Storage ideas for your collection

Where and how do I store my collection?  This can be a tough question to answer, especially if you are new to the collecting world.  Here are some ideas for you to consider for storage.

The first one to consider is what type of collection that you have.  If you are trying to put a set of dishes together, you can get a china hutch or cabinet.  These are more than big enough to store a set of dishes, and the great thing is that you can show it off as well.

If you have an advertising collection, it all depends on how big the pieces are.  If it’s signs, you can display them either leaning against or on the wall itself.  If the pieces are smaller, you could have them on something like a book shelf.

If the collection is something like trading cards (like baseball or football), you can get some pages that hold them and store them in a three-ring binder.  If you had the cards graded and they are encapsulated, there are storage boxes that can hold them.  You could even get a vintage box that’s made of metal or wood to put them in as well.

There are many ways to store your collection.  How do you store yours?

Some things to consider when you start a collection

So you’ve decided to start collecting vintage items.  There are so many ways to go about it—you could restore the items you collect, or it even could be a collection of something like folk art or even pottery.  The real question is where do you start?

Whenever you start a collection, there are some things that you need to consider before you dive head first into it.  The first thing that I would do is to decide on an area that interests me and I would love to collect.  It could be McCoy pottery, depression glass, clocks, advertising items or even lunch boxes.

There is a phrase in coin collecting that goes “buy the book before you buy the coin.”  That applies to just about any area of collection, really.  More often than not, you can find a value guide at a book store or even an antique mall.  This gives you a good idea on what’s out in the market and even a price range on the items.

Once you have settled on an area to collect and have picked up a value guide, you need to figure out a budget on what you can spend on your collection.  What I do is I figure out what I can spend every month and I set aside some spending money for my collection.

After all of this, head on out and see what you can find.  You never know where you will find pieces—it could be at an antique mall, flea market, thrift store or even at a swap meet or a garage sale.  It’s fun for me to see where these items turn up.

Here’s a little piece of advice for you: I would create a checklist (either a physical one or one on something like your smartphone) and carry it around with you.  This way you know what you are looking for when you are out shopping.

Happy hunting and I hope that you find many treasures for your collection!

Antique furniture parts and pieces

There are many different parts and pieces of furniture, and it can get confusing (especially when you first start to buy and sell it).  Here are some parts and pieces of what I have run across over the years:

Cabriole—This is a double-curved form used in legs (and even feet). The upper portion of the leg curves outward while the lower part curves inward.  This makes an S shape on the legs and is very distinctive.

Bombé—This is a French term for the outwardly curving shape of a piece of furniture.  The most thought of form is that of a chest.

Armoire—This is a clothes cupboard, and this can be a pretty sizable piece of furniture.  In most cases, an Armoire is a type of wardrobe.

Marquetry—This is a decorative technique in which different woods are inlaid into the body of a piece to create an image.  Flowers are a common motif; other images are used though.  Most of the time the inlay work is done with various woods—other materials like mother-of-pearl, ivory, and even tortoiseshell, have been used.

What types of parts and pieces terms have you run across?

Terrific Dresses for the Prom!

Prom season is quickly coming upon us, and you will need a great dress for the big night.  Here’s a couple of ideas for you:

Here’s a head turning example labeled ZUM ZUM by Niki Livas.

ZUM ZUM

You can see this terrific dress in my Etsy shop here.  You can see a high fashion example with this highly beaded piece.

SCALA

This wonderful dress was made by SCALA and can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  A retro example would also be a fun way to go to the Prom, and you can do that wearing this example by LAURENCE KAZAR.

LAURENCE KAZAR

You can see this great item made out of silk in my Etsy shop here.  If you are looking for a full length dress for the Prom, this one by MORGAN & CO.

Morgan & Co

This dress would also be good if you are looking for a sleeveless dress as well.  You can see it in my eBay shop here.  If a strapless example is what you would love to wear, then this one labeled ABS By Allen Schwartz is perfect.ABSThis lightly worn dress is also different because it has a lace up back.  You can see it in my eBay shop here.  There is also a dress in my Etsy shop that still has the tags on it, and it’s by MIA BELLA.MIA BELLAThe heavily beaded dress is in perfect unworn condition and can be seen in my Etsy shop here.There are also some beautifully larger, bargain priced, knee length, and dresses with different colors in my Etsy shop that can be seen here.  You can also see some terrific ideas for the prom in my eBay shop here.What kinds of terrific finds have you run across for the Prom?

Sulfide marbles—what exactly are they?

Cats Eye, Steelies, and Latticino Core are all different types of marbles that you’ll run across.  One of my favorite type of marble is what’s called a Sulfide.

Sulfide marbles were made from the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s.  More often than not, they are the size of a shooter.  This type of marble is made of glass with a chalk inside–and that piece comes in a wide variety of shapes from an animals, buildings, people, flowers and even numbers.

Sulphide Shooter Marble With Lamb

The most common type of glass that you’ll see is clear, but different colors like green and blue have been found.

There are some things that you need to remember when you are either starting to collect these.  Since this was a shooter (and sulfides were actually played with), there is a very good chance that there will be some surface chips or cracks in the marble.

Another thing to remember is that the chalk piece was inserted into molten glass when these were made.  The chalk piece stands a good chance of breaking in half when the marble is made.

