What it's Worth
THE MOTHER OF ALL HOUSE CALL STORIES, PT. 1
GORHAM MANUFACTURING TIDBITS
When people think of fine silver and stained glass, they think of Tiffany – but one of Tiffany’s major competitors was Gorham, which was very active in making similar items and competed with Tiffany aggressively.
Gorham artisans made stained glass windows for churches and buildings all over the U.S. The finest silversmiths in the world worked for...
THE RICH HISTORY OF CHICAGO ARTS & CRAFTS
The Arts & Crafts movement was, by most acounts, a direct response to the industrial revolution’s “make-it-quick-with machinery” era.
COLLECTING A TROUBLING PAST
We have always been puzzled by the popularity of collectible stereotypical items like African-American, Asian-American and Native-American memorabilia. These items were all the rage during America’s troubled past. Today, our customer base for black memorabilia is often people of color who seek objects from the most painful chapter in American history. (...
AUCTIONS: WHAT SELLS. WHAT DOESN’T.
Today, I want to talk about pieces that actually sold at auction.
We have talked in the past about the difference between retail value, insurance value, fair market value and liquidation value. Most think that the typical definition of fair market value is the auction price for a willing seller with a willing buyer, with neither under financial...
WHY YOUR “AWESOME FIND” IS PROBABLY WORTHLESS
Treasure hunting is a national pastime. Miners look for veins of gold or chunks of rare gems. Folks search for buried treasure with their metal detectors and giant, well-funded ships search for 18th century galleons full of gold coins.
Lots of people find treasures, big and small, every day. However, this week, we thought we might...
Do You Have A Museum-Worthy Piece To Donate?
At least once a week, an individual asks our opinion on whether to donate a family heirloom to a museum.
We generally encourage this if certain conditions are met. If a) it’s an important piece that will actually be exhibited, b) there has been a thorough examination by your attorney and accountant, c) it offers a true benefit to...
The Incredible, Collectible Leica
Vintage Leica cameras were manufactured in Germany starting in 1914 and certain models are still made there today. They are considered among the most prestigious in a camera aficionado’s collection.
The Value And Fascination Of Old Money
Most people know that large-size old currency notes are worth money, but did you know that some modern and Confederate currency is valuable? Old currency is fun to collect, and we have longtime customers who are serious collectors with ready cash.
Since the 1930s, American paper bills have been the same size as today – 6 inches wide....
Ships’ Clocks: Keeping Time With Precision
Ships’ clocks have been a staple on military vessels for over 300 years. They vary in value from $400 for a Hamilton non-gimbaled 1940s-era clock, which is basically an oversized pocket watch, to $500 – $2,000 for a gimbaled, boxed Hamilton, to thousands for a marine chronograph that is free sprung with helical hair springs.