How do you start a collection?

You have made the leap and started to attend some auctions, and you have even gone to antique malls and flea markets in your area.  You might have even gone to thrift stores and even some swap meets.  Then it hits you—how do you go about starting a collection of your own?

The first thing to do is to start a collection on what interests you.  If you love enamelware or even records, the best thing I can recommend is to start there—you never know what kinds of cool pieces you will find.

The second step is to figure out how much of a budget you can afford to spend on your collection.  It does not have to be big at first—over time you will want to expand your budget to help with buying the more expensive items.

You will want to spend time (especially when you first start a collection) on things like how to identify real from fake.  It can be a couple minutes a day worth of research to help you out in the long run.

A good tip to remember is to settle on a fairly wide area to start collecting in—this way you can narrow down the topic of your collection over time.  I have seen people start collecting in an area like coins and then settle on Morgan Dollars and Franklin half dollars.

It’s also perfectly fine to have several collections going on—this way you don’t get burnt out looking for just one topic.

When you start to shop for items to add to your collection, start out at shops, auctions and swap meets where you live.  This way you are not spending a lot of money on getting to where you are going. 

Another thing that you can do is to shop around online.  There have been plenty of times that I have run across items for sale online that are cheap enough that you can add it to your collection.

This is a small handful of tips to help with starting a collection.  What tips have you run across?

What exactly is End Of The Day enamelware?

One of the areas of collectibles that I run into quite are piece made out of enamelware.  It could be tea kettles, plates and even pitchers.  You also never know what color you will run into—it could be white with red trim, blue swirl or even chrysolite!

One type of enamelware that you do not see a lot of is called “end of the day” enamelware.  This type of enamelware has several different colors on it, and it got its name for when it was made—it was made at the end of the workday.

The reason for the different colors on it were because the workers making the piece would take whatever colors they had leftover at the end of the day and make random designs on the piece.

A great example of “end of the day” enamelware is this dinner pail or bucket.  This example dates to the early 1900’s and it has chocolate brown, black, white and gray colors on it.

You can collect “end of the day” enamelware several different ways—two of the more popular ways is the pattern that’s on the item or by the colors on it.

What kind of “end of the day” enamelware items have you run across?

What was introduced in 1929?

For 1929, the year is known for being the start of The Great Depression and the crash of the stock market.  Even with all of this going on, what items were introduced during 1929?

During 1929, Pine-Sol cleaner was invented while both the Tarzan and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D. comic strips debuted.

In January, the comic character POPEYE made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.  Popeye is often credited with encouraging children to eat their vegetables as the character often ate a can of spinach to become stronger in dangerous situations.

The book titled “The Magic Island” By W.B. Seabrook debuted in 1929.  This book is credited with introducing the idea of a zombie into pop culture.

In August, British inventor John Logie Baird began conducting experimental television brodadcasts at the British Broadcasting Company (also known as the BBC).

This is a small handful of things that debuted during the year.  What items have you heard of that debuted during 1929?

What are some tips to remember when you are buying inventory for your business?

It does not matter if you sell at a swap meet, online or even in a booth in a store—you will eventually have to buy inventory to stock up with.  What are some tips to remember when you are out and about buying items?

When you are beginning to sell, the easiest thing to do is to buy items that you know a good amount about.  When you start to expand your business, you can expand what you know by expanding into other areas (like glassware or even pottery).

When you are buying, keep in mind on where you are going to sell the item.  Heavy items or even items that are large like a 5-foot tall sign will be harder and more expensive to ship if you sell it online—it might sell better in a booth or at a swap meet.

The biggest thing to remember is to know what your budget is.  Things will get out of hand very fast if you don’t know what kind of wiggle room you have in the budget.

This is just a few tips to remember when you are buying inventory.  What other tips do you keep in mind when you are buying inventory?

What are some tips for attending an estate sale?

You have found a local estate sale nearby that you would like to go to.  The problem is is that you have never been to one before.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind while attending your first estate sale:

Ask about any unmarked items—if there is an item at the estate sale that you are interested in, feel free to ask about it.  There is a good chance that the people running the sale have not had a chance to price it, or the price tag could have just fallen off.

Check to see if there is a pick-up policy—if there is a large item at the sale that you are interested in and have no way of taking it with you that day, see if the people running the sale will allow you to come back for it either that day (or even the next).

