Buy Dad a gift that is old, unique or vintage for Father’s Day. Find an antique or collectible that relates to his job, hobby or interest. Here are five ideas to get you started.
1. The mechanic father or the Dad who likes to work on cars might enjoy anything petroliana. Tin or porcelain gas station and automobile advertising signs, road signs, gas pump globes, license plates or even an old traffic light ($144) could be decorative additions to his work space.
2. The sportsman father might appreciate an antique fishing creel ($40-$1,000), rod or lure ($18 to $3,000), a golf club with a wooden shaft and head ($25 to $2,000) or nautical items including navigational instruments, maps or an old sea chest.
3. The do-it-yourself father may like 19th century tools. Molding planes carved from wood, homemade saws and axes and even folding rulers can be used as decorations or for special building projects. Many examples sell for a few hundred dollars.
4. Father enjoys an occasional cigar? Smoking accessories from pipes and humidors to cigar cutters and tins are available. Even collectors who have stopped smoking buy them. Old cigarette lighters, made by companies such as Dunhill, Zippo and Ronson, are functional and artistic and have been going up in price. Look especially for engraved lighters and lighters from World War II. Least expensive are table lighters.
5. Does Dad have a “man cave” that is a work in progress? Frame an old cigar box label. They are intricate, detailed and colorful pieces of art. Or frame an old stock certificate—one that has an autograph of a famous person, an attractive picture or is from a company in which he has interest. Paper stock certificates are rarely used today. Or think bronze, a sculpture of a dog, a golfer or a hero, or medals that commemorate awards or significant events and are designed by known artists would also be handsome additions.
Pictured here is a 5-inch cigar outer label, suitable for framing, that sold for $144 at a Morphy's auction in Pennsylvania.
To hunt for an affordable gift, check local flea markets, antiques shops and antiques malls to find items that are collectible, pertinent, yet "different."