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?

Reader’s Help: What in the world is this Celluloid piece?

SONY DSC

Not too long ago, I ran into this great vintage celluloid piece at a local flea market.  I know that it’s some sort of holder, but what exactly was it used for?

SONY DSC

In one reference book that I have, the book shows it and does not mention what this is.  Another book stated that it was a tooth brush holder, and yet another states that this is a holder for eyeglasses.

SONY DSC

Needless to say, I got pretty baffled on what this could be.  So here’s my question–what is this piece really for?  Is what one of the books said right, or is this something completely different?

Any information is greatly appreciated.  What do you think it is?

Two Cents worth? Yep

Did you know that there was actually a 2 cent coin that was produced by the United States mint?

The Two Cent piece officially ran from 1864 to 1872, but there was a copy made for collectors in 1873.

The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused any and all government-issued coins to vanish from circulation, they were hoarded very heavily by the public. Even the Indian Head cent—which was made of bronze—was pretty much gone from circulation.  The Coinage Act Of 1864 authorized the cent to switch to a bronze composition and the production of the Two Cent coin.

800px-1865_two_cent_obverse
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.com

Even though there were other mints actively producing coins in the United States at the time, this coin was only produced at the mint based in Philadelphia.  What this means is that there will not be a mint mark anywhere–which is the way this mint was marking the coins until 1980.

Two of the more famous die varieties happened in 1864.  One is called the “large motto,” and the other is called the “small motto.”  These two varieties deal with the motto, “In God We Trust.”  The words IN, GOD, and TRUST has some small differences, while the word WE has the most differences.  It all hinges on the size of it, and it is very noticeable.  The WE on “large motto” is larger than the WE on the “small motto.”

The “small motto” is much scarcer than the “large motto.”  The best idea is to keep an eye out for it in case you might walk across a case full of coins at a mall, or happen to be at a coin shop or show.

Have you seen one of these really cool coins?

small-motto
Small motto courtesy Wikipedia.com
large-motto
Large motto courtesy Wikipedia.com

Sometimes directions help out with collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in collecting, and this definitely includes collecting paper money from the early 1800’s.  During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money–they would file for a charter with the United States government, and this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.

Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections.  They will look for a certain bank, city, or even state that the money was produced in.

If there was a major metropolitan area like Boston or Philadelphia, the more banks were likely to be there.  The east coast of the United States has quite a few different banks that offered paper money.  This was true going west to just past the Mississippi river.  The farther west you went, the fewer banks you would run into.

The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States mint in San Francisco) that far west.

When you travel up north (in places like North Dakota, Washington State, and even Alaska) they have very few banks at all.  There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) turn up for a few banks in these states, and are highly sought after.

You need to be careful when you are looking for paper money from the early 1800’s to add to your collection—there are quite a few outright counterfeit bills out there.  Not only that, there were also a lot of bills in circulation in the 1800’s that were counterfeit.  One reason was that there were many different designs that were made by the different banks out there making it harder for you to know if it was real or not when the bills were new.

Another reason is because there were a ton of banks that failed for one reason or another in the 1800’s (the money from these banks are also called “broken bank notes”).  There were lists for shut down banks and fake bills that circulated to merchants or vendors, but the lists were often out dated after a while.  It also took a while to get these lists circulated since mail had to go by stage coach, train or horse.

What fun direction can your collection go?