How do you know when it is ok to restore a vintage item?

Restoration is a topic in the world of antiques and collectibles that is discussed quite a bit.  There is one question that comes up in the discussion—when is it ok to restore an item and when do you leave it alone?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to doing a restoration.  The first is how complete the item is before restoration.  How much time will be spent looking for parts to help complete the restoration?  There may come a time that you may have to make a part (or parts), and this could drive up the cost of the restoration quite a bit.

The second thing to remember is the cost of the restoration.  If the cost is more than the value of the item, then you need to leave it be.  When you are figuring the cost of the restoration, you can also figure out how much it would cost to simply repair the item.

The third thing to remember when you restore an item is pretty simple—what is the value before and after the restoration and how much value will be added when the restoration is done?  If the value does not go up that much, then you might want to make sure the item is simply functional rather than completely restored.

What items do you know of that benefited from a restoration?

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

What happened in 1957?

Whenever I buy an item that I don’t know a lot about, I do a little research on both the internet and in reference books that I have around the house to see what I can find out about the item.  There are times that I run across fun bits of information about other items.

Here’s some of what I ran across for the year 1957:

January 6th—Elvis Presley appears on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW for the 3rd and final time.  This broadcast is known for Elvis being only shot from the waist up.

January 13th—Wham-O produces the first Frisbee.

September 4th—this is when the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.  When the car was released, Ford proclaimed September 4th as “E-day”.

October 12—on this day, the famous Christmas book HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! By Dr. Seuss is published.

This is just a handful of all the things that happened in 1957.  What have you run across?

Wow, is that a piece of Gabriel Bloodworth art glass?

Woah, what a great art glass piece!

Gabriel Bloodworth made this terrific art glass decorative flat pitcher, and it was made in the Springfield, Missouri area.

The cool thing about it is that it has a blue and white speckle pattern to it.  The flat pitcher also has silver trim at the top and a silver handle. The handmade piece also sports a pontil mark on the bottom, and it is also pretty big—it measures 12 ¼ inches tall and 7 ¼ inches wide.

Because of the size and shape, it would be perfect for either the table or the mantle.

You can see this great piece in my shop here.

What a beautiful art glass piece to display in your house or to give as a gift!

Sometimes directions can help you out in collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in life, including when you collect paper money from the early 1800’s. During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money. The banks would file for a charter with the United States government—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—and going a certain direction will often help them out. They will look for a certain bank, city or even the state the money was produced in. I have even heard of collectors looking for anything that is west of the Mississippi. You could even look for something in the southern states like Alabama or even Louisiana.

The east coast area has quite a few different banks that offered paper money. This was true up to the Mississippi (the father west you went there were fewer banks to 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.

If there was a major metropolitan area, the more banks were likely to be there. One way to keep things interesting is to only look for banks that were on the east side of town.

Even up north in places like North Dakota, Washington state and even Alaska have very few banks at all. There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) to turn up for a few banks in these states. For obvious reasons, these are highly sought after.

What cities and states have you seen on this type of paper money?

What are some of the different types of auctions?

When you first dive into the world of auctions, you will quickly find that there are several different types that you will run across.  Here are a few that you will see:

Absolute auction—this means that that highest bid wins no matter what the price is.  This is one the most common types of auction that you will run across.

Silent auction—with this type of auction, bids are written on a piece of paper.  After a certain amount of time, the highest listed bidder on the piece of paper will win the item for sale.  More often than not, this type of auction is used to raise money for charity.

Minimum bid auction— with this type of auction, the lowest acceptable price for the item up for sale has been predetermined by the seller.  The predetermined price will be where the bidding starts for that item.

This is a tiny look at the different varieties of auctions that you can run across.  What types have you seen?

A little history of a Victorian red tomato server

During the Victorian era, you could find a serving piece for just about anything.  Olive forks? Got it.  Cake servers?  Yep, got that too.  But have you ever run across a red tomato server?

These items are great.  Tomato servers come in two different variations, one for red tomatoes and one for green.  Why in the world would you have a different one for each type of tomatoes?  Its simple really when you think about it.  The red tomato servers have the openings built in for all of the juice from the tomato to drain through the server and not onto your tablecloth.

The server for the green tomatoes does not have the openings for the fact that the green tomatoes are not as messy and don’t need the openings.  You could even use the green tomato server for fried green tomatoes.

Currently in my Etsy shop, there is a red tomato server that was made by the William Rogers Company.  Its made of silverplate and sports the LA FRANCE pattern.  You can see the piece here.

The Victorian era truly did make a ide variety of serving pieces for the table.  What items have you run across while shopping?

Madrid Depression Glass and its counterpart

This pattern has been around 1932 and is still being produced today.  It is now called the Recollection pattern, and it is made by the Indiana Glass Company.  There are quite a few ways to tell if the piece you are looking at is Madrid or if it is part of the Recollection Pattern.

In 1976, the Federal Glass company released Madrid as part of their Bicentennial line.  To help discern this from the original, there is a “76” that has been stamped into the mold.

The Indiana Glass company released the Recollection starting in the 1980’s.  Some of the pieces that Indiana Glass has released were never produced by the Federal Glass company.  Some of the molds were put together, like the candlestick and bowl molds to produce a kind of a pedestal bowl.  If you happen to run across one of these pieces, look at where the bowl joins with the base”.  If you see ribbing inside what looks like a hollow area, then this is a modern piece.

The grill plate is different as well.  The original has been divided into three compartments while the newer one has only two.

It is amazing how much both patterns are here in the Ozarks. Keep an eye peeled when it comes to this pattern—you just might be paying good money for a newer piece.

What to do with reproduction Depression Glass

You go strolling through your favorite antique mall, a flea market or even at a garage sale.  You happen to see a piece of Depression glass, and you think it is the real deal.  You look at the price on it and see that it is reasonable, so you go ahead and buy it.

Once you get it home, you start to poke around either in a reference book you have or online to see what you have.  Then it hits you—you realize that the piece you bought is a reproduction.  What are some things that you can do with it?

There are many things that you can do with it.  The first thing that you can do is to sell it off either online or at an antique matt at the price that you paid for it.  If you do this, I recommend that you describe it as a reproduction so that everyone knows that you are being truthful about it.

If you happen to give the reproduction as a gift to a friend or family member, this gives you the chance to give a brief history lesson on it.  You could even take the opportunity to show what the tell-tale signs are that make it a reproduction.

Another thing that you can do is to use it yourself.  Vases could hold flowers, or even be used as a hat stand.  It could possibly even be turned into a lamp.

If it is a bowl, the sky’s the limit on what it can hold.  Paper clips, fruit, pens and even pocket change are a small sampling on what you can put in it.

And if it is a candy dish, it could even hold something like potpourri. If you happen to have bought a reproduction, what kinds of creative ways have you used it for?