Searching for Vintage Collectibles
Two of the earliest and most highly sought after Fisher-Price wooden pull toys are being reproduced. They are the #795 Mickey Mouse Drummer originally issued in 1937 and the #185 Donald Duck Xylophone originally issued in 1938. Both original toys in good condition sell for $400-$600; in excellent and better conditions, prices go higher. The reproductions retail for $50-$55 each.
These cast iron bookends weigh a hefty five pounds each. But don't be fooled; they're new.
All collectors and dealers should be aware that any piece with the words L.A. Stamp on it is a fantasy (no original ever existed). The words loosely resemble the legitimate mark of the Los Angles Rubber Stamp Company which signed many of its pieces L.A. RUB. STAMP CO. Use of the false marking on the fantasies was obviously to suggest an appearance of authenticity related to the authentic firm. Most of the fantasy pieces also have misleading dates such as 1884, 1879, 1915 and others.
A number of snuff bottles that imitate ivory are being offered by an American antiques reproduction importer. The bottles are made of bone which has been stained to resemble the patina on antique ivory. The new bottles can be identified as bone not ivory because of the numerous pits and grooves seen under 10X magnification. Wholesale prices for various shapes and designs are 68 each.
These new paper mache pumpkins with wire handles are among the most recent Halloween collectibles to be reproduced. A single manufacturer offers a variety of Halloween items including a wide selection of cardboard diecuts and paper mache figurals. Most items are under 20. Black lights can often, but not always, detect new pieces by making new glue and new paper fluoresce.
Original Marx playsets are among the most complex and elaborate toys ever made for a middle class market. From accessory pieces as small as 316 artillery shells to buildings and bases up to 24 plus action figures, many original playsets included 200400 pieces.
Three Batman comics were reissued in June 1997 by Toys R Us as part of a Batman merchandise promotion. Each of the original reproduced issues is important to collectors because they marked the first appearance of major Batman characters. The reproductions include Book 38, published 1940 introducing Robin; Book 121, published 1959 introducing Mr. Freeze, and Book 359, published 1967, introducing the New Batgirl.
Around 1850, Samuel Peck developed a material made from shellac and wood fiber that became known generically as thermoplastic. Pecks own name for the material was Union.
Stoneware and pottery premiums of the Sleepy Eye Millling Company, which feature the Indian chief Old Sleepy Eye, are much sought after. Among the most difficult original items to find is a 7 stein.
At the turn of the century, Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) was a leader in Arts and Crafts movement. Hubbard, with others who shared his beliefs, founded the Roycroft Community in East Aurora, New York (about 12 miles south of Buffalo).