What are some key aspects that you need consider when you are buying antiques?

When buying antiques and collectibles, there are some key aspects that you need to keep in mind.  Here are a couple to remember:

Try to keep within your budget.  You wouldn’t want to spend an entire month’s budget on just one item.

Buy what you love.  It can be anything from pottery to advertising items.

Quality of the piece.  You might think this as the condition of the piece, but it is actually down a totally different road.  With this, you need to look at how well each piece in the item is made and how well the item is put together.

Keep an eye on the condition.  Chips, cracks and even missing paint will more often than not take away from the value of the item.

Ask plenty of questions.  Any reputable dealer will be more than glad to take the time to answer any question you might have about the piece.

This is just a couple of the things to keep in mind when you are buying antiques or collectibles.  What are some that you know of?

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What are some of the different types of glass that I could run across?

When you are out and about shopping, you will run across a wide variety of glassware.  Satin glass, Depression glass and Burmese glass—there are more than enough types of glassware to make your head spin.  Here are some of the types of glass that you could run across at our favorite place to shop:

Peachblow glass—this is a late 19th century glassware that can be found either opaque and more often satinized.  This type of art glass is graduated in color from shades of red or rose to a white color at the bottom.  This glass is It is also never lined.

Glass etching—this type of glass comprises the techniques of creating art on the surface of the glass by applying an acidic, caustic, or even an abrasive substance.  Traditionally, this is done after the glass is blown or cast (although the mold-etching form has replaced some forms of surface etching).

Cameo glass—this is a luxury form of glass that is produced by etching and carving through fused layers of differently colored glass.  This will produce designs (one being a white opaque figure and motifs on a dark-colored background).  Highly coveted pieces are examples that have more that three colors on them.

Peking glass—this is an overlay carved glass created by layering material around a core that is very similar to Cameo glass. This glass was created in Peking, China (hence the name).  Peking glass is more often than not made with different colored layers of glass.  This creates a contrasting look when the outer layers are carved away.  In the late 19th century, glass companies in Czechoslovakia produced imitation Peking glass beads for them to use as costume jewelry pieces.

What other different types of glass have you run across?

Etsy Vintage Team Item Highlight: Recycled Blank Books By Pistilbooks

Today’s Etsy Vintage Team Item Highlight feature recycled blank books that are made by Pistilbooks.

The recycled blank books are made from discarded library books that the Pistilbooks shop has picked up.  Most of the old library books that they use have a library binding made from buckram cloth.  Buckram is a stiff cloth usually made from cotton or linen and is very durable, and Library buckram bindings are often bright colors and patterns.

These books are great, you can use them for just about anything!  Being blank on the inside, you could use them as a journal, a sketchbook and so much more!

One of the recycled books that is in the Pistilbooks shop is this terrific example.

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The cover of the book reads “Atoms Today & Tomorrow” and is from the 1950’s.  It also has a gray cloth buckram cover with yellow and black illustrations, and you can see this terrific book here.

Another great recycled book in the Pistilbooks shop is this great one titled, “Motor Truck Engineering Handbook.”

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The book comes has a blue cover with gilt lettering, design, and red corners that show edge wear.  You can see this book here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the terrific recycled blank books in the Pistilbooks shop on Etsy here.  Head on over and check them out!

BEGINNERS TIP: What are some things to expect at an antique mall?

One of the places that I love to go to and try to find great deals are at a local antique mall.  They have everything from advertising to pottery, and the inventory is usually different.  If you have never been to one, what are some of the things that you should expect?

The first thing is that the dealers that have a booth there are most likely not going to be there.  The antique mall will have someone up front running the store.

The second thing to remember is the people that run the store are open to offers on just about any item.  If the item came out of a booth that another dealer runs, the people that run the mall will be more than glad to call the dealer and give them the offer for you.

Always make sure you look at the tag—if the tag says FIRM, then the dealer will not take an offer on it.

The third thing to remember is that one of the best times to get a great deal is the middle of the week.  Auctions, estate sales and even garage sales are more often than not going to be on the weekend—the dealers will bring in new inventory about Tuesday or Wednesday and try to clear out the old about the same time.

The last thing to remember is that you never know what you are going to run across, so keep your eyes peeled.

What kinds of tips that you use when you shop at an antique mall?

All the different colors of glassware can make your head spin!

Whenever you are shopping for vintage glassware, hearing all of the different colors of vintage glassware can make your head spin.  Here’s some of the colors that you can run across:

Ice blue—this is a very pale color of blue, and it can have a pastel iridescence if it is on a piece of carnival glass.

Vaseline glass—this is a glass color that has had uranium salts added to the molten glass mix.  When you look at this type of glass under normal lighting, the glass will appear to be yellow or even a yellow green.  When this glass is hit with an ultraviolet light (a blacklight), the glass will fluoresce in a very bright green (it looks like it could be glowing).

Reverse amberina—this is a type of glassware that is the opposite of amberina.  The central part of the glassware is red and it blends out to yellow at the edges (amberina is yellow at the center and it turns red at the edge).

Amber—this type of glass can vary from almost a yellow to a brown.  The best way to visualize the color of amber that is used when jewelry is made.

Horehound—this type of glassware is an amber color with a gray hue to it.  Some collectors call this color of glassware “Root beer”.

This is a small sample of what you can find on glassware.  What other colors have you run across?

READER’S HELP: that’s a friendly wall-crawling superhero…made from plaster?

When you start to dive into the world of antiques and collectibles, you quickly find out that you will find really cool things in unexpected places.

Not too long ago, this happened to me when I came upon a local garage sale.  And do you know what was there?  Just a bust of Spiderman himself!

Spiderman bank (1)

As you can see in the photo, the bust is made of plaster and it is also doubles as a bank (the coin slot is on the back of Spiderman’s head).  Not only that, it is extremely detailed—you can see and feel the ribbing in Spiderman’s mask, and it also feels like the head actually has cloth on it.

Spiderman bank (2)

Here’s the problem that I have with the bank—I know what it is, but I have no idea who made it.  I was told that it was made in Mexico, but there is no maker’s mark or even a country of origin mark on it.

Does anyone know who could have made this great bank?  Could it be a homemade piece that a fan of the character made?

Any information is greatly appreciated!

What are some of the glassware colors called that you will run across?

When I started selling glassware, I quickly found out that any glassware that had color to it sold better than its crystal counterpart.  Opalescent glass, forest green and amberina glass were colors that I have heard, but what exactly are they?  Here’s a description of some of the more common glass colors that you will hear:

Amberina glass—this is a type of art glass that has a color that goes from amber (or even a yellow color) to ruby on the same piece.  This shaded effect is due to the gold being added to the glass when it is being made.

Cameo glass—this is a type of glass that has layers of glass that have contrasting colors.  The outer layers are either acid-etched, carved, cut, or even engraved to produce a design.  Since the layers are different colors, this will help the design stand out from the background.

Opal glass—this is glass that resembles an opal.  Opal glass will be a translucent and white, and it will also have a grayish or bluish tinge to it.

Cranberry glass—this is a type of glass that is made by adding gold salts or colloidal gold to molten glass (tin is sometimes added as a reducing agent), and this makes the glass turn a pink color.

This is only a small example of some of the glassware colors that you will run across when you are out shopping.  What colors have you run across?