Friday, January 24, 2014

Featherweight Sewing Machines Are Something to Crow About

If you are a quilter, chances are you are all ready to sing the praises of this beautifully black boxed sewing machine by Singer.  Item 143 in our current auction is a  famous “Featherweight.”  The Singer Featherweight portable sewing machine is a model made by Singer between 1933 and 1964. They even have a fan club on Facebook
The machine weighs about 11 pounds and is an ideal for quilters and other heirloom sewers to take to classes or "on location." Very quiet and sturdily made with all-metal parts (mostly aluminum), the Featherweight sews straight stitches beautifully
My sewing expert, teacher and dear friend Kathianne has one and uses hers all this time. She even has the card table that was especially made for the Featherweight.  She has the hemmer, the button-holer, ruffler, tucker and lots of attachments.  You can find all of the extras at her favorite website
The Featherweight came in a standard black model made in the U.S. Ours was made after the war and has a simple, striated pattern of vertical stripes. It is decorated with gold decals and the Singer name, but no where does it say "Featherweight" on it
Who gave them that nickname seems to be lost to time.  What was is not lost is the love of the machines by those who have and use them.
Kathianne tells me finding the approximate date of manufacture of a Featherweight is easy. Turn it over and see if the serial number is still there. The number, which is on the bottom of the machine, will be preceded by a two-letter code, beginning with A (for U.S.-made model 221 machines).  The letters not the numbers tell the story. Here is the chart to decode your machine.
AB 1926
AC 1928
AD 1934
AE 1936
AF 1938
AG 1941
AH 1948
AI 1948
AJ 1950
AK 1951
AL 1955
AM 1956

White Featherweights, distributed in the U.S., were made between 1968 and 1970. These were the last gasp of the Featherweight as a new machine. You can call Singer with the serial number and find out. 1(800)474-6437 or go to for free downloadable sewing projects.  Now, Featherweights are being refurbished and painted in every color under the rainbow.
Featherweight Sewing Machines and their Fans are Fantastic!
Happy Bidding,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Numismatics is a Treasure Hunt Worth Taking.

Numismatics is the practice of studying and collecting coins.  Unlike Jack Sparrow and his pirate friends, thanks to our current auction, you have the opportunity to collect some real  treasures. Best of all, these coins can be appreciated in the comfort of your own home

It is important to speak the language of Numismatics. Here are some terms to get you started.
  • Circulation: Coins struck for general use are in circulation.
  • Coin rim: The rim of the coin is the outer edge, which is often raised.          
  • Device: The device is the design. It often features the bust of a person or an animal.
  • Dies: The metal pieces that imprint the design on the coin are known as dies.
  • Legends: The phrases on the surface of a coin are known as legends or mottoes.
  • Luster: A bright, dazzling luster is more appealing than a dull coin. However, collectors generally avoid coins that have been cleaned or otherwise doctored.
  • Mint: Coins are struck at a mint.
  • Mintage: The number of coins that are struck is the mintage.    
  • Obverse: The side of a coin referred to as "heads" is known as the obverse side.     
  • Proofs: Proofs are coins that have been struck with a highly polished die and are sold especially to collectors. Cameo proofs are proofs with a frosted appearance. Proof coins are graded Proof 70, Proof 65, Proof 60, and below. Proof is sometimes abbreviated PR or PF.
  • Reverse: The side of a coin referred to as "tails" is known as the reverse side.
  • Strike: Well-struck coins have a distinct impression in the metal.        
  • Third side: The edge of the coin is sometimes called the third side.  
  • Uncirculated: A coin that is released to the public but not intended for general circulation. The U.S. Mint uses a special process to make uncirculated coins.
  • Visual appeal: Some coins have a soft, satin luster, while others have a more reflective surface. Some coins are colorful.
  • Wear: Deterioration, such as contact marks and hairlines, can decrease the value of a coin. Wear usually first occurs on the highest points of the coin.
United States coins that are popular choices with collectors include;
Liberty Head Dimes (1916 to 1945)    items 41 & 43

Liberty Head Nickels (1883 to 1913) and  Indian Head Nickels (1913 to 1938)  item 42 

Coins that have been issued in a particular year.  items 44-49
Collectors should determine what appeals to them before they buy a coin.   Rare coins have a higher demand than common coins, and they can even be more expensive than older, more historic coins.
The condition of a coin can make a difference in price. Coins that are circulated and used as currency naturally become worn, and uncirculated coins often demand a much higher value than circulated ones. U.S coins are often graded based on a modified version of the Sheldon 70-point grading system, created by Dr. William Sheldon in 1949.    We will talk more about these factors in another blog.
Coin collecting, aka numismatics, has it’s own language and many factors to consider. I hope this short introduction has proved informative. Collecting these tiny pieces of history is a fun and popular pastime, even without a pirate ship. Best of luck to you in this real life treasure hunt.

Happy Bidding,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Paul Revere's Silver

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.”

This is a stanza from the epic poem Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which by the way I had to memorize as a second grader. Back to the point.  Paul Revere did more for our country than ride that night, he was a skilled silversmith and a successful business man.  

