Pinball Pandemonium – The Art of Collecting – Reyne Haines & Jonathan Novack

January 10th, 2010 by

Pinball wizards, Reyne and Jonathan check out a pinball machine collection. Keith has a collection of these machines that could make anyone fell like they are in high school again. He also has some tips on buying, if you are thinking about getting into this type of collecting.

Comments Off on Pinball Pandemonium – The Art of Collecting – Reyne Haines & Jonathan Novack

Action Figures – The Art of Collecting – Reyne Haines & Jonathan Novack

January 9th, 2010 by

Action figures are a part of everyone’s childhood but, you may be surprised, that after GI Joe in the 60’s, comic book action figures weren’t introduced until 1971. Reyne and Jonathan pop into Bedrock City Comics for some fun and information on collecting these mini heroes.

Comments Off on Action Figures – The Art of Collecting – Reyne Haines & Jonathan Novack

Vendor Toolbox

January 8th, 2010 by

The Vendor Toolbox features articles by consultants who provide services to the industry that help business owners thrive and prosper.

Comments Off on Vendor Toolbox

First Batman comic expected to set world record price at Heritage Auctions

January 8th, 2010 by



 Bought for an ‘exorbitant’ $100 in the 1960s, expected to bring $300,000+, Feb. 25, 2010


DALLAS, TX — When a truly exceptional copy of Detective Comics #27, the very first appearance of Batman, is auctioned by Heritage Auction Galleries in its Feb. 25 Signature® Comics & Comic Art Auction, it will set two important marks:

 It will, more than likely, become the single most valuable comic ever offered at public auction. Though it’s being sold with no reserve and no minimum bid, it’s expected to bring at least $300,000. The current record for a comic sold at auction stands at $317,000, for a copy of Action Comics #1, sold last year at another auction house.

 The other question the auction will settle, at least for the time being, is one of the great debates of Pop Culture: Who is worth more today, Batman or Superman?

 “Since Heritage began auctioning vintage comics, we have heard more client requests for Detective #27 than for Superman’s first comic, Action #1, and that’s both from hard-core comic collectors and from clients in other fields who are interested in this issue as a pop culture milestone,” said Lon Allen, Director of Sales for the Comics Division of Heritage. “Superman came first, but I think in certain quarters Batman is the more popular character. This is probably the most desirable comic Heritage has ever auctioned.”

 The third-party certification service CGC has graded the comic Very Fine 8.0, a grade that only one other copy of this issue has reached and none has surpassed.

 “The eye appeal is absolutely outstanding,” said Lon Allen, Director of Sales for the Comics Division of Heritage. “Most comics from 1939 are smudged, torn, creased, and so on – this one’s got really bright colors and looks fresh. It has no restoration which is a major plus as well. We’ve never handled a copy that’s anywhere near this nice.”

 Heritage has not disclosed the source of the comic other than to note it comes from a savvy collector who assembled his collection in the 1960s and 1970s.

 “Back then, if someone spent even $100 on a comic book from the 1930s or 1940s, which is what the collector paid for it, it was considered absurd by the general public,” said Allen, “but smart buyers who did their legwork and paid so-called ‘outrageous’ prices could put together excellent collections that today’s collectors are envious of.”

 To say that today’s hordes of comic collectors, Batman fans and Pop Culture devotees are envious of a comic such as this, bought for a mere fraction of what the current price will be, is an easy understatement. By late February the top collectors in the world will be eyeing this book closely, and weighing just how much it’s worth to them to have the have the holy grail of comic books, and to be part of history.


Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 475,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Comments Off on First Batman comic expected to set world record price at Heritage Auctions

New Year, New Business – by Rosemary Trietsch

January 7th, 2010 by

E_antique_sign   Many people pick January 1st as the day to open their new online Antiques business. Unfortunately, more than half of them close this same business before June rolls around, citing no sales or high expenses as the reasons. Somehow the “I’m going to make a million dollars in 3 months on the internet” mentality is still alive and well.

