The Story Behind the Collectible

Bobbin Souvenir from W. Worsley's Hanging

This is a story about robbery, murder and execution. It’s also a story of William Worsley of Bedfordshire, England in the 1860s. Additionally, it’s the story behind a very unusual collectible–a bobbin that recently sold for over $300. This unique collectible commemorated the public hanging in 1868 of  William Worsley.

The story starts with William Worley, who was born in 1820, married a woman named Susannah, and had a son, Charles. In his youth, Worsley became an apprentice to a hat blocker – a skilled person who made molds for hat construction. Eventually, he had his own hat-blocking business. 

Life in rural England was tough for Worsley. Like most men in his time, Worsley spent time at his local pub. One fateful evening in the pub, Worsley and two of his friends, Levi Welch and James Day didn’t have the money to pay for their drinks. The men decided to rob another man, William Bradbury. Worsley, Welch, and Day attacked Bradbury with an iron bar, killing him and taking his money. 

Welch blamed it all on Worsley, but was sent to prison for six years on robbery charges only. Day claimed he was only there coincidentally because he dropped a sixpence and was looking for it. He was acquitted. Worsley, however, was not as fortunate and was charged with murder.

The Trial

The murder trial of William Worsley was covered by the Bedfordshire Mercury in March of 1868. As reported by the Bedfordshire Mercury, the trial was a popular preoccupation for the people of the town. Unruly crowds of spectators tried to get admission to the trial, but were turned away. Worsley pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. During the court proceedings, the prosecution showed that the murder weapon was discovered in his house the next day. Additionally, witnesses said that they saw Worsley standing over a man lying on the street. Worsley claimed that he just happened to stumble upon a drunken man. 

In the end, Worsley was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to death. He was the last known person to be put to death by public hanging. Shortly after the verdict, Worsley wrote a statement confessing to the murder.

William Worsley’s Hanging

Thousands of men, women and children gathered to watch the hanging of William Worsley on March 31st, 1868. Public hangings in the 1800’s were a community event and people would come to watch, wait, and pass the time by knitting or playing dice. A number of townspeople would go to sell their wares, for example, copies of Worsely’s  “Last Dying Speech and Confession.” Others came to sell souvenirs of the spectacle. One of these souvenirs was a bobbin used in the production of lace. During this time period, lace making was a cottage industry that used animal bone and soft woods to make bobbins. This keepsake bobbin sold at the hanging was inscribed with the words William Worsley Hung 1868.” 

The Collectible Bobbin

Bobbins made of small bone and decorated with glass bead spangles are not too difficult to find. Some are decorated with family names or symbols such as hearts or diamonds, however, there aren’t many that commemorate a public hanging, like those sold on that day in March of 1868. Today, this rare item and others like this have become valuable and sought after by collectors and dealers.

The Story Behind the Collectible

The story behind the lace bobbin collectible is a unique one to say the least. Not all collectibles have such fascinating origins, but some do have their own stories, however simple, to share. One place to find interesting and unique collectibles is at the Old & New Shop. You never know what fascinating items you may find and what histories they have!

Antique Macabre Folk Art – a tale of robbery, murder, Blame & The Death Penalty. Source Vintage. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2022, from https://source-vintage.co.uk/blogs/news/antique-macabre-folk-art-a-tale-of-robbery-murder-blame-the-death-penalty
William Worsley (born 1820 in Bedfordshire) living in Luton, Bedfordshire in 1881. Trace your Family Tree Online. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2022, from https://www.findmypast.com/1881-census/william-worsley-0007676605
Bedfordshire County Council, County Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP, 01234 363 222, feedback@bedscc.gov.uk. (2019, June 21). The opening of the trial of William Worsley. Hosted By Bedford Borough Council: The Opening of the Trial of William Worsley. Retrieved December 29, 2022, from https://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/CommunityHistories/Luton/LutonIntroduction/TheOpeningOfTheTrialOfWilliamWorsley.aspx

Vintage Christmas Collectibles

 

Vintage Snow Angels

 

It’s that time of the year to go up to the attic and pull out your Christmas tree (if you have an artificial one) and decorations. Some of those older decorations passed down from family members, may be valuable. Over time, vintage Christmas items can become collectibles. So, before you throw out that old plastic Santa or ceramic gingerbread house, check if they have any monetary worth.

Top Valuable Vintage Decorations

You may not have any of these coveted Christmas pieces, but knowing the value of some vintage collectibles may inspire you to go back into Grandma’s attic.

  1. 1900s Vintage St. Nick. The most valuable Christmas decoration collectible currently sells for almost $8,000. This candy container Santa stands two feet tall and has a lavender mohair coat and a beard made of real lamb’s wool. It has unusual facial features that are almost scary.
  2. 57-Inch Santa. This Victorian-style Santa wears a long coat made of wood and acrylic and carries a lit Christmas tree. It’s value is $6,250.
  3. Empire Blow Mold Wreath. This molded wreath measures 21 inches across and created by the Empire company in the 1990s. It’s value is $4,750.
  4. Snow Angels. This set of four vintage ceramic Christmas angels have round, red chubby cheeks typical of the 1950s or 60s Christmas decoration style. Their coats and wings are trimmed with textured snow. This set of angels is has a value of  almost $4,700.
  5. Pink Evergleam Aluminum Christmas Tree. Yes, a pink Christmas tree! Aluminum trees were popular in the 1960s and came in a variety of colors. This particular tree is six feet tall and has glittering branches. It’s value is about $4,550.

