Folk Art: Antique Windmill Weights

Just the other day, after I posted a blog about the Whirligigs sought after by collectors, I guess my mind started going back to the days I spent growing up on a farm. Before I knew it, I was researching Windmill Weights. Maybe windmills were on my mind because of the need for this country to find new energy resources. Maybe the windmill images from the T. Boone Pickens commercials were forward in my mind. Only the Good Lord understands the intricacies of my mind. But, boy! I’m glad I did the research. I always thought windmill weights were in the form of animals, birds, moons, or stars, but I was mistaken, and I got quite the education on these folk art collectibles.

In case you’re not as old as I am, I’ll provide a little background info to understand the historical interest in windmill weights. Yesteryear, in parts of rural America and other parts of the world, many farms used windmills to capture the power of the wind to pump water out of wells for use on their land. Windmills also provided the energy to pump well water to fuel the early locomotives. Grain, especially in Europe, was ground by the energy provided by windmills. These windmills had many moving parts, of course, and a windmill weight was one of them.

Today, these weights are very collectible, valuable, and make great folk art. And there are lots of collectors who’d be grateful if you found a real beauty for their collection.

There are four different kinds of windmill weights – the Tail Weight, the Governor Weight, the Spoke Weight and the Regulator Weight. The Tail Weights are the most decorative of all.

There are hundreds of windmill weights to find, and they are still out there in the old barns and sheds. And some are quite valuable. Many of the weights you’ll find are painted, but I learned that this was usually done after the weight had out-lived its usefulness and later became a piece of folk art.

Many times paint is used to disguise a reproduction, however there are many ways to distinguish the real thing from a new reproduction.The best way is to look for rust. When these weights were used, they picked up sand in the rust, and this is what made the finish on the older weights. Watch for holes in the weights. They shouldn’t be straight up and down on the real ones, rather tapered. Any damage can quickly reduce their value.

I was fortune enough to run across the book, Windmill Weights, by Rich Nidey and Don Lawrence. I took a look at a site with some info on their book, and boy – what a head full I got.

I know you’re waiting for some price examples, so here they are:

A Black Bull with white writing, 18X24 inches, $920. Horse standing,white paint,16 X 17 inches, $920. Rooster, writing, Power & Pump Co. , 13 inches, $1495. ARooster by the Elgin Co., 15X19 inches, could bring you over $5000 today.

Today’s Photo comes from Ames Hill Antiques and this 15 inch star weight made by the U. S. Wind Engine & Pump Co. Batavia, Ill. c, 1890. is mounted on a tiger maple stand and has provenance to a Minnesota farm. It’s priced at $2250.

I think you’ll agree that these nifty items are worth looking for.

There is an endless stream of items people collect, and if we find them for collectors (or for ourselves) our coffers will be filled. An old saying I recall says, “Go where others have feared to go.” 31 Club says, “Look where others have failed to look.”

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It.
We Buy & Sell It.
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

Advertisements

Antique Snuff Boxes: Small and Valuable Treasures Worth Sniffing Around For

Swiss Enamel & Gold Snuff Box, circa 1740. Photograph property of M.S. Rau Antiques

I often tell Members of the 31 Club that money in the antique and collectible world can be made with items smaller than a bread box. Besides not taking up too much space in your home until you get them sold, you won’t be faced with transporting these small treasures back and forth, which eats away at your time and erodes your profit. Snuff Boxes and Snuff Bottles certainly qualify as items smaller than a bread box, and they can be quite valuable. Today, I’ll focus mainly on snuff boxes.

Snuff, used for many centuries, is a tobacco that is ground into a very fine powder. It’s sniffed through the nose, tucked behind the lip, or tucked inside the cheek. It came in either a dry form or a moist form.

In Europe, in centuries gone by, the use of snuff was a very popular social ritual, mainly with the elite. Many a high society lady or gent would never leave home without their stylish snuff box and would often have several to choose from. They even had snuff boxes for every season. In China, snuff bottles were very popular, and the bottle stopper had a little pad on the inside of it. The process for use was the same.

