What’s Selling on eBay: May 2016
by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$363 (21 bids): Plique a Jour Antique Silver 925 Scoop
This antique Plique a Jour scoop is in very good condition. Royal shades of purple, blue, red, green and yellow adorn this beautifully crafted sterling utensil. It measures approximately 4 1/2 inches long x 1 1/8 inches at the widest point.
(Photo: eBay seller alansattic67.)
DBA: Plique a Jour is a technique where enamel is applied in cells; a type of cloisonné where the enamel is translucent because a temporary backing is used when applying the enamel. It is a very difficult technique that takes a long time to complete. There are enameled spoons and scoops for less money, but this one is plique a jour. In addition, this one is quite beautiful in the design. Taking this into consideration, this price is appropriate for this item. This object is so rare that I didn’t find another one that has sold, so I would think that is a good price.
$5,000 (24 bids): Antique Minton Pate-Sur-Pate Gold Cup & Saucer and Dinner Plate Trio, 1928
They are all in excellent condition with no chip, crack or crazing at all. There is an artist sign as “A.BIRKS” and “made in 1928.” Size: cup diameter is 3 7/8 inches and 2 5/8 inches in height; saucer diameter is 6 inches; dinner plate diameter is 11 ‡ inches.
(Photo: eBay seller nippon5555.)
DBA: Pate-sur-Pate is a French term meaning “paste on paste,” and it is a relief design created on an unfired and unglazed body. It is hand painted. This is not a “regular” mass-produced Minton cup, saucer, and plate. Albion Birks was a master artist working for Minton around 1900. The objects that he painted for Minton sell for lots of money. It is not unusual to see a cup and saucer sell for $5,000, and this was a three-piece set. This sale price is right on par with sales of similar objects at auction.
$5,105 (18 bids): Tin Litho Wind-Up Felix The Cat Frolic Platform Toy with Mickey Mouse
It measures 13 inches long by 4 inches across by 11 ‡ inches tall. Selling as is. It is missing one wheel, large Felix is missing a leg, and wind-up mechanism does not work. Still, a rare early Mickey Felix piece and displays great!
(Photo: eBay seller doveplace.)
DBA: A tin lithograph toy is a mechanical toy made out of tinplate and colorfully painted. This type of manufacture started in the mid-19th century, and they were originally assembled and painted by hand. The early ones were German. By 1880, the painting was by offset lithography. These toys replaced the heavier and more expensive wooden toys. This one is very rare in that it is larger and has more figures on the platform. I did find a similar, but smaller, platform with just Felix and Mickey which sold for $850. It’s a large jump to $5,105, but I couldn’t find anything else even similar. What is amazing is that this is a toy missing a wheel and does not work, and it still sold for more than $5,000.
$5,900 (15 bids): Thomas Edison Kinetophone. S/N K132, patent numbers; May 31, 1898, July 18, 1911, July 2, 1912, Aug 20, 1912
Not sure if all the parts are here. The gears rotate but not a full 360 degrees & I don’t want to force it. It weighs about 16.5 lbs. The side plate reads, “Edison Synchronizer. The patented kinetophone of which this synchronizer forms a part, and every part thereof, is the property of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. and is leased subject to restrictions as to its use. Any breach of said restrictions terminates said lease and gives the lessor the right to immediate possession of the leased apparatus, this synchronizer. Is leased upon the condition that it is licensed to be used only so long as this plate or the above serial number is not removed, defaced of altered.”
(Photo: eBay seller kept-treasures.)
DBA: This is probably the rarest item I have appraised in quite a while. I could find only this sale and just parts for the Kinetophone. The reason for that is there were problems with the synchronization of the phonograph with the motion picture with the Kinetophone. Also, you had to look into the machine, and people complained that it was “a peep show.” It was one viewer at a time and a short-duration experience. It was not the experience of a group of people watching a projected picture. There was much competition, and new machines were being introduced yearly. There has always been an interest in anything to do with the motion picture industry with collectors, and this is just one part of that interest.
$227 (14 bids): 19th C. Sailor-Made Shark Spine Walking Cane Stick
Very nice 19th century walking cane made by sailors in their spare time using a metal rod with shark spine sections stacked together. Slightly flexible and quite strong, the tip of the hand grasp is adorned with a solid horn mount and several other horn sections throughout the length. Perfect condition and a lovely antique walking cane; overall, 35.5 inches.
(Photo: eBay seller antiqueblades)
DBA: In doing a little research, I discovered that one section of shark spine would sell for $10 each and that the section would vary from 6 – 10 mm (material alone). That means that in a cane that was 35.5 inches long there would be approximately 90 sections and the value of the material would be $900. Now, I don’t know what is meant by “slightly flexible” and I am not familiar with shark spine, but I don’t think that one would want a lot of flexibility in a cane. Walking canes are very collectible and given the unusual material and that it has been made into the cane, I would say the buyer got a very good deal on this and would probably make money on this object very easily.
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.