Vintage Vacuums

SurpriVintage Vacuumssing as it may be, vintage vacuums have grown in appeal for antique collectors. This retro appliance is not only a display item but popular because of its history.

The History

An American inventor named James Spangler created an electric appliance that was a broomstick with a cloth, a long handle, and a bag. He was an asthmatic janitor, so his invention was probably developed out of necessity. In 1908, he sold his design to a Brit named William Hoover. His early vacuum idea was one of the best practical inventions of its time. Hoover’s company’s leather factory in England began mass-producing modern-looking vacuums by 1930. Although his vacuum was a practical way of cleaning, not many people owned one because of the high cost to produce and sell it. Many years later the electric vacuum would be used in most households.

Vintage Vacuum Collectibles

Since its origin, the vacuum has undergone many transformations, from dustpans to rovers, spanning over 150 years. Here are the top vintage vacuum collectibles:

Electrolux

This Swedish company has been producing vacuums for decades, and the 1950’s model is a top collectible. In the 1960s, the company’s marketing campaign slogan was, Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” Many marketing experts thought it would be a disaster, however, the campaign did grab the attention of consumers.

My Little Queen series by Bissell

Another popular collectible is the Little Queen series, which was invented by Melville Bissell to help his wife with her crockery pot store. It was more of a carpet sweeper, but still a favorite vintage vacuum.

Hoover 800

As mentioned above, James Spangler is credited for the invention of the electric vacuum and he eventually became partners with Hoover. This Hoover model is a popular vintage vacuum collectible today as well as the 1952 Hoover Model 82 Constellation.

Singer Deluxe

Singers sold only sewing machines in the early years. But, in the 60s they expanded their product line to include vacuum cleaners with the Singer Deluxe model becoming popular.

The Royal Lexon Standard

Royal Lexon Standard was developed in 1910, and over one million of these models were sold. This is especially outstanding at a time when only a few million homes had electricity. Because of its history, the Royal Lexon Standard model is a very sought-after vintage vacuum.

Kirby

The Kirby Company only produced one model and sold their vacuums through door-to-door sales. The company didn’t exactly have a good reputation based on the behavior of its salesmen. Many people complained that the salespeople were pushy and annoying. Despite its reputation, the Kirby is a top vintage collectible.

A Fascination

It may seem unusual to some, but many collectors have a fascination with vintage vacuums. For those who do, there are clubs to join whose members have the same interests. The Vacuum Cleaners Collectors Club’s members appreciate the mechanics and design aspects of collectible vacuum cleaners. This non-profit organization values the part of industrial history in which vacuum cleaners were part of the electrical pioneer movement in the United States. Members collect, restore, and preserve this fascinating aspect of industrial heritage. The club provides a space for collecting and cataloging historical materials, and information, and sharing the interest in vacuum cleaners between collectors.

As with many collectors of antiques and vintage items, searching and shopping is a large part of the journey to acquiring items. Flea markets, antique malls, and shops like the Old & New ShopOld & New Shop, are the best places to start. 

 

Vintage Halloween Collectibles

When witchesVintage Halloween Collectable go riding and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near HALLOWEEN!          -Unknown

Halloween, as it is called today, is a contraction of the phrase All Hallows’ Eve , and is celebrated on October 31st, the evening before All Saints Day. The holiday’s origins began as a celebration of bountiful harvest and remembering the dead. Halloween traditions are thought to be influenced by Celtic harvest festivals long ago. Irish and Scottish immigrants took many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century, and the holiday eventually spread to other countries by the 20th century.

In Mexico, the holiday is called the Day of the Dead. Families and friends gather on this day to pay their respects and celebrate those who have died. Although it can be a more solemn tone, unlike in the US, some celebrations can be humorous and fun, remembering funny events and stories about the departed.

Whatever is celebrated, there are plenty of vintage Halloween collectibles and fun for anyone looking for a blast from the past!