Respect the property—there will be rooms that the people running the sale that will want you to stay out of.  They will have the door shut and marked off with either a sign or tape, so stay out and be friendly.

Have fun—there is a good chance that you might leave without buying anything.  The cool thing is that you get to meet some great people and get to see what other shoppers are interested in buying.

This is a small handful of tips for attending an estate sale.  What tips do you know of for attending estate sales?

Item Highlight: 1950’s Fenton Jack In The Pulpit Vase With JACQUELINE Pattern

This week’s item highlight in the Wisdom Lane Antiques shop is this terrific small Fenton Jack In The Pulpit vase! It dates to the 1950’s and has the JACQUELINE pattern on it.

As you can see from the photo, the vase also sports the yellow opaline color. Even though the vase is not marked by Fenton, you can tell Fenton made it by both the pattern and the color on it.

The vase is also the perfect size for just about any table or mantle to show off your favorite flowers–it measures 7 ½ inches tall. It is also a great size across the top–it measures 4 ¾ inches across so the flowers are not strangled by the vase.

You can see this terrific vase in my Etsy shop here.

Head on over and chek it out!

Searching The World Wide Web

With a book out on the market on just about any antiques and collectibles area that you could imagine, it would be a safe bet that you could find any item fairly fast, right?

Sometimes it does not work out that way.  The internet can be a great resource for information on the item that you are looking for like this head vase for example.

When I look for something, I start with a broad search by typing in “head vase” in the search bar.  If that does not get me what I need this is when I start typing in specifics.  If the piece has a stamp or a sticker with the makers name on it, I use that.

With you narrowing down the search, you get to the point where you can find the item you have pretty quickly.  It can even get to the point where you can find several listings of the same item as yours so you have a great price range on it.

What kinds of tricks and tips do you use when you search for an item on the internet?

What are some of the popular toys from the 1980’s?

Every decade sees toys become extremely popular for a certain amount of time.  The Barbie doll started to gain popularity in the 1960’s, and the pet rock was popular in the 1970’s.  What toys were popular in the 1980’s?

1983 saw the Cabbage Patch Kids hit the toy shelves, and the rush was on to grab one anywhere that it was sold at.

When 1984 came about, The Transformers cartoon hit the airwaves.  The toys quickly followed, and they were as popular as the show was.  The race was on to find figures like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and even the evil Megatron.

Nintendo released the Gameboy in 1989, and you quickly saw people playing games like Super Mario Land and even Tetris.

This is only a handful of the toys that were popular in the 1980’s.  What do you remember playing with?

Changing to the Kennedy Half Dollar

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Mint Director Eva Adams was seriously considering changing one of the bigger denominations (either the dollar, half dollar, or the quarter dollar) to feature a portrait of John F. Kennedy.  Several days later, Eva Adams called up Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts and told him that it was authorized.

Jaqueline Kennedy had expressed that she would love to see John on the half dollar, her reason was that she did not want George Washington to be replaced on the quarter.  This was taken into consideration and was also approved.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

There was one problem, and it was a pretty big problem.  There are laws on the books that state that United States coin designs can’t be changed for 25 years without Congressional approval.  The current half dollar design that was in circulation at the time features Ben Franklin on one side, and the Liberty Bell on the other (this design was first issued in 1948, some 16 years before the Kennedy design). 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The good thing is that the new half dollar design passed with overwhelming support from Congress.  The Kennedy half dollar is still being made, but not many of them are readily seen in circulation today.  What’s better is that you can find new copies either from a coin dealer that is in your area, or you can order the coins directly from the United States mint.

Since there are plenty of Kennedy of half dollars that can be bought from either the bank or reputable dealers (both in a store setting and online), you can put together a complete set of coins for not that much money.  There are even people that look for different die varieties or coins that have errors.

Have you picked up one of these coins lately?

Inexpensive artwork ideas to hang on any wall

Looking for a new and inexpensive wall hanging for the house or apartment?  Have you ever thought about framing a piece of sheet music?

Old sheet music can be picked up cheaply at most flea markets that are near you.  A lot of the time you will find a stack for you to go through to find a potential candidate.

American illustrators have created many colorful images for music pages—historic scenes, beautiful landscapes elegant ladies and gentlemen, funny (even cartoonish) like figures.

Whatever you like can be found as an illustration.  That and a cheap frame and voila! Suddenly you have a new masterp

This is a few items that you can use as artwork.  What have you found to turn into a great wall hanging?