Saturday, June 05, 2021

Dead People's Collections

I went to a local auction today at the Fair Grounds. It's always an interesting scene; lots of stuff from dead people, colloquially known as an “estate sale”.

The picture, above, is someone’s late-Victorian era milk glass Easter egg collection. | I’d never heard of these, but apparently the practice of giving artificial Easter eggs as gifts was started in Europe in the 18th century. Those eggs were paper-maché. When the practice came to America in the 19th Century, we made our gift Easter eggs out of white glass (aka “milk glass”). Some eggs were blown into a mold, others were blown free hand. Women (yes) would hand paint and decorate the eggs using water-based paint that has usually not stood up well over time.
Also on this table: 9 ostrich eggs and two emu eggs.

Dead people's collections, plastic horses edition.

Dead people's collections, big glass marbles edition.

Dead people's collections, German soldiers, WWII edition.

Dead people's collections, British toy soldiers, WWI edition.

Full package and empty bottle of patent medicine with chloroform. 

The Atwater Kent radio in plexiglass box in the picture, above went for $850, the 14” paper-maché Old King Cole RCA Nipper and framed Nipper picture went for $475 (combined), and the small cylinder gramophone (without head or key) went for $850. A less-than cherry Nipper on Ebay (same model, but badly repaired) is for sale for $944 “or best offer”. For those interested, the story of Nipper is here.

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