…At Estate Sales, Be On The Lookout For…

Anna Pottery

Stoneware doll head from the Anna Pottery of Illinois; image courtesy of Crocker Farm, Inc.

What: Anna Pottery Doll Head.

Sold By: Crocker Farm, Inc.

Item Description: A salt-glazed stoneware doll’s head with a painted surface, incised “Anna Pottery / 1885.” One of two Anna Pottery doll’s heads known.

Sale Price: $5,980.00

My Notes: To anybody in the know about antiques and collectibles Anna Pottery of Illinois is a big deal; pieces by this pottery company are well regarded, desirable, and valuable. But would you have passed this up at a local estate sale? Would you have thought…”Nice, but look at the condition…”

Alert: Sometimes condition is not as important as rarity.

Research Resource: Prices for Antiques.Com

Trifari Jelly Belly Poodle

Trifari Jelly Belly poodle brooch

What: Trifari Jelly Belly.

Sold By: Skinners

Item Description: Trifari Jelly Belly Poodle Brooch, with Lucite & Rhinestone and Black Enamel Accents.

Sale Price: $889.00

My Notes: Okay, so maybe $889.00 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but what if you found this Trifari Jelly Belly in a bag of costume jewelry at an estate sale? Not bad…! And I know that this is possible because I have found these gems in the most unlikely places.

Alert: A lot of these have a gold wash over sterling; make sure that more than 90% of the gold wash is intact. With Trifari Jelly Belly’s condition is a very important aspect in determining value.

Research Resource: Prices for Antiques.Com

Prisoner of War Art

Prisoner-of-War chip carved and inlaid valuables box,

What: A Prisoner-of-War Valuables Box.

Sold By: Northeast Auctions

Item Description: A Prisoner-of-War chip carved and inlaid valuables box, made by an American Revolutionary War prisioner at Mill Prison, Plymouth, dated September 4th, 1777.

Sale Price: $11,600.00

My Notes: If you see something like this at an estate sale Think “Provenance,” Think, “What is the back story of this piece…?” If you can purchase such an item for a reasonable price, then your research efforts may pay off, and if you later discover that “It’s just and interesting box” then you won’t be out of your money. A box like this, even if it was made some time ago by a “FolkĀ  Art” craftsman, will always sell well.

Alert: Selling something like this Prisoner of War Valuables box will require a proper auction house to attain its highest sales price. Take lots of pictures and send them along with as much background information as you can to at least 3 auction houses.

Research Resource: Prices for Antiques.Com

Good Luck Out There, and Happy Hunting.

Martin Codina
Founder and CEO
Fine Estate Sales

Where to Purchase Our Book "Liquidating an Estate"

3 thoughts on “…At Estate Sales, Be On The Lookout For…

  1. What great resource information. You’re correct…I would have passed on the first doll head thinking she was in quite the distressed state. Now if only I could find some of these at an estate sale, I would certainly be pleased. Thank you for the great info!

  2. Here on your website you show a picture of a Trifari Jelly Belly Poodle dog pin. This is NOT the original, but a reproduction that is running rampant all over Ebay. Please do not give people the wrong idea that this pin is worth almost $1,000- as it is NOT. Only the original pin, which has NO black enameling on it is really worth anything. Here is a link to the correct one:


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