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London Tea Room Postcard

Every month, the Kovels.com Top 10 list shows the interests of the collectors that visit the website. During August 2012, antique enthusiasts were busy researching:

  1. Postcards
  2. Insulators
  3. Bottle
  4. Occupied Japan
  5. Coca Cola
  6. Doll
  7. Clocks
  8. Bavaria
  9. Red Wing
  10. Firefighting apparatus

There are three categories new to the Kovels’ Top 10 list—postcards, insulators and firefighting apparatus. Postcards top the list, but why the leap all the way to No. 1? Could be news of an exhibit opening at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on October 24, 2012. “The Postcard Age” will feature about 450 American and European postcards. Postcards became legal in the U.S. in 1872 and were collected right from the start. Most of the picture postcards collected date after 1910. They’re still sought after by collectors who focus on themes like travel, early automobiles and airplanes, holidays and history, or, like the museum, view them as art. Postcards sell for 25 cents to over $100, depending on subject matter, condition and rarity. The postcard here shows one of the tea rooms at the London Coliseum. It's one of a large collection of postcards about tea.

Insulators, at No. 2, are also new to Kovels’ Top 10 list. Glass or pottery insulators were used on telegraph and telephone poles since 1844. There are serious collectors who pay hundreds even thousands of dollars for insulators but seen on some websites lately: old insulators used as new household decorations. Clever ideas include using the glass for paths, for parts of walls or as shades for hanging light fixtures. Insulators can be found at bottle shows, flea markets or just on the ground and prices go from free to hundreds of dollars each.

And firefighting apparatus has appeared on the list, bringing up the rear at No. 10. Word must be getting out of the October 5 to 7 auction by Showtime Auction Services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of a large private collection of firefighting memorabilia and collectors want to know what prices to expect. Firefighting collectors look for leather fire helmets, buckets and other equipment, fire trumpets, nozzles, alarm boxes, engine lamps, toy fire vehicles, shields, ribbons and medals and prints and paintings of fire scenes.

Collectors who search Kovels.com are always motivated by wanting to know more—about descriptions, marks and prices. Kovels.com and “Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide” list thousands of prices in hundreds of categories that are carefully selected, edited and current.

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