Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Collecting is more than

just buying objects." ~ Eli Broad

A comment a customer made in the shop this week has inspired this post.  I had two head vases from a recent auction, and I price to sell in my shop not to gather dust.  Anyway, she asked the price on the one since I had not gotten them tagged, and when I gave her the price, she responded, "Why is it so cheap?"  Here is the key question in the resale world...what is it worth?  So, I will let you in my head for some business commentary.
If nothing else, Ebay clearly illustrated that what is rare on the one side of the world may be piled in boxes on the other side of that world!  Prices in the vintage/antique world can be easily compared to the ultimate crap shoot.  What is someone willing to pay?  Why do you think the term antique "dealer" is used?  Many people in this "business" ~ and I use that term loosely ~ see something somewhere marked high, or Roadshow or American Pickers mentions it, and they may assume (key word) that it is worth money.  And, I use business cautiously because many people in this antique/vintage resale world do it as a sideline not as a "real" job...and many shoppers do think we do this as a hobby.  For those who do shows, believe me, they will tell you it is a phenomenal amount of work...and for those of us with the independent brick and mortar shops, we have taxes, licenses, utilities, rent or mortgage, etc etc etc.  So, just a little "heads up" about the resale world...those of us who do this business for an income cannot afford to have things languish on the we sell it so that we can buy more!

And here is a little information on the head vase that prompted my commentary.
Head vases were used by florists in the 1950s and 1960s.  They were made in a variety of sizes and were decorated with "jewelry" and accessories.  Most were manufactured in Japan (the China of that period) and some in the United States.  As so many things in the manufacturing world, costs rose and production ceased.  Betty Lou Nichols, a talented California artist, created some of the more sought after vases as well as those by Ceramic Arts Studio and Florence Ceramics.  Based on this photo of a Betty Lou vase, I can imagine the survival rate would not be great...check the eyelashes, the bow, the hat!
 There were vases done to depict TV and movie stars as well as Jackie Kennedy.
What gave me a chuckle as I researched the topic was that there was a convention of head vase collectors in July in Minnesota, and it was combined with the Jim Beam Bottle Club Convention.  I know there are some great lines for that combo, but I will be good!  Anyway, if you are interested, the Japanese makers are Napco, Inarco, Lefton, Enesco, Relpo and Reubens, and American ones that are sought after all the Nichols ones or Howard Holt.   
So, here's looking at you... and remember~buy what you love not because it is worth, or may be worth, money someday!
  “Collecting, like most passions, has the capacity to let (the collector) live in another world for a while." ~ Kim A. Herzinger

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! I love your thoughts on resale.