Beware though—there are modern varieties of sulfides out on the market.  It’s easy to tell the old from the new marbles when you are looking at them.  The quality of the glass and chalk figure are of a better quality on the new marbles.  Pay attention to the chalk piece itself—it’s almost always painted on the new ones too.

What kinds of Sulfide marbles have you run across?

Great Fenton items for any collector!

The Fenton Art Glass Company opened its doors in a rented space in Martins Ferry, Ohio in 1905.  Since then, the company produced quite a variety of items and colors–you could find a piece for just about any part of your house.

It could be a lamp with a cranberry Fenton Shade for the living room, a vase for your favorite type of flowers, or even something for the kitchen table.  One of the items that you an get for the table is this great pair of candle holders.

This pair of amber colored candle holders sports the hobnail pattern, and they date to the 1960’s.  The great thing about them is that they are low enough so you can look over them and see the person on the other side of the table.  You can see them in my Etsy shop here.

Another thing that Fenton did was that they made glass items for other companies, and that’s what they did with this perfume bottle.

The perfume bottle was made for Devilbiss, and it has the Blue Opalescent Coin Dot pattern on it.  The bottle dates to the 1950’s, and it has a replaced replaced atomizer (the bottle is just a decorator piece now).  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Fenton also made a wide variety of bells, like this example.

This pink opalescent variety dates to the 1950’s, which can be dated by the paper label on it.  You can see this wonderful example in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the Fenton pieces in my Etsy shop here.

You never know what shape, pattern or color you could run into while out shopping.  What have you seen?

Here’s some fun facts about PEZ dispensers

One of the things that I remember having around during my childhood is a PEZ dispenser.  The Hulk, Garfield and even Spiderman were some of the dispensers that I had, and nothing could beat that cherry flavored candy.

PEZ candy was first produced in Vienna, Austria in 1927.  The candy was first advertised as a compressed peppermint sweet, and PEZ is actually an abbreviation for PfeffErminZ (that’s German for peppermint).  These candies came in a tin that looks like what Altoids come in today.

When the dispensers came about, they were not always called that.  They were called “regulars”, and they looked a lot like a cigarette lighter.  They dispensed an adult breath mint that were marketed as an alternative to smoking.

When 1955 rolled around, the dispensers started to have character heads on them, and this happened after PEZ was introduced in the United States.  One example of these character heads is this POLICEMAN dispenser.

pez

As you can see, the dispenser should have a police hat on it, but has been lost over time.  Over the years, PEZ has made dispensers with and without feet.

pez-no-feet

As you can tell from the picture above this great example has no feet, and you can see this dispenser in my Etsy store here.

What kind of PEZ dispensers have you had?

What reference books do you constantly read?

When you dive into the world of buying and selling, you will find yourself searching for reference books to help identify what you have and help put a price on it.  There are plenty out there, and there’s a book that covers just about every aspect of anything vintage.

When I first started to buy and sell antiques, “Schroder’s Antiques Price Guide” and “Kovel’s Antiques And Collectibles Price List” always seemed to be brought along when I headed out to an auction.  Another book that I never leave with is “A Guide Book of United States Coins” (also known as “The Red Book”) whenever I head out to coin shows.

What reference books do you find yourself constantly reading?

Is it “The Collector’s Encyclopedia Of Fiesta” by Bob And Sharon Huxford or “McCoy Pottery” by Bob And Sharon Huxford?  Do you read “Collectible Glassware from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s” by Gene Florence if you love glass?

What are some of your favorite titles?

The crazy world of coin collecting and its vocabulary

When I started collecting coins when I was younger, I found out that the crazy thing about it was the vocabulary.  It’s the craziest thing that I have ever heard—there’s about Good and about uncirculated (which are both terms that you use to grade a coin).  There’s even a matte proof, an inverted date, and even a hub.

Here’s some more words that will make your head spin:

Bag mark—these are marks on a coin that occur when coins bump into each other.  This could happen when they are placed in bags at the mint or being moved in the bag. Larger size coins typically exhibit more bag marks than smaller ones due to their size.

Rim—this is the raised edge of a coin that’s created by a machine called the upsetting mill. The idea of a rim is that if the edge on both sides of the coin is raised as high as the design it will help protect the coins design from wear.  This way the coin can be in circulation a little longer without being replaced.

Walker—this is a nick name for the United States Walking Liberty Half dollar.  The design was made between 1916 and 1947, and this is thought by some to be one of the US most beautiful coin designs. The current American Silver Eagles that United States makes have the same design on their obverse.

These are just a few of the terms that I’ve heard over the years.  What have you heard?

Hey, that’s a cool Eastman Kodak Photography Studio Scale!

Photography is an area that has a huge amount of collectible items.  It could be cameras or even the photographs themselves.  Companies even produced glass containers that held the chemicals to develop the photographs, and even these containers are sought after to decorate with.

But what about collecting and decorating with something like a studio scale?

scale

One of the companies that produced a scale like this was EASTMAN KODAK.  EASTMAN KODAK made this terrific photography studio scale from 1912 to 1948.  It was made to help you weigh exactly how much chemicals you needed when you were developing your photos.

The reason you needed to weigh the chemicals because they were stored separately from each other.  This was to help keep everything as fresh as possible (and to help you you use only what you needed).

This scale would look terrific on any desk, or even with other photographic equipment!  You can see this terrific scale in my Etsy shop here.

What other types of photographic collectibles have you run across?