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The Collectors Newsletter #637 -- September 2008
The Collectors Newsletter #637 -- September 2008
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1. A Memoriam to Ralph Kovel
2. Stories From our Readers
3. Antique News
4. Your Classifieds
5. Newly listed items
6. Funny Old Stuff
7. Wanted ads. Can you help?
8. A Vintage Recipe
9. A Vintage Recipe Request from a Reader
10. New On line Merchants
11. Helpful Resources For Collectors
Start Your Own Home Business
This is the start of our 14th year selling antiques and collectibles online. Put the expertise of TIAS.com to work for you by starting a home based business selling antiques and collectibles online. Want to learn more? It's easy to get started selling online. Just go to
. If you have any questions, give Phil a call at 1-888-653-7883 or drop us a note at email@example.com
1) Ralph M. Kovel, nationally known antiques author and expert, died Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Cleveland.
In the early 1950s, Kovel came up with the idea of publishing a book that indexed antiques by the factory-specific marks found on the bottom of the pottery. He and his wife, Terry, became nationally known with the publication of their first book, Dictionary of Marks: Pottery & Porcelain, published in 1953. The book led to a weekly question-and-answer column, "Kovels: Antiques & Collecting," syndicated in 1954, which still runs in more than 150 newspapers. It was also the first of 97 books that the couple would co-author.
Ralph Kovel was born in Milwaukee. He moved with his family to Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the 1930s. A Cleveland Heights High School graduate, he attended the Ohio State University, and later taught courses in antiques at Case Western Reserve and John Carroll universities.
Kovel was a food broker at the same time he found success with antiques. In the late 1970s, he purchased a small Cleveland company called Sar-A-Lee. The company was sold in 1989 to Sara Lee Corporation, where he continued as Senior Vice-President of Sara Lee Coffee and Tea's Foods Division until 2000. He never retired. He was president of U.S. Brands, Inc., a Beachwood-based direct marketing firm, president of Lucayan Aquaculture, a shrimp farm in the Bahamas, and R & R Rossters, Inc., a restaurant in Cleveland.
Ralph and Terry Kovel were featured in their own television series on public television, the Discovery Channel and, most recently, on HGTV (Home and Garden Television Network). They wrote columns for Forbes Magazine and House Beautiful. Their articles have appeared in Family Circle, Woman's Day, Redbook, Town and Country, Giftware News and many antiques-related publications. They contributed the "Art, Antiques and Collections: Collectibles" section for Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year and were once the prize for a Publishers' Clearing House contest.
Their best-known book, Kovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide, has been published annually since 1968. The 2009 edition was just released. In 1974 the couple began to publish a monthly newsletter, Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles. Their subscription-based newsletter has over 60,000 subscribers and is available in a digital version on the website, Kovels.com, which is visited by over a quarter of a million readers each month.
Ralph Kovel served on the boards of trustees of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Western Reserve Historical Society, and Public Broadcasting stations WVIZ-TV and WCPN-NPR. He won numerous awards for his public service and two Cleveland Emmys for his television work.
The Kovels have been great friends of this newsletter. Ralph was a wonderful man and his passing is a great loss to everyone that knew him and everyone who loves antiques and collectibles. If you would like to send the Kovels your condolences, there is a blog that you can post to at:
2) After you read these stories, tell us your interesting story. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish it here . We want to hear any interesting or unusual stories you would like to share with us
that are related to collecting or anything vintage.
Help Cleaning Hammered Aluminum
I use a product found in the supermarket cleaning section...called Cameo. It's not very expensive and comes in a powder form which you use to make a paste. It cleans stainless steel and aluminum. Great for sinks and pots. They also make one for copper and brass. I hope this helps. Mary in Maine
We are replying to Sue from Texas about how to make her hammered aluminum shiny again. Sue, I love the designs on these aluminum pieces, too. My mother made untold gallons of ice tea in our aluminum pitcher. Can't help but wonder if all the use of aluminum is a health issue from back then.
