Saturday, January 3, 2009

Antique Appraisals

Antique appraising is the process in which a certified professional will evaluate the worth of an antique. What makes antique appraisals so influential to the antique world is that they sets standards for what is appealing/not appealing with antiques, and most importantly it creates the demand and supply aspect of the antique market. Appraisers are in a way trend-setters, for they can influence the value of anything by simply saying so. Even more, antique appraisers can be found anywhere, and most likely there are more than one in your area.

When taking your antiques to get appraised, be sure to follow some of these tips:

- Do not ask 'how much is this worth?', for you will get a poor response. Instead, investigate with an appraiser.
- Appraisals are simply a standard estimate on the value. With that in mind, be prepared to have people give you extremes of that standard. It all depends on what your antique is, and who wants it.
- Never sell anything to the appraiser that gave you the appraisal. You could be scammed.

Antique appraisals can be a rather nerve-racking experience, but it is a necessary process in collecting antiques.

So, where can antique appraisals be done?

To get started in antiques, or in need of help finding an appraiser, go to, the best place to get in contact with professional antique collectors and appraisers. So, as long as you are collecting antiques, do yourself a favor and get your antiques appraised.


Memorabilia is something that interests us all, a hobby to millions, and a lifestyle for many! Memorabilia collections can vary on all extremes of the spectrum, from sports to kitchenware to flowers. There is so much that goes into the appraising of memorabilia, the top major factors being rarity and condition. What makes collecting memorabilia so exciting is that one day the knickknacks that are worth pennies can become million dollar commodities the next. As well, memorabilia can be acquired from anywhere, form the internet to yard sales to top auctions.

Some of the most popular memorabilia are Star Wars, KISS, Obama, and Major League Baseball. Out of all the memorabilia throughout the world, covering over centuries in human history, there are some top valuable items.

Here is a little list of items that are almost priceless:

- Washburn 22 fret wing series hawk solid body with a double cutaway electric guitar. Sold for $5 million.

- Darth Vader's Mask (from Start Wars). Sold for $115,000

- Post Office Mauritius, 1847. Sold for $3.5 million

For those wanting to begin their adventure in collecting memorabilia, find a niche that you are passionate about, such as guitars or cars. Make sure that you collect items that are indeed memorabilia, which are things that are worth remembering. This is the most difficult part of the collecting hobby, for everyone has personal opinion, so one man's junk is another man's treasure.

For those already collecting memorabilia, then strengthen the value of your collection by acquiring pieces that are rare, or that are similar. For example, if you collect baseball cards, collect a specific team, a specific year, or both!

Getting started on memorabilia collecting can be a bit challenging, since there are countless possibilities. However, a great website to get started on your hobby, go to It has everything you need to get started, from finding a possible niche ot get into to connecting and communicating with other collectors.

Antique Dinner Bells

Antique dinner bells are odd pieces to attain in the world of antique collectors, and there are reasons for this being so. Varying in all shapes, sizes, and designs, dinner bells all served a relatively common purpose, to announce the beginning of dinner. Despite its universal purpose, they each are a piece of art, and are now treated as such, instead as dinner bells!

Another aspect that makes dinner bells such a hot commodity is that they can be found throughout the world, and from all periods of human history. Some antique dinner bells were used for kings, queens, and important royal families. The most common antique dinner bells are from the Victorian period.

As well, these bells may have seemed inexpensive at the time, now some antique dinner bells can be worth thousands, if not millions. In fact, the most expensive antique dinner bells come from the 1800s, during the Victorian period, and can be purchased for about one thousands dollars (United States dollars).

If you want to find the true gems of dinner bells, look for the ones crafted with sterling silver, gold, or a valuable metal. Some even have jewels within the design. These ones will typically prove to be more valuable then ones of brass or porcelain.

However, what makes collecting antique dinner bells so difficult is that the process can be cumbersome and lengthy. Do not worry though, there are immediate benefits to creating a collection, and making the appropriate additions to them. One clearly obvious benefit is that the more specific your collection is, such as antique dinner bells from a specific country or era, will create a more valuable price with each piece. As mentioned before, this can take some time to accomplish, for pieces may be scattered throughout the world, and you will have to worry about proper shipping and handling, which means costs for that will be naturally expensive.

So, hopefully you have gained some interest in the unique world of antique dinner bells, and note that once you have begun this journey of collecting, there is so much opportunity out in the world to create the most enjoyable hobby, as well as a very profitable venture! A great place to start searching for antique pieces, is an excellent place to begin!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Antique Furniture

This installment is going to ask, Where Does all the antique furniture go?

Furniture can be a bit difficult to discover, for when the average person has furniture that becomes "antique to them", they get rid of it, and replace it with modern pieces.

So, where exactly can we find antique furniture, and what, if there are such pieces, antique furniture is highly valuable?

To begin, antique furniture is something that takes a bit of work and calculating. The main reason for this is because there are so many different pieces, makers, models, years/eras, and countless other factors that go into the appraising phase of your antique furniture. Even more, some pieces what makes furniture so difficult of being antique is in the definition itself, for technically something from the 1990's can be termed antique, which is technically under the same category as pieces from teh 18th century. However, appraisers understand the differences in ages and eras, which then leads to differences in values. Now understanding a bit of what antique furniture is, we can figure out that antique furniture is everywhere around us, from specialized stores in your local area or town to the numerous travelling shows and expos that may cmoe through your area as well. The most popularized appraisal show in recent years has been the Antique Roadshow, on PBS channels.