Trick-or-Treat

Halloween is fun for children and adults, although it didn’t necessarily start out that way. Many of the activities, pranks, and vintage Halloween items have evolved through the years as we now know them, including: 

  • Trick-or-treating 
  • Costumes
  • Parties
  • Apple bobbing
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Haunted houses
  • Scary stories
  • And, horror films

Vintage cards, posters, decorations, and costumes were representative of a later time period, not just because they showed what people were afraid of, but also of the time’s pop culture and entertainment. Costumes, for example, were usually homemade and used as disguises for teens playing pranks. The disguises were usually scary and frequently portrayed witches and monsters. During the depression, vandalism was a common occurrence at Halloween. As a result, parents started organizing trick-or-treating and costume parties.

 Vintage Halloween Collectibles

For vintage and antique Halloween collectors, there is a plethora of items available. For example, a decoration like the rare tabletop centerpiece, Vintage Halloween Horrible Witch Decoration Crepe Skirt, dates back approximately 90 years and can sell for thousands of dollars.

Other finds iVintage Witchnclude a 1930’s vintage Halloween Beach and Arthur party plate, Toledo Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Tin Parade Pumpkin valued at $7,500, a 25-year vintage Halloween Winking Pumpkin Candy Container with sliding bottom, and many more vintage Halloween treasures.

Many of these vintage items can be bought through the internet, however, flea markets, antique malls, and reputable dealers like the Old & New Shop, might be a better way. The ability to touch and see a piece, and hold it in your hand can make all the difference when deciding to purchase a vintage or antique piece, especially if it’s a large investment. The Old & New Shop will give you a fair and accurate evaluation as well as purchase items you might like to sell. 

So, have fun with your Halloween vintage pieces, and Happy Halloween!

 

An Antique Shopping Guide

A Guide to Antique ShoppingThere is so much fun in shopping for antiques. Sometimes, we find the best items from the flea market and in specialized shops. From hand-painted teapots to ornate sofas, these antiques make an excellent addition to your home. An antique shopping guide will help!

Be Prepared

The best way to start your shopping trip is to be prepared for moving your antiques from the shop to your home. A simple kit containing items you already have in your house should be ready to go. Your kit should have cardboard boxes (preferably foldable), a blanket or bubble wrap for padding, and wipes for dusty pieces. It’s also helpful to measure the space you want to fit the item into before you go. If your find is too big for your vehicle, have a Plan B to transport it such as a rental van. 

Identify the Best Market for Your Needs

Depending on your needs, you should decide which type of market is the best place to find it. If you’re looking for affordable, second-hand items, shop at a flea market. If you want “old” heirlooms, try an antique mall. Genuine antiques are usually found in a shop owned by an antiquities expert. 

The terms antique, vintage, or retro are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. These differentiations can help determine the value of the item. The definition of antique is simple–any item that is over 100 years old. This rule applies to anything from books to glassware. Vintage pieces are not sold as antiques. Although determining the age is a bit more subjective, vintage usually means an item that is over 40 years old. People buy vintage items because they are nostalgic decorative pieces or collectibles. Retro items are thought of as existing in the more recent past and are sometimes only slightly used. These items are more than 20 years old, but less than 40.

Antiquing Etiquette

When you enter an antique market or mall, it’s always best to greet the vendor, setting a friendly tone. It is acceptable to haggle or ask for a discount. Some people may feel uncomfortable, but these tips can help you along. 

You should also inspect the item carefully for dents, scratches, or chips. If you find a flaw, you should ask for a discount.

Keep the Vision

When shopping for pieces to decorate your home, keep in mind the style you are trying to achieve. Are you going for farmhouse chic, rustic, or something retro? If you are not sure what your style is, start with a major piece that you like that ties the room together and decorate accordingly.

Authenticity 

If you are new at this, you probably don’t have experience determining the authenticity of an antique. There are some ways to verify its claim:

  • Distinguish sterling silver from plated by its authenticating mark. Look for a marking that says “9.25”, “Sterling”, “Sterling 925”, or “S/S.”
  • To check whether a porcelain item is genuine, hold a flashlight (your phone works well for this) up to see if the light shines through. If it does, it’s genuine.

Also, consider the function of the item you’re interested in. A fragile piece should not be in a place where it can be easily damaged. 

Additionally, before you make a purchase, you should find out what the return policy is, especially on large valued items. If anything should be wrong, or it just doesn’t fit with your decor, you’d want to know if you can take it back.

Let’s Shop 

With an antique shopping gude, you are ready to shop. Get your antiquing kit, cash, and transportation, and go! The Old & New Shop is one of the favorite antique and vintage dealers in the New York metro area.

