Terry and Kim Kovel

This 1911 clockwork toy was made after the Mona Lisa was stolen

The 7-inch-tall toy sold for $12,000, no doubt because it told part of the story of the famous theft.

Rubber boots: They’ve been keeping feet dry since 1853

At first, Wellington boots were a fashion statement. Then farmers and soldiers began to wear them.

Furniture buyers are preferring early modern to Victorian

Ornate stuff like this 1870 American Renaissance-era cabinet just looks weird in contemporary homes.

Your Halloween decorations may become valuable someday

A simple cardboard jack-o’-lantern dressed like a maid from the 1930s recently sold for $90.

Anglo-Japanese style table not a favorite among cabinetmakers

It features partial shelves built below the 20-inch square tabletop. It sold for $13,000 at auction.

Little is known about Emile Galle’s seated faience of the 1800s

The Art Nouveau artist must have liked cats. They are almost the only animal figure he made.

When somebody pays big money for something that’s useless

Antiques made of iron, even clown’s heads like this one, have long been coveted by collectors.

Pottery ring was a lifesaver for parched 19th century farmers

The circular tube was a water flask for when streams were far away. An example recently sold for $325.

This ivory pie crimper was made in the 1800s by a sailor

Sailors had time to carve ivory objects, often as gifts, and the ankle and leg were considered erotic.

Unusual ‘Modern gothic’ woven wire daybed auctions for $3,125

The bed still has the original fabric-wrapped metal wire webbing the designer patented in 1879.

Goldscheider family had a profound influence on ceramics

A new book could stimulate interest in the family’s work — and raise prices for collectors.

Agrillite carvings by the Haida people can fetch big money

The fine-grained black siltstone comes from just one place on Earth: Slatechuck Creek on Haida Gwaii.

Great-grandma probably had one of these boxes in her kitchen

This pine box from the 1850s was for proofing bread dough. The lid was a place to rest and cut it.

This American-flag table is rare — and worth a lot of dough

“Unique” is a word that is often misused by collectors. It means one of a kind. There can never be a unique mass-produced chair, but… Continue reading

Little is known about exotically dressed dancer figurines

Their Art Deco style remains popular a century later — many have sold for up to $1,500.

Many emotions and interests motivate people to collect

Do they hoard to replace something that was missing in their life? Or is it interest history or art?

Popcorn wagons, the food trucks of yesteryear, popular again

A horse-drawn wagon from 1910 built by Charles Cretors fetched $34,000 at an antiques auction.

Correct marks make all the difference in figurines’ value

A pair of authentic 7½-inch-high figures of a Sultan and Sultana sold at recently for $1,220.

America’s first symbol, Miss Liberty, is all but forgotten

She held a sword, wreath, shield decorated with stars and stripes, and wore the Phrygian liberty cap.

Wine-tasting table was probably never used when tasting wine

It’s now known to be a tea or dessert table that held plates, cups, saucers and food for a meal.