  I love to go out to find a bargain that I can turn a profit on; and for me the profit doesn’t have to be 100% or 200% . . . any little profit is good because I enjoy the hunt more than the actual selling.
When picking or hunting for antiques or collectibles, there are five questions you should ask yourself:
  1.  Is the item rare?  If a company many hundreds of thousands, then chances are it isn’t rare.  If many were made but were fragile and many broke, they might be rare.  If only a few were made because only certain people could afford it, then it is more likely rare.
  2. Does it look nice? Is it aesthetically pleasing?  This is one of the more objective questions because “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  However, you can still make a judgment call when you tie this question in to the next.
  3. Would anybody else want it?  I made a bet with my niece one time because I bought at auction what she thought was a most hideous wall hanging ever.  She thought I would never be able to resell it.  It was the very first thing that I sold at my shop the next day.  My niece was flabbergasted.
  4. Is it real?  Sometimes this is the one that gets even the experts.  There are many commemorative, replica or outright fake items on the market.  Anything from cookie jars to cufflinks can be faked.  Many unscrupulous sellers will not tell you when they are replicas or fakes.  Caveat Emptor always applies.  Can the seller provide proof that the item is the real deal?
  5. Is the item in good condition?  Keep in mind that since the items are antique or vintage, they should absolutely not look “new.”  If they do look “new,” they could be fakes.  On the other hand, a beautiful vintage Murano glass bowl is not so appealing to others if it has a large chip or crack running through it.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Upcoming Antique Events for June 22-24, 2012

Tonight, June 22, 2012 at Hayes BrothersAuctions of Front Royal, Virginia will be holding an antiques and collectibles auction.  Included in this auction are old house and barn parts, barn lanterns, toy trains, painted tables and old magazines and photos.  One of the nice things about this auction house is no buyer’s premium.
One of the best antique shows this weekend will take place in Arlington, Virginia at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center.  The Northern Virginia Antiques Show attracts about 100 quality dealers and features period furniture, antique porcelain and china, glass and many other vintage collectibles.  This Show is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club or Arlington.

This is also the weekend for the Tiffin Glass Collectors Show and Sale in where else?  Tiffin, Ohio.  This show and sale is held at the Glass Museum which houses thousands of pieces of glass and memorabilia from the Tiffin factory.  Dealers will be on hand to show and sell many examples of this fine vintage elegant glass.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One More Future Collectible

In the past I have written about what might collectible in the future, because that is a question I get a lot.  People want to know what might be cheap today, but valuable say in 40-50 years.  It is always a difficult question, but one that I always answer with, “Do not buy things that were made for collectors.  buy things that are functional items today but may become rare items in the future.  I gave one example recently about a Leica camera that sold for a bunch of money at an auction. 

This past week, we saw the sale at Sotheby’s Auction of a 1976 Apple I computer.  It was less than 40 years old and brought in more than $374,000.  Now, don’t run out and buy a computer to keep for the future, as not all will be this valuable.  What makes this one worth more money?  Rarity, plain and simple.  In 1976 only about 200 of these Apple I computers were made by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  Additionally, this rare model still worked when it was auctioned off.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nostalgic and Beautiful Hood Ornaments

As has become a tradition in our family, we made our annual trip to the Historic Sully Plantation Father’s Day Car Show.  And as we have quickly learned over the past few years, this is one show that never disappoints.  The weather was great, lots of sunshine and not  a lot of humidity; many friendly people anxious to talk about their classics; and the cars themselves are just amazing to see.  Aside from the cars themselves though, I am also a fanatic of the old hood ornaments that adorn these old classics. 

Originally, these hood ornaments had a purpose; to hide the ugly piece of functional equipment called a radiator cap.  In the early years, cars had a motometer on the gas cap, which told the driver the temperature of the engine.  Later, when the temperature guage was moved inside to the dashboard, what was left was an ugly radiator cap that needed to be “prettied up.”  And thus, the hood ornament or a mascot as they are called in England, was born.

Hood ornaments, used from the 1920s to the 1950s, came in a variety of shapes and sizes.  From flying ducks to Goddesses and archers.  In the past, these hood ornaments were very elaborately done and designers and artists, such as Rene Lalique, were commissioned to produce some of the most beautiful examples.  Many were and still are associated to certain car models.  As an example, the British Jaguar automobile has a very distinct hood ornament; of course a jaguar.  This like the others has become quite a collectors’ item.

There are many people, like me, that are fascinated by these wonderful and nostalgic pieces of art.  Many collectors will pay top price for rare and hard to find hood ornaments.  A bronze ArtDeco hood ornament in the shape of a bison and signed by Alfredo Biagini recently sold on eBay for over $2000.  Lalique hood ornaments command record prices upwards of $200,000.  More common hood ornaments, which are easy to find sell for $50 to $150.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Great Antique Shows & Events This Weekend

Don’t know if there will be many antiques and collectibles at this event but it is for a good cause and you never know what you may find.  Eagle View Elementary School at 4500 DixieHill Road in Fairfax will hold a parking lot yard sale on Saturday June 16, 2012 from 8 am until 12 pm.  In addition to the loads of donated items they will have for sale, they will also be selling baked goods, soda and water.  Proceeds of this sale benefit the school library.

If you’re up for an adventure, the annual Main Street Antique Show will take place this Saturday as well.  This antique show is held in Historic Downtown in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  The Main Street Antique Show features antique furniture, pottery, china, jewelry and other vintage collectibles as well as country furniture.

If you are into antique and vintage cars, then the place to be on Sunday June 17, 2012 is at the Historic Sully Plantation in Chantilly Virginia for the annual Father’sDay Sully Antique Car ShowIn our family, it has become a tradition for my youngest son and I to attend this great show to reminisce about the times in our lives.  We love to look and take pictures at one of the largest gathering of antique, classic and vintage cars.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What To Get Dad for Father’s Day

Many times my children, like most children will ask what I would want for Father’s Day.  In most cases, I tell them, “you really don’t have to buy me anything.”  Let’s face it in today’s economy most people, including one’s own children do not have a lot of disposable income.  But if you wanted and could afford a little something for dear old Dad, make is something unique but recycled.  Recycled? If you were buying something for me, I would prefer something old, antique or vintage.

There are many things that you can buy at antique shows, estate sales or even flea markets that fit that bill; unique, vintage or old, and more importantly recycled.  One example might be sports memorabilia.  If Dad is into sports, a nice old vintage jersey from one of his favorite players or even a piece of a stadium or arena.  A couple of years ago, my youngest son, bought me a brick from the torn down Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.  That piece of rock has a lot sentimental and wistful value; I took both my late father and my son there for sporting events.

Another thing that fathers like are old tools.  Antique planes, vintage hand saws and drills as well as chisels, files and knives are all favorites with nostalgic value.  I have seen men run through an opening at an estate sale just be the first in the garage to get a look at the vast array of old tools.  Many comb through flea markets and yard sales in search of an old square, hammer or level, just like their Dad used to own and work with.

If Dad is not a sports fan and doesn’t like memorabilia or does not get misty eyed at the site of an old rule, you might be better off buying him a vintage set of cufflinks.  Personally, I don’t wear cufflinks, but I have always had a fascination with them.  Whenever I go to a flea market or antique show and I see them, I have to stop and look.  There are so many kinds; colorful, with stones, gold, silver, embossed, presidential, military and whimsical.  It seems there are cufflinks for every occasion.  Although I don’t wear them now, if someone bought me antique cufflinks for Father’s day, I would probably buy the shirts to wear them with.