Antique, Vintage, or Retro?

Antique, Vintage or Retro

The terms antique, vintage, or retro are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have different meanings, and these differentiations can help determine the value of the item.

The definition of antique is simple–any item that is over 100 years old. This rule applies to anything from books to glassware. If an item is over 300 years old, it can fall into one of two categories. If it’s natural and from a living thing, it is called a fossil. If it’s man-made, then it qualifies as an antiquity or artifact.

Vintage has a meaning that is less defined. Vintage pieces are not sold as antiques. Although determining what age counts as vintage is a bit more subjective, it usually means an item that is over 40 years old. People buy vintage items because they are nostalgic decorative pieces or collectibles.

Retro items are thought of as existing in the more recent past and are sometimes slightly used. These items are more than 20 years old, but less than 40. Retro usually imitates a certain “years ago” style, for example, a letter or varsity jacket which dates back to the 1920s, and the style regained popularity again in the 1980s.

Items that are not necessarily antiques, vintage or retro may still look old and are commonly bought as collectibles. These are referred to as reproductions. They are not sold as old themselves but as copies of older items.

The Market Value

There are several ways to estimate the value of your antique, vintage, or retro item. Visiting a local appraiser is a good option, as they have experience in this area and the tools to accurately research the piece and determine its worth. Appraisers will offer a fair price and give you a report. However, they can charge a hefty fee for their services of up to  $200 or more. The Old & New Shop will provide a more personal appraisal with a one-on-one phone call and/or meeting.

Another way to find the market value is to visit a site that will appraise your antique. Websites can give you a professional estimate by providing you with a description and photo. Additionally, consulting an antique pricing guide can give you detailed information about the value and resale of the items.

Trends in Antiques, Vintage, or Retro Items

Interest in shopping for vintage and antique items has grown over the years. Millennials are growing older, and the things they once had as children are now becoming vintage. And it’s not only Millennials; Gen Z’s is also looking for vintage and retro pieces. Current purchasing trends indicate interest in vintage advertising signs, books, toys, and jewelry. Other items with Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles are also popular. Whatever your preference, the Old & New Shop has a wide variety of items and collectibles for buying and selling.

Looking Back at the 20s in the 20s: Art Deco and Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry in the 1920s

It’s the year 2020, which means it’s been one hundred years since the start of the iconic and fashionable Roaring Twenties era. During that time, costume jewelry became quite popular, most notably of the Art Deco style. If you have a piece of authentic costume jewelry from the 1920s, you could be in possession of a real treasure. Read on to learn about the characteristics that were common in costume jewelry from the 1920s, including Art Deco jewelry, so you can better analyze and understand the value of your own 1920s pieces.

Short Hair, Long Earrings

The 1920s were a time to celebrate the modern independent woman, including shortening her hemline as well as her hair length. Bobs were tremendously in style, which means earlobes were exposed and in need of decoration. Long, dangling earrings became fashionable, but were only affordable to the wider population as costume pieces. During this time period, costume jewelry mimicked fine jewelry so every woman could feel she was wearing something sleek, delicate, and elegant. That means white metals and fake pearls were used frequently, as well as glass stones.

“Ropes and Ropes of Pearls” – Coco Chanel

Long necklaces, especially pearl ones, were incredibly in fashion during the 1920s and were made even more popular by fashion icon Coco Chanel. Chanel opined that jewelry should be “like ribbons in a woman’s hands. Supple and flexible.” She advocated for women to wear several strands of long necklaces. Women would even wear necklaces that hung down the back. Anything to accentuate length, as was the general fashion at the time. It was also the Jazz age, a time where women would dance to Jazz music, and it was characteristic for jewelry to be long enough to move along with the women wearing them during these dances. Many of these necklaces were costume pieces, as that was what was affordable and accessible for many women in these years after the first World War.

Bangles and Bracelets

Bracelets were in style, especially in the form of bangles, and women in the 1920s wouldn’t just wear one. They wore a stack of bracelets going up their arm, and the bracelets would usually make noise as the woman moved. Sometimes, a woman would take a long strand of pearls (or fake pearls) and wrap it around her arm several times to wear as a thick bracelet rather than as a necklace. Bracelets were also made out of plastic, wood, metal, and even bone. Many metal bracelets were inset with colorful gems in the Art Deco fashion.

