Keep furniture away from a humidifier, especially the type that vaporizes water. The damp air will eventually cause the wooden parts of the furniture to mildew.
Visitors to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., have been awed by 16 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known pieces of the original Hebrew bible, dating from about 400 BC to 300 AD. The scrolls, considered the basis of the Hebrew Bible, were discovered in clay pots in caves in Palestine’s West Bank in the 1940s. The fragments came on the market in 2002 and were bought for an undisclosed amount of money. The had been on display since the museum opened in 2017.
Experts from the company Art Fraud Insights now say the fragments are made from old Roman-era leather, aged and written on. The fragments had been under suspicion from the start. They were part of what is known as the “post-2002” fragments dealers began to selling at that time. Using microscopes and chemical analysis, the Art Fraud team found inconsistencies such as animal glue, which wouldn’t have existed at the time.
The fragments have been removed from the museum.
Photo: Schøyen Collection
Unique times create unique collecting opportunities that will someday be important to historians. One of the numerous acts of community we are witnessing is how many companies are proving “We Are One” by switching production of regular products, in particular beer, vodka and other liquors, to produce much-needed hand-sanitizer. What makes this of note to collectors? Many of the companies are creating unique labels on bottles designed to hold other products. The companies include Louis Vuitton, Tito Vodka, Anheuser Busch, Short Path Distiller, Shine Spirits, Norseman Distillery and Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company as well as local breweries and distilleries.
Many of the sanitizers are only being distributed locally to hospitals and first responders.
If you happen to come across one of these mementos – empty of course! – don’t throw it out. In 25 years, the empty containers will be among the memories of 2020. The bottles will never be worth a fortune, but they may be significant reminders of this global crisis, or wanted by an historical museum one day.
Photos: Tito’s Vodka; Anheuser Busch/InBev; Louis Vuitton; Town Branch Distillery
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Q: I bought this Norman Rockwell figurine about 40 years ago. It’s marked with a bee over the letter “V” and “W. Goebel, W. Germany.” It was listed in a book of plates and figurines at that time for a value of $400. I know prices of old items have dropped quite a bit. Can you let me know how much this figurine is worth today?
A: This figurine, called “Sitting Boy with Pipe,” is part of a series of figurines made by Goebel based on Norman Rockwell paintings that were used on Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. This figurine was designed by Gerhard Bochmann in 1962. The Goebel “three line mark” was used from 1964 to 1972, but this figurine was only made in the 1960s. Norman Rockwell figurines by Goebel sell for under $100.
We hope that you, our readers, are well and safe during the coronavirus quarantines.
If you are looking for some antiquing fun while staying safe at home, you can enjoy antiques and collectibles shopping by just looking at what’s for sale online. There is nothing better than getting comfortable on your sofa — perhaps with a puppy curled up against your hip — and … shopping! Such is the joy for today’s savvy collectors. The vintage bargains are out there. In the last month, we’ve satisfied our urge for Waterford, a collectible within easy reach today because of children not interested in their parent’s collections; a 1950s napkin holder for $5 “just because;” and even a limited edition print that frankly just caught our interest.
The categories are specific enough on websites that you don’t have to scroll through items in which you have no interest. Interested in vintage light fixtures? Go to the search function and type it in. The same for Depression-era glass, pottery, advertising signs, toys, bedroom and dining room sets, bookshelves, garden collectibles, handbags or anything else that catches your interest as you settle deeper into the couch cushions.
Here are the best general sites to find quality items right from your home. As always, don’t forget to check our various links on Kovels.com for sound advice on buying, selling, downsizing and everything in-between.
We have left off some great online sites where you would need to meet with sellers or dealers (a total list is available on this site). And if you see your favorite site missing or have additional places to add, please let us know!
Your cell phone’s camera can be a magnifying glass. Focus on the marking you want to read and go in for a close-up. You can pinch it open on your phone for a closer look. It is great for ceramics or prints, but a little difficult for metal because of glare. No need for a ruler and a magnifier. Now you can go to a show with a dollar bill (a 6-inch ruler) and a phone.
It is the stuff of dreams: You are browsing through a thrift shop, searching for bargains and you inadvertently hit the mother lode — art by a world-famous artist whose works are bought and sold for thousands, if not millions. That’s what happened recently when a shopper at a thrift store in Kitty Hawk, N.C., found a piece by the internationally famous Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Shopper Wendy Hawkins saw an otherwise ignored piece of art buried with a bunch of other paintings sitting on the floor. It was a 1950s woodcut print by Dali that was part of a series of 100 illustrations depicting Dante’s “Divine Comedy” called “Purgatory Canto 32.” It shows a woman in blue standing next to a man in red.
Dali created a series of 100 watercolor paintings — one for each chapter of Dante’s book — that were reproduced as wood engravings. Each of those required about 35 separate blocks to complete the image. Secondhand art was usually priced between $10 and $50 at the thrift store. The authenticated woodcut sold for $1,200. Proceeds from the sale of the print will go to a nonprofit that supports a shelter for runaway teens and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.