Monday, February 24, 2014

Modern Dolls Are All So Groovy!

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We have looked at vintage collector dolls in an earlier blog, in our current auction we have a selection of dolls that are relatively new to the market;  American Girl, Bratz and Groovy Girls.  These award winning dolls fit into their own nitsch markets for entirely different reasons. Let’s see why.

American Girls
American Girl is an American line of 18-inch dolls first released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. Our doll Kirsten Larson was one of the original Historical Characters offered. These dolls teach aspects of American history through books. The dolls were also made in a variety of ethnicities. Although the books are written for an eight to twelve year-old target audience, they cover some significant topics like slavery, war and poverty in ways that are appropriate for the understanding and sensibilities of their young audience.  In 1998, Pleasant Company became a subsidiary of Mattel. The company has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award eight times.

Bratz

Bratz is an American line of dolls and merchandise manufactured by MGA Entertainment. Four original 10" dolls, Yasmin, Cloe,  Sasha and Jade, were released in 2001.  There have been many other dolls added to the line and Bratz have been making a serious dent in Barbie sales.  There have been Bratz TV cartoons, videos, movies and projects with stars doing the doll voices.  These dolls promote fun, fashion and friendship. In October of 2008, Nickelodeon aired a Bratz-themed reality show, Bratz Design Academy in which 9 to 14 year olds compete in Project Runway-type fashion challenges, with the winner designing clothing for a British line of Bratz dolls. The show was nominated for a British Academy Children’s Awards.

Groovy GirlsGroovy Girls are a line of fashion dolls manufactured by the American toy company Manhattan Toy and launched in 1998. The brand consists of plush, 13-inch dolls, fashion and furniture accessories, as well as pets. Groovy Girls target the 6-to-12 age range, with licensed products including room d├ęcor, apparel, interactive and electronics, stationary, health and beauty aids. They promote a wholesome alternative to other dolls.  They promote diversity, personal style and friendship. Also an award winner, in February of 2008 Girl Scout’ Troop Groovy Girls won the Best Girl Toy of the Year during the American International Toy Fair in New York City.

Now that you know a little bit more,  we hope you will agree that our current auction’s modern dolls are all so groovy!

Happy Bidding!
Liz



PS. Another bonus - these dolls now have a web presence so now you can get online for some more ideas and interactive fun.







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

May I Have Your Autograph Please?

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Collecting autographs by sports legends, whether they are on baseballs, photographs, or trading cards, is a deeply satisfying pastime.  These items provide lasting memories and lessons from the past we can actually see with our own eyes and touch with our own hands. Our current auction has some fine examples of autographs we hope you will enjoy.



Baseballs - There are several factors that contribute to the value of autographed baseballs. Baseballs are valued higher if they are signed on the sweet spot as opposed to the side panel. However, many players, especially those from the vintage era, signed on the side panel. Official league baseballs are generally valued higher than non-league baseballs. Baseballs that are harder to locate such as World Series baseballs or scarce versions of regular season baseballs command a premium.  Personalized baseballs such as "To Joe" are valued less than non-personalized baseballs. Finally, the condition of the baseball itself and the condition of the autograph, are also a major factor in determining the value. Coloring, whiteness, scuffing, shellacking - a glossy coat to preserve the autograph, staining and overall wear are all key factors in determining the value of autographed baseballs.  See item 93.



Photographs - When determining the value of an autographed photo, there are a few factors to consider. The photo may have corner wear or slight edge wear without detracting significantly from the value but any wear or damage that detracts from the image itself will lower the value considerably. Also, as with baseballs, personalized autographs will lower the overall value. Other major factors include rarity of the photo, historical importance, picture quality and overall eye appeal. Photos are usually used as display items so the eye appeal is very important. The prices in the Sports Market Report guide link below are for 8x10 (modern) or smaller (vintage) photos. See Items 94-112.


Trading Cards and Autographs - Since autographed items and trading cards are unique, they can be very valuable, but easily forged or reproduced. Autographs are commonly sold with certificates of authenticity (COAs) and letters of authenticity (LOAs), while trading cards use a grading system. These are meant to assure the buyer that the signature or item is genuine. However, COAs, LOAs, and grades are only as valuable as the reputation of the issuing party, Our auction items come from a collector who has purchased these items in good faith.  Internet information information can be useful in determining the values of these prized autographed items. See Items 79, 85, and 86.
There is a wonderful “back story” to many of these items,  proof positive that one need not be discouraged by size or other limitations.  Hard work and determination have been the path to success for these players.  These examples can serve as reminders of motivation and inspiration for us and our children. Something for us to see and touch.

