Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori
by Dr. Lori Verderame
Many of us will be displaying our collection of Christmas collectibles—both old and new—this holiday season. Personally, I am going to display a new holiday collectible, this Byers Choice Ltd. Caroler in my likeness, which I expect will become a cherished holiday collectible for my family as time goes by (see photo below). I have many of these popular hand-made caroler figures made near my home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Annually, they make their way onto window sills, shelves, and holiday tables as seasonal decorations.
While this is the time to revisit Christmas collectibles, it is also the best time to sell off these items. The value for your Christmas collectibles is high right now and if you are a seller, you can help yourself drive up the market prices by offering objects for sale that are seasonally themed for Christmas and in good shape. Here are some of the popular holiday antiques and collectibles.
Antique ornaments, produced from circa 1880 to 1940, are highly collectible. Since some of the most beautiful and handmade ornaments were made in that period of hand-blown glass, these ornaments are very difficult to find. So, if you discover one entangled in the garland, hold onto it. One antique ornament may be valued at $100 or more at Christmas time.
Starting your own holiday ornament collection will cost you a pretty penny. Some of the most popular ornaments are those made after World War II and represent everything from astronauts to zebras. While seasoned collectors are looking for kugels and other glass blown figural ornaments from Germany, new collectors are especially interested in vintage pieces made in America in the 1940s to the 1970s.
Famous miniature holiday village “architectural firms” like the McLoughlin Brothers and Built-Rite Toys firm sold miniature holiday town and village displays in the early 1900s. A Sears & Roebuck miniature Christmas village would have cost only 69 cents in the mid- 1930s.
After World War II, Bachmann Brothers introduced the Plasticville line of miniature buildings to accompany model train set ups. These miniature Christmas villages command high prices today at auction and online such as the Bliss Company village of lithographed cardboard featuring a pharmacy, opera house, bank, and post office sold for $16,500 recently. That’s big money for some little cardboard houses.
Toys & Games
Major board game companies like Milton Bradley introduced games featuring Santa including the seasonal favorite, The Santa Claus Game. Today, this holiday game in excellent condition is worth more at Christmas time.
When you decorate or display antique treasures during the holiday season, remember to consider pets, direct sunlight, warm fireplace hearths, and new traffic patterns made by hosting guests in your home so you retain those cherished objects in good condition for years to come.
Dr. Lori Verderame is an author, internationally syndicated columnist, Ph.D. antiques appraiser, and award-winning artifacts expert on the History channel’s #1 treasure-hunting TV show, The Curse of Oak Island. Dr. Lori appraises objects at her nationwide events (www.drloriv.com/events) and on her YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/drloriv).