Anyway, a few months ago we bought a huge box of hammered aluminum consisting of trays, bowls, pitchers, etc. However, they did not look like the beautiful pieces I remember as a child because as you said, they did not shine. We researched for some way to get these pieces shop ready and found a way that helps to bring back most of the shine. We found our restorer at the auto supply store by the name of Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish. We had to use a great deal of elbow grease on our aluminum pieces because they were very tarnished. After using this product, wash you piece with a window cleaner and dry with a towel. I must admit they did not look like shiny chrome wheels but they cleaned up enough that I would use the trays for serving.
We have seen a recent interest in the hammered aluminum pieces and kitchen items from the 50's in our area. We wondered what items from the 50's that others have noticed becoming popular. Of course we are prejudice, but we think the 50's rocked! It is great to walk down those memory lanes when we see items from "our" era. May God bless you and yours. Tom and Freida from Georgia
Here's an answer for Sue and how to clean the hammered aluminum. First I clean it with a soap pad like sos/brillo. Then afterwards I soak some 0000 steel wool with a detergent and scrub again.You can see it start to shine.It can also be done dry. Unfortunately it doesn't last forever, but upkeep is easy. John-Toledo
The answer to getting aluminum items to shine again is a product called Never Dull. In the can is a large handfull of cotton or wool batting that has been soaked in what smells like kerosene. You just tear off a piece of whatever the stuff is and buff the heck out of your item. Surprisingly, Never Dull works pretty good on other metals too, but I've never found anything better for aluminum. Carol from CT
In response to Sue from Texas, who was trying to find a way to make her decorative hammered aluminum pieces shiny once again: This might sound strange, but I would try catsup! The acid in the tomatoes works on restoring shine to aluminum pans (copper as well, I believe) ... so I don't see why it wouldn't work on the art you're describing. I don't have any of the hammered aluminum, so I couldn't say for sure that it would do the trick -- but seems like it would be worth a try. Write back and let me know ... Kim in Arizona
Comments on liquidating an estate
I used to be an Antique dealer, and bought many things from auctions. I think this is the best way to get the most out of an estate. A good auctioneer will get the best possible price for an item. With an auction everything gets sold so you only have to clean up the garbage left around. The auctioneer with his crew will set up the sale and do the advertising. They will try to have boxes etc available for packing and help with loading some of the heavy things. With an estate sale you end up with leftovers that have to be dealt with. You want an auctioneer that does estates on site so it doesn't have to be moved to an auction house if that is possible. A good auctioneer has a following that attend his sales and a good reputation for fair dealing. The family should only clean up the perishable food and trash, most every thing else will be of some value to some body. Some of the best little goodies that I have found were in the dumpster after the family "cleaned up" the house to get ready for a sale or auction. They threw all the really old good stuff away and kept the junk. So always talk to a professional first before you toss any thing, Or better yet hire them to do it. Will save you money in the long run. When you get two or more people who want the same item, the price will just go up as they battle over the treasure. Besides country auctions are lots of fun, and ones in town aren't bad either. Hope this helps, Jan, Oregon
I have found that the best way to get top dollar or very close to it is to find a reputable Estate Dealer/Person/Planner & have an Estate Sale. It normally lasts over 2-3 days, but a reputable Estate Planner that knows exactly what they are doing & have been doing Estates for quite a while will usually get the most of the top dollar during the first day to second day for your items. Usually by the last day everything goes for 1/2 price. However! I like what some Estate Planners do and that is on the 1st day it is the normal price, on the 2nd day it is 33% off & on the 3rd day it is 66% off. It works out approximately the same, but I feel it brings in more interested people on all 3 days. Either way, Estates Sales, I feel, work the best. With the items left over, if the Estate Planner doesn't wish to take it to another Estate Sale & try to sell them there, some do & some don't do this, then I would take the best of the items left & put them in an auction & the rest goes to Goodwill & get a write off! I can't mention enough, however, about getting references & checking into the background of the Estate Planners &/or the Auctioneer you get. Interview at least 3 different ones! There has been nightmares either way! It is like a shot in the dark with a auction because you do not know how much you are going to get for an item. It all depends on that day, the moon, etc. So to speak!! Remember one thing, tho!! Don't expect to get what the item(s) sell for on Ebay or are priced in books. That is a thing of the past! Some items will sell at est. book prices, but most won't anymore! Go into it with a open mind! Good luck! Texas!
