Monday, October 27, 2008

Collecting Vintage Lunchboxes

The first metal figural lunchbox was made by Aladdin Company and featured Hopalong Cassidy. Hopalong decals covered a steel lunchbox, it was the beginning of a commercial boom that is highly profitable and popular to this day.

In 1953 the lunchbox took a new direction with fully lithographed steel and included a matching thermos. The first of the lithographed lunchboxes featured Roy Rogers. From that point on every figure in pop culture history has been on a lunchbox. Pictured is a 1956 Tigger Lunchbox.

Vintage Lunchboxes are quite collectible, the older the better. A vintage metal lunchbox in excellent condition will bring top dollar. The metal has to have good color, limited scratches and no dents. The thermos has to be complete and the handle and latch has to be in good condition. About 6 years ago I sold an original Dukes of Hazzard Lunchbox for $100, today's market doesn't bring that kind of price, these old lunchboxes do tend to fluctuate in price and popularity.

If you come across one of these old lunchboxes be sure to look for a date, many of the early lunchboxes from the 50's and 60's are valuable, however, some of the 70's and 80's lunchboxes are now valuable as well.

Collecting lunchboxes is a hobby that has been around for years and it's probably one that will be around forever.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shot Glasses

Shot Glasses are a highly collectible item especially among young men. Collecting shot glasses is certainly not just a man's hobby, but I do find it is more popular among young men.

Almost every entertainment attraction sells shot glasses as a souvenir in their gift shops.
Shot Glasses come in every color you can imagine. While most are the same size there are some that are taller and some that are shorter than a standard shot glass. I've seen them made of many materials, a few being glass, porcelain, wood, metal and plastic.

Alcohol manufactures use shot glasses for lucrative advertising, the lucrative part is that people pay for the opportunity to purchase business advertising on souvenir shot glasses.

Shops that carry state or city souvenir items usually have shot glasses. Flea markets are also a prime place to look for shot glasses. Collectors seem to either buy all they see or they collect a series of particular shot glasses. For instance, we had a collector that came into the store looking for shot glasses with football team logos. Another buyer was looking for any shot glass with a alcohol company logo. We also had several young men that bought every one they found.

I do come across them at yard sales occasionally where you can usually pick them up very cheap. Once I bought a huge lot of shot glasses at a yard sale for 10 cents a piece and sold them as a lot on eBay for $75. A huge profit for me.

I usually price my shot glasses between $3 - $5 in my flea market booth and I have no problem selling them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Avon 1876 Cape Cod

Avon 1876 Cape Cod is a beautiful deep ruby red glass with a raised grape & waffle type pattern. The line started with candle holders, however, a whole dinnerware line soon followed. Avon 1876 Cape Cod was first produced in the mid 70's and was discontinued in the mid 90's.

I can remember working with a girl in the 90's that loved this ruby glass. She would order a piece every month when the Avon book circulated around the break room. She wanted her Christmas dinner table set with nothing but this on a white linen tablecloth. Every time I see a piece of Avon Cape Cod I think of her and often wonder if she ever completed her Christmas table.

At one time the Cape Cod line was quite collectible but as with most collectibles value and popularity have diminished. The smaller pieces usually start out at $5 in a flea market, I've seen the Cake & Knife set go for $75 but that was a few years ago. I don't know if it could get that today for the set but like everything collectible, I guess if somebody wants it badly enough you could.

This beautiful glass is no longer available through Avon but I do find it quite often at Antique Stores and Flea Markets. I also find an occasional piece at a yard sale. Of course eBay is saturated with Avon 1876 Cape Cod so if you really want a certain piece that would be the place to shop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vernon Ware

Vernon Kilns was a California Company that produced figurines, vases, pottery, dinnerware and souvenir plates. They operated out of Vernon, California from 1930 to 1958. Below are some of the dinnerware patterns produced by Vernon Kilns:

The "Mayflower" cup and saucer pictured below was one of the more popular patterns.

The "Tickled Pink" dishes are popular with collectors today.

Vernon Kilns produced the pattern "Organdie" from 1937 to 1958. Organdie shown below is a plaid pattern with yellow circled around brown stripes.

In 1958 Vernon Kilns closed up shop, however, Metlox another great California Pottery Company purchased the molds and with a special license was able to produce them under the same name. Most of these pieces are marked Authentic Vernon Ware. Some will have the Metlox name, some do not.

The set of dishes below is quite similar to the one above but as you can see the colors are brighter and the lines are more clearly defined. This very popular pattern called “Homespun” was produced under the Vernon Kilns name.

"Fruit Basket", shown below, is another Vernonware pattern produced by Metlox.

There are many, many patterns that were produced by Vernon Kilns. The library is a good place to research Vernon Ware. A internet search of Vernonware, Vernon Ware, Vernon Kilns, Metlox and California Pottery are your best bet when researching Vernon Ware.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Collecting Roosters

If you are into decorating with roosters you will find several different versions in almost every flea market in the United States. It seems like the country kitchen decor calls for at least one rooster if not several.

I’ve seen roosters stamped into furniture, canister sets, rugs, dishes, glasses, pottery, tablecloths & napkins and pots & pans. These items seem to be very common in a rooster decorated kitchen.

I have seen so many artistic versions of the rooster that I know the barnyard version and the art deco version can create very different decorating schemes.

You can decorate with mass-produced roosters, vintage roosters or unique roosters that are made of different compositions. They can be very colorful or have muted colors or even a gold or brass tone.

Roosters with color promote a definite country feel regardless of what room in your home you are decorating.

A room painted with earth colors and trimmed in dark wood can be decorated with brass or gold tone roosters. Throw in some pottery and splashes of red or even a few colorful roosters here and there and it will add a flair of elegance to that country theme.

No matter what your style or budget is you can find these roosters in dollar stores, variety stores, online stores, eBay, and even flea markets. Yard sales and auctions are also a great place to find them.

Happy Hunting!