The Heisman Trophy

Any Heisman Trophy awarded after 1999 cannot be sold. At that time, the Heisman Trust started making winners sign an agreement that forfeits their right to sell. The last Heisman Trophy that was eligible to be sold was auctioned in the Heritage Fall Sports Memorabila Collectibles event (October 2019) for a record $504,000. It was […]

Folk Art Canes

American folk art canes usually had a handle and shaft made from a single piece of wood or other material.

Strange Things

Strange things sell! A dead cat sold for $22,200 at an Ancient Objects online auction in October 2019. It was a 21-inch Egyptian mumified cat in an antique glass dome. A December 11, 1939, newspaper mentioned that it was bought at an earlier sale in 1939.

Revolutionary War Musket Sells

The Dutch flintlock musket used to fire the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 was sold by Morphy Auctions for $492,000. It belonged to Private John Simson (1748-1825) and stayed in his family for the 244 years before the sale. It is said he fired the first shot against the Colonel’s […]

Uncle Sam’s Image

Uncle Sam’s picture always increases the cost of an advertising piece. Rich Penn Auctions recently sold a coin-operated arcade machine (a recent copy) of a 1908 Caille Bros. Uncle Sam Strength Tester, Shake with Uncle Sam. He will tell you the strength of your personality. Ten personality traits, even “tax cheat.” An oak cabinet with […]

Thanksgiving’s Date

The date of the Thanksgiving holiday has been changed over the years. George Washington declared a day of Thanksgiving on November 28, 1782, the last Thursday of November. Other Presidents stuck to that guideline until President Franklin Roosevelt changed it to the fourth Thursday in 1939 (there were five Thursdays in November that year) to […]

The Eames Splint

An unusual antique is finally considered “museum quality.” At a large antiques show about 20 years ago, we saw a large pile of wrapped splints made of curved plywood. They were the splints invented by Charles and Ray Eames during World War II to replace the heavy leg splints used when transporting soldiers with leg […]

Fake Cut Glass

It is very difficult to recognize fake cut glass pieces. Fakes became a problem in the 1980s and another batch appeared in the early 2000s. The American Cut Glass Association has a collection of fakes and can identify them by checking some characteristics. How does the piece of glass fluoresce under black light (ultraviolet)? Are […]

Testing Antiquities

Scientific test made determining the age of antiquities easier. Early terra-cotta antiques are checked with thermoluminescence testing. Carbon dating tests are used for wood pieces.

Schafer & Vater

Schafer & Vater, the German pottery company, is known for its comic figurines and bottles. Small pieces sold for $75 to $150 ten years ago. Today, they are selling for about half that much but are much harder to find.