What are some fun facts for the year of 1827?

When I look for some information on an item that I am going to sell, there are times that I run across some fun facts that happened during a certain year.  Here are some of the fun facts that I ran across for 1827:

March 16—The Freedom’s Journal (the first African American owned newspaper in the U.S.) is founded by John Russwurm.

J. J. Audubon’s book titled THE BIRDS OF AMERICA is published in the United Kingdom.

The Original Delmonico’s restaurant opens in Manhattan.

The first English translation of Christopher Columbus’ Journal by Samuel Kettell is published.

This is only a small portion of what happened ion 1827.  What historical items have you run across?

What are some of the terms for pottery that you will run across?

When you start to collect pottery, you will run across quite a few terms that will make your head spin.  Transferware, majolica, stoneware and even salt glaze are a few of the terms that you will hear.  Here are some more that you will run across:

Crackle Glaze—this is a glaze that intentionally contains small cracks in the glaze.

Hollowware—this is also known as hollow ware and is describes vessels of any shape (like jugs or pitchers).  This does not include items known as flatware (such as plates).

Yellowware—also known as yellow ware and it is a type of earthenware that is named after its yellow appearance.  The color comes from the clay that is used when the item is made.  It came about in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century and started in the eastern United States in the 1920’s.

Delftware—This is a light-colored pottery that has a tin glaze and has an overglaze décor that is cobalt in color.  This was developed in Holland to copy the blue and white pottery that was made in China.

This is a tiny amount of what you will run across.  What terms have you heard?

What happened in 1876?

Whenever I look up information on the items that I have bought, there are times that I run across some fun facts that happened at the same time the item was made.  Here’s some of the facts that I have found:

February 2 – The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs is formed at a meeting in Chicago, Illinois.  This league replaced the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

May 18—Wyatt Earp started work in Dodge City, Kansas and he served under Marshal Larry Deger.

July 4 – The United States celebrates its centennial.

August 2—Wild Bill Hickok was killed in a poker game.  This happened in Deadwood, South Dakota and the cards that he was holding were reportedly the Dead Man’s Hand (it consists of 2 black aces, 2 black eights and an unknown hole card).

This is a small slice of what happened during the year.  What fun facts have you run across?

How do I find inventory to sell?

One of the questions that I get asked quite a bit is “How do you find inventory to sell?”.  I literally cannot count how many times that I have been asked this, and here’s a list of some of the ways that I find items to sell:

Auctions, garage sales and even estate sales are three of the easiest ways that I find inventory.  One trick that I do is to look in my local paper and online for sales that are in my area.  Another thing that I do is to look for signs that lead to a sale that may not be advertised as well.  I have found some good deals at sales that are not well advertised.

Here are some other ways that I have found some inventory:

I have also found items to sell that were thrown away.  There have even been a few items that I have gone into a dumpster after.  When you do this, you need to be careful because that could be something in the trash that could hurt you!

I also picked up items that have been put out with a FREE sign by them.  This could be someplace like the curb or in a garage sale—you never know where you might find a free bin!

There have also been a few times that people want to get rid of something and they let me have it if I haul it away for them. It always pays to look when you are out and about—you never know what you will find.  Where have you found items to sell?

What are some different types Of Sports Cards?

Think a sports card is a sports card?  Far from it.  There are a ton of different types of cards that you could find.  Here’s a few:

Retail Card—these are cards that are sold to major retailers like Kmart.  The cards will often have the name of the store printed on the card as well.  You might even find a card from a now-defunct retailer.

Insert Card—these are cards that are inserted into packs at a staggered rate (like one card being inserted into every 24th pack).  There is also a number on the back of every sports card.  The number on the back of the insert card will be different than the normal set numbers.  The normal set numbers will appear as 1-400 (or however many cards are in the set), the insert cards will have a number like ST1, or PL1.  When you buy a pack, you never know what kind of insert card could be in there.  There even could be a player who became much more famous later on.

Sell Sheets—these are not cards at all.  They are ads that are sent to distributors for cards that are for sale to the public.  This would show what cards you could get in the set and would show the players that are featured in the set.  You could get these ads from a sports cards dealer for pretty cheap, or even free if the retailer is going to throw them away (it never hurts to ask them if it’s possible for you to have it).  They’re also great to display along with a complete team collection!

So, what’s the rarest card that you’ve ever found?

What happened in in the year 1900?

Not too long ago, I was looking up some information about an item that I was going to put up for sale on Etsy.  While looking around, I found some fun tidbits about the year 1900.  Here’s some of the things that I found:

On March 15th, the Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing the United States currency on the gold standard.  The United States printed the words “Gold Certificate” on them, and these notes are highly collected today.

On June 25th, The Daoist monk Wang Yuanlu discovers the Dunhuang manuscripts, a cache of ancient texts that are of great historical and religious significance, in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China.  These manuscripts include works ranging from the Buddhist religion to history and mathematics to folk songs and dance.

On November 3rd, The first Auto show in the United States opens at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

What kind of fun facts have you run across when you are looking for more information on an item?

Whimsies for every type of collector

Glass workers spent their “off” hours after completing their regular work schedule creating unusual glass objects known as whimsies.  This includes candy-striped canes, paperweights, pipes, hats…the list goes on and on.
 

A whimsy can also be an item that is made of a product that you usually don’t see it made out of.  This can be something like a Fenton plate made out of hobnail pattern slag glass.

Whimsies were often taken home and given as gifts to family and friends.  They can rarely be attributed to a specific glasshouse or glass worker.  Some say that color or style indicates region or factory, but no one has come up with a perfect identification key other than to talk to the person that actually made the piece.

Highly collectible and usually pricey, whimsies can be a fun collectible.  What examples have you found?

A lesson learned on reproductions

While shopping at one of the local antique malls in my area, I happened onto something that could be a very good thing. It happened to be an R S Suhl shaker, or even possibly hat pin holder.

With the price being right, and some wear being present on the bottom of the shaker, I went ahead and bought it.  When I went to find out what I could about the mark (so I could list it online), there was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying that something was not right.

And then I found a shaker just like the one that I have.  I was thrilled!  I started to read what was posted online about it, and sure enough, that little voice I was hearing was right.  The thing was a reproduction and possibly even an outright fake.

The lesson I learned?  A little research and knowledge can go a long way in the long run.

Just how do I take the best photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have. There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.  But what other tricks can you use?

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  But be sure to try other settings (for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures).  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper.  The reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass.  There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come awfully close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

Online Photos

Have you thought about selling off some of the items that you have around the house?  If the answer is yes, how do you go about getting the photos to the online selling site like eBay or Etsy?

You must have a digital camera.  There are many options on the market, like a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera that has interchangeable lenses) or even a point and shoot digital camera.

Any digital camera will give you the ability to upload photos to a selling site.

The site that you choose for selling your item will have instructions for listing and uploading your pictures.  If you are familiar with uploading pictures to a blog, it’s always a very similar procedure.

Selling sites make all of this very easy.  Don’t be afraid to try your hand at online selling.

My tip to you is this:  your computer has a limited amount of room to store your pictures, and the pictures can be pretty large (especially if they come from a DSLR camera).  If I were you, I would be sure to back up all of them.

What kind of camera do you like to use?