These things used to be all the rage and cost a fortune when new. The company took a wrong turn when they started making some of their stuff in China and then realized that the main reason their customers were paying hundreds of dollars for a freaking basket was because it was made in America. When we get collections of these, we usually just sell them in the store as the online market is flooded with them.
The market on Chinese antiques is a strange thing. I researched a nearly identical pair of bowls that had sold for around $8,000 so you can imagine I had high hopes for mine. After nearly a year of fishing for a high price, I finally decided that the experts knew more than me and cut them loose for a song. An interesting mention; most of the Asian antiques we do find go back to where they were made. The world is a small place these days and more than 25% of our internet sales leave the country!
The problem with selling large and heavy things on eBay is that the cost of shipping directly cuts in to what people are willing to pay for a given item. Since a piece like this could sit in the showroom for months or even years before finding a new home, we really don't have a choice and simply have to hope for the best.
A customer bought some lamps today and asked if we had any pieces like this for a science project. The collectible value of old glass is not what it used to be and this piece had a small chip, so I just gave it to her as finding things a good home is what we are all about! You'll notice it glows under a blacklight and is usually a degree or two warmer than room temperature and that is how you know it's uranium. *Wiki: Uranium glass is glass which has had (radioactive) uranium, usually in oxide diuranate form, added to a glass mix before melting for coloration.
These little metal models were used both to train observers to recognize ships by silhouette and also as position markers on tactical maps. Collectors want to buy things that not just any collector will have and these were only available in small circles. They were not in the best condition so the price was reflective of that.
This rug was probably several thousand dollars when purchased. The rug market is a lot like the diamond market and second hand pieces are worth as little as 10% of the original retail. Someone got a really good deal and we got lucky selling it the first time around on eBay. It was compact enough that it could be shipped and being able to ship an item makes all the difference in finding it a good home quick.