While these collectables are rare finds, some are much more attainable and can be found more commonly at flea markets and garage sales. Many decorations from Department 56 have become vintage. Department 56 has been making decorations and collectables for years. Some of them are licensed, such as Dr. Seuss’ the Grinch figurines, and others are retired, making them valuable. 

On the lower end of the Christmas vintage decoration spectrum, but not any less popular, are the ceramic lighted trees, plastic lawn nativity sets, and village houses. A vintage simple wooden hand painted Nutcracker, for example, can sell for several hundred dollars.

Real Vintage Christmas Collectibles?

If you are looking for real vintage collectibles – beware! Many pieces are sold or made to look vintage, but are just reproductions. Many of these vintage Christmas items are sold on the internet, but there a few things you could look for and actions you can take to check an item’s authenticity:

  • Make sure unopened items are in their original boxes.
  • Do research. Certain materials were not available in some decades. For example, metal ornament caps were replaced with paper during world war II, specifically between 1942 and 1944.
  • Shop at a reputable dealer. Antique dealers, such as The Old & New Shop, will verify an item’s authenticity and give you the best offer for your vintage Christmas ornament or decorations. 
  • If the vintage item sounds like a really great deal, it probably is too good to be true.
  • Ask for a certificate of authenticity for larger valued collectables.

We wish happy holidays and successful vintage shopping to all from The Old & New Shop!

 

Sources: https://www.workandmoney.com/s/valuable-vintage-christmas-decorations-25542494e38b4c06

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grinch_(film)

https://department56.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm7hQBMBNE8&t=152s

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.

The Story Behind the Collectible: William Worsley and a Bobbin

This is a story about robbery, murder and execution. It’s also a story of William Worsley of Bedfordshire, England in the 1860’s. Additionally, it’s the story behind a very unusual collectible–a bobbin that recently sold for over $300. This unique collectible commemorated the public hanging in 1868 of  William Worsley.

The story starts with William Worley, who was born in 1820, married a woman named Susannah, and had a son, Charles. In his youth, Worsley became an apprentice to a hat blockera skilled person who made molds for hat construction. Eventually, he had his own hat blocking business. 

Life in rural England was tough for Worsley. Like most men in his time, Worsley spent time at his local pub. One fateful evening in the pub, Worsley and two of his friends, Levi Welch and James Day didn’t have the money to pay for their drinks. The men decided to rob another man, William Bradbury. Worsley, Welch and Day attacked Bradbury with an iron bar, killing him and taking his money. 

Welch blamed it all on Worsley, but was sent to prison for six years on robbery charges only. Day claimed he was only there coincidentally because he dropped a sixpence and was looking for it. He was acquitted. Worsley, however, was not as fortunate and was charged with murder.

The Trial

The murder trial of William Worsley was covered by the Bedfordshire Mercury in March of 1868. As reported by the Bedfordshire Mercury, the trial was a popular preoccupation for the people of the town. Unruly crowds of spectators tried to get admission to the trial, but were turned away. Worsley pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. During the court proceedings, the prosecution showed that the murder weapon was discovered in his house the next day. Additionally, witnesses said that they saw Worsley standing over a man lying on the street. Worsley claimed that he just happened to stumble upon a drunken man. 

In the end, Worsley was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to death. He was the last known person to be put to death by public hanging. Shortly after the verdict, Worsley wrote a statement confessing to the murder.

William Worsley’s Hanging

Thousands of men, women and children gathered to watch the hanging of William Worsley on March 31st, 1868. Public hangings in the 1800’s were a community event and people would come to watch, wait, and pass the time by knitting or playing dice. A number of townspeople would go to sell their wares, for example, copies of Worsely’s  “Last Dying Speech and Confession.” Others came to sell souvenirs of the spectacle. One of these souvenirs was a bobbin used in the production of lace. During this time period, lace making was a cottage industry that used animal bone and soft woods to make bobbins. This keepsake bobbin sold at the hanging was inscribed with the words William Worsley Hung 1868.” 

The Collectible: William Worsley Bobbin

Bobbins made of small bone and decorated with glass bead spangles are not too difficult to find. Some are decorated with family names or symbols such as hearts or diamonds, however, there aren’t many that commemorate a public hanging, like those sold on that day in March of 1868. Today, this rare item and others like this have become valuable and sought after by collectors and dealers. This is the tragic story behind the collectible of William Worlsey and a bobbin.

The Story Behind the Collectible

The story behind the lace bobbin collectible is a unique one to say the least. Not all collectibles have such fascinating origins, but some do have their own stories, however simple, to share. One place to find interesting and unique collectibles is at the Old & New Shop. You never know what fascinating items you may find and what histories they have!