We at AYPToday are grateful for this because we have, in our current auction, pieces of Pointed Antique Sterling Silver.  This lovely pattern was designed by Paul Revere and is America’s oldest colonial pattern.
Our Pointed Antique Flatware was made by two distinguished companies.
Dominick & Haff and Reed & Barton who acquired them in 1928. For more than 187 years, Reed & Barton has been known world-wide for their superior craftsmanship. These pieces show why their reputation is deserved.

Paul Revere’s  pattern is simple, elegant and timeless.  We have offered it to you in four piece place settings. There are six total place settings. All of our pieces are marked Sterling Silver.
We want to share some information about the knives.  The cake knife and dinner knife blades are marked Mirrorstele. All of the knife handles are Sterling Silver. This was done for strength and durability.

We also have six soup spoons.

The six butter spreaders have been split according to their age and makers. Five are Dominick & Haff.
The one by Reed & Barton is paired with the Cake Knife also by Reed & Barton.
The sugar shell spoon and pickle fork were made by Dominick & Haff.  

You can see them all here

The poem ends with...
“Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.”

I think Paul Revere would be pleased to know that you can still put his design handiwork on your table.

Happy Bidding,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

We Marvel at Comic Books!

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck was the first comic book.  It was published in several languages in Europe in 1837.
The Adventures of Mickey Mouse appeared in 1931.  In 1933, Funnies on Parade reprinted newspaper humor comic strips. It was set using the same 8" x 11" format that comic books are printed in today. All 1 million copies were given away in a few weeks. The comic came with coupons for Proctor & Gamble products.  How is that for marketing? The very first superhero team book Marvel put out was Fantastic Four #1, which also came out in 1961.

Despite their name, comic books are not necessarily funny and cover a wide range of topics.  Our comic books feature Superheroes, Ghosts, Movies, and TV shows and even strange Animals like Godzilla.

Comic books are a hot point for educational purposes. Micheal Cavna has his own blog The Comic Riff  which explores the Comic Book world and is delightful.  He questions why teachers are reluctant to use Comic Books, I mean Graphic Novels.  He states, We now know that comics — the marriage of word and picture in a dynamic relationship that fires synapses across the brain — can be a bridge to literacy and a path to learning.” For some great information.

If you are looking for some fantastic comic books, to enjoy yourself or to encourage a reluctant reader, we have twenty six bidding opportunities for you in our current auction.  

My Favorites are - Star Wars Item 20


Which One Do you like Best?  It is hard to decide!

Happy Bidding,

Organizing Your Home - Mission Impossible?

“No longer!” came the rallying cry of my friend Joy as we tackled the chore of cleaning out her garage.  We were rewarded with an organized space and the shock of the sight of a clean concrete floor.   Amazing!

With this current auction, We have many practical items that will organize your home and your life in no time.  We have great advice in the form of many good organization books see item 98 Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg or item 102 Get Organized Today by Rhonda Elliott & Charlotte Steil.


Did you know that January is the official month to get organized?  You can use many of the items in this current auction to begin 2014 for example with a charged cell phone - imagine that. See item 99.

Try item 93 for an organized car. That is where I seem to be spending more and more of my days.  It might as well be a pleasant and organized space.

We also want to send a shout out to our good friends at the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.  These wonderful people make it their business to help us messy ones find our way.

Isn't that the purpose?  Find a spot for everything you use or love, then let go of the rest.  Develop a system to keep it where it needs to be.  Reclaim your inner peace or maybe just find it in the first place. Happy Official Month to Get Organized!

Happy Bidding,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hull and McCoy Brown Drip Pottery

In the current auction we have a wonderful collection of hand crafted two toned brown drip pottery. Much of this pottery was birthed in Ohio.  Addis Emmet Hull founded Hull Pottery in 1905 in Crooksville Ohio. In 1910, Nelson McCoy with his father J.W. McCoy and five others founded the Nelson Sanitary and Stoneware Company in Roseville Ohio.
These companies experienced growth and expansion then financial reverses as the Depression hit.  Both rebounded for many years but ultimately closed their doors which makes us very sad. However, the love people have for these pottery pieces has not diminished.  
We are so excited to be able to share this collection with you. We had so much fun discovering the marks, the drips, the glazes and hope you'll find something amazing in these treasures!

The unique Maple Leaf Candy Dish has the classic Brown Drip pattern and Hull Markings. It is a pretty design made for the ages! So warm and beautiful! See item 140.

With its deep brown and cream "drip". The Large brown leaf shaped vegetable bowls have McCoy USA marks on the bottom. See item 120  What care it took to make them.

All of these pieces have been well cared for and are in excellent condition. As you can see from the pictures these pieces all look great together and would look amazing on any table especially at Thanksgiving.  

If you are interested in more information "The Hull Pottery Association" is headquartered in Crooksville, Ohio. Their goal is to "preserve, educate, and promote Hull Pottery, its collectors, and its heritage." see McCoy also has a Collector’s Society see You will find beautiful examples of the pottery and marks here.

Happy Bidding,