What’s Selling on eBay: August 2016
by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$2,337 (38 bids, 13 bidders): Silver Figural Miniature Harp Mechanical Propelling Pencil and Seal.
The pencil has a ring slider that extends the nozzle, and it is fully working so the lead propels when the nozzle is turned. The harp is engraved on the frame on both sides and has an English Victorian registration date lozenge that dates it to 6th October 1846. It has a purple amethyst seal matrix inset into the top, and it has a suspension ring for hanging to a chain. It is in absolute excellent condition with no damage to it anywhere; it slides out smoothly and works perfectly, propelling lead when the nozzle is turned. It measures 2 inches tall.
(Photo: eBay seller flikmywick)
DBA: While all writing implements are major collected objects, this is a high price. Given that this pencil can be dated to 6th October 1846, it was not made in Sampson Mordant’s lifetime. In 1822, Mordant and John Hawkins patented the propelling pencil. Mordant later bought out Hawkins’ interests. After his death in 1843, the company was operated by his sons. The factory was eventually destroyed in the London Blitz in WWII. While this pencil fits the type produced by Mordant’s company, there is no notation in this description of the company name being stamped. I could find silver figural pencils that were a similar size and age that had sold at auction for around $1,200, but this is twice as much. An early mechanical pencil marked with the Mordant trademark was found selling for $1,500, and that one was not figural (which should sell for more money).
$1,344 (12 bids, 6 bidders): Rare Original Dr. Pepper Thermometer 1938 Brick & Green with Bottle.
We are pleased to offer this authentic, original vintage or antique advertising Dr. Pepper thermometer sign with working glass thermometer. This is the first time that it has ever been offered on-line. Let me say first-this is 100% original and not a reproduction! This piece just has a lot going for it. We have never seen this particular thermometer offered for sale. This is a tough one to find. This is some of Dr. Pepper’s early advertising and really early for a thermometer at 1938. It is marked and dated, “MADE IN U.S.A. 1-10-38.” This thermometer is embossed at the 10, 2 and 4 area of the bottle. At its largest points, it measures about 17.25 inches long by almost 5.5 inches wide. It has 5 different colors, and the graphics are crazy eye-catching. It has the Brick Wall logo at top with the early script-stylized writing that reads: “DRINK DR. PEPPER GOOD FOR LIFE AT 10 2 AND 4.” It has a detailed image of a raised-letter bottle with clock face and rays bursting out around bottle into the green. The condition is very good, in our opinion. It has nice vivid colors. It has a few small spots of wear. It has a few light spots of oxidation/patina. No repairs and no touch ups at all. The glass thermometer is perfect and accurate.
(Photo: eBay seller patina-picker)
DBA: These are very popular objects from the height of this advertising genre. Companies made these for use in small stores. Many of these were gifts to the stores selling their wares. Utilitarian advertising objects stayed up for much longer and served a purpose. Given the design, size and condition of this thermometer, I would say that this is more a retail price for the object.
$1,151 (12 bids, 7 bidders): Antique US Glass X.L.C.R. Kings Crown Thumbprint Ruby Stain 10.
Pre-owned, no cracks, three minor chips on the inside of the base, no visible wear in the Ruby stain. Measurement: 10 inches long x 7 3/8 inches wide x 8 3/4 inches tall. Maker: US Glass. Weight: 3 lb. 6 oz.
(Photo: eBay seller hidden-treasures-of-zionsville)
DBA: King’s Crown is the name of the pattern and was made by the Indiana Glass Co. and the US Glass Company in Tiffin, Ohio. While this is a beautiful bowl, given that there are minor chips, this is a very high price for the bowl. While I am not doubting this object as to its vintage state, this is a type of glass that is being reproduced, so be aware of this when you see this type of object.
$2,247 (39 bids, 16 bidders): Sad Iron “The Perfect.”
Antique sad iron marked, ” The Perfect, pat Apl For.” This iron is fresh from an attic and needs a cleaning. Has wear and rust. Handle has wear.
(Photo: eBay seller monabobb of Snowshoe Antiques in Watertown, N.Y.)
DBA: The seller got a good deal. Even in early times, people wanted their clothes to not be wrinkled. “Sad” irons were so named as in Old English sad meant solid. Sad irons generally refer to the larger and heavier flat irons. This is a later model with a removable handle, but it appears to be a fire heated model. Sad irons were still used in rural areas up into the 1950s. Most of the older sad irons were solid metal and sell for under $100. The newer ones, with all the additions to try to make this chore a little easier, sell for a little more but still not in the thousands of dollars.
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.