After all of the members of my father-in-law's small family of descendants took the items they wanted, we hired an auctioneer to sell the rest. They included antique farm implements, a large assortment of dishes and other household items and furniture, old and new. Around here auctioneers usually sell the smaller items first and the larger items last, and since there were a LOT of smaller items, the auction took a very long time. As it went on and on, the crowd began to dwindle, and so many of the good antique and new furniture pieces sold for what seemed to me a paltry amount, given their excellent condition. Looking back on it, I wish I had bid on some of them, as I'm sure I could have resold them for a price (even at a garage sale) that would have more than made up for the cost of the item and the auctioneer's commission. If we had to do it over, we would have hired one of the local "tag sale" companies. We've attended many estate tag sales since our auction, and good furniture seems to be in short supply and high demand. We may not have made as much on a few specific items, but overall we think we would have done better with a tag sale than with the auction. The only drawback would be that at tag sales, the entire house is open to customers, and we had already bought the house from the estate and moved into it...Thanks for letting me vent. I enjoy your newsletter! Martha - Barberton, Ohio
On Cape Cod there are several companies which specialize in Estate sales. They are sensitive to families' wishes, price objects fairly, and if the family puts a "bottom price" on an object -- that's it. A potential buyer can bid on an object and the company spokesperson will consult family regarding that price. On the last afternoon of the sale, everything goes for half price or less. In reality, not much is left by then. These companies have, I believe, good reputations and people flock to their sales. Gloria
Last year our family agreed to have an estate sale to clear out the years of accumulation of things great and small in my parent's home. I contracted with a local antique store owner to do the sale, and, for the most part, things were handled well. It seemed to me that all of the prices were extremely low, but I had to rely on the woman who said she knew what people would pay in our part of Texas. You will probably have to give up control of pricing if you have someone to come in and do the sale for you. But, in return, they do all the work of clearing out attics and closets, displaying the merchandise, and having the sale. Their commission is well worth it. The only thing I did not anticipate is the antique store owner picking out items to buy herself, before the sale was held. She had an assistant that priced the items so she felt like this was acceptable. I asked her about it because I was very surprised, and I pointed out that her items were going into the sale total, from which she would also get a commission. It seemed like a double discount to me, plus she was taking the pick of the merchandise. She said this was routine and she was surprised it bothered me, and that she couldn't stay in business unless she got good deals. I assumed that my estate sale was her priority and she would be wanting the highest prices, as she would share in the commission. Just be aware that this can happen and state your terms up front about any circumstance like this. Don't make any assumptions, get everything in the contract up front.
I was also told, by her, about another antique store owner who did estate sales, who priced everything so high that nothing sold. Then after the sale she would offer to buy it for a considerable discount. Uh, how was that much different than what she did? Just be aware and ask questions and have a contract. Linda in Texas
--Topic for Next Newsletter--
We'll post some more comments on the above topics, but I'd also like to hear more comments regarding Linda's post in Newsletter #636 "What one item would you take if you had to leave home in a hurry". Send your comments to email@example.com and we'll post them here.
