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.

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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.

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

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Link: Dedham Historical Society

Antique Business: Historic Events and Value

To be in the Antique and Fine Arts Business, history must hold some interest for you; enough interest to search out things from the past. Perhaps this business takes you back to those times or the events when the items you’ve discovered were produced, and this is an important connection in your life at some level. When I discover a great painting, I feel as if I knew the artist, because I am holding his work in my hands. Have you ever had that feeling?

 

The news coverage of this presidential election and the current news coverage of Hurricane Gustav has made me think about other events in our history. People’s memories are often short, but to the Collector of Historical Items, these events are forward in their mind and close to their heart. Those of us in this business have a deep appreciation for history, and this appreciation can help fatten our wallets and help to provide for our families by connecting those items we’ve found with a collector who is seeking them.

So what might be the historical events collectors seek items from?

On my local front, The Chicago Fire caused many stories to be created about its source. Did Mrs. O’Leary’s cow really kick over the lantern that set the whole city ablaze? If you come across items associated with this fire, there are many collectors who’d have great interest in this. How about events in your region of the country?

The Great San Francisco Earthquake is a great part of U.S. Western history. Even today, all the stories about future quakes are compared to that one. I am sure there are great pieces from this era that can only be found by looking in every old trunk you run across.

What could be more vividly etched in our minds than 9/11 or the assassination of President Kennedy? I can’t count the times I’ve heard people reciting exactly where they were when these events happened.

Remember the Martin Luther King letters I told you about? They were found by a friend of mine in a box lot at a local auction house who holds auctions twice a month. He bought them for next to nothing. It wouldn’t surprise me, if today, these letters could bring over $10,000.

How about the original copy of the Declaration of Independence that was found behind a two dollar print? At one time, an auction house estimated this to be worth over $3.5 million. Since that time, this document has been sold at auction, however, I don’t remember the exact hammer price. You can be certain is was quite substantial.

In our hunt for items from history, we should always remember that most of these items aren’t discovered out in the open. Rather, they’re hidden in trunks, basements, attics, behind cheap framed prints, or in scrapbooks or shoeboxes just waiting for us to uncover them. Even if they are out in the open, most eyes can’t recognize them, because many people who see them don’t have the knowledge of history necessary to know their value.

The story of a box of several dozen love letters written by a sailor during the Second World War brought great interest to me recently. The article seemed to infer that these letters would have significant historical value, and therefore, dollar value. Why did this interest me? Because the day I saw that story, we had just purchased 147 letters from a Confederate Soldier written to his wife. If the first letters, written sixty years ago, were considered valuable, how about letters written 160 years ago during the Civil War – one of the most significant events in this country’s history?

Only so many Tiffany Glass pieces or Rookwood Pottery items were produced, but the number of items that have historical content are unlimited. This gives us a great opportunity each day to find one of these treasures, if we’ll only look.

I am sure that you can think of many more events from the past as well as the people associated with them, either nationally or local to your area. If these events mean something to you, they might also have importance to others. And they might hold some surprise value when a Collector wants to buy it from you. Who knows? A Historical Society or Museum might even be interested.

If you have found anything of historical significance, please send me an email describing it and I will share it with the rest of our members.

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Civil War Collectibles

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club 

 

Civil War Era Lyon & Healy Snare Drum is offered for $1,195 at Shotwell Antiques

It’s been a fabulous few days in Baltimore. We visited three ships and a submarine in the harbor. But, the highlight of the day was when a Mexican sailing ship pulled into dock with all the sailors in their white military uniforms. The officers had chests full of medals and you could see their national pride. A formal presentation welcoming the captain to Baltimore by some dignitaries followed.

This put me in a “pride of country mood,” so tomorrow we are going to Gettysburg, the one place often cited as the turning point of the Civil War. I have been reminded of my faith in God and Country by this trip and of how thankful I am to be a citizen of the United States of America. Where else could we have had the opportunity to start the 31 Club, a club that is helping so many people?

The Civil War has produced some of the most collectible items that the world has ever known. This is a field of collecting that can be started for very little money, while the better items can command prices we probably never would have dreamed of. A collection can be started with a single bullet from the war era for a dollar or two.

