Articles

What's It Worth? Art Deco, Asian, and Midcentury Modern Collectibles

There are so many eras, styles and design movements that we could not possibly cover them all in one column. But those noted in the title are three of our favorites.

This last week, we enjoyed another $300,000 auction, headed up by Katrina Hess, Licensed Auctioneer. (No, I do not call her Colonel.) (Well, sometimes ...) We thought we would share a few highlights.

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What's It Worth? Why Your “Awesome Find” Is Probably ... Worthless

Treasure hunting is a national pastime. Miners look for veins of gold or chunks of rare gems. Folks search for buried treasure with their metal detectors and giant, well-funded ships search for 18th century galleons full of gold coins.

Lots of people find treasures, big and small, every day. However, this week, we thought we might shed a little light on those finds that hold little value.

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What's It Worth? The Role of Miniaturization in Watchmaking

When watches were invented, they were the size of a large egg. In fact, one of the first watches ever made, in the late 16th century, was referred to as the Nuremberg Egg.

In the following 200 years, watchmakers strived to make them smaller and smaller, until eventually the goal became to miniaturize watches to the smallest possible size.

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What's It Worth? The Functional, Beautiful Parfleche

We enjoy fine and decorative arts of all types. While Asian art and antiques are taking center stage currently, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for Native American art.  

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What's It Worth? Fabergé Didn’t Just Make Exquisite Eggs

Karl Fabergé (aka Peter Carl Fabergé, also known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé), made exquisite, decorative eggs. But that wasn’t all. We have written about his continuing legacy and the companies that still make “Fabergé eggs” in so-called “limited editions” (likely thousands of them produced).

Only about 50 originals were made, with 46 Fabergé’s mark. accounted for. Your chances of ever seeing one, let alone owning one, are slim.

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What's It Worth? Auction Results Can Still Surprise Us

Katrina Hess, a licensed auctioneer, oversaw our $235,000 auction this past week that was heavy in Asian antiques, many of which were consigned to us from an Orlando-area diamond dealer who recently retired to the South of France. Last month we reported on his mid-century modern collection, and this month we sold his Asian collection.

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What's It Worth? The High Price of Restoration

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Ming Dynasty porcelain is not really rare. Some very basic crude cups or bowls, in poor condition and made by “lesser hands” (in auction vernacular), can be had for as little as $50 to $100.

We were thrilled when a Tampa Bay woman paid a visit to our St. Petersburg store telling us she had a Ming “blue and white” statue sculpture of a female immortal. As to provenance, it could not get much better. She said it was sold at Christie’s to her father and she had the exact date of sale!

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What's It Worth? The Popularity Of Mid-Century Modern Continues Our last auction proved again that mid-century modern (your parents called it Danish, art moderne, or modernist), also called retro or simply MCM, is still very hot.

The time period of MCM is argued about constantly by aficionados. I think the seeds of this era started with the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and the German Bauhaus movement – well before the accepted time period of 1935 to 1970. And some of our MCM pieces were made in the 1980s and may not be accepted as MCM by purists. But like many design eras, the concept often stretches the boundaries of an accepted time period.

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What's It Worth? Political Cartoons: A True Art Form

Today’s TV pundits are often accused of being rabble rousers, troublemakers and worse. Frequently chided for being mean or controversial just for ratings, both sides of the political spectrum fill hours and hours of airtime with a lot of what is called puff or punditry. Some listeners are enraged. Some actually enjoy the opinions heard around a microphone with a three-camera setup.

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What's It Worth? Cels of Distinction

What's It Worth? Cels of Distinction

Dr. Charles Mahan had an extraordinary collection of what is routinely referred to as “ephemera.” Ephemera is described as “vintage printed or written items that originally served some specific purpose and were not expected to be retained or preserved, but are now cherished.”

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