But the real reason these businesses fail is because the owners didn’t do their homework before they opened shop, and then they stopped doing any work once they did. You wouldn’t open a brick and mortar store and work one day a month and expect to make money, so why approach a cyber store with the same attitude? Online businesses will work if you work them. Here’s a few hints to make yours a success.

Know your merchandise. Don’t sell glass if you’re a furniture expert. Play to your strengths. Decide what you’d like to specialize in, then get every book you can find on the subject and study! Educate yourself about the history of your items, the selling prices, reproductions that may be out there, and how condition affects price & desirability. Successful online Antiques businesses are run by people who know about their wares and are always looking to learn more.

Know your venue. Like brick and mortar stores, online Antiques malls have  reputations and established clientele. Before you open your site, check out what’s being sold by other dealers in that online mall. Your Victorian mantle lustres will be ignored on a site where comic books and vintage toys are the hot items. You should also check the ‘about us’ section of the site to learn how long they’ve been around, who owns them, how many dealers they have, etc. Finally, ask the dealers who sell the type of items you’re looking to sell if they’ve had good results.

Advertise. Once you open your site, make your presence known. Take advantage of advertising available within the mall such as mailing lists, bulletin boards, press releases, and paid feature ads.  Submit your site to every search engine you can think of, and buy keyword advertising. Join online fan groups, study groups, and chat boards that feature your type of merchandise, then get your site listed – even if you have to PAY to be added to their list. Don’t nickel and dime your online business to death. You have to spend money to make money.

Commit to your business. If you open your online antique business with the attitude, “I’m going to give this 6 months and if I haven’t made money, then I’m out,” then don’t bother opening at all. You wouldn’t put such limitations on a brick and mortar store, so why do it to your cyber store? Every antique store – whether cyber or tangible –requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. If you commit to doing whatever it takes to make your business a success, then you will succeed.

Comments Off on New Year, New Business – by Rosemary Trietsch

Leslie Hindman Auction

January 6th, 2010 by


Comments Off on Leslie Hindman Auction

How to Spot a Fake? By Reyne Haines

January 6th, 2010 by

Fake…a word no collector or dealer ever wants to hear.  Fakes run rampant in the antiques and collectibles industry.  Many people think fakes are only for expensive items such as Monet paintings, diamond jewelry, and Rolex watches.  Not so!

During the beanie baby craze, counterfeit Beanies took the market by surprise.  Who would have thought a new plush animal would be reproduced?

There is no easy way to answer the question, “How do I know if an item is a fake?”  If there were a few quick, simple answers, fakes would not exist.

Some fakes are of poor quality and easy to spot, others are of such good quality they have fooled museums and major auction houses alike.

So how do you keep from being taken?  If you are a beginning collector, make sure to buy from dealers you know and trust until you become familiar with the different types of fakes being made.  Always make sure you receive a written guarantee stating the item is authentic, and that the dealer will refund your money should you ever learn otherwise.

Depending on what type of item you collect, there is often information uploaded to the Internet that gives great detail about reproductions as they begin showing up on the market.  Some of the reference books have a section describing the differences between the original vs. the new items.

Look closely at the item you are interested in.  Does it appear to be quality work?  Was there great attention to detail used in the decoration? Does it measure the correct size as an authentic one?  These are the types of questions you should ask yourself as you examine potential acquisitions.

One of the first things I notice inexperienced collectors doing when looking at merchandise is checking the signature of an item first.  Truly, this should be the final thing you look at.  The signature is the easiest part of an item to fake.  You should be able to recognize an artist’s work because of the item itself, and not because who signed it.

Not only are fake signatures placed on fake items, but signatures are also added to vintage items made by another maker.  These are things you need to consider when acquiring pieces for your collection.