SEND US YOUR VINTAGE STORIES OR COMMENTS ON THESE STORIES! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We collect interesting stories about collecting. Things like your best find, unusual collections, bizarre collectibles. Anything and everything that is interesting that has to do with collecting. We may publish it here. Send your story to email@example.com
3) Antique News
News-Antique.com is now the #1 search result on Google for antique news. If you want to tell the world
about your antiques & collectibles business, auction, club or upcoming event related to the antiques and
collectibles trade, you can post it for free at
Here are the latest news headlines about antiques and collectibles from
1. Estate of Jimmy Pippen to be sold in Natchez, Oct. 3-4
2. Antique Trader Launches Treasure Hunt Sweepstakes
3. GREATEST HITS OF KOREAN ART: Thursday, September 18 – Saturday, October 4, 2008
4. J. Greenstein & Co. Auction to Feature Extraordinary Collection of Rare Antique and Artisan Judaica
5. WorthPoint Teams Up with Heritage Auction Galleries
6. China, Dinnerware, Replacements at Dinnerware Replacements
7. Counterfeit Coins Exhibit, Educational Seminars at Long Beach Expo
8. Piccolo Art Prime for Princeton
9. Rare Paintings at Kaminski’s Fall Fine Art & Estates Auction
10. Auction Central News Launches Online Resource
11. THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF MEDAL NEWS IS NOW ON SALE!
12. Mothballs, comedy About Antiques premiers 9/5/08 in Brimfield MA Free viewing
13. Free Appraisals at Atlantique City
14. Barbie, Thomas Kinkade, Stickley, Double Eagle, Stradivarius, Whitetail
15. Disney Artist Ralph Kent Collection in Several Sales
16. Furniture Care
17. Musical Instruments: how do you know if that old violin is any good?
18. Cookie Jars top TIAS Hot List
MANY more stories are added several times a day. You can read the latest news now at:
YES! you can put the latest DAILY news about antiques and collectibles on your Web site.
It's easy to do. Go to:
to get the code.
4) Your Classifieds...
Movie Posters & Concert Posters Wanted! Top $ Paid!
Shelley China Specialists Time Was Antiques
Do you have antiques or collectibles you are just itching to sell? A simple classified ad in this newsletter might just be your answer. Over 17,000 readers subscribe to this newsletter. One of them just might be able
to help you out. Place your ad today at:
Want to know what our advertisers think? Check out the testimonials at:
5) Newly listed items for your online shopping pleasure for Friday September 5, 2008 Stop by and check out today's fresh inventory at:
6) Funny Old Stuff
This is our humor section. These are humorous family stories and comments that are sent in by readers. If you have a submission you would like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may run it in the next issue.
I am the oldest of three sisters but it was my middle sister who exhibited the typical "middle child" syndrome. She was extremely jealous of me since my mother and I were so close and I was the oldest and was allowed to do things she was not..
This jealously caused her to come up with some rather odd, even frightening behaviors in order to gain attention.
One summer afternoon, when she was about 6 years old - our housekeeper and "nanny" looked out the back window and saw smoke coming from the backyard. "Nanny" quickly called the fire department in our very small southern town and they arrived very quickly.
After putting the fire out, they questioned the housekeeper - who knew nothing. THEN, they questioned my sister who was very forthcoming with a detailed description of the culprit - "a little girl with pigtails and freckles". Now, wouldn't you know, this was a perfect description of my sister. It seemed that she craved attention, being the middle child, whether it was positive or negative!!! We laugh about it now - but I'm sure she wasn't laughing when my parents got home that day!!! Judy, Minden, La.
When my nephew Jonathan was about 4 & his sister Alison about 6, we took them to a science museum. They were enjoying themselves & they found out that a group of kids were putting on a play there, so they wanted to see it. They had bleachers set up & they wanted to sit at the very top. Well the play ended up being about dreams, mostly nightmares & was over their heads, but because we were sitting up at the top, we couldn't very well climb over people to leave. Jonathan kept asking to go & I kept saying "in a few minutes" & a few minutes later he'd ask to go & again I'd say "In a few minutes". Finally in a very loud voice he yelled "How many more minutes before I throw up". Everybody cleared the way & we quickly exited! Lisa Auger Douglas MA
We need stories for our humor section. Tell us some funny, family related stories and we'll share them with our readers. Send them to email@example.com
Do you have a funny family story you would like to share? Make someone feel good by sharing it with us. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish it here.
7) Wanted ads. Can you help?