If you find items used in the war, the are plenty of collectors out there and the rewards will astonish you. Confederate and Union swords can bring tens of thousands in the market place today. A single drum at auction might top $10,000 or more. A uniform could top $100,000 if it belonged to the right person, and weapons have no upper limit. I have seen a single button from a uniform bring thousands of dollars. If the items have records to connect them to a soldier, this will double or triple its value.

The exciting news for you is that Civil War memorabilia is plentiful, and there are many books written on the values of these today. This is one of the areas that our members should familiarize themselves with. Price Guides always come in handy like Warman’s Civil War Collectibles Identification And Price Guide and Illustrated Catalog of Civil War Military Goods: Union Weapons, Insignia, Uniform Accessories and Other Equipment

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Take a look at our Gallery of Fine Art Paintings by Listed Artists, here.

What Makes a Collectible Valuable to the Collector

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

Dealing in Antiques & Collectibles

 

Pauline Pottery, 10″ tall, sold at Craftsman’s Auction March 2006 for $2,880.

Often the one thing that makes a collectible so valuable is that there was enough production by the company so that anyone can find pieces to start a collection. Usually a budding collector starts with a less valuable item and then works his or her way up to the more expensive pieces.

Let’s take Rookwood for an example. If you’re collecting, you might make your first purchase of Rookwood in the commercial wares area of their production. A simple vase might fit the bill. But, as you advance in the collection, the artist signed pieces will become more appealing to you. Yes, they will be far more expensive, but over time you will have become more knowledgeable and realize that this is where the true investment will be. This is true of Roseville, Weller, Van Briggle, Teco and many other pottery companies whose production was expansive, and is a great way for the novice to learn as their collections grow without making too many mistakes.

But why is this important to us? We want to buy and sell, right? Yes, but unless we can get into the mind of the collectors — our customers — our buying will be more about ourselves and not about the ones we want to sell our treasures to.

There is an exception to this type collecting. There are some collectors who buy the rare items from companies who had only a limited production. In the industry, we refer to this type of collector “the advanced collector.” Pauline Pottery, produced right here in Chicago and then later in Wisconsin, is an example of an item an advanced collector might look for.

The Pauline Company was in business for only 10 years from 1883 until 1893. This lets you know that the number of pieces they produced would be very limited, and I doubt you will find many people that have a large collection of their pottery. However, this is where the advanced collector steps in. He wants one of the better pieces from the Pauline kilns to show the diversity of his collection. The pitcher that sold on ebay brought over $500, and even though it did nothing for me personally, I can see why a collector would want it in their collection.

The main problem with purchasing this type of merchandise is that there will always be a limited market for the company’s wares unless the item is exceptional. Don’t get stuck with common pieces by unknown companies because they will be yours forever. If you do see an exceptional item, but don’t recognize the mark, this is a time to get very stingy with your money. This is also an excellent way to find a Treasure while taking very little risk.

In the case of Pauline, the mark is a very indistinct crown with no writing but perhaps the artist’s initials. Their second mark just says “Pauline Pottery.” I suggest you keep your eyes out for very large and decorative pieces by this company, but leave the lesser ones alone. If you find that special piece of Pauline, I think that you should be able to buy it very reasonably. Therefore, your profit should meet our goals of at least doubling our money on our purchases.

Remember to tune into the AuctionWally BlogTalk Radio program on Monday. I am Auctionwally’s special guest and you can call in your questions. I hope I hear from you.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Take a look at our Gallery of Fine Art Paintings by Listed Artists, here.

How to Vacation Free with Antiques, Collectibles & Paintings

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

I traveled to Baltimore yesterday so my wife, Vickie, could attend a business conference, and Joshua and I could visit with my other son, Lawson. In past years, I went out to look for treasures as she participated in the scheduled events and classes. This year started out different, however.

It was a task being ready for the early morning taxi. We allowed plenty of time to arrive early and get through security at O’Hare – that is, of course, if the taxi showed up. Six calls later to the taxi company, each time being told the driver is five minutes away was not the way to start the day. We finally called another company, but by this time it was 9:30. It was not likely we’d make our 10:30 flight. But, the second taxi company made good on their word, and as we were pulling out of the driveway, wouldn’t you know it — the other taxi appeared. We all smiled and waved goodbye to him as we burned rubber on the way out.

