Upcoming Auctions . . .

On August 10, 2010, Cohasco of Yonkers, New York will feature a historical documents auction that will include three rarities; a document written in 1776 Philadelphia signaling the Declaration of Independence; A Robin Hood manuscript dated 1332; and a map showing the supposed route the Zeno Brothers took to beat Columbus to America. This auction also includes 500 other original historical documents, books and collectibles.

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Qing Dynasty, Reproductions, Lance Armstrong
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Newsletter 03-05-2010
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Newsletter 09-18-2009
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Newsletter 10-23-2009
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Newsletter 01-15-2010

Antique & Vintage Collectible Chinese Snuff Bottles

Towards the mid-20th Century, when snuff was first introduced in China, it was believed that it had medicinal qualities and was used to treat the common cold, relieve sore throats, alleviate tooth aches and used as a cure for migraine headaches. Snuff however was not intended nor was it used for all the people of China, but was limited in use and availability to the upper echelons of society. It was mainly used by the elite peoples associated with the Qing Dynasty and the royal court of Beijing. As such, vessels to carry the snuff otherwise known as snuff bottles and or snuff boxes had to be attractive, ornately designed and beautiful to go with one’s social standing.

Snuff bottles are made of a many different materials, shapes, sizes and design. Some of the early snuff bottles are made of ivory, jadeite and even gold. Some were made of coral and other unusual material. However, a lot of snuff bottles were made of glass and because of the medicinal properties of the snuff probably had their beginnings in the apothecary bottles of the time. Many of the snuff bottles were made to fit in the palm of one’s hand and had a stopper with a small spoon attached for easy access to the snuff. Many were marked with either maker’s name or a date.


Upcoming Antiques & Vintage Collectibles Shows

On July 17 -18, 2010, the Pultneyville Historical Society will kick off its 53rd annual Homecoming Festival. This year, in association with the local businesses in Pultneyville, they will be hosting a day of fine Antiques, Art, Food, Wine and Jazz along the streets of Pultneyville. Antique dealers will be under a big tent on the lawn of the Good Old Days Country Shop and also situated under shading maples in historic Centennial Park, Pultneyville, New York.

July 24, 2010, Historic Hermitage Antique Show, 355 North Franklin Turnpike, Ho-ho-kus, New Jersey

July 24–25, 2010, DC Big Flea, Dulles Expo & Convention Center, Chantilly, Virginia

July 24–25, 2010, Antique Show, Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, Maryland

July 23 – 25, 2010 will also bring back the annual Cashiers Antiques Benefit Show in Cashiers, North Carolina.  This show which attracts many dealers and hundreds of people from the Mid Atlantic and Mid South features antique country furniture, vintage collectibles, silver, vintage jewelry, folk art and lighting as well as vintage pottery and glass.

Now is the time to take a ride in the beautifulVirginia countryside and take in some of the most historic but quaint little towns in the country.  One place you should surely not miss is Middleburg, Virginia, which was established in 1747 and has a population of about 640 people.  One of the things that make this town special however is its antique shops; and the two best are the Middleburg Antique Emporium and Penny Farthing Antiques. Owners Lesley Clark and her husband John strive to keep the best inventory in their antique store and to add that unique personal service for every client.


How to Avoid Antiques & Collectibles Scams

There are many ways to get taken for a ride when buying antiques and collectibles, especially if you are new at the game or are particularly anxious about buying something.  Although many dealers are honest, hard working people with a passion for their collections, there are some who will represent a product as the real thing when it is a reproduction or will forge autographs or give you a phony certificate of authenticity.  We were once mesmerized by an antique dealer in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia who told us a tale of provenance and how he had acquired a certain piece, only later to learn that this particular dealer had a vivid imagination and made up stories as he went along.

To avoid being taken, like anything else you should be informed.  Do as much research as you can, a lot of reference databases and information can now be found at your fingertips on the Internet.  Only buy from reputable antiques and collectibles dealers. Remember the old adage that if something is too good to be true, it probably is and you should be wary of prices that seem out of the norm.  If possible have an item independently verified by an appraiser or specialty dealer.  Don’t get pressured by the dealer who tells you that they have other buyers interested and that you have to hurry your decision, take your time and make the right decision.


Dumb Mikey Goes to a Resort

Mikey decides on a winter’s day that he has had enough of the weather. He didn’t have a lot of money for a resort, but paid for it anyway.  After about a week he calls his mom in Arlington and she asks him how he is doing.  “I’m fine” says Mikey, “but there are some really strange people staying at this resort.” “Why do you say that” asks his mom. 


Upcoming Estate Sales

Estate Sale, Thurs – Sun, July 15-18, 2010, 9211 Glenbrook, Fairfax, Virginia: Antique Furniture, Vintage Collectibles, Silver: 301.728.1950

Estate Sale, Thurs – Sat, July 15-17, 2010, 3511 Forest Edge, Silver Spring, Maryland: Antique Glass, Effanbee Doll, Jewelry: 240.235.3163


Record Auction Price for Qing Dynasty Clock

A clock that Sotheby’s officials expected to bring in $1 million realized a record price of more than $3.8 million.  The table clock, which is more than 200 years old had a gilt and brass casing which was ornately decorated with enamel.  It belonged to socialite and vintner Patricia Kluge.  The auction was held at Albemarle House inCharlottesville, Virginia and it featured other clocks, paintings and antiques which brought in more than $15 million dollars total.


Prices for Armstrong Memorabilia on the Upswing

The Tour de France, is a grueling 2200 mile bicycle race that takes place through the picturesque and mountainous areas of France every July.  The race takes about three weeks and many cycling enthusiasts from around the world come to take part in what is known in the cycling world as the most prestigious race in the World.  However, of all the cyclists that have participated in this race, only one has become a household name not only in America, but around the world and that name is Lance Armstrong.

Nine fashion houses (including Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Loeffler Randall and Vena Cava) have come together with Elle magazine and the Portable Light Project to create chic solar-powered purses that supply both light and power. The bags are being auctioned off on EBay, and all of the proceeds will benefit Portable Light’s mission of using energy-harvesting textiles to deliver power to developing communities.


Lance Armstrong also leads the way, no pun intended, in the marketing and sales of sports memorabilia.  Due to his appeal not only in the U.S. but worldwide it is no coincidence that items bearing his likeness, signature or in any way associated with him, are highly collectible and command a good price.  Photographs with Armstrong’s autograph can bring in close to one thousand with a signed jersey being the most expensive items.  Unsigned items can bring in hundreds.

Newsletter 05-15-2010

“Well” says Mikey, “One woman cries all day and another lies on the floor moaning.  Then there is the guy next door who bangs his head on the wall all day.”  “Son, I am worried about you,” says mom, “you stay away from those people.”  To which Mikey replies, “Oh no mom, I have been staying in my suite all day everyday playing my trumpet.”

The Qing Dynasty was the last ruling dynasty in China from 1644 to 1912.  It was the period that saw the rule of the land by what were then outsiders, the Manchu, who conquered the Chinese.  During the Qianlong period, from 1736 – 1795, the emperor was a major patron of the arts.  Pottery and ceramics as well as other art forms including lacquering and enameling flourished during this time period.  A great many pieces of artwork from this period can be seen in London at The British Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum.

The pictured example of a marked Chinese Imperial snuff bottle was sold at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Virginia in 2008 for $146,250. However, caution has to be taken when purchasing these types of antiquities because of the many forgeries, reproductions and unscrupulous dealers around the world. A recent search of eBay for Chinese snuff bottles found close to 800 listings, many of them selling for ninety nine cents.