What's Selling on eBay: February 2018

What's Selling on eBay: February 2018

by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$6,100 (29 bids, 5 bidders): Violin of Hope, the Violins of the Holocaust.
Very rare Violin of Hope of the Jewish in the ghetto and concentration camps of the Holocaust in Germany. The violin is hand-made, and it is very old. It is inlaid with the Star of David and sculpted with a model of a Jewish soldier for King David. Violins were played by prisoners in the Nazi death camps of WWII.
This violin was from a man who worked in the camp of the ghetto in Munich, Germany, and he bought it from a Jewish violinist who was among those arrested in the Holocaust in 1944.
Great sound and beautiful. There is one like it in the museum in Tel Aviv. The violin comes with an old wooden case, old bow, old key, a Jewish musical notes book from 1932, an original photo of the violinist in 1927, a 1941 document of the Jewish Holocaust, and a test certificate for the violinist in 1932.
(Photo: eBay seller aboalzoz_4)

DBA: This violin has much decoration and seems finely done. The value of a violin is based on the skill of the maker. The decoration would lead one to believe that this is not a cheap one, but that is no guarantee. The additional photograph and other materials accompanying this violin made it more desirable.
Music was loved by the Jewish people, and those in the ghettos valued it also as a way out of poverty for a very talented musician. Whether this is a good deal or not is based on how this instrument plays. If it is by an esteemed maker from this time period, the buyer got a good deal.
$13,200 (20 bids, 13 bidders): Antique Patented 1878 Coffin Wall Telephone, The National Bell Phone Co. 644.
This is in as-found condition; what you see looks complete. This needs to be cleaned up and restored; the corners of the wood case are coming apart, and there is a gap in the wood at the top left corner. The metal pieces are tarnished. This is marked on the front, “Manuf’d by Charles Williams Jr. Boston made for the National Bell Telephone Co.,” and on the side, it has the early patent dates of April 16, 1878, Dec. 17, 1878, Aug. 15, 1879, and it has a number 644.
(Photo: eBay seller spark15)
DBA: The first telephone was introduced by Alexander Graham Bell in the 1876 Centennial Exposition, in Philadelphia, PA. That first wood box phone was nicknamed “the camera phone” because it looked like the cameras of the day that were enclosed in wooden boxes. But Bell’s did not have separate receivers and transmitters. This gave an advantage to other companies to get into this market. The wood wall-mounted telephone (nicknamed “the coffin phone”) was the first telephone in circulation in large numbers. The earliest and most valuable were the ones made by Charles Williams of Boston.
On a side note, The Telephone Patent Conspiracy of 1876 by A. Edward Evenson, published in 2001, outlines the controversy between Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray who had a very similar invention. It is a story of how a small group of men made Bell’s patent the basis of the emerging telephone monopoly.
The technology section has always had a strong collectible market. Several other similar telephones have sold for this amount and even higher. Given that this is eBay and not a dealer with the costs of a storefront, this was a good deal for both.
$2,614.85 (34 bids, 11 bidders): Art Deco 9 ct. Gold Slim Petrol Pocket Antique Asprey Lighter, Mint, Working.
This is for a very stylish, original, vintage, Asprey 9 ct. gold petrol pocket lighter. It is a slim lighter with an all over engine-turned design and a semi-automatic mechanism that flips the snuffer cap up to light. It carries a full set of hallmarks dating it to London 1965 with the makers mark “A & Co Ltd” for the luxury London retailers Asprey’s. It is marked inside with the registered design number 856727. It is in excellent condition with no damage; there are no dings or dents, no holes, splits or cracks, and there are no repairs or restorations. It is just as you would want to find it, and it is fully working, although it will be sent through the post with no flint or fuel. It measures 55mm (2.25 inches) tall by 38 mm (1.5 inches) across by only 6mm (0.25 inch) in depth. It comes with its original pouch which has surface wear.
(Photo: eBay seller flikmywick)
DBA: Though this sounds like an incredibly high amount for a cigarette lighter, I have found some Asprey lighters selling for more money, even at auction. Asprey is a luxury retailer in Great Britain and has been in business since 1781. There are other companies that have sales of similar high amounts, such as Dunhill, Tiffany and Cartier. Condition of this one is a major factor in the selling amount. Other factors to consider would be the decorative additions.
This seems to be a fair deal for both seller and buyer. I would think that the market for this object will hold; even though fewer people smoke, tobacco items are collectible.
$4,050 (88 bids, 19 bidders): Fine Antique O/C Portrait Oil Painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, MONA LISA.
If you have always wanted a quality, hand-painted rendition of the Mona Lisa, this auction is for you! Measuring 21 by 30 inches, this early 20th century oil painting is on stretched canvas and is a finely executed copy of this iconic, old master painting. In our photographs of the back you can see an old patch to the bottom edge, as well as three diagonal stains, where something must have dripped onto the back of the canvas. These drips caused some very fine crazing to the surface of the front, which we have accented with arrows. Also, under the black-light, you can see where a tear was restored on her hands, and a couple of areas on her chest and hair were invisibly in-painted.
This hand-painted Mona Lisa oil painting is now ready to be displayed, and it comes in a wonderful, 26 1/2 by 35 1/2-inch carved and painted frame, which is original to the painting!
(Photo: eBay seller wwolst12)
DBA: I am sure that someone purchased this as a joke. Ha ha ha, I have the Mona Lisa in my home or office. Who would hang a fake that anyone should recognize and think that’s funny? But there are 88 bids from 19 bidders, so there is a market. Personally, I do not think that this is a good purchase.
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: February 2018