Searching for Collectibles
New copies of vintage photo postcards are commonly represented as old. Many of the new cards are made in Connecticut with over 200 different subjects such as baseball stars, advertising, railroad scenes, autos, motorcycles and other vintage images. Cards are sepia tone (brown) images and are true photographs not halftone images made on a printing press.
When the general public used to bring us stuffed shoe boxes, we never knew what we'd find. Some times it was treasure from an attic gold mine; other times just vintage trash years overdue for the landfill. Now, nine out of ten times, those shoe boxes contain baseball cards. Between Ken Burn's Baseball series on the Public Broadcasting System(PBS) and well publicized auction prices, it seems everyone, including general line antiques dealers, have been infected with baseball card craziness.
Quiltmaking in America has traditionally been an individual craft or the work of a small group. The limited number of quilts produced this way were primarily for personal and family use. But today, copies of American quilts are being mass produced by hand in low-wage countries such as China, India and Haiti. Sold in catalogs, department stores and discount chains, new quilts are now drifting into the collector's market and being sold as old. This article will discuss some of the differences between quality traditional work and the imports.
The flood of farm and country wood pieces from China has taken a new turn. Pieces are now being reworked to include well known national brand names.
Heres something different, new rugs with the names of commercial perfume companies. The two shown here are for Iris Blanc by Q. Fleur and Eau de Cologne by Evrard Chartres. No authentic early perfume advertising is known on similar rugs.
The latest wave of new match safes includes fraternal, figural and advertising pieces. Most are direct copies of well known originals. All of the match safes shown above are new brass reproductions. Average price is under $30 each.
This new 15 by 22-inch menu chalkboard is printed on hardboard. The artwork is copied from a vintage original. The clock is operated by a single AA battery. Corners and chalk tray are brass. The surface is distressed to resemble age and normal wear.
Trade reports from Asia suggest that cinnabar is no longer being made in China. The situation is blamed on plastic factories from Taiwan which specialize in reproduction cinnabar. Mainland workers claim plastic has all but destroyed the trade in traditional handmade Chinese cinnabar.
These 5-inch Black Americana reproduction kitchen hooks were copied from pieces first sold in the 1940-1950s. Originals are made of poured plaster. The reproductions are made of cast plastic. Reproductions are being offered for $35 a pair. That price is about the selling price of originals which is only about $30 to $40.
This new marble toy made of wood is similar to late 19th century tabletop parlor games. It resembles an old baseball field measuring 24 by 24 by 15 inches. Players at home base shoot steel marbles into various pockets.