My client was a travel agent years ago and saved this promotional piece. Although somewhat obscure, we found a comp that showed it had some value right away. It took several attempts to find a buyer but in the end we got a fair price for it - and it's on it's way to Japan - they love the obscure I hear :)
I love seeing historical pieces sell for solid prices. This was a post Civil War period piece assembled by the last surviving commander Col. Robert Orr to honor the veterans of the conflict. I couldn't find a single comp on the value but I had a gut feeling and knew the eBay market would carry it to a fair price.
Just to give an example of the huge difference between retail and second hand, the previous owner paid $4,000 for it and it sold for a mere $750 as that was honestly all the market would bear. Had it been an antique (or actually made in France as opposed to China) it would have been worth more.
Pieces like this are soooooo hard to sell these days. While this spinner was worthy of being in a museum, the value is limited on the open market. I actually had to take this thing apart to ship it of course - which is no problem for me - but I think most people wouldn't do it on a dare.
In handling this large collection of old snuff bottles, I knew they were worth selling one or two at a time as some of them could have potentially been worth $1,000 or more. We never underestimate the value of anything as even small little trinket type items can be worth big money!
I'm repeating myself, but I get very excited when I find pieces with engraved provenance from 150 years ago! When auctioning certain types of uncommon items like these on eBay, we passively put pressure on the early viewers to 'buy it now' at a price that's a bit higher than what the item might actually be worth and in this case, it worked. Some collectors despise waiting a week and taking their chances in a bidding war and will pay a premium to close the deal.
There is no greater provenance than an item that has an engraving from 150 years ago or more. Personally I feel that pieces like this belong in a museum and I'm hoping that this will eventually find it's way back to it's home town. Occasionally I will take the time to reach out to people and organizations that might particularly appreciate a given item but it requires a tactful presentation when my ultimate goal is to sell them something.