Category Archives: Antique Value Guides

3 Expensive World Cup Soccer Balls

3 Expensive World Cup Soccer Balls

Image from the book Association Football & The Men Who Made It

1930 First World Cup Game Ball 

Original Football used in the first ever World Cup Final

Uruguay over Argentina (Sold for €32,000 by Agon Sports)

1934 World Cup Bronze medal

World Cup 1954 Game Ball

World Cup 1954 Original Match ball

West Germany over Hungary (Estimated Value: €10,000 – €12,500 Agon Sports)

 1934 World Cup Bronze medal

World Cup 1978 World Cup Game Ball

1978 World Cup game used Final ball, Argentina v Netherlands

Argentina over Netherlands (Offered by Bonhams for $5,000.00 and later withdrawn)

Image from the book Association Football & The Men Who Made It

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Are your Antiques Grotesque, Gothic, or Unusual Enough to Sell?

Are your Antiques Grotesque, Gothic, or Unusual Enough to Sell?

I certainly hope so!

Martin Brothers Grotesque bird stoneware jar sold by Rago Auctions for $30,000

Martin Brothers Grotesque Stoneware Bird Sold By Rago’s for, $30,000 

It doesn’t matter if you are a buyer or a seller, this maxim is always true, Unusual Trumps “Normal” in the antiques and collectibles marketplace. “Crazy”especially “Olden Days Crazy”sells quicker than whatever is sane and boringly predictable.

The pottery on this page, circa late 1800’s, is proof of this, judging by the prices these pieces sold for.

Here is a link to the history of Martin Brothers Pottery.

Get out of whatever antique box you’ve been in

Martin Brothers Large double stoneware face jug Sold By Ragos Auctions for $10,000

Martin Brothers Double Stoneware Face Sold by Rago’s for $10,000

When I started in this business, I read several books about the industry and there was one book in particular that offered up a piece of advice that I have always remembered. Curious enough, I don’t remember the title of the book, but this sterling piece of advice I have turned into a skill – “In order to succeed in this business, you have to find ways to distinguish your stock from the stock of other antiques dealers, and that the best way to do that is to only buy things that you can say this of – “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Estate sales are the same way, in order to have a successful estate sale, you have to include some of the more unusual items from your estate into the sale. If you are an antiques dealer, try your best to find the most unusual items you can, and include them in with your general stock or inventory.

Even after almost 20 years in the business, this is still my principal buying strategy – if I see something for sale at a flea market, estate sale or even at an antiques store that I have not seen before, I take notice, ask questions , then I generally take the leap, and buy it.  I have been very successful employing this technique.

Find Crazy, and Sell Crazy Antiques

Martin Brothers Stoneware Wally Bird  Tobacco Jar sold by Skinners Estimate $12,000 - $18,000

Martin Brothers Wally Bird Tobacco Jar Sold by Skinner’s for $59,250

Anyone can source, find and offer for sale a bin table, or a mahogany sideboard, or stock their antiques store full up with Victorian furnishings, but the dealer who can find something like the Martin Brothers pieces pictured in this post, that dealer gets invited to the best parties. Don’t you want to go to the best parties? Of course you do!

Today’s Marketplace Demands “The Extraordinary”

Martin Brothers Stoneware Grotesque spoon warmer Sold By Ragos Auctions for $5,500

Martin Brothers Stoneware Spoon Warmer Sold By Rago’s for $5,500

Don’t make yourself too nuts about sourcing out items that you will be able to sell for more than $25,000 though, there aren’t too many of those around. Instead concentrate on what is more easily achievable – there are hundreds of categories of items waiting to be found by you at flea markets, local auctions or estate sales; those that could be purchased for a few hundred dollars and then sold for as much as $500-$1,000. Look for items that have a bit of an edge, that are strange or crazy – that have that certain “Unusual Cool” factor going for them.

It’s not how much the items you buy are worth that is so important, the trick to having a store crowded with shoppers is to find items that buyers want, and today, many shoppers are demanding stuff that is “Quirky.”

Find and offer that type of merchandise for sale, and you’ll never go hungry.

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Lux Clocks: Does Any One Know What Time It Is?

as a collector, to know and understand how to research antiques is everything…to learn this takes time!

Now It’s Lux Clock Time

Miniature Lux Clown Clock Sold by Dan Morphy Auctions

What are we all doing in the Estate Sales Business, or even in the Antiques Business, but having the time of our lives. Out on a daily basis, searching the various auction house byways, reading Craigslist ads, and following up on leads of one kind or another. To this writer, this is my life, one that I embrace wholeheartedly.

Lux Clocks fill one of my primary collecting objectives: To have and or sell items which are unique and not often seen…

Lux Clocks: Wimsey Posing as Fancy

Lux Bull Dog Clock Sold by William J. Jenack

I take my time, sometimes an extraordinary amount of time to research an item that I have recently purchased. When I do an estate sale, as part of our set up, I often find myself looking up as many as 100 items. I need to be sure. I want to know. I am vigorous on behalf of my clients and my businesses financial interest.

Lux Clocks, create a bit of humor for your walls: Take a chance, spend a bit of dough, take time out for your sense of humor…

Find a Lux Clock and Make Your Wall Very Happy

Cat Face Lux Clock Sold by Dan Morphy Auctions

If you want to read up on Lux Clocks, I think the best site out there, not only for its deep exploration of the subject of Lux Clocks, but also for its rich pictorial depictions of these amazing clocks, is a website created by Dan & Diana Lockett: Lux Clocks. Give them a visit, get their take on time…you’ll be glad you did.

