Wow, Homer Laughlin made that?

The Homer Laughlin China Company of Newall, West Virginia opened for business in 1871.

From then to now, they have produced dinnerware (and even kitchenware), and many of the lines are still popular to this day.  Examples of these lines are Fiesta, Virginia Rose, Harlequin, Rhythm, Nautilus, Swing, Riviera and even Century.

Most of the dinnerware is marked by Homer Laughlin, so identifying a manufacturer is not a problem.  Some of it features the name of the pattern as well, which helps out a lot.  The HLC trademark is usually followed by a number series, the first two digits will indicate the year.  So, if you do run across a Homer Laughlin piece that doesn’t have the name of the pattern on it, you can most likely narrow it down with the year mark.

I’m partial to the restaurantware that Homer Laughlin made (a piece of it can be seen in the first two pictures).  I have always thought that the piece was made for extra ware and tare, so I don’t have to be so delicate with it.

What kind of finds do you have in your collection?

What are some fun facts on Auctions?

I have been attending auctions since I was 8, and I know that they have been around since the times of ancient Rome.  What are some fun facts when it comes to auctions?

Some of the first auctions were held in ancient Rome.  Like modern times, the people of ancient Rome would sell off household goods like furniture to pay off debts.  These auctions could last for months.

When the items that were seized by the Army during the American Civil War, they would be sold by the Colonel of the Division.  That’s why you see some auctioneers carry the title of “Colonel”.

With the invention of the internet, it is now very possible to find and attend any auction that you could ever want.  This is a great way to help you find that piece that can help you complete your collection.

This is just a handful of fun facts about auctions.  What fun facts have you heard?

What a truly odd bird!

Goofus glass was made in the early 1900’s and was the first type of carnival glass giveaway because it was relatively cheap to make.  Plates, bowls, vases (like the one above), and even oil lamps were made in mass quantities.

The glassware was also made with highly decorative patterns like the one on the vase above.  The pattern on the vase featured here is called, “Odd Bird Sitting On A Grape Vine.”  The bird on the vase looks like it could have come out of a comic book!

The great thing about goofus glass is that it comes in a wide variety of colors form what’s on the vase to red, gold and even green.  With a wide variety of colors and shapes, you could find the perfect piece and color combination for any room.

One thing that you need to keep an eye on is the paint itself.  Since the paint was not fired on, it tends to flake off.  So if you are patient, you will find a piece of Goofus Glass with all of its original paint intact.

Another thing that’s great is that goofus glass can be seen from flea markets to swap meets to even antique stores and shows.  You never know what you’ll find where!

What kinds of patterns and pieces of goofus glass have you found or run across?

A little research can go a long way!

Several years ago, I was shopping at one of the local antique malls that is in the area that I live.  I happened onto something that could be worth some money.  The item that I ran across happened to be a large shaker or even a hat pin holder by R. S. Suhl.

With the price being right (and there being a little wear 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 that I could list it online, there was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying something was not right.

After a few minutes of searching online, I found a shaker just like the one that I just bought.  I was so thrilled to find it!  I started to read what was posted online about it, and sure enough that little voice was right—the shaker was indeed a fake.

What was the lesson I learned?  A little research and knowledge can go a long way in life.

Have you found something like this that turned out to be a fake after you bought it?

Beginner’s tips for attending estate sales

You have decided to take the plunge and attend an estate sale that is nearby.  You have one in mind, but what are some tips to remember for when you go?

Dress comfortably—when attending a sale, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes.  There can be a good amount of walking to and from the sale, and even at the sale itself.

Have something to pack with—the sale that you attend may not have anything for you to pack your purchases with, so it is a good idea to bring some bags or a couple of boxes to put your items in.

Don’t be shy—there will be a time that you may not know what an item is, or you may even want to talk to someone about a price.  The people that are holding the sale will be more than willing to help, so feel free to talk to them.

Bring a measuring tape—this might sound a bit silly, but there have been times a measuring tape has been handy.  There have been times when I need to know the size of something like a picture frame and I even used it to see if an item would fit into my car.

This is a very small amount of tips to remember for when you attend an estate sale.  What tips have you run across?

Wow, what a great advertising calendar top!

Calendars have been used for many years to advertise anything from cars to musical instruments.  There are quite a few items that are featured on calendars, and there are just as many calendar designs as well.

One design of calendars that you will run across is a calendar top with a pad attached to it with a small sheet of paper that tells you what month and year it is.  The calendar pad will be replaced over the years while you keep the top.  Part of this type of design can be seen on this terrific calendar top advertising the Greisedieck Brothers Beer Company.

