News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
MONDAY, JULY 2, 2007

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Enid Collins purses

Collectors’ Corner

Top 10 desirable antiques

Country Home magazine’s July issue features the magazine’s 13th annual list of the top 10 collectibles.

The magazine’s editorial team confers with top antiques dealers to build the list, a magazine spokeswoman says. Editors and dealers base the list on what they see at shows and markets, what is popular out there and what people are buying.

But the editors also lean toward items that are up-and-coming and not completely collected up, that dealers expect will continue to grow in popularity over the next year.

Here’s a summary of this guide to what’s hot and what to look out for, with prices beginning at $10.

1. Aesthetic movement transferware: This English pottery from the aesthetic movement (1870 through 1900) typically has Asian-influenced scenes with asymmetric, bold or geometric patterns. Plates in good condition run from $50 to $250; “hollow” pieces, such as soup tureens or pitchers, will be more. Hang transferware as art. “They’re like paintings, and I love that each time I pass them I notice something new,” says dealer Tom Newcomer.

2. Six-board chests: These simple 17th- to 19th-century American-made storage chests were constructed out of six wide (usually pine) boards. “These chests were not made by cabinetmakers. They were made by ordinary people in their homes, struggling to survive in a new country,” dealer John Maggs says. Prices run between $500 and $2,300. Chests fit anywhere, perhaps under a window or at the foot of a bed. Use chests for unobtrusive storage, what they were made for.

3. Enid Collins purses: Painted and adorned with plastic stones, these beautiful mid-20th-century handbags were made by Texan Enid Collins starting in 1959. About $40 to $250, depending on condition. A painted-on signature or initials are a stamp of authenticity. “The purses look phenomenal as a group,” on a wall or shelf, says dealer Madge Novel. Or, just wear them.

4. Garden ornaments: English and French stone ornaments destined for estate gardens, from about 1680 through 1940. Simple pieces are valued from $325 to $850, elaborate carvings in the tens of thousands of dollars. Some of dealer Tracy Young’s garden ornament inventory ends up indoors. “They have a timeless appeal and blend with any decor, from modern to 15th-century,” she says.

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5. Pattern-glass compotes: Pattern-glass (also known as pressed-glass) footed bowls were manufactured from 1850 until about World War I. You know it’s pattern glass if you see the seams of the molds into which the glass was poured. Compotes usually range from $25 to $150. Dealer Alice Ahlfeld puts her compotes where they will catch light and sparkle. Fill them with fruit, make trifles in them, or use smaller compotes to hold jewelry.

6. Coin silver spoons: These American spoons, made from about 1790 to 1870, were originally cast from melted-down silver coins. A small, basic spoon is $10 or less; one with more decoration can set you back at least $100. Dealer Lee Berkovits says coin silver spoons are perfectly usable. Mix and match to use them as your everyday spoons.

7. Homespun: Textiles spun in the home and woven by professional weavers in the 19th century were then sewn into bedding, table linens, clothing and grain bags. Non-dyed grain bags in good condition are valued at about $100; sheets about $50. American homespun is slightly more costly than European because it is older and not as available. Dealer Claudia Glassman recommends slipping a pillow inside a grain bag, or draping yardage over a wing chair or at the foot of the bed.

8. Flourishings/calligraphy: These Victorian-era pen-and-ink drawings were used for calling cards, bookplates, friendship books and framed art. Calling cards are valued from $25 to $45. Dealer Elizabeth Baird suggests running your finger over a piece; if you can feel a slight raise from the ink, you have a hand-done original, not a reproduction print. Frame and hang your collection.

9. World War I and II posters: Patriotic posters from the United States Printing Office aimed to drum up support and recruit for both World Wars. An original Uncle Sam “I Want You” can go for upward of $12,000. Most World War posters range from about $200 to $800. Frame posters under UV-protected acrylic plastic, which breathes better than glass.

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10. Folk art dogs: As doorstops, chalkware and wood toys, they honor everyone’s best friend. Dog collectibles are available from $25 for a chalkware figurine to thousands of dollars for cast-iron statues, says dealer Rick Ege. Place them around your house for “a little whimsy to make everyone smile,” Ege says.

The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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