What’s Selling on eBay: March 2019

What’s Selling on eBay: March 2019

By Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$2,293 (42 bids, 11 bidders): Vintage Raymond Loewy Old Antique Colonial Globe Art Deco Bakelite Map Radio.
In the rarest of colors, white Bakelite. A Google search of the “artist Raymond Loewy” and “colonial globe” will give all the historical facts on this rare item. This Art Deco Machine-age radio housed in a solid, Bakelite, industrial-designed case, and it was designed by world-famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy. The radio is in excellent condition with no cracks, chips or breaks. It is about 16 inches tall. The radio appears to have had its electronics restored at some time in the past. (Even the electric cord was changed for safe playing.) Tested and it still plays. Overall, one of the best-looking Bakelite designs there is.
(photos: eBay seller radios10467.)
DBA: Several factors are in play, it is: 1) Bakelite; 2) designed by noted designer, Raymond Loewy; 3) totally restored (read some of the issues people have written online with restoring this model, you will understand); and 4) very cool. The equator ring is plated in 22K gold, and the box just above it glows red when turned on.
This radio was patented in 1933 and is well documented. There are many radio collectors, so this is a strong market. If you check prices for Bakelite radios on various dealer sites (like 1stdibs), the $2,293 for this radio is a steal.

$3,826 (21 bids, 13 bidders): City Brewery Steuben Brew Beer Tray Antique Vintage Rare Meek Company.
Up for sale is a nice vintage City Brewery Steuben Brew Ale and Porter beer tray. I picked this up at a sale recently, but couldn’t find much info on the tray. It is in overall good shape, no dents or bends, does have some very small light rust spots visible in the pics. Also some very faint rings from where something was sitting on it. These may clean off. The tray is made by The Meek Company, Coshocton, Ohio.
(photos: eBay seller partsman231.)
DBA: This seems like an enormous price for a tin advertising tray, but this one is steeped in history. Throughout time, water often posed a health risk, and people would typically drink beer. America had clean water, but—no surprise here—beer drinking remained popular. Before refrigeration small breweries and kegs were the standard of the day.
John Buehler was the proprietor of City Brewery in Steubenville, Ohio, and instrumental in fine tuning refrigeration techniques for beer. He wanted to make beer, not retail it. The Meek Company, makers of the tray, used that name from about 1901 to 1909 which coincides with the City Brewery operation. Due to prohibition, the City Brewery closed in early 1910. John Buehler’s son, Charles, was also active in beer production, and upon repeal of prohibition in 1933, became involved as one of Pabst’s high-ranking officials in Milwaukee.
$4,104 (7 bids, 2 bidders): Black-Bellied Plover Obediah Verity Long Island New York Antique Shorebird Lure.
Circa 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Carved eyes with relief wing carving. “DM” is carved under the tail, and most of the paint is worn off with tight crack in underside, lightly hit by shot. A great addition to the shorebird collection.
(photos: eBay seller rvo99.)
DBA: The factors that influence the value of the decoy include: maker, region, species of bird, condition, size and scarcity. Native Americans used mud birds as decoys to hunt birds, and the colonists (who had no experience with hunting since only the upper class property could hunt) copied this practice. By the time of the Civil War, the technique of making and painting decoys was well developed.
Several things changed the market for these wood decoys. By 1920, Congress had passed the North American Wildlife Act and North American Migratory Bird Act which limited hunting and banned commercial hunting of most species.
Prices can vary greatly for decoys; the record price being $856,000 in 2007. This decoy is a 19th century model of a shorebird. Shorebirds are rare because hunting this bird was outlawed in 1928. I could find nothing on “DM”. This is on par with other prices for similar decoys at the retail level.
$3,926 (80 bids, 10 bidders): Antique 18thC Authentic George Washington Memorial Handkerchief, “Tears of America.”
This auction is for a very rare, antique, late 18th century, George Washington memorial handkerchief called “Tears of America.” After extensive searching, we were only able to find a couple other examples that exist; One is at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the other was sold at Heritage Auctions on May 21, 2011. This handkerchief is made out of fine cotton. I believe it was once printed in brown ink, but it has faded to a faint reddish color.
Made in memory of George Washington, who died in 1799, it depicts a monument and urn in the center with figures of Columbia and Justice mourning. Measuring 21 ½ x 18 ½ inches, this handkerchief was important to a family because they had it repaired in several places. Starting from the top, there is a 2 ¼-inch re-stitch to the top left corner, a 2 1/8-inch re-stitch to the center, a 2-inch re-stitch to the bottom left, and a 1 x ¾ inch re-stitch to the bottom right. You can also see that the bottom left corner is missing, and there are several tiny holes. There are no other problems to this very rare, circa 1799, George Washington Memorial, Tears of America handkerchief.
(photos: eBay seller wwolst12.)
DBA: A framed, exact copy of this handkerchief was appraised on the Antiques Roadshow in 2008 for $6,500-$7,000. Pook and Pook sold a framed, exact copy for $1,500, in 2008. A damaged one sold in 2015 at Heritage Auctions for $260. There is another handkerchief in the DAR collection in Washington, DC.
This has copperplate printing on cotton with a rick-rack border. The image is a typical memorial scene but has an obelisk in the background; early memorials usually have just an urn, a Greek symbol of mourning, the body as a vessel of the soul, and the urn as a repository for the ashes of the dead.
It is generally believed that this was printed in England. My belief is the printing is circa 1830, but proof cannot be found, but there are several clues. The Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills in 1836, was not completed until 1884. George Washington was first entombed in the family mausoleum at Mount Vernon and left instructions for a new family tomb to be built and it was completed in 1831. He, Martha, and 25 family members were moved to the new tomb. Perhaps coincidentally (and perhaps not), there are also obelisks in front of the Washington Family tomb in Mount Vernon that memorialize Bushrod Washington and John Augustus Washington II, the last two proprietors of the estate. Was this design for the handkerchief done after the designing of the Washington Monument or these last two owners of Mount Vernon?
Another possible clue, Kentucky (which became a state in1792) is shown as a state, but Vermont (1791) is not. Does that date this piece? Do any of these clues date this piece? Who knows?
What’s Selling on eBay: March 2019