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Collectors are drawn to the items they collect for many reasons—usefulness, artistic value, historical or cultural significance, or nostalgia. They collect glassware, pottery, dolls, prints or figurines. But sometimes, collectors want the unusual, and they look for items that are whimsical, unique or odd. Here are 6 “out of the ordinary” items that sold recently.


1. Taxidermists in the 19th century sometimes created imaginary scenes to display. A Victorian diorama of two taxidermy squirrels at a table playing cards, 15 by 18 inches. It sold for $4,012. Entertaining.

2. Two new crumpled “19th-century” porcelain vases look in bad shape. The vases are 23 inches high and decorated with cobalt inlay and decals. It was made by Steven Y. Lee and captivated a collector who paid $14,300. Unique.

3. Never know when you might meet a hungry vampire and need a vampire killing kit. This one is in a wood and leather case with brass hardware. The fitted interior holds the required wooden arrows, a 1914 prayer book, crucifix, candle stands, pistol, powder horn, skull bottle, bone pocket knife, silver match holder and more. A wolf’s head and crossbow fits on top. From the early 1900s, the case is 10 x 12 inches. It sold for $5,000. Macabre.

4. A child would like this one. Toothbrush holder man is wearing a blue-striped apron that says “candlestick maker.” Brushes tuck in the two front pockets. It’s 5 inches high and sold for $75. Whimsical.

5. How’s your eyesight? Someone bought an optometrist’s set of prosthetic glass eyes in a fitted velvet-lined case. It sold for $826. Weird.

6. A talking skull was bought too late for Halloween. The realistic plaster skull has a moving jaw that clicks out answers to questions, rapping once for “yes” and twice for “no.” The c.1900 6-inch high skull sold for $1,875. Scary.

What antiques and collectibles charmed, delighted or intrigued you this year? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Photos are courtesy of Ruby Lane and Treadway Toomey, Wm. Jenack, Rich Penn, and Potter & Potter auction houses.










#13 RE: You Collect What?CynthiaCourt 2017-10-24 19:32
Lots of things, glass baskets, cobalt blue glassware, milk glass, American Star pattern glass, carnival glass (iris pattern, gold iridescent) blue and white china/pottery) antique broaches (trying to sell all) and that is it, I think!
#12 Crystal GlasswareCristalica 2017-10-24 11:55
For all collectors, I recomand to take a look at this website and you will be delighted to see wonderful crystal glasses, exquisite tableware and unique home décor items, all made from the noblest lead crystal.
#11 I Have No Idea Whyovereasy1 2017-10-22 16:26
I collect normal things like silver demitasse spoons, but I also collect old credit cards, gift cards and hotel room key cards. I just tuck them into a business card refillable binder, not for display. Came in handy the other day when my husband couldn't come up with our file number while booking an upcoming cruise. Sure enough, I had a room key from a previous cruise that had the file nuber on it. He no longer laughs at my collection.
#10 personal expressionsalonblue 2017-10-22 15:57
True Collecting is an outward extension of the Person.
It has a strong viewpoint , backed with historical knowledge of the material. Accumulation and Investment are entirely different animals.

I also think it is a weird inherited trait.
My Grandfather collected Classical LP's, My Dad, one of the worlds most impressive magic collections, Me, One of a kind fine jewelry from the 60's and 70's.
( but I cant help the odd find.. I have 3 dioramas of boxing squirrels!!- I attribute this to My Mothers eclectic tastes)
#9 Swift for a Swiftcarolswheels 2017-10-21 21:45
My husband collects Swift Comp. advertising promotionals. It makes it real easy to add to his collection.
We also love N.E amberina glass, early art pottery, Native Amer. Basketry & bead work, 1890-1920 advert. perfume. The most UNUSUAL, though, is DUST!
#8 Kitsch lampsDogger 2017-10-19 16:08
I collect 1950s TV lamps. My favorites, of which I have dozens, have plaster bases with shells and plastic decorative items stuck into the plaster. The most common plastic items are crucifixes and palm trees, although they might be anything.
#7 Uncommon, Sometimes wierdScaleman 2017-10-19 15:51
I collect antique scales, along with about 200 "scalies" in the International Association of Antique Scale Collectors (ISASC.org). We still revel in those rare and unusual finds -- many times they are rusty, but they still work after 150 years!
#6 Uncommon, Sometimes wierdScaleman 2017-10-19 15:44
I collect antique scales, along with a couple of hundred "scalies" in the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors. We still revel in those rare and unusual scales that are out there, most of which are rather rusty but they still work!
#5 ownerTimelessTreasures 2017-10-19 14:32
This is what I discovered to help my business a number of years ago. I am always on the look out for the unusual, unique, or one of a kind, because this kind of stuff actually sells much better than the normal mundane items do. The customers that shop in my store look for these kind of items. The more bizarre the better it sells. Really kind of weird on how the market is trending this way.
#4 Saltsmthornell 2017-10-19 14:21
I collect salt cellars. I don't recall how or why I became interested in them but I now have quite a collection. I enjoy searching for them at estate sales, antique stores and flea markets.

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