No matter what you collect, there will always be someone out there making things that never existed, and looking to take advantage of new and seasoned collectors with quality reproductions that the market has not been alerted to yet.  Sometimes the giveaway can be the price. It’s not so low it gives itself away, but priced just fairly enough you think you are getting a great piece at a bargain price.  Remember, the longer you look at it, won’t make it right.  The more hands on time you can have with the type of item you collect, the lesser the chance you will be taken by a forger.

Recognized 20th Century Decorative Arts Expert and Appraiser.  As seen on CBS “The Early Show” and NBC’s “The Art of Collecting”. Haines has written numerous articles and books on collecting. Her most recent pubication is “Collecting Wristwatches” for Krause Publications which comes out April 2010.  Reyne is a frequent appraiser on PBS Antiques Roadshow.

Comments Off on How to Spot a Fake? By Reyne Haines

Fun with Furniture Terms (that You Should Know) by Reyne Haines

January 6th, 2010 by

commodeFurniture…everyone has it and some even know how to decorate with it. As with any industry, antique and vintage furniture collectors have a lingo of their own.  I’ve picked out some common, and not so common, terminology I thought would be fun to talk about.


You might think to yourself, “Who are these people?” when you hear William and Mary.  This reflects a style of furniture that has Dutch and Chinese influences and was made from 1640 to 1725.  Queen Anne was a very popular period of style made from around 1700 to 1755 and refined William and Mary.  So what comes to mind when I say Chippendale?  Okay, but just know that Thomas Chippendale was a British designer and namesake for the style from around 1750 to 1790. This movement followed the Queen Anne period.  Chippendale style can be characterized by the Chinese, French and Gothic influences. 


Ever heard of Charles of London?  This term refers to a sofa or chair with rolled arms and is still used today.  Don’t confuse the rolled arms with a recamier, which is typically a sofa with a sloping back from a high end to the lower end, sometimes going as low as the seat itself.  These elegant pieces were also known as fainting couches and were quite the style in the Victorian era. 


If you hear the house was decorated eclectic you know there were different styles and periods combined harmoniously together.  The blending of various styles is considered to be transitional.


Patina is not limited to the green film on bronze produced by oxidation over a long period of time.  It may also be used to refer to the changed outer surface of furniture caused by polishing or wear and through age and exposure.  Not to be confused with scale.  That term is reserved as a means to describe how the size of various objects appear in relationship to one another in the space provided for them.


When a furniture maker turns something such as a table leg, they are shaping it on a lathe.  The “H” or “X” shaped brace used horizontally to connect the legs together is known as a stretcher.  The tester is a frame made of wood used to support the canopy over a poster bed.  A piercing refers to the cutout design on the splats of a chair back or other 18th century furniture.  Splats are simply a vertical support piece in an open back chair and are generally decorated with carved designs.


As you can see, a period, adjectives, verbs, nouns and pronouns all have unique meaning in the antique world of furniture.  So, if you should ask your antique dealer where the commode is, please don’t be surprised or upset if they show you a late 17th century chest of drawers with a smooth flat marble top that may have small doors on the front of it.

Comments Off on Fun with Furniture Terms (that You Should Know) by Reyne Haines

A Chip by Any Other Name – by Rosemary Trietsch

January 6th, 2010 by


Once a piece of glass is chipped, you can’t make it whole again. After all, whether it’s a ‘flea bite’ or a chunk, there’s glass missing that can’t be replaced. Oh sure, sometimes you can glue the piece back in place, but what about the sliver missing from the rim of your favorite wine goblet? When Crazy glue just isn’t an option, it’s time to look for a glass repair person.

 Now there’s one very important thing to remember: the only way to fix a chip is to remove more glass. Whether you call it restoration, repair, or polishing, it comes down to the same thing. The glass repairman is going to grind down the chipped area and polish it to restore the luster. The amount of glass removed depends on the size and location of the chip, and the skill of your repairman. In some cases, a chip can be polished out so that the repair is virtually invisible. But if the chip is large, you will end up with a goblet that’s shorter than the rest of your set. Then what do you do? Should you throw it out and start hunting for a replacement?