Here are the latest wanted ads from the TIAS Exchange. Can you help someone out?
WANTED: Royal Bavaria gold-rimmed china replace broken pieces
GET YOUR WANTED AD HERE! Just $10 and we'll send it out to 17,000 people who get this newsletter. Go to
Looking for something? Place a "Wanted" ad in this newsletter. Over 17,000 subscribers will see it. It's easy, go to:
9) A Vintage Recipe
Be sure to check out our vintage recipe archive online at:
Over 1200 wonderful vintage recipes are listed.
In our last issue Betty requested a recipe for "Doggie Treat". We had several very interesting responses.
A friend says her pups love these. Choose Turkey or Beef, maybe Liver or Chicken
flavor Baby food.
Fur Baby Favorites
2 jars of baby food, 4-ounce size
2-1/2 cups of whole-wheat flour
First beat baby food, eggs and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in flour until the dough comes together. Then roll the dough into ½ inch balls and flatten them with a spoon on a baking sheet. You may also roll the dough into whatever shapes you’d like. Or use Bone Shape cookie cutters.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes at 350°F (or up to 40 minutes for a crunchier texture). Cool the treats on wire racks and store in an airtight container. This mix makes about 60 treats, depending on how large you choose to make them.
Homemade Dog Treat Recipe
Beefy Doggie Cookies
2 6-once jars of beef-and-vegetable baby food
1 cup of wheat germ
2 cups of nonfat dry milk
Preheat your oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a greased pan. You can flatten slightly or you can cut into fun shapes such as bones, paws, etc. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly brown at the edges. Let cool. Store in fridge for up to one week.
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup skim milk powder
1 T. (or one pkg.) dry yeast
3 1/2 cups lukewarm chicken or meat broth
1-2 T. dried parsley flakes
1-2 t. garlic powder
Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm broth. The richer this broth is, the tastier your dog will find them. Let yeast-broth mixture stand 10 minutes. Stir in flour mixture. Divide dough into four "globs," since the entire thing is too much to work with by itself. Roll out each glob 1/4" thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Brush biscuits with egg wash (Beat one egg, add a little water, beat to combine). Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300° for 45 minutes, then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening. Makes 60 medium-sized biscuits. (Recipe, with modifications, from a newsgroup post by Jill Faerber.)
Cheesy Dog Biscuits Treats:Homemade dog treats are fun to make and
healthier then many of the store bought versions.
1cup rolled oats (such as Quaker)
1/3 cup margarine
1cup Boiling water
3/4 cup cornmeal
2teaspoons Chicken or beef broth or Vegetable Broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 cups whole wheat flour.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
Grease cookie sheets.
In Large bowl,combine rolled oats,margarine and boiling water,
let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cornmeal,sugar,boillon,milk,cheese and
egg; mix well.Lightly spoonflour into measuring cup;level off.Add flour 1cupatatime,mixing well after each addition to form a stiff dough.
On floured surface,knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and
no longer sticky. 3to4minutes.Roll or pat outdough to 1/2 inch thickness,cut with bone shaped cokkie cutter.Place 1inch apart on greased cookie sheets.Bake at 325 degrees for 35to45 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely. Store loosely covered.Makes 3 1/2 dozen large dog biscuits or 8dozen small dog biscuits.
Storing Dog Treats: In general you should store dog treats the same way you would homemade people cookies. That being said,there are two main variables that determine storage time-the amount and type of fat in
the recipe and your weather conditions. If you recipe uses fats such as butter,or meat bits or juices that uses some vegetable oil or shortening. Your treats may mold or spoil faster in humid or very hot climates.
Refrigeration and Freezing-Refrigeration will prolong the life of more fragile dog treats. Make sure to store in a tightly sealed container or ziploc bag. You can also freeze most treats in a ziploc bag. Allow to thaw completely before use. From Chris Taylor Bennet,NE
I have been baking these treats for my "baby" for a long time and she loves them..They are also a healthy recipe.
