Terry and Kim Kovel

Arguably ugly chair fetched a pretty penny at auction

Folk art values are determined by whatever collectors are willing to pay.

Stylish student lamp made of Burmese glass sells for $3,330

The mid-1800s was the start of color in home decoration. Colored glass and ceramics were popular.

Do you know the joke about a set of special-order dishes?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A black-and-white design for colorful plates was sent to China…

Some makers of Victorian furniture are considered artists

Victorian furniture is generally selling for low prices for many reasons, but there are expections.

Three-panel screen painted by Marie Hull auctions for $28,000

Decorative screens were being used in rooms in China by the seventh century. But they were not used in Europe until the 1500s. It wasn’t… Continue reading

19th-century bell toy featuring an elephant worth up to $1,200

Bell toys, a type of pull toy that had moving parts that rang a bell, were made in America just after the Civil War. The… Continue reading

Dolls made by one of the first American female cartoonists

The googly eyes announce that the designer of the dolls was Grace Drayton (1887-1936), a talented artist. Her maiden name was Grace Gebbie. She married… Continue reading

Smiling leprechaun is one of few St. Patrick’s Day bobble heads

Bobble heads are popular today as sports collectibles. Most baseball teams offer souvenir bobble-head dolls at some of the games during the year, but today’s… Continue reading

Chinese porcelain vase may not be old, but it sure is pretty

Chinese porcelains are among the hardest for an average collector to identify and date. They have been made for centuries and it is considered a… Continue reading

Centuries-old cutwork picture auctions for a premium price

The very thin, graceful lines, the black-and-gilt frame, and the cutwork initials and date “JB/1760” added up to a bid (with premium) of $2,460 at… Continue reading

Almost egg-shaped pocket watch holder fetches more than $700

Shell-shaped decorative objects were very popular during the 19th century. There were trinket boxes covered in tiny shells, counter bells made with several mother-of-pearl shells… Continue reading

Handmade Adirondack chest with burl decoration sells for $6,150

The Adirondack style started with a chair in 1903. Many wealthy folks from the East Coast wanted a cool place to live for the summer,… Continue reading

Low-priced ‘kitsch’ no more, majolica monkey goes for $13,530

It is impossible to miss Minton majolica in a room. It usually is shaped like animals, birds, flowers or just fantasies. A tasseled, pillow-shaped garden… Continue reading

19th-century cabinets of curiosities tend to sell quickly

“Cabinet of curiosities” was the name of an important room in the 1600s and, years later, a “cabinet of curiosities” meant just a cabinet. The… Continue reading

Collectors willing to shell out big bucks for primitive pieces

Our ancestors were clever and could make many tools, containers and cooking utensils from wood or iron. It was not until the mid-19th century that… Continue reading

That’s meta: Collect dinnerware with patterns of collections

Collecting is a pastime in almost every country. Children start collecting with stones, leaves, bottle caps and free toys that came with a Happy Meal.… Continue reading

Smelling salt holders were all the rage in the 18th century

Smelling salts have been used to revive someone who is feeling faint or has lost consciousness since the days of the Romans. But it was… Continue reading

Early 19th century Dutch wall clock entertains with automata

Sometimes identifying and dating an antique seems easy, but it fools you. An unusual wall clock was offered at a recent auction. It was labeled… Continue reading

Before 20th century, Victorian furniture had many designs

Many authors define American Victorian furniture in terms of one of the many design types used from 1840 to 1900, but all of them are… Continue reading

Flora Danica dishware fit for a Danish queen

Spring brings flowers, and this year designers are using more floral prints than usual for fabrics and designs. But a picture of a plant as… Continue reading