Tampa Bay Times

What's It Worth? Samurai Swords – The Stuff Of Legends

Few things are more confusing in the world of antiques than samurai swords. Some say they are noble, some say the represent terror – and both are correct. Centuries ago, the Japanese became experts in techniques of sharpening fine steel. Using almost medieval tools, they crafted what Katrina calls the “thermonuclear device of their period.” Indeed – in early Japan, the sharpness of these tools was tested on human beings.

What's It Worth? Auction Results Part 1

A few items we have sold at our award-winning internationally known online auction. Black forest wooden chest, $3,500. David Webb brooch, circa 1970, $7,500. Ancient jade scholar stone viewing rock, $4,000. Babe Ruth autograph, $3,000. David Hockney lithograph, $12,00. Intricate, signed ivory carving, $7,000. Dupuis bronze gilt mantel clock, circa 1880, $2,000. Aztec solid gold eagle, $4,000. Confederate flag & Civil War collection, $7,000. Jensen Whode covered silver compote, $2,000 Charles Oldenberg teapot etching, $2,000. 18K white gold Accutron Astronaut, $3,500. A Clyde Butcher photo,

What's It Worth? Auction Results Part 2

A few items we have sold at our award-winning internationally known online auction. Picasso limited edition gold pendant, $16,000. Unusual, important Satsuma Group porcelain, $10,000. Regina’s Music box, $10,000. Original art Tarzan comic strip, $10,000. Old Master oil, St. John, $8,000. Pristine Pablo Picasso owl pitcher, $8,000. Syd Solomon painting, $8,000. Nepal Thankga – 17th century, $7,000. Sevres rare table top, $7,000. NY Yankees pendant, $5,000. Tiffany aesthetic Audobon server set, mint condition, $4,000. William J.

What's It Worth? That Old Thing In The Corner

While we have several professionals who do home and corporate visits, often traveling statewide and nationally, I was intrigued when a woman from Connecticut called a few weeks ago to settle a family estate here in Tampa Bay. The 1940s Tampa Bay mansion was being sold and they needed to get rid of the contents of the 16 rooms. I went on this house call myself, as she had mentioned they had silver, antique books, art glass and paintings. When I arrived, the heirs were accommodating and friendly and let me look at almost everything.

What's It Worth? Heroism Collectibles

Civil War medals, fireman badges, military ribbons and the like all have value for collectors. As a watch collector and internet junkie, I peruse the internet for rare or unusual things for my own collection. Eight years ago, I stumbled on an auction in Finland that had an unusual, high-grade 23-jewel Riverside Maximus 14K Hunter case Waltham pocket watch. It is quite scarce and usually brings $2,000-$3000.

What's It Worth? The Allure of Militaria

We were recently contacted by a New York collector who had decided to buy some real estate and wanted us to help him sell his lifelong militaria collection. Collecting militaria has always been controversial because of the philosophy behind it. Almost all collectors collect militaria for its historical importance even though it may represent disturbing images and unpleasant memories. The gentleman collector heavily focused on American military pocket watches and wrist watches, which remain the most popular. But he also had a good amount of World War II Japanese and German items.

What's It Worth? Totally Tea for Teetotalers

“Tea is better than wine for it leadeth not to intoxication, neither does it cause a man to say foolish things and repent thereof in his sober moments. It is better than water for it does not carry disease; neither does it act like poison as water does when it contains foul and rotten matter.” According to EconomicHistory.com, this ancient Chinese saying spread through Europe as tea displaced beer in Britain and the Netherlands, when both countries were fighting the scourge of alcoholism with tea as the perfect alternative.

What's It Worth? It’s Tiffany Week at Hess!

We know we write about Tiffany a lot, but we had to share some spectacular Tiffany pieces that have come in from jewelers around the country this week. As we have written before, roughly 50 percent of our items come from area residents and the remaining 50 percent from jewelers, coin dealers and pawnbrokers around the U.S. We paid $18,000 for this large, important Tiffany Japanese aesthetic tray that is made from sterling silver and mixed metals, including gold and bronze inlay, dated 1879.

What's It Worth? American Post WWII Prints

We typically advertise that we don’t buy prints, because the print market was co-opted in the 19700s97 by ne’er-dowells, exaggerators and outright fraudsters. We do often buy earlier prints, pre-1970s, created by artists before WWII. They were generally small, and black and white. After WWII, Manhattan supplanted Paris as the center of the art world with various modern, contemporary, abstract expressionist, hard-edge and pop-art works. These brought forth multiple editions of large, colorful compositions popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s.