What a great gift idea for any stamp collector!

What a cool gift idea for a stamp collector—finding them a vintage stamp album to accompany their collection.  One album that you can find is titled “The International Postage Stamp Album Junior Edition.”

stamp book (0)

This album is great, it is by the Scott Stamp and Coin Company.  Not only does it have the look of a regular book, it has space dedicated to have stamps from many countries of the world.  Some of the countries that are included are the United States, Austria, Bavaria, Germany, Cuba and even Hungary (there are many other countries that are not listed here).

stamp book (1)

There is a copy of this book in my eBay shop—not only does it have all of its pages, it also has some stamps with it.  There are about 150 stamps in total that are included, and they range in date from 1876 to the 1920’s (two of the stamps from Hungary are OVERPRINTS from 1919).

You can see this book in my eBay shop here.  Head on over and check it out.

Wow, how great is this?  Remember when stamps were 1 cent?

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Grab yourself a cup and saucer, it’s tea time!

One of the areas that you can dive in and have a lot of fun collecting are cups and saucers.  They come in a wide variety of makers, sizes and even decoration.

Some of the materials that they could be made of are glassware, pottery or even fine china.  They could be decorated with just about anything–flowers, people and even outdoor scenes are just a small portion of what is out there.

Hocking Glass, MacBETH-Evans and even Royal Doulton are but a tiny portion of makers that have made cups and saucers, and there are many more.

One cup and saucer set that you could run across is this great Depression Glass example.

As you can see, it sports the CHERRY BLOSSOM pattern and is by the Jeanette Glass Company.  It was made from 1930 to 1939 and can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Hand painted examples are always fun for me, you will never find two that are exactly alike.  One cup and saucer set that fits in this area is this one by NAPCO Pottery.

This set features a yellow floral motif, and it dates to the 1950’s.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.
Wedgewood also made several examples, and one such example is this terrific Mulberry handle less cup and saucer from the 1800’s.

It sports the WASHINGTON VASE pattern, and you can see it in my Etsy shop here.

There are quite a few ways that you can collect cups and saucers.Not only can you collect cups and saucers by the pattern that is on them or the manufacturer, you can also find examples that could go with a certain color combination that is in your house or apartment.

You can see all of the cups and saucers in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Gas Station Collectibles from…ElReco?

As long as I can remember, people have been on the lookout for items that were once in use in gas stations.  Gas pumps, signs, vending machines and even advertising from a certain brand (like Marathon or even Phillips 66) have been sought after.

I have even heard of people collecting items from the lesser known gas station companies as well, like ElReco.  I am going to be honest with you—I never heard of ElReco until I found this paperweight.

EL RECO Gas Stations Figural Paperweight

It turns out that Elreco stands for the Eldorado Refining Company. They operated out of El Dorado, Kansas until the company was sold to the K-T Oil Company (they maintained operations there after the sale).

When 1958 rolled around, that company was sold American Petrofina, and the stations were then renamed to the FINA brand.

elreco back

This paperweight was made in the early 1900’s, and it still has a good amount of the original paint on it.  The great thing about this paperweight is that it’s a perfect size so that it can be used anywhere from your desk to holding down a recipe in the kitchen.

You can see this terrific paperweight in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!

What are some of the glassware colors called that you will run across?

When I started selling glassware, I quickly found out that any glassware that had color to it sold better than its crystal counterpart.  Opalescent glass, forest green and amberina glass were colors that I have heard, but what exactly are they?  Here’s a description of some of the more common glass colors that you will hear:

Amberina glass—this is a type of art glass that has a color that goes from amber (or even a yellow color) to ruby on the same piece.  This shaded effect is due to the gold being added to the glass when it is being made.

Cameo glass—this is a type of glass that has layers of glass that have contrasting colors.  The outer layers are either acid-etched, carved, cut, or even engraved to produce a design.  Since the layers are different colors, this will help the design stand out from the background.

Opal glass—this is glass that resembles an opal.  Opal glass will be a translucent and white, and it will also have a grayish or bluish tinge to it.

Cranberry glass—this is a type of glass that is made by adding gold salts or colloidal gold to molten glass (tin is sometimes added as a reducing agent), and this makes the glass turn a pink color.

This is only a small example of some of the glassware colors that you will run across when you are out shopping.  What colors have you run across?

What are some tips when you attend an estate sale?

When I started to sell items online, one of the types of sale that I found are estate sales.  When you go to an estate sale, the contents of the house are usually for sale.  I have heard them referred to as a tag sale and even an estate liquidation.

Estate sales are a wonderful way to find some bargains, but what are some tips to remember when you attend one?

The first thing to remember is that all sales are final.  You need to be careful with this—check everything carefully for damage and to see if any electrical items that you are interested in work.  When you attend a sale, you will most likely see signs that read either ALL SALES ARE FINAL or even one  that reads ALL ITEMS ARE AS IS / WHERE IS.

The next thing to remember is to bring cash.  The people that are running the sale may not have the ability to run a credit card or accept your check.

Another thing to remember is to bring the muscle.  You may need to load a very heavy piece, like a piece of furniture.

The last tip to remember is that there will be times that you can get a discount on the price of the item you are interested in.  The estate sale company that runs the sale will usually have the sale over a couple of days.  The first day will usually be full price while the second day will have 10 to 25 percent off and the third day could be as much as half off the price.

