What’s Selling on eBay: April 2018

What's Selling on eBay: April 2018

by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod

$787.77 (50 bids, 12 bidders): Vintage 10-piece, Cold-painted, Miniature Austrian Bronze Pigs Orchestra Band.
We were recently consigned a small selection of antique and vintage miniature Austrian bronzes from one man’s lifetime collection. Although I could find similar examples of  this Austrian Miniature Bronze Pig Band online, I couldn’t find another exact match. Consisting of ten 1.75-inch tall pigs, all playing different instruments, this 10-piece orchestra is hand painted. It dates from the early 20th century, and as you can see, the condition is excellent. There are a few hard-to-find tiny paint chips, but overall, they  are in excellent condition, and there are no restorations.
(Photos courtesy of eBay seller wwolst12)

DBA: The process of making cold-painted bronze sculpture is labor- intensive. Most of these bronzes were made using the sandcast process, and the “cold-painting” term relates to the surface finish. These bronze sculptures from this time period were painted with lead-based paint. The skill of the painter was important to determine the quality of the completed object.

These figures ranged from the 1-inch miniatures to an object as large as a table lamp. Even at the time of manufacture, these were considered luxury objects. There were about 50 manufacturers of these objects at the turn of the century. Artists would create and then sell their designs to the manufacturers, which may have marked them with a hallmark. The hallmark does not show the artist. There are some still being made today, but the quality is not the same as these older ones. Since the older ones are painted with lead-based paint, that is the telling sign.

The buyer got a great deal on these objects. The average retail cost for the miniature sculpture is $200 per object.

$3,351 (27 bids, 13 bidders): Antique Pool Cue, 18, Brunswick (?), mother of pearl and inlay.
Offered for sale is a beautiful inlaid pool or billiard cue. It has mother of pearl in the handle, and the number 18 stamped next to this. Inlaid woods are mahogany, boxwood, maple, and more. It has a heavy brass-threaded rod so this can be taken down. The brass rod is heavy with a long thread. Pool cue is 57 1/ 2 inches long. We are guessing it is from the early 1900s. Center piece has a bone-colored 3/4 inch piece and same size one on the end. There is a slight hairline in this center fine bone part. Pictures do not do it justice.
(Photo, eBay seller freeloadinfred)

DBA: These are very hard to find and beautiful. There are dealers of antique billiard equipment that can be found, and it is easy to do so on the Internet. This does look like other Brunswick early 1900s cue sticks. I did not find the same exact cue stick. This price is similar to the retail prices fou­nd for similar cue sticks. While the buyer did not get a bad deal, given that the seller did not have huge seller commissions, I would say the seller won this one.

$1,035 (20 bids, 6 bidders): 1920s Vintage Snap-On Socket Set, Rare Antique Tools With Original Box B12 (?)
Awesome, used, original, early vintage, Snap-On tools set with case. This old tool set is missing pieces, has repaired pieces, modified pieces, and may have some replaced or not original pieces. This is a used set and does show it. This set would be a great start to complete a set or used for parts to complete other sets.
(Photo courtesy of eBay seller dozerdog311.)

DBA: The Snap-On Wrench Company was founded in 1920 by Joseph Johnson and William Seideman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their first product was a modest collection of five drive handles and ten sockets. The first B-12 Super Service Sets were made in 1923-24.

I cannot see the marks on the tools from the photographs and do not see these often enough to ID them from the photos. But I believe that the people bidding on them knew what these were. It is not possible to comment on pricing when there are no records of sales of similar items.

$2,811 (19 bids, 9 bidders): Antique German Christmas Feather Tree in WHITE!
Stunning Example. From the Berkeley Hoard comes this beautiful 5-foot 6-inch, all-white German feather tree. This is an exceptional example. At the base of the branches, it measures 34 inches across. The bulk of the little white berries are on the tree; there are tips here and there that are without berry tips or are thin with feathers, but it’s maybe a branch or two. There is no shedding to speak of, and the stand is mint and crisp in its design. Overall, this is a gorgeous tree, and one of the prettiest I have seen in many years; certainly, the best Antique German white feather tree I have seen in years.
(Photos, James Worman, eBay seller christmasmarket802.)

DBA: The feather tree was the first artificial Christmas tree and was made in Germany. As the forests were becoming deforested, this was an attempt at helping the Christmas season not being a further burden on the situation. They were made of goose feathers and were made as early as 1845. The tradition of feather trees was brought by German immigrants to the U.S.

I did find a green one with red berries about the same size as this one that was sold at auction for $2,000. Most of the ones that I found were around 3 feet tall and were sold for $600 to $850.

This one is on the high end of the price range, but there are very few of these of this size. All facts considered, this was a fair deal for all concerned.

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.

What’s Selling on eBay: April 2018