In 19th Century America, some women might have smoked cigars in public for its shock value, however, there were far more ladies discreetly using snuff, which was perfectly acceptable. This was Women’s Lib 19th Century style, and it caught on.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and we find that anything to do with snuff has become highly collectible. If you find one for a collector, they’ll pay you handsomely, especially for the right one.

Snuff boxes can be made from almost any material. They were often made of antler, silver, wood, brass, gold, pewter and many others. They also can be a combination of several materials, artistically decorated. Most boxes were decorated with gold or silver, often with the owner’s initials engraved on them. Many were highly decorated, and of course, these are quite valuable. Let’s look at a few values in Kovel’s Price Guide to see if your eyebrows move a little north:

A 3” Gold Enamled Box of a Harbor Scene, c. 1830 valued at $17,250. If that’s too rich for your blood, how about a Metal, Gilt, Musical, engine-turned panels sized at four inches for $14,950. These must have been owned by a very special lady or gent.

$32,500. That’s the price of the snuff box shown in Today’s Photo. Offered at M.S. Rau Antiques, and this Swiss Enamel and Gold Snuff Box, circa 1740, looks like it contains a double ivory portrait,adding to its value. This is a real beauty. When you take a look at all their high end snuff boxes, you’ll have a better idea of the high quality, high end boxes out there.

Remember, we look for the higher end, rare items. As we work our way up the 31 Steps, our ever increasing knowledge of true quality and rarity will help us along the way. Please make every effort to attend antique shows in your area to see high quality items up close and face to face. The first goal is to be able to recognize quality when you see it.

Snuff was not reserved for the high society crowd. We regular folks used it, too. I can still remember the way my Grandmother would quickly sniff a little, sneeze, and then hold her dainty handkerchief to her nose. As a child, I often wondered why she would do this. Maybe to clear her nose, I thought.

Today, snuff is a dying industry. To the ladies and gents of days long gone, aside from being the socially chic thing to do then, that special little high from nicotines was what they were probably after. In those days, the use of snuff also made the dentists very happy, too. It caused many a mouth problem and surely increased the bottom line in the dentists’ books.

If you’re interested in “sniffing out” more information on snuff boxes, you might start by reading Christopher Proudlove’s Blog on Snuff Boxes at WriteAntiques.com and Tobacco.org has a very informative timeline of tobacco that’s quite interesting.

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It.
We Buy & Sell It.
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles , is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

It’s a What? A Whirligig?

If I told you a whirligig could bring in some big money, would you know what a whirligig is and how to spot one?

I always teach that the money in this business is made in the rare. The rare and desirable will keep your money turning, and a whirligig falls into this category.

So what is a whirligig? Think motion. Think action. Then, consider our past as a farming culture. When we were mainly farmers, birds in the fields, pecking away at crops was a real problem. Farmers needed something to scare off the birds without having to constantly have someone on the lookout who could to run out into the fields and wildly flap their arms to get rid them. Enter the whirligig. It’s a type of interesting and creative folk contraption made by a farmer on his time off from the fields, to solve the bird problem. Many will call it a toy, because it brought much delight to children, as well as to adults, but this contraption was designed with a purpose.

Most of these interesting contraptions are made of wood, but they can be made of almost any material. They have moving pieces, and when the wind blows on them, it creates an action. They might remind you of windmills — folksy windmills.

I have seen figural whirligigs whose arms spin and the head moves. These are rather simple, but there are others depicting a person sawing a log or a woman churning butter. With these, you are beginning to touch upon the higher dollar whirligigs. They weren’t actually meant to scare off the birds, but rather to enjoy. These are the ones whose dollar value has escalated so much. The number of these pieces that have survived till now is limited. To the avid collector of these artistic creations, the hunt for them is a labor of love.

Unlike items like duck decoys, whose value escalates when it is signed by a particular artist, whirligigs don’t have to be signed for them to be valuable; the value is in the design.

