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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Auction House Fees Out of Line

Fees, Fees, and More Fees. When Did Our Belongings No Longer Belong to Us?

There was a time when a person could take his belongings to an auction house and pay a 5% fee on the final sales price for the service. That left 95% for the seller. Not any more.

 

 

Auction houses today increased the sellers fees, particularly for less expensive items. I’d say the average fee is about 25% with fees up to 50% for less expensive items. But still, this wasn’t enough dough. So, the auction houses began to charge the buyers a fee to buy. These fees run 20-25%. Now they get paid on each side of the sale, so this caused buyers to reduce their bids. This reduced bid affected the sellers final price.

Wow! Sellers went from getting 95% of the sales price to under 50%. I may be an old fossil, but when did our belongings no longer belong to us? When did we gain an equal partner in our own belongings?

Next came the eBay stores, a place where the seller took their things to a public place who listed them for the seller on eBay. Their fees were up to 40% of the sales price. eBay got up to their 15% and Paypal got up to their 5%. I’d say that leaves the seller 40% of the sales price for their own stuff. That makes you an unequal partner in your own belongings. Fortunately most of these operations died a quick death, as they should have.

But, now there’s a new plan emerging.

The seller finds a company to appraise their items, then that company consigns them to the auction they think fits them best. And yes, there is a fee for this. It can be 5% or more. (This might seem fair if the customer was able to obtain a discount from the auction house. Like 10% off their regular seller fees.) Let’s do some math. 5% for the company who consigns your own belongings to auction, 20-25% to the auction house when they sell your belongings, another 2-5% in fees for insurance and advertising for your belongings, and then whoever buys your stuff gets charged 20-25%. Please tell me where else someone gets charged to buy something – other than a government sales tax?

By the time you’re done with the transaction it comes to 46-60% in fees paid to a company to sell your own stuff. You, the seller, would end up with about 48%.at best. I wonder how long the public will put up with this. You just started out wanting to sell you own belongings for a fair fee, didn’t you? I’ll let you decide what is fair.

 

Taking on the big boys like this doesn’t make me the most popular man in town. But, I”m not expecting to win any popularity contests. Just trying to protect you, the seller and the buyer and offer something better than what’s out there.

 

That’s why I ask you to take a look at the 31 Club Gallery & Marketplace when you want to sell your high quality items. We offer much lower fees than anywhere else you’ll find. And buyers, there is never a fee to buy from us. Buyer and seller will benefit most by becoming a member of the 31 Club. Look here for fee details.

If anyone has comments and opinions on the auction house fee situation, please make a comment here. I think this is a very important subject.

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 — partner up with 31 Club on high quality treasures you find. You find, we buy, we sell, you net 35%.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Dealers, making more money than they thought possible. Join Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club, today.

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

Check out the new Paintings and new items in our Gallery and Marketplace here.

Carnival Glass: Stay Current with Trends

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club

Building Personal Wealth Trading Antiques, Fine Art, & Collectibles

For some time, I’ve told you how very important it is to stay current with the trends so you won’t make mistakes. Well, I guess I will have to take some of my own medicine, because I am surprised how far off I was on the trend in rare Carnival Glass.

Some of the Carnival Glass I sold only two or three years ago have tripled or more in value since then. I was talking to Cecil about the Carnival Glass Blue People’s Vase that brought in over $31,000 and he began to laugh. At first I wanted to punch him because I thought he didn’t believe me. But, that wasn’t the case. He showed me that in the latest Mordini Records on Carnival Glass, this piece sold for over $100,000. If Carnival Glass in of interest to you, you can get the Mordini Records for a very reasonable amount each year.

At this point, I have to admit my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to know what some other pieces I sold were worth today. According to the records, a plate I sold for $5000 sold for over $17,000 and a punch set that brought me $4500 listed near $20,000. I wanted to quit looking.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sorry I sold these pieces. After all, the profits were quickly reinvested and I’ve kept my money moving and compounding. I was more upset I haven’t kept current on their prices. You see, if I passed a great piece because I wasn’t prepared by staying current on prices, this could have been my misfortune.

You can be assured that Rare Carnival Glass will be added to the What’s Hot List, and I’ve learned a lesson. But remember, not all Carnival Glass is desirable. Look for pastel colors and unusual pieces. Vintage pieces in red will definitely make you a happy camper if you come across them.

Today’s Photo: A rare Fenton 3-Toed Bowl in Grape & Cable Pattern. This bowl is in the Showroom and Museum of Replacement’s, Ltd.

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Vienna Bronze: Secrets & Values

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club

Learning to Trade in Antiques & Collectibles to Grow Personal Wealth 


You may be familiar with Vienna bronzes, but today I might surprise you with a real secret. When you talk to people about bronzes, they usually envision large 2′ or more figurines that may sell for over $100,000. But, they often miss the smaller pieces that can be special in their own right.

I’ve been buying, what are called “cold painted bronzes” for many years, most of them being dogs. These little treasures are bronze figures that are painted to look life like, and most of these pieces will have a foundry mark.

Since I was a canine collector, these very life-like Vienna bronze sculptures appealed to me, and they were also easy to sell for better than average profits. These were small pieces that were less than 4 inches long, and I’d buy them for $2 to $10.

I attended a sale and found five of these on a table, and if my memory serves me right, I think it cost me under $30. Once I was out of hearing range, I let out a huge howl. You see, I may have just bought 5 of these pieces knowing each one would return me at least $500.

Here’s a few examples of the prices of these special treasures: Braye Bull 11 ¾ inches $3450, Bergman Arabs 8 inches $1540. Fredericks bronzes can sell for over $50,000. Mene 13 inch dog $$3500 and Wien animals from $500 up. The prices for these bronzes are usually very friendly when you find them at garage sales or estate sales.

Figurines marked by Bergman bring in thousands of dollars in today’s market, and are a real find. If you find one of these, and it’s real, you can be assured you have found treasure. But, all of this is not the real secret I had in mind for you today.

What do you do with a piece you find marked NAM GREB? You grab it and don’t let it go. Why?

 

The secret of NAM GREB:

Most of us who do something that is a little naughty want to hide it. Often times, this hold true in art as well. You see the Bergman Company was a well established company who made quality bronzes, but they also wanted to step out and make some erotic pieces for their customers. So, not to smear their image, they marked these erotic pieces with the name of Bergman spelled backwards: NAM GREB.

Often these erotic pieces were hinged, but when you looked at them they looked very conventional. However, when you opened them up, there was usually a nude woman standing there in front of you. One is a mummy opening to a nude lady. This little beauty is worth close to $5,000. I once found one of these priced at about $800. I purchased it and then sold it for close to $5,000. Now you know the secret, and may good fortune smile upon you.

Learn Antique & Collectible Treasure Hunting Skills and Put a Turbo Charge on your money making skills. Join Me at the 31 Club and get FREE Mentoring.

You’ll Learn Inside the Industry Secrets that help you increase your profits. Then Learn to Grow Your Money Exponentially, Buying and Selling only Antiques, Fine Art, and Collectibles with the Strategic Plan 31 Club Members follow. Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Dealers, making more money than they thought possible. Join today.

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

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