The Art Deco Age

Art Deco refers to a series of designs inspired by cubism that combined ancient Egyptian, Aztec, Grecian, and other styles from ancient cultures with a modern twist influenced by the age of modern machinery. The marriage of the ancient and the modern resulted in unique jewelry pieces with angles, spirals, nods to ancient architecture, and rich colors. One notable characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is that it is usually symmetrical, so if you have inherited a piece that you think may be Art Deco, check to see if each half of it is a mirror image of the other. Art Deco jewelry also often depicted images of items that are fast like cars, trains, airplanes, panthers, and gazelles.

If you have inherited costume jewelry from the 1920s, especially in the Art Deco style, you may have some valuable pieces. The only way to truly know their value is to get them appraised. The experts at Old and New Shop can evaluate your costume jewelry and offer you the best price you’ll find for them. We’ll help you make sure you’re getting the most for these valuable, historical pieces!

5 Clues To Help You Learn Value of Your Antique Tapestry

Value of antique tapestry

Tapestries are beautiful pieces of art that often tell a story, but they don’t always fit within the modern decor of today’s homes. If you have inherited an old tapestry, you may be wondering if it has any value. Selling your inherited tapestry could be lucrative for you if it is authentic. But how do you know if your tapestry is actually worth anything? You’ll have to do some detective work and, like for a true detective, a magnifying glass will prove to be useful in looking for clues about the authenticity of your tapestry. Below are a few clues that can help you piece together a more complete story about the value of your antique tapestry.

1. Uneven Stitching

Using your magnifying glass, examine the stitching in your tapestry. A skillfully crafted tapestry will have stitches that are neat and close together, but the human hand still adds variety to even the most expert stitching. Uneven stitches are a helpful clue in how that tapestry was made. Machine-made tapestries have perfectly even stitches with no or little variety. Antique, hand-made tapestries have slight irregularities in the size of the stitches and they use yarn processed using an older method that causes inconsistencies in the threads. These irregularities will add to the authenticity and value of your antique tapestry.

2. Types of Thread Used

Looking closely at the actual threads used, you can learn a lot about the type of person who may have originally owned this tapestry and how long ago they lived. Modern tapestries will be made of nylon or polyester, but true antiques dating back as far as the 15th century will use cotton, linen, or wool threads that were hand-dyed. If the original owner was upper-class or royalty, the tapestry might have been made of silk with silver or gold threads woven in.

3. Range of Colors

Hundreds of years ago, people didn’t have access to the vast array of color dyes that we have today. Back then, dyes were made of natural materials and only came in about 20 different varieties. Not only were the color choices smaller, but the same color used in a tapestry would not always match perfectly with itself due to natural unevenness that occurred in the dying process. Additionally, check to see if the hues are just as rich on both sides of the tapestry. If the tapestry has a clear front and back, it is likely made on a modern machine.

4. Location of the Signature

Artists of older tapestries would often incorporate their signature into the weave on either the bottom corner or the border of the tapestry. More modern tapestries have a tag on the back with the artist’s information, which is a clear giveaway that you are not dealing with an antique. You want a signature or initials in the weave that you can see from both sides of the tapestry.

5. The Story in the Design

Another big clue that can tell you valuable information about your tapestry is the kind of story being told in the design. Antique tapestries often told stories about the time period in which they were created. Tapestries from churches often depict a saint or biblical figures, whereas old tapestries that hung in palaces may show scenes of royalty or important battles. Modern-day tapestries can also use similar designs, so it’s important to make sure your tapestry has the other features of an antique as described above.

Although you can analyze all the above elements on your own, a professional like the ones at Old and New Shop will be able to expertly analyze all these elements to help determine the value of your antique tapestry. At Old and New Shop, not only will we help you learn more about your tapestry’s history and how much it is worth, but we will offer you the best price for it. Be sure to contact us to learn more about how we can help you learn the true value of your tapestry.

Top 5 Ways to Get the Best Value for Your Jewelry

Get the best value for your jewelry.

