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There are always some strange and even weird things listed in our price books. In our newest book, the 52nd edition “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2020” By Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel, we offer a list of fun and quirky collectibles. For example, do you know that some collectors are drawn to artificial legs? Some are the plain wooden stumps pictured in stories of pirates of earlier days. This year we list a prosthetic leg made in the early 1900s. It is made of maple and leather with metal hinges at the knee and a brown shoe on the “foot.” It is 31 inches long and sold for $282. Old-fashioned medical devices like the legs sell quickly to those who collect health-related things and those who use them in unusual decorative ways or as part of modern sculptures. Also priced and pictured is a lightweight wooden leg splint invented by Charles and Ray Eames to use to transport wounded from the battlefield during World War II. (Terry Kovel has one hanging in her office that appealed to her sense of whimsy several years ago!) The technology developed to bend the wood for the splint was used later to make their famous wooden chairs. The splint sold for $625. 

Some unusual collectibles reflect societal norms … and problems! An opium pipe shaped like a dragon with a ball in its mouth sold for $488. It is made of silver with enamel trim and has a special case. The pipe is 7 inches long. Taking collectibles back to a time when women wore long dresses, we list an 1880s woman’s skirt lifter made in the shape of two tennis rackets and balls auctioned for $1,107. 

But the strangest collectible of all that we list is a decorated trash can from Disneyland made in the 1990s. We don’t know who took it out of the park, but it sold at auction for $18,400.


 eames wooden medical leg splint


Photo: Wright


Buy Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2020 at Kovels.com and take advantage of this special bonus offer choose between two free gifts:  a printed booklet, “Fakes, Fantasies & Reproductions No. 21,” with tips on how to spot fakes, repros that look like originals, and fantasy items to watch out for (a $7.95 value) OR the Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles 2020 Companion eBook that lists all the items, prices and category information in Kovels’ printed price guide (no images), downloadable to your Kindle, Nook or other eReader tablet or smartphone app (a $14.99 value).


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