As to what specific pieces of antique furniture that are very expensive, typically these pieces are the rarest, unique, and in flawless condition. Here is a brief list of the most expensive pieces of antique furniture:

- Chippendale antique secretary (1760): $12,100,000 * highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of American furniture!
- French silver tureen (1732) : $10,000,000 (I know, it's a bowl... but it gets put into furniture categories a lot)
- Any antique wooden furniture from 1700s, especially mahogany.

One place that I found to be rather helpful in my search for antique furniture is, for it has everything... from kitchen to bathroom, and pieces intricate to simlpe large wooden crafts.

Hopefully you have fuond some interest in this now not-so-small niche in the antique world, an if you need to get started, again go to! This hobby is one of the most expensive ones to get into, but antique furniture is definitely the most profitable in return!

Monday, December 29, 2008

U.S. Coins

Lately I have been in need of a new hobby, something that could be fun, yet potentially profitable at the same time.

U.S. Coins is just the niche to get into! With coins dating back to the nation's first established currency to confederate coins, U.S. coins play an important part in its history. The coins each tell a piece of the story that U.S. has been crafted for centuries now, and it continues to do so, primarily to promote the economy (this has been noted and evident with the U.S. state quarters, as well as the newly created Obama coins.) Despite the intention of the U.S. coins, there is no doubt that collecting some U.S. coins can not only become enjoyable, but a wise investment decision too.

Among the hundreds of U.S. minted coins, here is a rather brief list of the most sought after U.S. coins:
1943 Copper Penny
1776 Silver Continental Dollar

Almost anything from 1870

1804 Draped Bust Dollar

1861 Confederate States Half-Dollar

The Brasher Doubloon
1974 Aluminum Penny

And, with great debate, the rarest (and thus, most valuable) U.S. coin:

1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

This coin was once sold for $7.5 million U.S. dollars! During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt recalled The Double Eagle, as with all gold coins, back to the U.S. government/treasury, as gold was dismissed as the currency standard. However, a combination of smuggling and some simply never making it back, they became a hidden treasure. These are hot items, and something that the U.S. government is still looking for! (The Secret Service confiscated one during 1992.)

So, whether you are a veteran or amateur, U.S. coin collecting is definitely a hobby to enjoy, for it can truly become a lifetime adventure. If you want to get started, or look to create new additions to your already established collection, check out, for it is a place that I check out regularly for news and possible purchases for U.S. coins, along with all things antique! Be sure to check it out, and good luck with your coin collecting journey!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Musical Instruments

This post is going to dig into the wonderful world of music, specifically musical instruments.
As I am sure many of us have played some horn or drum within our life... this should begin reminiscence of childhood ensembles, maybe embarrassing or not. :) And while we live in a world full of precious antiques of all shapes, sizes, and purposes, nothing says history better than musical instruments. Music is one thing within our lives that has been carried through generation to generation, bringing a piece of culture, history, and stories from the distant past to present.

Even more, discovering antique musical instruments can be both easy and challenging. I personally collect century old brass horns, but my dream is to get a hold of some truly antique saxophones (... I am a veteran sax player, alto and bari to be exact). What makes antiques so treasured within musical instruments is not the possible monetary value of the particular item(s), but the story that goes behind it. Musical instruments have been, and still are (relatively), the only product crafted by hands, and not on an assembly line method. Because of that fact, many people can tell stories fascinating to anyone... from how it was made to who played it to the journey it made around the world.

Now as WDIG prides itself on finding particularly rare items, here is a list of some of the rarest musical items (photos of these items are in search as we speak):
- Stradivarius Violin (Approx. 1700s)
- Flageolet Collection (Approx. 1800s)
- Dital Harp Lute. Levien. Paris. (Date unknown) *Goes for about $3,000 (USD)- Cittern String Waldzither (Similar to 18th century English guitar, 5 course. 18.5" scale length, 13" widest point, 26.5" overall length )

...there is an endless list of instruments that antiquates are striving to collect, but some specify their collection by country, year/time period, specific instrument/type, etc.
To find some more information on antique musical instruments, check out They are an awesome site, and WDIG gives a BIG THUMBS UP!! :)

Music instruments will always play a part in our lives, and taking some time to find out about antique music instruments will definitely keep you entertained.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where are all the Typewriters Repairmen

As a 2nd part to the WDIG Typewriter installment, it came to mind that as typewriters have become obsolete, so has the need of repairmen. Therefore, the question at hand is 'where have all the typewriter repairmen gone?'

Some theories:

1.) The repairmen have adapted in the technological world, moving to computers or other machine repairs.

2.) They have become historians. :)

Either way, I am in search for typewriter repairmen, and hopefully I can bring some betteranswers as to the story of the typewriter repairman, and where are they now.

BTW, I have found this typewriter art blog,

It is indeed unbelievable work, and check out Paul Smith's work.

Until next time,
Jeff, WDIG