Rushing out of the taxi to check our bags, we were told the plane had already closed its doors, so we spent three hours hanging around the airport before we caught the next flight. Vickie missed the day’s sessions, but we did have a wonderful meal with my older son and his wife once we arrived. I do hope to treasure hunt tomorrow, but I am wondering what could happen next.

When you are visiting another part of the country on a trip, be sure to
look for items that are out of place there. For example, if you are on the East Coast, look for West Coast paintings. By doing this, your chances improve for finding a treasure. Remember, I found the painting by Kentucky artist Harvey Joiner on the East Coast. The market for this painting was in Kentucky. That’s when $240 turned into $3700. That isn’t so bad for a country boy.

On several past trips to Baltimore, I found items that fattened my
wallet quite well. I once purchased a painting from an antique store for $500 that was later sold for $2500. And the store shipped it to me in Chicago. I’ve also found pottery such as Rookwood and Roseville priced to my liking on these trips. I used to have a rule that no matter where I traveled, I could pay for the trip plus turn a fair profit for myself by selling the things I bought on the trip. As your knowledge increases, you should be able to do this, too.

PS : I hope to hear from a lot of you on Monday on the AuctionWally BlogTalkRadio Show at 8PM Eastern Time.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Take a look at our Gallery of Fine Art Paintings by Listed Artists, here.

Walrath Pottery – A Coveted American Art Pottery

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

 

Example of Walrath Pottery valued in the thousands of dollars.

This past weekend, I saw Rosville and Weller pottery well overpriced and wondered how anyone could turn a profit if they purchased these pieces at those prices. This seems to be the norm today, and the reason why so many dealers are having a hard time selling their inventory. At the Arlington Show I attended last month, it seemed to me that items such as Grueby, Newcomb and Rookwood were priced out of sight. I wonder if perhaps these pieces are being purchased by dealers at prices too inflated for today’s markets.

The secondary market should set the prices for us to use as a guide when we purchase, and if we find pieces priced even beyond that, where can we hope to go with them? Yes, the best are bringing record prices, but that isn’t so when it comes to the medium or lower priced items.

A name that might bring you great returns, should you find a piece is Frederick Walrath. Walrath was an exceptional potter and his work is coveted by the most serious collectors of American Art Pottery. Walreth died in 1920, and his better vases can easily command five figures and his less serious pieces will bring in the hundreds. The pieces I’ll be discussing are the ones he produced in Rochester, New York, however he did work at one time for the Newcomb Pottery Company of New Orleans.

His work is marked Walrath Pottery” with a mark that looks like a cross bow between the two words. This is the kind of item that most people will pass, or have very little knowledge of what its true value should be. When you find a special piece of Walrath, this is the time to be patient and check all your connections before pricing it on the market. Here is where you can really compound your investment. While others are struggling to break even on the more known pieces like Roseville, Weller and Van Briggle, you will have your money ready for those special pieces of Walrath when the opportunity presents itself. Patience will be your guide to success.

This weekend was a prefect example of what I am talking about. Thinking I was going to buy several items at a sale I attended, my plan wasn’t fulfilled. I made a pass at several items that would have been good buys at the price I offered, but my offer wasn’t a deal maker. I only purchased one piece from this sale, keeping my other funds in my pocket for another day.

I knew the Rookwood lamp at this sale was exceptional, and I knew I had to own it. But, even as sure as I was that I’d found my treasure for the week, I called a good friend in Cincinnati to confirm my judgment. He assured me that the lamp was a fantastic buy. In my judgment, this piece is very special and should go to auction for the best results. Remember, we aren’t in a hurry because the compounding of our funds will create wealth for us, not the quantity of pieces we buy and sell.
So add Walrath Pottery to your growing list of things to watch for. By now, if you have followed my blog, that list should contain several items that could change your prospective of this business.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on Amazon.com. If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

Take a look at our Gallery of Fine Art Paintings by Listed Artists, here.