2- C. Whole wheat flour
1- C. White flour
1/2 - C. Wheat germ
3 - Eggs
1- Stick of butter
1- C. Molasses
1- C. Shredded Monterey Jack
1- C. Shredded Cheddar
2- Tbs. Minced garlic (flea repellent)
Mix and roll out. Cut with cookie cutter ( I have one shaped like bone)
Lay on greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes at 350.
Makes a bunch! Hope your pooch likes !
A colleague at work (and fellow Dog-over) shared this:
Chopper loves these things and treats them with the same reverence as Greenies and FrostyPaws (he takes the loot to the back of the house to eat it; lesser treats get chowed down in the kitchen).
Disappearing Dog Treats
¾ C hot water
5 T. margarine or butter
½ C powdered milk
1 t salt
1 egg, beaten
3 C whole wheat flour
Place margarine in large bowl. Pour hot water over margarine, stir in powdered milk, salt & egg. Add flour ½ cup at a time. Knead mixture for a few minutes to form a stiff dough. Pat or roll dough to ½ inch thickness, cut using biscuit cutter or pizza cutter (my mother in law actually has an assortment of bone and squirrel shaped cookie cutters, so I guess I don’t get the trophy for lameness). Bake at 325 for 50 minutes. Cool on a rack.
This makes just over a pound of treats. Allow them to dry out and harden before putting in an airtight container. Since these aren’t loaded with preservatives, they will get moldy if conditions are right or if put away before hardening. I’d recommend keeping in the fridge or freezer.
If you enjoy these vintage recipes, you should buy a vintage cookbook from us. They make great gifts too. Take a look at:
Buy a Vintage Kitchen collectible from us. We've got lots of them here:
10) A vintage recipe request from a reader
As with collectibles, people also have very strong feelings about foods from their past. Sometimes these special recipes get lost. This section is to help people who are looking for lost recipes from their past. If you
submit a request, please include the geographical region where you had this recipe.
In the 1960's there was a popular Chocolate Malt cake mix and frosting mix. It was made by one of the well-known cake mix companies like Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines or Pillsbury. Does anyone have a recipe for a chocolate malt cake and chocolate malt icing? Thanks, Connie
If you can help this reader with this recipe, please forward it to email@example.com . If you have a vintage recipe request send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just publish it here.
Be sure to check out our vintage kitchen collectibles section online at:
11) New Online Merchants
Be sure to check out all of the fresh inventory offered by these new merchants at TIAS.
Papy's Barn has a large assortment of collectibles: Glassware, metalware, primitives, coins, art prints, vintage costume jewelry and much more. New items are added frequently, so please feel free to browse.
Sidekikz' Vintage Collectibles
Welcome! Sidekikz (Doug and Beth) have been collectors of vintage treasures for 25 years. We offer a variety of porcelain, pottery, glassware and a little of this and that.
Daffodils and Yesterdays Collectibles
Welcome to our world of Antiques, Vintage Jewelry & Collectibles. We are 2 old Dames of the Ozarks, with over 40 years of collecting combined. Our inventory consists of beautiful vintage jewelry,china, glassware, porcelain and pottery
This year, open your own online Antique & Collectible Shop. If you have one or a few items to sell, try our classifieds at
If you have more than a few items to sell, open your own store at TIAS. It's easy and fun. Over 160,000 customers visit us on an average day. It costs you nothing to get started. Take a look at:
12) Helpful Resources:
1. Find an antiques or collectibles club. Nearly 2000 different clubs listed. Take a look at:
2. What's it worth? Try Kovels' free online price guide to over 600,000 antiques and collectibles. It can be found online at
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4. Looking for prices for antiques and collectibles? PriceMiner.com has millions of them. Most items listed include color photos as well. Sign up today at:
(Not affiliated with Kovels.com)
5. Get an online appraisal. For just $9.95 from "What's It Worth To You?"
(Not affiliated with Kovels.com)
6. The Latest News regarding Antiques & Collectibles Take a look at
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