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August 16, 2017

Antiques and Collectibles

resale retailing

Jukeboxes and Collecting Make Beautiful Music Together

It commands attention: this icon of the 1950s is outfitted with sparkling chrome, flashy fins, gleaming bumpers, taillights and a dashboard-style console that’s surrounded by a glass windshield. A 1958 Chrysler Imperial? Nope. A 1958 Seeburg Silver Age jukebox. The 1950s were the peak of America’s love affair with both automobiles and jukeboxes. Eisenhower pushed

antique steinway grand

Investing in a Steinway: Is It Worth the Price?

The investment value of Steinway pianos has long been touted by piano dealers. In their sales training, Steinway teaches an acronym based on their name that must be learned by all candidates: “S” stands for sound; “T” for touch, “E” for enduring beauty, “I” for investment, and so on. New salespersons must memorize all the

antique slot machiine

Early Slot Machines a Collecting Jackpot

No one should have that much fun in a mausoleum. But fun was the order of the day: the Elks were in town, holding their 1961 national convention in Miami Beach. Local Elks clubs opened their doors to out-of-state members and provided them with a variety of entertainment options. One such club was the politically

Bacon & Day Silver Bell: The King of American Tenor Banjos

The hard-driving banjo in bluegrass music is a familiar sound to most 21st-century Americans. But, before the stylings of Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Ralph Stanley created the distinctive sound of bluegrass, banjo playing (and banjos) in America were quite different. From modest roots as a gourd-based instrument to today’s sleek wonder of acoustic engineering,

Is That Gibson Les Paul Guitar Real or Fake?

Jimi Hendrix owned one; so did Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. The Gibson Les Paul guitar, in continuous production since 1952, is arguably one of the top electric guitars of the past 60 years. It has been favored by some of the premier guitar players in the rock, country, jazz and blues genres.

Evaluating an Antique American Upright Piano

Old pianos are everywhere: in homes, institutions, churches and schools. Many of them are junk, but a fair number of them are marvelous instruments from the “Golden Age of the Piano (1890-1919) and are worthy of preservation. Old pianos can be purchased cheaply (compared to new pianos), and if you know what to look for,

Loar Mandolins: The Choice of Famous Fretters

On the afternoon of Nov. 13,1985, Della Monroe, wife of Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe, came home to find Bill’s cherished 1923 Lloyd Loar Gibson F5 mandolin and his back-up F5 lying in splinters on their fireplace hearth. Someone with a grudge against her husband had broken into their home and beat the mandolins

America’s First Antique Stores

Having lunch with friends from the U.K., we discussed our afternoon spent browsing through antique stores. “Why aren’t there more antiques in your antique stores?” questioned Nigel. “There aren’t enough real antiques in America” chimed in his wife Susan, “except those that are imported from Europe, of course.” “America has a thriving antiques business” I

Collectible Lawn Art

In American popular culture, the kitsch surrounding pink flamingo lawn ornaments appears universal. Mention such ornaments and visions of trailer parks in Baltimore come to mind; perhaps as a result of John Waters’ 1972 movie “Pink Flamingos,” with its subtitle: “An Exercise in Poor Taste”. Until the 1970s, upscale suburban homes sometimes boasted lantern-carrying lawn

Antique and Collectible Hand Tools

The big white canopy tent was erected overnight. It sat on the parking lot of a shopping mall, close to the highway. Attached was a vinyl banner that read “TOOL SALE.” Judging by the crowded parking lot, the sale was well underway. Inside the tent, there was row after row of tables, bins and floor

Fender Guitars

Leo Fender became a rock ‘n’ roll icon quite by accident. After a brief career as a bookkeeper, Leo opened a radio repair shop in Fullerton, Calif., in 1938, when he was just 29 years old. In 1938, the electronics industry in America was still in its infancy. The vacuum tubes that made amplification possible

The Auction that Launched the Antiques Trade

The antiques business began in July, 1886. At least, that’s the claim made by author Jonathan Gash in his book “Paid and Loving Eyes” (Penguin, 1993). Gash is the creator of the Lovejoy character, a roguish antiques dealer whose escapades are recounted in more than two dozen novels and 71 BBC television shows. I enjoyed

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