Antique or inherited jewelry has the potential to have significant worth, but often that worth becomes inflated by the emotional value jewelry holds. Inherited jewelry often brings with it memories of the person who used to wear it or it has some kind of history attached to it that can make it difficult to give up. That’s why you need to make sure you get the full worth of your jewelry when you sell it. Some elements of your jewelry that contribute to its worth are out of your control, such as the style and the gems. However, there are still steps you can take to ensure you can get the best value for your jewelry and feel good about the transaction. Read on to find out how you can have the best shot at getting top dollar for your jewelry.

1. Tell the Story

Heirlooms that have a significant story can sometimes be worth more, such as if they were once owned by someone famous or important. It’s also important to know the era in which the item was manufactured and who manufactured it, as certain brands will be worth more. If a piece of jewelry was made by a top brand, keeping it in its original box may also add to the value if the box is in excellent condition.

2. Clean Your Jewelry

Jewelry needs to be in the best condition in order to bring in a top price. Any discolorations or dirty areas need to be cleaned and polished carefully so as not to ruin the integrity of the metal and gems. If any areas of the jewelry are actually damaged, they should be repaired by a professional. Even so, the fact that the jewelry piece is not in its original condition after being repaired may affect the price.

3. Pay Attention to the Style

Styles come and go, and you will get the best value for your jewelry when it is in style. If you have the time and patience, only sell those pieces that are currently in style, and save the other pieces for when their style becomes more in demand. Style includes metal type, gems and gem sizes, and how ornate the piece is.

4. Find Out the Melt Value

The melt value of jewelry is how much the actual metal is worth once it is melted down. The melt value may be less than what the piece may have been worth if it was in good condition, but if the piece is damaged or in poor condition, determining its melt value may be the best way to sell it.

5. Get Your Gems Graded

Every gem can be graded to find out its true value, and it’s worth it to obtain an official report declaring the grade of the gems on your jewelry pieces. Gem grades are determined based on the gem itself and its size. Some gems are intrinsically more valuable than others. Knowing the grade of your gems can help you get a better idea of how much your jewelry piece is worth.

At the Old and New Shop, our experts can help you find out how much your jewelry pieces are worth based on a variety of determining factors and will give you the best price you can find. We will offer you a free, no-pressure quote and our transaction can be as discreet as you need. Make sure to contact us to learn more about our jewelry buying service so you can get the most out of your jewelry pieces.

How To Determine the Worth of Inherited Silverware

Worth of inherited silverware

Have you inherited a set of silver flatware, or maybe a silver tea set? Many people today buy stainless steel, but actual silverware in the form of flatware, trays, or tea seats was a luxury item that your parents or grandparents may have owned. If you have been lucky enough to inherit a set of silverware, you may be wondering how much it is worth. The answer lies in how it was made, influenced heavily by the age of the item.

The Beginning of Silver Flatware

Once upon a time, many years ago – 12th century England, to be precise, royal and highly wealthy families decided to use sterling silver as flatware. This was the same quality of silver that was being used in silver coins. During the Industrial Revolution, silverware began being mass-produced, making it somewhat more affordable and definitely more available. Members of the newly-growing middle class purchased silverware as a sign of their wealth and gentility. For over a hundred years, upper-middle-class families likely owned silverware that was ornate and nearly solid silver.

Silver Suffers in the Great Depression

When the Great Depression hit, people fell into financial trouble. Purchasing silverware–including all the work involved in owning it, such as hiring servants to polish it–was unaffordable. That’s when silver-plated flatware became popular. Flatware that is silver-plated has a thin layer of silver painted onto its surface, but it is primarily not a silver piece. Silver-plated items look pretty, but they cost significantly less than sterling silver. Therefore, they are worth less if you inherit them.

So How Much is Your Inherited Silverware Worth?

Now that you know some of the history of silver in the home, you can use the time period of your set to help determine its worth of your inherited silverware. If it has been passed down through the generations from the 1800s, there’s a chance it might actually be sterling silver. In fact, there are ways you can check for yourself if your silver items are sterling. Look at the bottom. If it says “sterling” or has the numbers 925, 900, or 800 inscribed in it, you’ve hit the silver jackpot–sort of. Chances are, your inherited set will end up being recycled for scrap metal. Very few silver flatware sets have real value today–they would need to have been made by a highly valued silversmith or be of an intricately beautiful pattern to be kept in-tact and not be melted down.