Here is an example of some whirligig values: Two men turning a fan, articulated limbs, 13X18 inches, valued at $690. 20th Century 12” man wearing black jacket and blue trousers,$1380. Policeman, one arm and band leader the other arm, 20 inches, wooden, $3300. And, a man wearing a pealed hat, blue jacket, and red vest, 21 inches, $6325.

While there are reproductions, a close look will tell you the differences. Look for signs of new paint, modern screws, no patina, poor workmanship and materials not of the time.

There are so many items that have the potential to bring big money, but first we have to know what to look for. If you come across one of these during your hunt, I hope this blog will come to mind. And, if you’re successful in buying it, you might just keep a whirligig for a while before selling it just to amuse yourself.

Today’s Photo comes from Marquisauctions.com.

*******

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It.
We Buy & Sell It.
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

Pardon Our Dust But Expanding is Dusty

The 31 Club is on the march, and with our new listing arm on Askart.com, members who list art work in the 31 Gallery will have the backing of AskArt’s 70,000 daily viewers coming into play. If you’ve been wondering if anything is happening, our tentacle on Ask Art should assure you there’s much work going on behind the scenes.

Our Wish List and Inventory Pages will be tested on Friday, and provided there no bugs, you will soon be able to do your own advertising and bookkeeping right on the 31 Club Members Site. If you haven’t gone onto the Members Only site yet, you might do so now and take a look at the 31 Club Expert Resource. If you decide an auction is the best venue for your particular item(s), our Listing of Specialty Auction Houses is an invaluable resource. Here, we’ve identified the best auction houses to sell an item of a particular category.

Presently, it’s taking some time to get all your listings posted. You can speed up this process by sending us photos sized 640 x 480, including photos of the markings, if any. If you don’t know of a way to re-size your photos, try downloading GIMP. It’s free and you can do a lot of nifty things with this program.

Your listing should include as many details as possible, like they ask for on eBay. Specifically, we need size, artist’s name, the material it’s made of, date or time period if you can determine it, and any markings on the piece. It’s very important to be accurate about its condition, and any damage needs to be specifically identified.

If your items is a painting, please indicate whether or not it’s signed, as well as the location of the signature. (Lower right, lower left, etc.) Is it oil on canvas, oil on board, watercolor, or ink drawing? Make sure this is indicated. Also include the size – framed and unframed.

Include information about provenance, (origins) if there is any. This can increase the value of your item.

Website hits are growing steadily each month, and this will result in more sales and purchases. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we appreciate our charter members who’ve supported while we build an amazing site. Nothing could have been accomplished without those of you who climbed on board with us on this new adventure at a time when the media was writing the epitaph on this business. I know we are the industry leaders when I see others trying to duplicate our efforts. They”ll find that hard to do, considering they don’t have the fantastic and loyal members of the 31 Club behind them.

A 31 Club First – A painting assigned by a member to the Associates Program and purchased by 31 Club will be going to auction in at an internationally known auction house for modern design and art, Wright Auctions, here in Chicago. When it sells, this club member will make 35% of its net sales price without having to had invested a dime.

By month’s end, we should be hitting all cylinders so keep watching and participating with us in the best club in the antique business.

We warmly welcome all suggestions that you feel would benefit our members, so don’t be shy about dropping us a note during are growth and construction phase. We’d love to hear from you.

*******

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It.
We Buy & Sell It.
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

The Green Antique Business

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

Antique Business for Newbies & Seasoned Professionals 


Malachite and Mexican Silver Centerpiece offered at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Yes, going green is the “in” thing to do these days, but we in the Antique Business have been green all along. We don’t follow the crowd, we lead the crowd. You see, we don’t manufacture new products and contribute to the by products associated with this process, rather we recycle and buy existing items to use again and again. These “recycled” items have a life of their own, and we connect these items with those who seek them out – The Collectors. Today, there’s another way to “go green” in the Antique Business. Malachite.