Happy Bidding!
Liz


PS. Our thanks to Sports Market Report for their insights and tips for autograph collecting and for their many guides. The link for Football Player’s Autographs is









Saturday, February 15, 2014

Calvert Sterling Silver Beauty Survives


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Calvert is the beautiful Sterling Silver Flatware Pattern featured in our current auction.  In doing research for this blog, I came across the Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland.  One can only wonder if these beautiful cliffs were the inspiration behind this pattern with it’s delightful banding.  It was crafted from 1927 through 1991. Calvert is modern, elegant and would set a stunning table with all of the serving pieces we have to offer.  Smooth rounded edges are very popular now.  The classic banding allows it to play well with other silver patterns.  If your collection is missing a few items, please consider Calvert as a wonderful addition.
  
Do you really need a Berry Serving Spoon or a Pickle Fork?  Yes, these excellent serving pieces only enhance the pleasure of fine dining.  This pattern has 43 Serving Pieces! It’s sister pattern Repousse has 64.  Let me assure you each piece is crafted for it’s use and has stood the test of form and function.  Please notice the versatility of these pieces. The Pie Server can also serve as a Cheese Server.  The Dessert Server would work well serving a sliced tomato even if the blade is not pierced. One of the reasons this set is so valuable and desirable are the serving pieces that come with this collection.

The House of Kirk, one of the Oldest Silversmiths in the United States, was established in 1815 by Samuel Kirk who was only 22 at the time. The Kirk Family came from England though Pennsylvania and settled in Baltimore Maryland.  Samuel Kirk had a partner Smith until 1820. In 1896,  his oldest son joined the firm. We are able follow the marks to trace the history of the firm.

THE S. KIRK & SON CO. mark would be used from 1896 TO 1924.
IN 1924 the mark was changed to S. KIRK & SON INC. Our pattern Calvert came into being in 1927. 1932 brought the return of the earlier mark S. KIRK & SON which was used until 1979. (Any silver marked STERLING and S. Kirk & Son will be from 1932 or later including the Calvert in our auction).

The good news for us is that Calvert’s pattern shape is still very desirable today.  The fact that is is no longer being made only increases it’s value. The United States has seen a tremendous loss of Sterling Silver flatware to the smelters in the last three years.  If you love this pattern as much as we do, now is the time to invest in Calvert to insure it’s beauty will continue to shine in your family for future generations.


Happy Bidding!
Liz

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Louis Vuitton L'Invitation Au Voyage!

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One of the world’s famous brands has made an appearance at AYPToday. Put on your berets, this is L'Invitation Au Voyage (an invitation to a journey).  

The first stop on our trip is France.
Louis Vuitton, the French Fashion House began in 1854. According to legend Napoleon 3 was looking for luggage for his wife Empress Eugenie. They discovered LV! In 1892 LV began making their handbags.  They are exceptional! Our date stamp is AR a match for France according to the eBay buying guide.
   
Louis Vuitton  Items 75-78.

Next stop... Spain, Germany and Italy.  
Did you know not all LV Bags are Made in France? France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the USA are making the real thing and I just don’t mean Coke.  It ordinarily requires about a week to create one handbag. A genuine handbag will last a lifetime without tearing or ripping. They are created with the most durable materials.   The monograms and designs are symmetrical. The stitching is hand done and uniform.  You can’t find this quality in other handbags.

Last but not least we return home to the USA and AYPToday.
The date stamp for USA is SD. The monogram Louis Vuitton purses are timeless. If you win one of these pieces, you will be able to wear them and always be fashionable. Louis Vuitton items simply do not go out of style.  Thank you LV for the new ad campaign L’Invitation Au Voyage! and giving us many reasons to enjoy these creations.

Offre Heureuse!
(Happy Bidding!)
Liz



PS. Here are links to some LV buying guides to help determine authenticity.

How to Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton

How to Identify a Genuine Louis Vuitton Handbag

How to authenticate and spot a fake Louis Vuitton











Friday, February 7, 2014

Ways to say "I love you!" Valentine

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Happy Valentine’s Day!


I have been wondering how to make Valentine’s Day more than just a Hallmark Holiday.
Our current auction has come to my rescue and I think there are plenty of things that could help you too.  On this Traditional Day of Love please consider there are many ways to say, “ I love you!”  A great book Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman suggests Words of Affirmation, Quality Time Together, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and my personal favorite Gifts.


Here are my suggestions if your Valentine’s “love language” is Gifts.  


For the ladies:
a)Our Jewelry is fabulous in this auction. Item 7. You can never go wrong with Gold, Silver or Pearls.

 


b)Louis Vuitton  Items 75-78. You can never have too many purses. Especially from this French Fashion House which began in 1854. It is one of the world’s most famous brands.

  


c)Crystal - Item 123. Take our vase and fill it with her favorite flowers 



Here are my thoughts if your Valentine is a man:


a)The Gold ID Bracelet Item 1. It can be engraved with your special nickname.


b)That Buliva Watch item 54. A timeless vintage collectable.
c)Waterford Goblets Item 133 and his favorite bottle of Brandy


And don’t forget Mom! Item 37



Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Auction Your Possessions Today,

Liz


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