When I go to an estate sale, I am now in the habit of seeing if there is a discount the day I attend.

This is only a few of the tips to remember when you attend an estate sale.  What kinds of tips have you run across?

What in the world is an encased postage stamp?

In 1862, the United States was smack dab in the middle of a coin shortage.  It was bad, really bad.  Everything was being horded—even the cent was being stockpiled.

An American entrepreneur and inventor by the name of John Gault created something to help with this—the encased postage stamp.

The encased postage stamp is a stamp that was inserted into a small coin-size case.  This case has a transparent front or back. This type of “coin” was circulated as legal tender during periods when coins were scarce.

John Gault was pretty savvy—he saw two ways to make money off of his creation.   The first way was to sell them to businesses and stores that had a high demand for coins.  He sold his encased stamps at 20% of the face value of the stamp.

The second way that he made money was to sell the blank back of the case of the coin as advertising.  There is a minimum of thirty different companies that took up the advertising on the coins.  All of the different companies lend to find some great and different varieties on this type of coin.

Encased postage stamps circulated for about a year (until about the middle of 1863).  This is when the fractional currency released by United States Government became popular enough to help ease the coin shortage.

There were also some other factors that helped bring encased postage stamps to an end.  One reason was was that the postage stamps that were being used for this started to become unavailable.  Not only that, it cost more to buy the encased postage than what they were actually valued at in the market.

Encased postage stamps are rare today with a small fraction of the 750,000 that were originally sold surviving.

This is just one item people came up with over the years to help with coin shortages over the years.  Do you know of any other ways?

What are some of the terms that you will run across when you start to collect stamps?

Not too long ago, I went to a local auction that had quite a few stamps for sale.  There were some stamp collectors and dealers there talking about “changelings” and even an “album weed”.  It made me think—what are some of the terms that you’ll run across when you collect stamps?

Album weed—this refers to a forged stamp, and it also refers to unusual items that resemble postage stamps but were not intended to pay postage.  This is something like publicity labels and bogus issues.

Album Weeds—this is the title of a reference book series that is on forged stamps.  It was written by R.B. Earee.

Changeling—this is a stamp whose color has been changed (either intentionally or unintentionally) by contact with a chemical.  This can also happen with the exposure to a light.

Encased postage stamp—this is a stamp that was inserted into a small coin-size case.  The case comes with a transparent front or back to see the stamp.  These were circulated as legal coins during periods when coins were scarce in the 1860’s.

Handstamp—this is a cancellation or overprint that was applied by hand to either a cover or to a stamp.

Obliteration—there are two main definitions for this term.  The first is a cancellation that was intended solely to deface a stamp (this is also called a killer).  The second is an overprint intended to deface a portion of the design of a stamp (such as the face of a deposed ruler).

This is just a few of what you’ll hear when talking about stamps.  What terms have you heard?

Reader’s Help: Who exactly made these framed vintage prints?

At a local estate sale, I recently came upon four framed vintage prints.  I looked at them and instantly fell in love with them.  The only problem was was that I have no idea who could have made them.

Picture help

They look to be famous Scotsmen, and they are professionally framed and matted.  To me, the illustrations themselves look like they could have come from a book.

They also appear to have a CURRIER AND IVES look to them.

I have not been able to track down any information about the artist and who could have printed them.

Does anyone know who could have done these great prints?  Any information is greatly appreciated!

Look at all the different names that coins go by!

When I picked up my first copy of the Guide Book of United States Coins Book by Richard S. Yeoman (this is also called the “red book”), I noticed that there were tons of names and nicknames that coins go by.

It really made my head spin—I had to stop and figure out what was what.  I realized that coins often get nicknames that are more popular than their real name.  Here’s some of the nicknames that you will hear:

Half eagle—this is another name for a United States $5 gold coin.

Eagle—this is a nickname for gold $10 coins that were made up until 1932.  The reason for the nickname is that the coin featured an eagle design on the back.

Trime—this is a nickname for the US three cent coin.  The US mint made this coin in the 1800s.

Double dime—this is a nickname for the 20-cent coin made by the United States mint during the mid-late 1800’s.

Iron dollar—this is a nickname for the US silver dollar from the 1800’s.  The phrase was primarily used in the northeastern portion of the United States, and this phrase was used by people who disliked carrying silver dollars due to their heavy weight.

Mercury dime—this nickname was for the US 10 cent piece that was made between 1916 and 1945.  Even though it was called the Winged Liberty Head dime at the beginning, the name “mercury” dime quickly caught on with the public when it was compared to the Roman god Mercury.

This is just some of the nicknames that you will hear.  Which ones have you heard?

Reader’s help on this great pottery vase

Whenever you go out shopping, you will run across a wide variety of items.  It could be anything from furniture to enamel signs.  There will be times that you will run across something that is great—the only problem is is that you have no idea what the item is.

Not too long ago, this happened to me.  I picked this really cool vase up at a garage sale, and I instantly fell in love with it.

vase (1)

The problem that I have with it is that I have no idea who the artist is and what the pattern is called.  Is it a forest scene?  A forest scene at night time?  At the beach?  At a pond?  I really don’t know what this could be.

vase (2)

It’s also signed BR near the bottom of the vase.  The signature has really stumped me—could you possibly know who the artist is?

Do you know what this could be?  Any information on this beauty would be greatly appreciated!