Searching for Vintage Collectibles

Beaded Purses Copied

New glass beaded purses are being made in India and are now offered by several mail order catalogs for $95-115. If original, such pieces sell for $200-300 and some even higher. There are several ways to detect the reproductions. --- Virtually all original pre-1940 beaded purses have die stamped metal frames. The new purses have cast metal frames. Die stamping almost always leaves the same design on the reverse side of the frame as on the front. Cast frames have a design on the front only and nearly always have a rough surface and at least some grinding marks.

Comrades... it is a glorious warehouse find

Mother Russia finally seems to be learning the ways of capitalism. Warehouse finds of surplus junk from the former Soviet Union are pouring into Western markets. Items available include everything from clocks out of army tanks to this Lenin banner. With the new Russian republics starved for hard currency, these items are being hawked with the enthusiasm usually seen only in Western infomercials about firm buttocks and sharp knives. Many items look older than they really are because they were shoddily made and poorly designed. Know what you're getting before plunking down your hard earned rubles.

New CocaCola vendor badge

This new CocaCola badge has just appeared. It measures 1 3/4 in diameter, is slightly convex (dome shaped) and has a pin back. It has the CocaCola script trademark embossed in the center with the embossed words Vendor License above and below the script. The badge is made of solid brass. Our sample arrived with a dark antique patina that we had to partially remove before photographing the front side. The back is shown with the patina undisturbed. Price was $5 wholesale. No old counterpart was ever made.

Lawn and Garden Cast Iron

Reproductions of cast iron outdoor furniture and lawn ornaments have been appearing in large numbers since the mid1990s. Many pieces not widely reproduced up until that timesuch as fountains, birdbaths, chairs, benches, urns, planters and fountainsbegan to be copied from vintage originals. Wholesale prices for new items range from $30 to $475.

Civil War Prints

A United States source sold a series of 50 different new prints with scenes and portraits from the American Civil War (see list below).

Cast iron or wrought iron?

Ornamental ironwork is generally of two types, wrought or cast. Cast iron is made in molds; wrought iron is formed, or forged, by hand. Cast iron is generally a means of mass production dating primarily from the mid 18th century on; wrought iron has been worked since ancient times.

Art Nouveau Snail Lamp with Art Glass Shade

This new Art Nouveau styled metal snail lamp is available with a variety of new art glass shades which form the shell. The shade shown here is blue iridescent with millefiori sections and white trailing vines smoothed into the surface. Other shades include plain gold iridescent and plain blue iridescent. The new shades are extremely thick, typically 1/4 or more at the bottom rim. Two metal spring clips hold the shade; original period lighting is more securely held with set screws. This new lamp is not a copy of a specific original lamp but rather a copy of the general Art Nouveau style such as the vintage example shown below. The new lamp and shade wholesale at $145.

Amber Fakes

In Jurassic Park, scientists create living dinosaurs from dinosaur DNA taken from blood sucking prehistoric insects preserved in amber. New pieces of fake amber with insects are now on the market to supply the demand apparently created by the popular book and movie.

Sleds and Sleighs

Rivets are illogically placed on the bottoms of new sleigh runners. The rivet heads would wear off with use. No vintage sleigh runners are constructed in this manner.

Horse Toys

There are several varieties of reproduction toy and hobby horses on the market. These include rocking horses, platform horses, combination platform/rocking horses, small carousel-type figures, tricycle-styled horses and stick horses.