What’s Selling on eBay: July 2015
by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$803 (54 bid, 15 bidders): Victorian L1894 Sampson Mordan Solid Silver Chatelaine Dictionary.
A superb rare English antique Victorian solid sterling silver chatelaine dictionary holder, by the silversmiths Sampson Mordan & Co, and with full English silver hallmarks for London 1894. Excellent quality, genuine 121-year-old example, with a slide action opening and original gilded interior and has a magnifying viewer on the lid. Comes with its original tiny dictionary containing 384 pages and is all complete and includes the title page and engraved name of original owner on reverse and year date. No repairs and no nasty knocks or dents. Measures approximately 1.45 inches x 0.9 inches and is 0.45 inches deep.
Lovely condition, no splits or cracks to the silver case, no solder repairs, and no nasty knocks or dents, a couple of very minor shallow surface bruises, really nothing. The slide-action lid opener works perfectly, and the original interior gilding is virtually all intact. The magnifying viewer has no chips or cracks, (just minor surface scratches). Complete with its silver attachment ring. Very nice, unusual item. (Photo: eBay seller kentsfinest.)
DBA: The word chatelaine comes from La Chatelaine, or the female head of a French household who was responsible for the estate’s keys. The concept of a decorative belt with implements suspended has been popular at many different times. A Chatelaine bag was very popular in the late 1800s, and you can see this in many tintype photographs. Probably the type we see most often is the sewing implement chatelaine with scissors, needle case, thimble, etc. I have seen a few scent bottle chatelaines and silver cases with notebook and pencil. This is the first time I have seen a sterling case with a silver dictionary. This probably was made or fitted for someone who had a need to know silver marks on a daily basis.
Prices for chatelaines vary greatly with sterling silver ones having a higher value than some other metals. Seventeenth century chatelaines sell for more money than later ones. Multiple implement chatelaines usually sell for more than single implements. This one is obviously sterling, dated 1894, and with the 8magnifying glass could be considered two implements. It sold for the mid-range of values. I would say that this was a fair price.
$894 (31 bids, 6 bidders): Antique Inuit Eskimo Yupik snow goggles, antler, Bering Strait.
This item (and many others) my grandfather brought from the Soviet polar expedition to the Bering Strait in 1950-55s. I do not know exactly which of the people living in the area made it. In this area were Chukchi, Yupik, Eskimo, Aleut, Yakut, Inuit and many others. Length: 5 3/4 inches. (Photo: eBay seller sprezzaturaparfume.)
DBA: These goggles were necessary while hunting in the snow-covered terrain to prevent snow blindness. Many different Arctic tribes used some sort of goggles, and they were made of wood, ivory or some sort of bone. Prices vary greatly at auction with these goggles; with some identification as to the “tribe,” they sell for more money. These goggles have some designs that add much to their appeal. Also being made of antler is very appealing; I would say the buyer got a good deal.
$3,760 (40 bids, 16 bidders): Vintage Farman Goliath F.60 WWI Wooden Airplane Propeller.
This is a gigantic antique wooden airplane propeller from a WWI-era France Farman Goliath F.60 Twin-engined Bomber. This is a huge, 12 feet long and has brass metal tips and leading edges. It has several markings including “Goliath Salmson 3585” on the hub face, a larger “3585” on one blade, and a small logo and numbers that I can’t read well near the hub. The Goliath was designed to be a bomber during World War I, and after the war, they served as early airliners. This is the second of these I have had over the years, and this one came with the other that I sold a couple years ago; I assume they may have been a set at one time. It has been refinished over the years (with the hub face left original intact), but it is still in good and very attractive condition. Truly a massive and impressive wooden airplane propeller.
DBA: I like the additional data that eBay is providing now with the number of bidders along with the number of bids. It gives us additional information as to the collector market.
So this propeller had 40 bids with 16 bidders. There is a strong market for this type of collectible and the price is on par with other similar ones. I did find a 9-foot Salmson propeller offered for sale at $2,995. The one selling on eBay for $3760 is 12 feet long.
$3,000 (35 bids,): Goldscheider Art Deco Wien Josef Kostial Harlequin with Flute Figurine.
Stunning and extremely rare Wien Australian figurine of a harlequin jester playing a flute; #5102 designed by Josef Kostial, ca. 1923, and produced by Goldscheider Factory. Excellent condition, measures 12 inches tall by 7.25 inches long by 5.25 inches deep. Marked on the bottom with factory stamp and model numbers; signed by the artist on the back. (Photo: eBay seller emporium1973.)
DBA: The following is from Goldscheider History of the Company and Catalogue of Works by Filipp Goldscheider and Rovert Dechant: “Goldscheider, a Viennese factory (est. 1885), soon sped to the top of European ceramics makers. Figures and vessels of faïence and terracotta as well as bronze and alabaster, all of top quality in respect of form and workmanship, were created in the Historicist, Jugendstil and Art Deco period styles. A crucial factor to their success was the collaboration with distinguished sculptors and ceramicists of the day, which included Demetre Chiparus, Walter Bosse and Josef Lorenzl, all of whom were responsible for a great many of the Goldscheider designs. This success story was quashed by the National Socialist aryanization in 1938: the Goldscheider family was forced to emigrate, the firm was sold and the new proprietor was unable to sustain the high aesthetic quality standard. The Goldscheider brothers did manage to open new ceramics businesses while in exile in the U.S. and England, and Walter Goldscheider even returned to Vienna after the Second World War to resume his post as managing director of his old firm; however, in the 1950s the great ceramics tradition of this venerable Viennese business ended when it was sold to the German Carstens company.”
Many similar porcelain figures can be found for sale at retail operations for $2,500 to $6,000. These objects are somewhat rare and very collectible.
Deborah Abernethy is a certified appraiser with the International Association of Appraisers. She can be contacted at 404-262-2131 or Deborah@expert-appraisers.com. Her website is www.expert-appraisers.com.