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December 14, 2017

Antiques and Collectibles

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

Brunswick Panatrope Radio With Phonograph

I bought my first MP3 player last week. I know it’s old technology. Apple introduced the iPod in 2001 and I’m just getting on-board. Call me a late adopter. I bought my first home computer in 1986 and my first cell phone in 2001. I still don’t have a smartphone. I did, however, finally cut

Remove Water Rings from Wooden Furniture

Most water rings on furniture can be removed by spraying the affected area with a product called No-Blush, available online or at most commercial refinishing supply stores. Sometimes, water rings can be removed by denatured alcohol. In rare cases, it is necessary to bleach the affected area. The technique used to repair water rings will

How to Fix Scratches in Leather Upholstery

Often, the difference between an amateur repair and a professional repair is having access to professional supplies and knowing the tricks of the trade.  This is especially true in leather repair, where having the wrong supplies can result in making an absolute mess of your leather upholstery.  Home remedies like olive oil, milk, and shoe

Care and Cleaning of Leather Upholstery

When I told him the damage to his new leather sofa probably wasn’t covered by his warranty, I thought he was going to cry.  Or hit me; I couldn’t tell which. “But I used a leather cleaner” he pleaded.  In fact, he did use leather cleaner; he bought it at an automotive supply store, and

How to Clean Antique Furniture

Grandma goofed! Imagine that your great-grandmother owned a lovely mahogany buffet. She loved the piece; she waxed it twice a year and dusted it regularly, which was the highest standard of care in her day. Would great-grandmother be shocked to discover that her regular waxing and dusting created the dingy, dirty finish that is on

French Polishing: It Isn’t Even French

French polishing has always had a certain “romance” about it. Antique dealers speak of French polishing as if it represents the pinnacle of finishing mastery. I’ve been told by more than one antique dealer that the secrets of French Polishing are held by a select few and that it is a difficult skill to master.

How to Use eBay for a Price Check

To use eBay to help set your values, you will need to be a registered user. Registering for eBay is free; just follow the instructions when you get to the website. Once registered, type in the item you are researching, and eBay will search for the item. When the search results come up, click on

Arcade Games

It wasn’t too long ago that every shopping mall, bar, and beach boardwalk had a gaming arcade filled with adolescents (and sometimes, adults) pumping quarters into their favorite machines. Traditional pinball machines, Skee-Ball, Whack-A-Mole and others sat side-by-side with newer video game consoles. The arcades were filled with flashing lights, ringing bells, and sirens. Then,

Estate Artwork

The best clue for determining if your estate contains valuable artwork is the way in which the art work is framed.  No one puts expensive artwork into a cheap frame (at least no one who knows what they have). Of course, it’s possible to find cheap art in a nice frame, but it’s unlikely. If

Cruise Ship Art Auctions

There is much debate surrounding cruise ship art auctions and whether or not the art sold represents a good value for the art purchaser. Some folks think that cruise ship art auctions are the spawn of the devil, and others are delighted with their experience.  Reading posts on the web about cruise ship art auctions

How To Bid At A Cruise Ship Art Auction

2.  Know what’s included in your purchase.  Does it come with a frame?  Will it be shipped, or do you have to carry it off the ship?  Is there sales tax?  What about Customs charges?  When can you expect delivery? 3.  When in doubt, don’t bid.  Remember, this is an auction.  You are under no

Cruise Ship Art Prices

Continued From:  How To Bid At A Cruise Ship Art Auction First, it’s important to realize that all items -including art work- have more than one value. An artwork can hang in a gallery and be priced at $1,000.  Then the gallery goes bankrupt and has a liquidation sale.  The $1,000 artwork sells for $150.

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