Malachite is a green semi-precious stone that has irregular bands, or rings, running through it. These layers are usually darker than the predominant green of this stone, and it’s very eye appealing. Imitation malachite has very regular black or white banding. Larger deposits of malachite come from Zaire, Siberia and Australia among other places. I believe it is one of the most beautiful stones you can acquire. It is often said to have healing and mystical properties, but I’ll leave that up to you. I’ve linked a site below where you can read more, but don’t forget to research this yourself. That’s how you’ll learn best.

Often, you will find inexpensive pieces of Malachite from the Czech Republic made into small animals, flowers or other designs, but the true value is in larger pieces such as boxes or jewelery cases. I once found a jewelery case made of Malachite and bought it just because I found it to be so beautiful. I didn’t know much about it at the time, and thought my wife would really like to have it sitting on her dresser. I hate to admit this, but when I got home and began researching its value, it didn’t stay in our house very long.

My wife always says I sell everything she likes, and that’s probably true, because she’s got great taste and an eye for quality. However, in this case, an easy couple of thousand dollars quick profit was more than I could resist. I’ve done the same with toys I’ve come across, thinking I’d bring it home for my son, Josh. I guess that doesn’t make me too popular around the house, but we’ve still managed to acquire a quality collection of items, despite this habit of mine.

So why might you be paying attention to Malachite? It’s one item many people overlook, and once you’re aware of the better pieces, you might just find a treasure at that estate sale after all.

We’ve got a beautiful example of a better piece in our 31 Gallery & Marketplace. It’s a centerpiece of Malachite birds and Mexican Silver, and that’s what today’s photo is. You can get the details of this item here.

So, stay “green” and don’t forget the Malachite.

*******

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It.
We Buy & Sell It.
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

Today’s Link:

Malachite

Break Out The Silver Polish

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

The Only Antiques & Fine Art Club Teaching Dealers & Newbies Wealth Building

Have you seen that the price of Gold and Silver are declining? For those of us in the Antique & Collectible business, this decline will make it possible for us to make money buying Gold and Silver items again.

For a long while, the market was adding no value for the rarity or beauty of a piece, only weighing the value of its base metal. But now, these wonderful items, that have lasted the test of time, will once again make sense for us to buy. I’m thinking tea sets, compotes, vases and even silverware at prices that are sensible enough for us to make a fair profit.

Gold jewelry may get to the point where the dealer doesn’t just weigh a piece and quote you the base metal price. I think the metal will always have a value and be a component of the actual value of the item, but other factors will become important. The spread between the offer and bid will again be wider.

A friend of mine came by the house today and showed me some items her elderly aunt took to a company who advertised an event at a local hotel to buy jewelry. She attended with her aunt to oversee this offer. to buy. I’ve been aware of these, what I would call scams, for over year. My friend was smart enough to prevent her aunt from selling these fine pieces for next to nothing, and when I looked at them and she told me what they offered, I don’t believe they even offered the price of the gold. I’d recommend staying away from these types of events.

As prices decline for gold and silver, people will have fewer and fewer places to dispose of their fine jewelry. You see, these so called “merchants” will no longer be able to simply weigh for the gold and silver content and offer you very little. And what do they do with the gold and silver once they “buy” it from you? They melt it down for the metal and then they’ve made their money.

I remember the good old day when I bought a sterling tea pot for a few hundred dollars. No, the silver content wasn’t worth that, but it was produced by a famous silversmith from the late 1700’s. I knew this was a special piece the moment my eyes landed on it. Believe it or not, I called all over the world before finally selling it in Australia for several thousand dollars.

It will be fun again to do our research and look for items that can return us 10 or 20 times our investment. Still, I don’t think this change will affect silver plate or gold plate much, and these items should probably be avoided except in rare cases.

I just can’t resist mentioning that earlier this year I strongly recommended my readers sell their gold and silver. At the time, the price of silver was around $16. I was a little early, because it did go briefly to $20 before coming right back down. At the time I made that recommendation, I had people e-mailing me hate mail, threatening my life and questioning my intelligence for making that recommendation in writing and sending it to the news services. But, of course, these were the people in the business of selling gold and silver to the public.

