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A Collector’s Look in the Rear View Mirror and the Road Ahead

Last season, a flea market with lookers and few buyers

Last season, a flea market with lookers and few buyers

Reflection is good for the soul, and as the new year is upon us, it’s time to look back and then plan for the future. As a dealer, this last year was not kind to me. We have seen signs from many sources that business in the collectibles market has turned around.

From the standpoint of a collector, I have my sites set on bettering some of the items I collect. This last year I found very little that went into my personal collections, rather most of my hunting and buying were pieces I intended to sell. It’s almost selfish to think in terms of keeping collectibles for my own pleasure, but if I start by writing them down, hopefully I’ll add to my own treasure trove and not for someone else.

Here are the top ten items I will be looking for this new year.  And when you have a moment, write down your want list too.

Sconce style light fixture

Sconce style light fixture

First and foremost, I’m looking for light fixtures for a powder room we are in the process of remodeling. The difficulty I’m having in my search is three-fold, I would need two sconce type lights from the 1930s to match the age of our cottage.  This room has a slanted or cathedral celling and anything that hangs down will not work. Oh, and third, I’m frugal so price is an issue.

Stain glass window

Stain glass window

Probably the most expensive item I would like to find is another stained glass window. I have installed several already, one in the main bathroom and one in the main floor powder room. Another is in the window above our kitchen sink. I have a pass thru opening between our kitchen and sunroom and would like to add a decorative window tall enough to fit, and cheap enough to excite my check book.

Bowling balls on bird bath bases

Bowling balls on bird bath bases

I’m always on the lookout for interesting yard art as past articles will confirm. I think I’ve reached my limit on bowling balls in my yard, but I’ll be on the lookout for birdbath bases to raise some existing bowling balls off the ground. Oh, if some friend or relative happens to drop off another one or if one pops up at a yard sale for next to nothing, my collection will again grow.

Green Bay Packer parker

Green Bay Packer parker

And we just added two Green Bay Packer items to our yard art, a wooden Packer on a swing and a Packer Fans Only parking sign.  Packer memorabilia, you cheer your team, I’ll collect anything from mine.  Lobby call box

Lobby call box

This last year I sold several examples of brownstone lobby call boxes. The kind with a bell button to ring a resident and then speak into a voice tube or hand set with the occupant on the floor above. This one was the hardest for me to sell and if I do find another I’ll be very tempted to install it at our front entrance just for show.

Pink and green ice buckets

Pink and green ice buckets

Depression glass ice bucket

Depression glass ice bucket

Cobalt blue ice bowl

Cobalt blue ice bowl

Ice buckets; one can never have too many. Most of mine are depression glass in a rainbow of colors. Two are in cobalt blue, smaller and called ice bowls. I’ll be looking for one with the name of a hotel or restaurant engraved in silver.  I suppose the next step in this collection would be adding buckets from the nineteen-fifties, a time when every basement was converted into a rec-room and just had to have a bar setup.

My first Hydrant

My first Hydrant

No, I don’t want or need another fire hydrant.   And if one comes my way it better be free, delivered and set up in my yard. Three is two too many.

Metal wall decor

Metal wall decor

I’m also looking for matching metal art, flat pieces in aluminum that might have graced a screen door or hung on a wall. I have one such decoration in our lower powder room and want to affix a set to a pair of closet doors that are devoid of any pattern of decoration. So far every set I have found was made of steel and weighed a ton.

Lionel train

Lionel train

This time of year, I’m reminded by wifey that my Lionel train set is in the attic, and next year we have to set it up for the holidays. Fine but neither engine works. That’s another item that needs to be on my list for this year’s hunting. For some reason, every one I have seen has been in worse shape than mine.

Beautiful antique movie camera

Beautiful antique movie camera

Cameras were my first serious collection. I have sold many fine old cameras over the last few years but rare examples still have a special display case waiting for them.

 

So wish me luck in this new year and I’ll do the same for you. Let’s all have the fun of the hunt, and the thrill of scoring some great finds this year. And look for me in every antique shop, flea market or antique show, I’ll either be buying or selling and often both in the same place.

 

 

 


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