When the Griesedieck Brothers Beer Company produced this calendar, they used a print by Rolf Armstrong on it.  The print was titled, “Dreamy Eyes” and was originally produced in the 1920’s.  Rolf Armstrong’s work was featured on many things from magazine covers to even mugs, and they are very collectible in themselves.

The other great thing that this calendar has going for it is the size of it.  It’s 15 inches wide by 19 ¾ inches long, so not only does it not take up a lot of room it also can fit into a standard size frame.

This is one of the many types of calendar designs and motifs that you can run across.  What kinds of advertising calendars have you run across?

Famous Shipwrecks that have inspired collections

Pottery, glassware, and enamel signs are some of the areas that people collect.  Did you know that one of the areas of collecting are items from shipwrecks? 

The Titanic has produced highly sought-after collectibles (like items used on the ship as well as ads for the ship) while the Atocha is known for the gold and silver coins that were on it.  One of the ships that you may not think of is the SS Central America.

On Thursday, September 3 in the year 1857, the SS Central America (a side-wheel steamer ship) left the port city of Aspinwall (located in Panama on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country).  The ship then made a stop in Havanna on Monday September the 7th.  The next morning, the ship continued onward towards its destination of New York City.

On September the 9th, the ship encountered a tropical storm.  By Friday, the weather went from bad to just plain mean.  The ship was in the grips of a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas.  On Saturday the 12th of September, the ship was hit with a wave and slipped beneath the surface of the ocean.

Why is this ship so important?  The cargo of this ship was valued at the time of the sinking at $2 million dollars in gold coins and bars from San Fransisco (which was 10 tons of just gold).

This ship is sometimes called “The Ship of Gold”.  Many books have been written about the ship, along with the recovery and sale of the coins and bars.


Many collectors covet the coins of the SS Central America, and coin collectors still actively look for pieces from the shipwreck to add to their collections (even well after the sale of the cargo in the year 2000).

Over 7,000 gold coins were recovered from the shipwreck, and most of them are the $20 gold Double Eagle from the San Francisco mint.  Because of the discovery of the SS Central America, this type of gold coin is a little more available to collectors due to the amount that was found.

What other famous events or people have you heard of inspiring a new way to collect items?

Wisdom Lane Antiques Item Highlight: Scenes Of Washington DC Souvenir Tumbler

The latest item highlight from Wisdom Lane Antiques is this terrific silverplate souvenir tumbler.

The tumbler features several terrific scenes of Washington DC, and two of the scenes on it are The White House and Mount Vernon.

It is also dated May 7, 1901 on the bottom of the tumbler.  Not only that, the tumbler is also marked GERMANY.

This terrific souvenir tumbler can be seen in my shop on Etsy here.  Head on over and check it out!

What happened in 1792?

It’s always fun to find out what happened in a year, especially if you are a vintage and antiques lover.  Since you are always looking around to find out what happened during the time that a piece in your collection was made, you will quickly run across tons of facts.  Here’s a few that I have run across recently:

On February 20th, The Postal Service Act was signed by George Washington.  This established the United States Post Office–and not to mention all of the great stamps that collectors look for.

The 20th of March saw a new capital of North Carolina and county seat of the newly formed Wake County.  This was after North Carolina State Senator and surveyor William Christmas submits his design for the city.  A few months later, the capital is named Raleigh in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh.

On April 2nd, The Coinage Act is passed.  This Act established the United States Mint—it also led to the production of the half cent, cent, half disme (or half dime), dime, quarter, half dollar and even the dollar coin.  The were even gold coins with a $2.50, $5 and even $10 face value.

What kind of fun facts have you run across?

What are some tips for the beginning antique dealer?

You have attended auctions and estate sales and have even headed out to flea markets, antique malls and even some garage sales.  Now you have decided to take the plunge and start to sell vintage and collectible items.

What are some things to remember when it comes to selling off some of the deals that you have found along the way?

If you are selling an electronic item like a video game console, see if it is possible to test the item.  If it does, you can get a little more money for it.  Not only that, you can also give any potential customer more confidence about it if they want to buy it.

If you are going to be selling items for a good amount of time, you need to keep an eye open to see what is selling and what’s not.  This way you don’t spend hard earned money on items that have the potential of never selling or taking a long time to do so.

Condition is the biggest hurdle to cross when it comes to making sales.  I have seen people walk away from an item if the item is broken or has missing pieces.

This is a few things to remember when you are beginning to sell items.  What are some of the tips that you have run across?