This was a really rare piece of Maryland history honoring a Civil War Confederate veteran after the war c1881. In any war much less a civil war, there is rarely much consideration for the loosing side so even a certificate such as this was a noteworthy honor. Within reason, you can almost name your price for pieces like this and since I couldn't find a single comparable sale, I basically had to guess where to price it. I'm a little sad to say it's leaving Maryland and on it's way to Texas. Oh well - at least it found a good home.
Pieces like this can be really hard to sell and in order to get a good price for unusual items, we sometimes have to wait months for the right buyer to come along. In this case, the buyer was in India. With Americans loosing interest in many types of collectibles, we see 20-25% of our online items sold going overseas.
This piece was essentially promo swag from 100 years ago, a miniature sample from a company that made boat anchors that the sales person would have left behind. The respectable value was based on the fact that only a shipyard manager would have gotten something like this and as we already know, transportation memorabilia is hot these days and collectors want things that are uncommon.
On our last downsizing mission, we found not one but two never-opened VCR machines that had been in someone's closet for over 20 years. While VHS is no longer being made, many people still have hundreds of great movies and they can be bought for next to nothing so many people still watch them. There were a few companies that used to make the DVD/VHS combo players but I think they stopped - so these were a great find which made for quick sales!
We seem to be hitting the lower value items this week but I wanted to post this to share a few points. Vinyl has always been collectible but from the mid 1990's through the 2000's the market was dead. Enough time has passed that a new generation of record enthusiasts have sprung up and started collecting again. Most LPs are still a dime a dozen but good titles in good condition can have some value. This piece was still sealed in factory shrink wrap and was essentially new - and yet it was still only worth $30.
So far this year, we have had very few big ticket sales. Much of our bread and butter consists of items under $100 like these never-opened cassette tapes. Some people hate change and swear by their old technology so it was no surprise that these sold within minutes of me posting them. Most people would have thrown them away thinking they were obsolete but here at Curiosity Consignment, we know better.
These old engraving prints were family crests from French royalty and nobility circa c1633 under Louis 13th. They were printed from a work assembled by Claude Maneney in the mid to late 1700's. For being 200 years old, $85 was not an impressive sale and when you consider the fact that we had to sit on them for months before finding a buyer on eBay, what were they really worth? A lot of items only have value because we had the patence to sell them.
My friend and part time associate Gerardo surprised me when he suggested we try sell these old credit cards on eBay which I was about to throw in the trash. Sure enough, in less than 24 hours someone not only bought them, but paid an additional $15 to ship them to SPAIN. Seriously, my mind was blown and we made $30 that would have ended up in the trash if it were up to me.
This tiny little trinket was actually one of the first 'credit cards' for buying gas with an account number stamped on it. Gas, oil, and transportation related items are highly collectible now and while a $17 sale was barely worth the effort of posting it, it would have been overlooked and thrown out by most people, so $17 was better than nothing. The interesting part of the story is that they buyer was in Germany and paid another $15 just to have it shipped overseas. Here at Curiosity Consignment, we get items to where they are most wanted!
A local consignor brought in this old bottle among others a few weeks ago. After doing some research, we didn't really find out much about it other than it was about 100 years old from a defunct springhouse one state over. Old bottles are pretty collectible and we figured it had enough potential to post for auction on eBay. A few days later, a man called the store and told the story of how he grew up on the very farm where this bottle was produced and offered a very fair price to buy it. Another success story of putting things where they are most wanted.
200 year old scientiffic instruments always have serious value. This would have been worth $1000 but sadly it took a slight jolt which cracked the glass tube and all the mercury leaked out - I had to let it drain into a can and there I was staring at a silver puddle of liquid death, fuming mad at myself because I really had been careful with it. Fortunately this was something I owned and not a consignment piece but in the event it had been I would have certainly fessed up to the damage and worked it out with the owner.
Prior to using our service, the consignor of this item was contemplating having an in-home estate sale to downsize her items. Pieces like this vase are often overlooked and underpriced at such sales as most people wouldn't recognize that it originally retailed for $2,000 or more and could have sold for next to nothing. While most contemporary made items will never sell for what they retailed for, we almost always get more for nice items than what a local auction or estate sale would.