Lux Clocks, if you are going to be at the mercy of timeYou might as well have a smiling face telling you where to be and when…

Lux Clocks! Good Old Fashion American Fun…

Lux Clown Clock Sold by Gene Harris Auction

Take your time, and shop wisely, decide which kind of Lux Clock you are going to collect. Lux Clocks of Waterbury Massachusetts made every type of clock you can think of: Alarm Clocks, Lamp Clocks, Clocks with Thermometers, Clocks with Pendulums, Wall Clocks, Shelf Clocks and More…

Once you start looking for Lux Clocks…You’ll start to see them everywhere, at auctions, estate sales, and antique stores…

Me? Which kind of Lux Clock would I collect? I think the above clocks should make that pretty obvious…

Martin Codina

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Quack Quack Went The Duck, Not The Doctor

Quack Medicine Machines Helped People Think They Could Beat The Odds

Quack Medicine Machines: Diagnosis of Fact or Fiction?

Remedy Advertising Thermometer Dirk Soulis Auctions
(Sold $110.00)

Since the dawn of time, people, even primitive people, have tried to better their odds at overcoming sickness…

But it wasn’t until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that they succeeded in fusing the future with the past in such a way that they produced a machine or the look of a machine, that could cure anything. Pills and potions, and little witch woman, had been the go to solutions for most people when they were ill, needed love, or some kind of extra curricular mind expansion. But those days were pretty much over once we all got the notion that science and technology could cure anything.

Quack Medicine Machines = Today’s Better Living Through Chemistry…

Ducks May Quack But Still Can’t Play Violins

Rare Violin Vibrophone Dirk Soulis Auctions
(Sold $2,400.00)

But those old time woman and bearded men, who once ministered to the ills that ailed us, those kind mothers and our helpful fathers, as nice and as practical as they were, more and more have been replaced by the ideas of science, of men and their machines…of electricity, of some sort of gadget. There must be some kinda magic, rather then right and clean living – I know! If we could only make some kind of machine.

Quack Medicine Machines: Attempts at jump starting hearts through circuitry…

My Eyes! Now They’ve Seen Everything!

Ideal Sight Restorer Massager Dirk Soulis Auctions
(Sold $60.00)

People, all of us; well face it, we are fairly gullible when we are in pain – especially when we are in pain. Panacea…give me a panacea…My entire paycheck for a Panacea! Oh this won’t hurt a bit…let’s just plug one of these in, wind that puppy up, and get a jolt of some of that new fangled health.

Quack Medicine Machines = Antique Better Mousetraps…

Quack Instruments, Cheaper Than House Calls

Terpezone Junior Model  Dirk Soulis Auctions
(Sold $100.00)

All of the above devices have now come to be known as Quack Medicine Machines or Instruments. But in their day, each had its proponents and detractors, people who swore to their effectiveness or decried against the quackery of Quack Medicine, and all its machinery.

Quack Medicine Machines = Shiny, and metallic objects hoping for health…

Martin Codina

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Hey! It’s Our Semi-Weekly Article Round Up

Highlights from our Last 7 Articles

…to ask about the value of Antiques, is better than selling too impulsively…

Who Wore These Gold Dentures Contest Winners

I knew these Antique Gold Dentures were unique, that they would prove to be interesting, But Hey! Did I know that they would cause such an internet sensation…? Well, I hoped they would, and indeed they did. (Read More Here)

Estate Sales? Better Than any business I know…!

It’s 6:00am here folks.

Getting up early, starting the day before the first roosters crow, well it’s all part of the estate sales business. If you are afraid of hard work, getting your hands dirty or rising before the sun does, then the estate sales business is not for you. (Read More Here)

Mickey Mouse: Poor Church Mouse Makes Good

My first exposure to Mickey Mouse was like millions of Americans, through the Wonderful World of Disney or through The Mickey Mouse Club. Being so young, I didn’t know that at least one of the reasons I was attracted to that furry creature of a mouse, was that he had already become linked to the American ideal of – Local Boy Makes Good.” (Read More Here)

Who Knew Skittles Were Worth So Much? I didn’t

My most favorite activity is learning about antiques and collectibles, and though I have been doing this Estate Sales and Antiques Business thing for a while now, it’s like almost everyday that I find myself surprised by what’s collectible, and how much it’s worth. (Read More Here)

Smoke em if ya got em: Cigarette Collectibles

There is no better time than now to collect Cigarette and Smoking collectibles: All over America people have gotten the hint – smoking ain’t exactly as healthy or as elegant as it once upon a time was – ex-smokers and family members not knowing the value of their smoking paraphernalia are clearing out their cupboards. (Read More Here)

Gene Autry Cowboy Guitar by Emenee Industries

Although these five famous guitar players won’t admit it in public, each of them cite Gene Autry as a musical influence… (Read More Here)

When Is A Dinner Bell Worth More Than A Costly Meal?

A long time ago, in cottage, house or a mansion, not every one was tied to a time piece to let them know when it was time to do whatever it was that was so important to do: there were other ways to indicate comings and goings…

My favorite was the dinner bell… (Read More Here)

Have a Great Week Out There,

Martin Codina


Where to Purchase Our Book "Liquidating an Estate"