I stuck to my guns and continued to write about selling silver anyway. You know, I haven’t heard from any of those people again. And now, all their customers who bought at that time have lost a great deal of their investment while the fat cats have already cashed their checks and danced into the sunset. It isn’t over yet. I predict silver be $6-$8 soon enough, and gold will be back to $600 an ounce. Then it will be time for us to load up on it.

*******

Treasure Hunters:

You Find It
We Buy & Sell It
You Net 35%.

Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures You Find. We Do the Rest!!

Sellers:

Sell Your High Quality Items for LOW FEES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.
Keep More of Your Money.

Buyers:

Buy High Quality Items for FAIR PRICES
at 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Professionals
Making More Money than they Thought Possible.

Daryle’s 220 Page Book,
31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your Membership.
Plus You Get FREE MENTORING with Daryle.
Join Today!

Or E-Mail us at info@31corp.com

Dedham Pottery Find

31 Club Members Travel From Ohio to Shop with Daryle


Dedham Turkey Plate is offered in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

 

31 Club Members, Ron & Mary, traveled from Ohio to spend the day antiquing with Daryle.

 

As I mentioned in Sunday’s Blog, I had the opportunity to spend the day hunting for antiques with 31 Club members, Mary and Ron, who traveled from Ohio to visit with me. One of the high points that day was the discovery of a Dedham Turkey plate. I was able to purchase it at a very fair price, and it is now offered in our 31 Gallery & Marketplace, here. This isn’t the first time a Dedham piece has been good to me.

Several years ago, I was shopping and spotted a strange looking five inch pitcher among items sitting on a table. It had a strange design, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I must have picked it up and put it back down four or five times before taking it to the sales table and asking the dealer what their best price would be. The dealer wanted $175, which seemed ridiculous to me. But, there was something about this piece that was gnawing at me. So, without knowing what I had in my hand, I offered $100. The dealer said no, but she’d take $125. I had to think about that for a minute, and, as I’ve taught you before, I never put the piece back down until I made my final decision. I decided to take it at $125.

It was a very different piece with an owl on one side and a rooster on the other. I don’t remember the rest of the design, but it had the appearance of being crazed all over, and the mark on its bottom was smeared and not legible. Somehow, I just knew it was special.

When I got home and did some homework, I found out it was a Dedham piece called the “Day and Night” pitcher. I sold it very close to $1,000. There is a lesson here. If something seems to stand out as you are searching, it might be your subconscious memory telling you that it’s special. In fact, you might have seen it in a book, magazine or at an auction at one time and had forgotten it but your subconscious hadn’t. In today’s guides, I see that this pitcher now sells for a little less than what I sold it for, but to me back then, it was a real home run.

The Dedham company was founded in 1872 in Chelsea, Massachusetts by the Robertson family. Dedham went through several transitions and finally closed for good in 1943 during the war. They became very famous for their crackle ware, most of which featured animals, flowers and other natural motifs.

Just to list a few of their better known pieces, the Polar Bear 8 ½ plate lists in Kovel’s Price Guide for only $10.18, while the Lily 6 ¼ brings $1150. A real treasure is the Thistle 8 ½ inch plate signed by Hugh Robertson, listed for $2970. They also made vases, and most of these bring big money from $2000 up.

There are some authorized reproductions of Dedham, and further information on these are available at the Dedham Historical Society.

This is definitely a company’s wares you should keep in mind while searching in the field. that you should keep in your mind while searching in the field.

*******

Buyers — Buy High Quality Items for Fair Prices at 31 Gallery and Marketplace.

Sellers — Sell your High Quality Items for Low Fees at 31 Marketplace and Gallery.

Treasure Hunters You Find, We Buy, We Sell, You Net 35%. Partner Up with 31 Club on High Quality Treasures you simply find.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Dealers, making more money than they thought possible. Join Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club, today. and get FREE MENTORING in the Antique Business.

My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. Join Today!

Link: Dedham Historical Society