What’s Selling on eBay: January 2017

What's Selling on eBay: January 2017

by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod

$2,513 (22 bids, 8 bidders): 1910 Sector Watch – Retrograde Jumping Time Pocket Watch – running.
A rare Art Nouveau design watch with retrograde jumping time indicator. The watch is very rare; in the Dr. Crott auction in May of this year (sale 93, lot 370), a similar watch was sold for 4,100 euros. The case is made of white metal. It’s in good condition; all hinges are good.

Enamel dial has several minor repairs, most notable of the left edge and several hardly visible hairlines. Triangle-shaped movement is in good running condition; all functions as it should. It’s marked, “Record Watch Tramerlan” and “Brevet 27961”. Acrylic crystal.

This type of watch is based on Swiss patent no. 27.961 which Giovanni Sgherlino of Turin received on April 9, 1903. A group of watchmakers and dealers from Tramelan and Tavannes took an interest in the unusual design and registered the “Record Watch Co. SA.” on December 16, 1903.
(Photo: eBay seller sparklingbear)


DBA:  A retrograde watch is any of the type that is not circular, so the indicator hand will “jump” from 12 to 0. There are several factors that make this a good deal for the buyer: the watch is running, the watch is in the Art Deco style, and the watch has an unusual (i.e., retrograde) function. That all adds value to this watch. The combination of all these traits adds significantly to the value. I would think that the rarity of this watch would make it hold value through the years.

$1,740 (46 bids, 14 bidders):  Janson Import European Glass Fishing Float.
Very little is known about this extremely hard to find Janson Import float. Our Norwegian friend says that it isn’t Norwegian because Janson is not spelled that way in Norway. We do not know where it came from originally, and we do not know who made it (other than Janson!). Apparently, no one does. I believe this is the first and only time the Janson Import float has been offered on eBay. It is extremely rare.

The seal is chip-free. There are some scratches (it was a working float) and a bubble pop that I have tried to show in pictures. There are some impact chips, but this float is structurally sound and weighs almost a pound. It is large. Bigger than a softball, and not something I could securely hold in my hand. It has a 15.75-inch circumference and looks to be a little over 5 inches across.
(Photo: eBay seller lois.2)


DBA: Glass fishing floats originated in Norway, but many fishermen in different parts of the world used them to keep their fishing lines or droplines afloat. Large groups of fishnets strung together would be supported by these hollow glass balls containing air to keep them afloat.   These glass floats are no longer used, but can still be found.
I have not been able to find “Janson Glass,” “Janson Import,” etc. in any database. There is no glass maker showing up with this name that could be found. The earliest of these objects were blown pieces; this one is a molded piece. This is so rare that nothing can be found about the name Janson associated with this or any other product marked in such a way. However, there are many similar glass fishing globes selling on eBay. There are also many replica types selling for about $100, and it may be difficult to differentiate the replica from the original.

$406 (25 bids, 16 bidders): 19th C. Antique Wang Hing Chinese Export Silver Sedan Chair Condiment Set.
This auction is for the second of two 19th century Chinese export silver condiment sets. Hallmarked by the 19th century Chinese silversmith Wang Hing, this figural set is finely handcrafted. You can find many examples of Wang Hing silver on the net, and he has been connected to Tiffany & Co., which sold examples of silver in their stores during the Victorian Period.

It was common for 19th century Victorian families to have figural condiment sets with wheels. You can just roll this 8.75-inch long by 3.75-inch wide by 4-inch tall “Sedan Chair” across the table. Each of the figures measures just over 3 inches tall and are finely detailed. The three containers are removable, plus the open bucket is gold-lined and has a glass inset. There is another open compartment below the bucket, and in the back is a box with a lid. This set comes with only one original spoon.

All of this fine, handmade set needs a polishing. There are no problems or any restorations. If you search for antique Wang Hing Silver online, you can find many tea sets and other fine crafted items. You will not find another example like this set. The only place you will find another example is on our other eBay auctions.
(Photo: eBay seller wwolst12)


DBA: It is hard to say who got the best of this deal. The price paid is very low, but the main issue is the condition. Will this object look better after a good polish? Or is the finish essentially gone? If this object polishes up nicely, the buyer got an incredible deal. Wang Hing is a made-up name for the most prolific silver maker of the company’s generation. For such a prolific silver maker, the attention to detail was not lost, and this company’s products are sought after. Most of these objects sell for far more than this object. However, I have not seen one in this condition.  Hopefully, for the buyer, it is just tarnish!

$1,225 (58 bids, 14 bidders): 1930s Deco San Francisco DeLuxe Beehive Neon Clock.
This is a rare, genuine ca. 1930s Beehive neon clock. It says “DeLuxe San Francisco” on the face, and it does work. Original motor and transformer in place. Runs quietly, keeps good time, and the neon light is a vibrant whitish/blue. It has the unusual multi-stepped bezel that gives it its moniker of “beehive.” Measures 16.5 inches at the larger outer diameter, stepping down to the 11-inch diameter face, and is a little over 6 inches deep. The clock is as found. It appears it could also have an outer ring of neon as there are holes in the outer ring. Overall, a very unusual and desirable neon clock in usable condition as is, or a great one to restore.
(Photo: eBay seller gypsiegirlz)


DBA: This clock is a classic. It was never a luxury clock. This price is based entirely on the rarity of the clock. This would be considered a retail price, and several similar ones (with just a location difference) could be found at various Internet sites. Anytime a seller receives a retail price for an object, noting that the cost of selling on eBay is low considering most retail marketing costs, would be considered a good deal for the seller. Most of the time this would only occur when the object is very rare.

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.