Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sterling and Silverplate

You may have heard the saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  We also know that all that sparkles is not silver. What is the difference between Sterling and Silverplate? These terms mean very different things and not knowing the difference can prove costly.  

Sterling will be marked. In America, items marked sterling must contain a minimum of 925 parts silver for every 1000 parts of material. Expressed another way, items must be 92.5 percent silver and no more than 7.5 percent base metal. This ratio is called the "sterling standard" and has been used in the US since the mid-1860s.

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Maker's Marks, is a wonderful research site documenting silver hallmarks. If you have seen the price of a Sterling tea service or set of flatware, these can easily run into thousands of dollars. We have weighted Sterling silver candlesticks. 

This means base (non-valuable) materials have been added to increase the weight of the item.  Please check out the Sterling Jewelry listed as well.  


What is a person to do?  Silverplate may be your option.  Silverplate is the process of bonding an extremely thin layer (measured in microns) of silver to a base metal; most commonly used are copper, brass, white metal, or nickel. This layer of silver is so thin and nearly impossible to recover from the item.  Silverplated flatware and hollowware are very available.  http://www.sterlingflatwarefashions.com  A Comprehensive Guide to American Sterling Silver Flatware will help you in your research in their Silverplate Marks Icon on the right of their home page.  

These Silverplated items are well made and affordable.  Ask questions and follow your heart.  Our beautiful Camille Tea Service is made by a very reputable company International Silver. 

There is also a wonderful Water Pitcher by WM Rogers included.  

With proper care these pieces will be ready to hand down through your family for generations.

Happy Bidding,


Monday, August 26, 2013

Lane Hope Chest "The gift that starts the home."

Lane had it’s beginnings as The Standard Red Cedar Box Company making ammunition boxes for the government in World War I. Using their efficient production methods, they began a peacetime project of making cedar chests for the home.  With a Lane Hope Chest, a young woman stored clothing, linens, and home furnishings in anticipation of marriage. In the 1920s, Lane began to advertise its products nationally.  The company's tag line: "The gift that starts the home."

During World War II,  thousands of GIs were persuaded by Shirley Temple to purchase a Lane Hope Chest for the sweethearts.  A Shirley Temple ad in the Virginia Historical Society’s website features a similar Hope Chest to our current auction item number 42.  Take a look.

Bidding ends 8/28/13 starting at 6pm

The last Lane Cedar Chest to be manufactured in the United States rolled off the production line in the summer of 2001, and the Virginia plant closed for good.  But that is not the end of the story. Lane Furniture Industries is now owned by Furniture Brands International which also owns other well known brand name companies... Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage and Maitland Smith.  Today, Lane makes nine beautiful Hope Cedar Chest designs in Oak and Cherry finishes.

Bidding ends 8/28/13 starting at 6pm

While the original purpose or rite of passage may have lost some of it’s popularity, Lane Hope Chests are still popular.  Thank Martha Stewart, among others, for giving us proper instructions of how to fill these hope chests in a new and different way.                                 

Bidding ends 8/28/13 starting at 6pm

Bidding ends 8/28/13 starting at 6pm
Whether you follow Martha’s advice, or choose to fill it with some of the treasures you find in our auctions, we know that if you choose an official Lane Cedar Chest you will have a wonderful gift that can truly start your home.  Enjoy.

Happy Bidding,


Friday, August 23, 2013

Pope-Gosser China -The best down to the smallest detail

Manolo Blahnik, the shoe magnate, gave us some wise advice, “What is fashion?  It’s discipline. Discipline and a credo to do only the best down to the smallest detail.”

Pope-Gosser’s formation of their delicate structure and their wonderful designs rivaled the fine English china of their day.  For more details see Recollecting Pope-Gosser, A Compendium of Historic Chinaware published by The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. 

Our current auction features a collection Manolo Blahnik would adore.  It is the Milan Pattern by the Pope-Gosser China Company.  This antique china was made in Coshocton, Ohio in the nineteen thirties.  The beautiful pink roses and green flourish pattern was molded in the Sterling shape and trimmed in gold.  The actual design itself is a tribute to the fine artisan work of the employees.  This gold trim and all of the decals of this wonderful design were applied by hand on greenware before the final porcelain firing.

Pope-Gosser produced it’s china in a variety of mold designs.  Sterling was the most ornate.  On flat pieces, this mold design is characterized by very fine short parallel ridges lining the perimeter.  Even though the pattern is no longer in production you can still find pieces at Replacements.com.

Further evidence that this wonderful antique china holds it’s value because of,  “discipline, with a credo to do only the best, down to the smallest detail”.  We invite you to see for yourself in our current auction.   Please follow the link for all of the Milan pattern items.

Happy Bidding,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

We have many interesting items of Sports Memorabilia in our most recent auctions.  

                                                                                  Ted Williams

You may know that  Williams was an American hero who played as a left fielder for the Boston Red Socks his entire career. (1939–1942 and 1946–1960).  Williams was the last player in Major League Baseball to bat over .400 in a single season (.406 in 1941). His career .482 on base percentage remains the highest of all time.

Item #9 Bidding Starts 8/21/13 at 6pm

Item #9 Bidding Starts 8/21/13 at 6pm
(Please see http://www.ayptoday.com/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?aypt4/9/showall for complete description.)

But did you know he was a Triple Crown Winner?

Williams was a Triple Crown Winner twice with the highest batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. He had a lifetime career bating average .344 with 521 home runs.

Did you know he was John Glenn’s wingman?

Williams flew 39 combat missions in Korea.  Williams served in the Marine Corp with John Glenn (the Astronaut and Senator) for the last half of William’s missions. Glenn described Williams as, “.. one of the best pilots he knew.”