 At this point, you have to ask yourself two things: 1. Why do I want to repair this piece? and, 2. Am I doing more damage to it than if I left it alone?

            Let’s answer question 2 first. If you can have the chip removed so that the repair doesn’t compromise the integrity of the item, then it’s probably a good idea to fix it. If the edges remain intact, the etching or decoration on the glass is untouched, and it looks the way it did before it was chipped, then ‘restoring’ it isn’t a bad thing. Glass golfbluecollectors generally agree that such a repair is acceptable.

            Now on to question 1. If  you’re repairing the item so that you can use it without getting hurt, then repair it and enjoy. There’s a lot to be said for restoring your grandmother’s crystal so that it can once again be used at family gatherings. And given the pioneer spirit of our ancestors, chances are good that grandma would have taken an emery board and smoothed the chip herself. Once again, glass collectors would applaud your decision.

            BUT: if you’re repairing the item so that you can sell it as ‘perfect’ to an unsuspecting buyer, then I know I speak for the entire glass collecting community when I say leave it alone. Glass collectors have enough trouble trying to keep up with all the reproduction junk that’s flooding the market, and we don’t need the added headache of dishonest sellers misrepresenting things just to make a buck. Do us all a favor: leave the chip alone and get a job at McDonalds. They’re giving out really neat Coca Cola Glasses right now  – you can sell them instead.

Comments Off on A Chip by Any Other Name – by Rosemary Trietsch

Tips for Your 1st eBay Sale – by Reyne Haines

January 6th, 2010 by

ebay-sellingEBay literally sells tens of billions of dollars worth of goods each year.  So how does someone capitalize on such a huge market place to put a few of those dollars in their own pocket?  Here are a few ideas to help sell your antiques and collectables with the world’s largest online auction marketplace.

The best way to get started is to become familiar with the venue.  EBay has many tools listed on their website to assist your selling efforts.   From their home page, go to the “Sell” link on the top right-hand menu and click.  Next, click on the “Getting Started” tab.  There you will find information about eBay’s policies, creating a Seller’s Account and even a “Top Ten Tips for sellers” link.  Browse help for even more information.

Now that you have some of the technical “how-to” you want to think about marketing your item.  Do a little research to determine what the best price for your collectable or antique is.  What is the minimum price you are willing to accept?  Look at the historical sales of items similar to yours.  The more recent a sale has occurred, the more likely you have an accurate price idea.  If your item is rare or one of a kind you may want to have it appraised first.  It’s very important that you know what your item is worth!  Remember that most buyers on eBay are looking for a good value so pricing your item at Top Dollar probably wouldn’t help you make the sale quickly.

Take clear, crisp photo’s and have an excellent description of your item.  The buyers on eBay may or may not be familiar with what you are offering them.  They look closely at your pictures for details -especially if your item is not new and still in the original box.  If you have the original box, make sure to include a picture of it.  The original box can add value to collectable items such as knives, dolls, toys or anything else.

Choose a good title for your merchandise by searching ended auctions for items like yours that have sold and brought strong pricing.  Your description is a picture of words and should accurately depict what you are offering for sale.  Be as thorough as possible and also write succinctly.  Include things like condition, size, markings, color, manufacturer, etc. in your description.

Think about when you want your auction to end.  Many people who are bidding are waiting until the last minutes in an effort not to run up the price for the item.  It might work out better to give your bidders a convenient time to bid and not end your auction on a Monday morning at 4am.

There are classes sellers can take and many books written on this subject.  With a little technical knowhow and good research, pictures and descriptions you’re well on your way to selling on eBay.

Recognized 20th Century Decorative Arts Expert and Appraiser.  As seen on CBS “The Early Show” and NBC’s “The Art of Collecting”. Haines has written numerous articles and books on collecting. Her most recent pubication is “Collecting Wristwatches” for Krause Publications which comes out April 2010.  Reyne is a frequent appraiser on PBS Antiques Roadshow.