Most likely, though, your silver flatware, trays, tea sets, and other dining accessories are silver-plated. Silver-plated items have less worth than sterling silver, and a professional like the ones at Old and New Shop can help you decide if it is worth selling. If you do decide to sell, we can help you get the best price for your silver items.

How Much is Your Gold and Silver Worth?

How much is your gold and silver worth?

Amongst antique or gifted items in your possession might be items made of gold or silver. You may wonder how much your gold and silver is worth, and if they are worth selling or holding onto? Some of these answers are subjective. Does the item hold sentimental value? Naturally, you won’t want to sell such an item! Are you in need of some quick money? That may prompt you to sell now instead of strategically waiting for an opportune time based on the precious metals market. Once you answer these important preliminary questions, we come to the question at the crux of the issue: just how much does your gold or silver get you?

Precious Metals Trend Slowly

The upward or downward trends of gold and silver happen very slowly – a single trend can take twenty years before things start to go the other way! This is because gold and silver are not consumed like other goods, such as food items. People who buy gold and silver tend to hoard them, not use them up. Supply and demand does affect precious metals, but not as drastically the way it affects other commodities. Therefore, if you want to be patient and wait for an opportune time to sell, you may have to wait a while. However, there are some big rises in price from time to time, even during a downward trend. If you catch one of those rises, you could get lucky.

The Worth of Gold and Silver as Determined by the Spot Price and the Daily Fixing

Once or twice a day, the price of precious metals is “fixed.” That means that members of the industry decide on a set price for buying and selling precious metals or agree to maintain the current market conditions in order to regulate the price across the industry. Another way to determine the price of gold or silver is by looking at the spot price, which predicts the future expected value of precious metals. The spot price can change several times a day.

The Devaluation of Currency Raises the Worth of Gold and Silver

As markets change, the value of certain countries’ currencies can go down. When currency values decrease, investors look to gold, increasing gold’s inherent value. More than supply and demand, market changes and currency values heavily influence the worth of gold and silver.

It’s not always a simple decision when (and if!) to sell your gold or silver items. At Old and New Shop, our experts analyze the current market trends for gold and silver values. We look to buy solid gold and silver items including gold coins, silver flatware, silver tea sets, silver trays, and more, and we will give you the highest price for your items.

5 Elements to Consider When Determining the Worth of a Piece of Art

Determine how much a piece of art is worth.

Do you own or have you inherited several paintings or other forms of art? You may be wondering if your art is worth anything. The thing about art is that it’s super subjective. You may feel that the art you own is a masterpiece, or at least looks absolutely stunning, but the beauty of your piece of art doesn’t always dictate its worth. In fact, there are a variety of factors that are important in determining the value of your art piece.

1. Authenticity

Authentic antique paintings are rare, but they’re out there. The interesting, and somewhat problematic, issue of authenticity of paintings is that master painters sometimes had their students paint copies of their pieces or contribute to the original, and then all those pieces were sold under the master painter’s name. Leonardo da Vinci is famous for doing this with his painting Virgin of the Rocks. That means that many “authentic originals” out there are actually copies or collaborations. When discovered, these paintings become labeled “inauthentic” and their worth goes down.

2. Size

Amongst more contemporary artwork, the size of the piece often plays a significant role in its price. Smaller works are usually priced lower, and works that are too big to comfortably hang in a residential home are also priced lower because they are more difficult to sell. Large works that hang nicely in someone’s home will often have a higher price tag.

3. Medium

Oil paintings are extremely durable, which gives them a higher value. In addition, paintings done on canvas are worth more than those done on paper.

4. History

What is the history of the piece? Is it an original? If it belonged to anyone famous or significant, that will drive up its value. In addition, does the artist have an interesting backstory? Is the artist still alive? These are all important questions to consider when thinking about how much a piece of art is worth.

5. Artist

The popularity of the artist is a strong determining factor in the value of a piece of art. Has the artist been to several exhibitions? Won any awards? Is the artist popular right now?

Ultimately, whether or not you keep a piece of art is a highly personal decision. If you do decide you want to sell it, the experts at Old & New Shop will help you determine its worth and pay you the same day we pick it up. Either way, it’s always interesting and useful to know the history and worth of any piece of art you own!