We have a wonderful framed Topps Number 1 1955 Baseball card.

Item #1 Bidding Starts 8/21/13 at 6pm
(Please see http://www.ayptoday.com/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?aypt4/1/showall for complete description.)

While looking at this auction don’t forget to check our other auction which features some fantastic Pittsburgh Baseball History.  See Baseball category.

"Forbes Field Forever" limited edition lithograph signed the artist by William Feldman
Item #115 Ends 8/21/13

Item #115 Ends 8/21/13
(Please see http://www.ayptoday.com/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?aypt3/115 for complete description.)

Item #112 Ends 8/21/13
(Please see http://www.ayptoday.com/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?aypt3/112 for complete description.)

Ted Williams commented, “Baseball's future? Bigger and bigger, better and better! No question about it, it's the greatest game there is!”  We agree.  

Happy Bidding!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tabacconalia... What that means to us

“I am easily satisfied with the very best.”  Winston Churchill

While researching for our current auction, we came across many items that meet this qualification having to do with cigars.  We want to share the knowledge we have gained and properly present the fine quality of craftsmanship in leather, woodworking and metal work that support the pleasure of these things.

“In many ways, fine cigars are like wine, orchids or humans traveling in space. They are natural, organic and sensitive to their environment. They are the mature products of a carefully controlled combination of temperature and moisture.” 1.

The quest begins with the cigar.  It begins with the Kentucky Burley and the Virginia tobacco among others from around the world.  The blending secret is as individual as personal  taste.   

The right tools are essential, “The first thing to know is that cigars should stay in a humidor until they're ready to be smoked. ... if you want to become a true aficionado, a humidor is an essential piece of equipment.” 2.
Bidding for this items ends 8/21/13

The humidor should be lined with Spanish cedar.  It should not smell like your Grandmother’s closet.  Beautiful well made humidors like these not only keep your cigars from drying out but help them to age and develop better flavors much like fine wines. Please notice the fine detail and craftsmanship in our offering.  A Humigar and an Analog Hygrometer, included in many of our humidors, will only serve to make the process a success.
Bidding for this items ends 8/21/13

The leather work on the cigar travel cases is also a thing to behold.  The color, shapes and materials used are amazing.  Many of these case come from the famous Nat Sherman Tobacconist of New York City.http://natsherman.com/
Bidding for this items ends 8/21/13

In many ways the hard work has been done for you.  Our client spent a lifetime of enjoyment with this hobby and now you can benefit from his knowledge.

Please see our Tobacconalia category that is currently open for bid.  http://www.ayptoday.com/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?aypt3/category/TOBACCONALIA

1. and 2. Cigar Companion by Marvin R. Shankin p.162

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rugs - How do you make the right choice?

I happen to love oriental rugs and my rug purchases in the past have been based on color, size and price.  A good rug can make the room special while a cheap or damaged rug can make a great room look more than a little sad.  What is a Sarouk?  What is Indoshah?  How do I tell a fake? These and many other questions can be answered online.

 When my friend’s parents traveled to the Orient, they brought back several wonderful Hereke rugs from Turkey.  They were silk, the patterns were beautiful and very finely woven.  The back was almost as pretty as the front.  These rugs graced their living room for many years and recently sold for many times what they had cost originally.  This positive experience was possible because they asked questions and were knowledgeable before they purchased.  While not everyone can travel abroad to purchase their rugs, there is plenty of opportunity to find wonderful rugs here in Pittsburgh. 
We have an auction that is coming soon that has several rugs.  In doing research for the descriptions, I have been investigating what makes a rug special.   What I have learned is that rugs have their own unique language.  It is also important to ask an expert and then use their guidance to make your decision.
Landry & Arcari is a highly reputable, thriving family business with one of the largest, most outstanding collections of oriental rugs and carpeting in New England.  Their article, “Ten Tips for Buying a Oriental Rugs” is a good place to start and I love their willingness to share their knowledge with us. The link is http://www.landryandarcari.com/Oriental-Rug-Buying-Tips.php

Bidding for this item starts 8/14/13
Rug Rag has an interesting tool for evaluating the different types of rugs and using your information to see how value is formulated.  It is almost a “blue book” for rugs.  I hope you will find it as interesting as I did.
Rug Rag's Advanced Appraisal Tool

Bidding for this item starts 8/14/13
Buying a rug you love is possible at a price you can afford. 

Take a look on the 14th at www.aypToday.com 

Happy Bidding!  Liz

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fostoria America the Beautiful

Our Mom collected Fostoria and we have come to share her love for this fine glassware.  Her pattern was America which is also known as Early America and Americana.  A tip is to check all of these names as you search for pieces to add to your collection.  The Fostoria Glass Company started in Fostoria, Ohio but moved to Moundsville, West Virginia in 1891.  The Company began to produce the American Pattern in 1915.  It became one of it's most popular patterns and continued in production to 1980.  Known by the prism shaped geometric stacked cubes that reflect light it works well with a number of china patterns.  Besides glassware, there is also dinnerware with a full line of plates, salads and bowls.  There are a wide variety of other items including lamps, serving dishes, punch bowls and even baskets with a woven handle that were made though out the years.  

My sister has my Mom's collection and I have enjoyed finding pieces for her.  Passing these treasures on to the next generation is something we can do now with great joy.  A little bit of Grammy will be there for them at special family occasions.  When her table is set with nothing but Fostoria America, it is beautiful.

One of our past auctions featured this wonderful crystal.  Please check us out at www.aypToday.com.

Thanks to Ebay and Andrewtrades here is a great article that gives advice about how to tell if you have the real America pattern or one of the many copies.   Enjoy!  Liz