Do you know how to date and identify the rare treasures you seek?
I have put together a few things that may help those that aren’t seasoned pickers like Mike and Frank from American Pickers or someone who has many years of picking experience. We all get the thrill of a great find so why not have some knowledge of the history to your treasures.
Glass Canning Jars
(Image taken from Pinterst)
Are you a collector of Ball or Atlas Jars? Here is a little help to identify the jars you seek for your collection. Ball jars are possibly the most recognizable jars to most (not all) treasure seekers. The embossed manufacturer’s identification marks on these jars tells their story.
(Images taken from Pinterest)
Are you more of an Atlas jar fan? The chart below will be very helpful in identifying your glass treasures.
(Image taken from Pinterst)
If the history behind your treasure gets you going, then this brief history of the Mason jar will peek your interest even more.
(image taken from Pinterest)
(image taken from Pinterest)
Marbles were a kids treasure and a rank to how good you actually were at playing the game. Today marbles may not be that hot children’s wish list item, but for the collector it’s at the top. Here are a few tips on how to recognize authentic vintage marbles. According to Treasure Pursuits there are five ways to identify vintage marbles.
1. Pontil (this is the process where a stick was used to make the marble and then broken off and leaves a rough area on the marble.
2. Appearance (vintage marbles are much brighter and more attractive, due to being made individually)
3. Flaws (vintage marbles were made by hand which made it difficult for glassblowers to make the perfect marble)
4. Quality (vintage marbles were made with high quality glass and shouldn’t break while playing)
5. Seller (speak with the seller to get more information and history)
Do you think Levi Strauss ever sat back and thought that one day his jeans would be a sought after vintage item? I am sure he was really going for durability and not so much how future generations would covet his jeans. Reproductions are everywhere even in the jeans market. There are three ways to identify authentic vintage Levi’s according to Levi Strauss & Co.
- The Red Tab (the authentic jeans will have a red tab on the right back pocket with the word LEVI’S in all capital letters and will identify them being made before 1971)
2. Care Tags (care tags were added to the jeans in the 1970’s)
3. Inseams (before the mid 80’s almost all of the jeans were made with a “single felled inseam”, which is a single stitch running down the inner thigh)
Map Treasure Hunting
(image taken from http://www.freeusandworldmaps.com/html/AntiqueMaps.html)
Are you a map hunter who is always on the look out for those great looking maps with brilliant color? Or the hanging school maps that will cover a large portion of a wall? Make sure you know what to look for to know that next map is a REAL treasure. You have probably either heard of or watched the PBS show Antique Roadshow, well Dennis Gaffney has given some great tips on how to verify maps.
- Details (an 8X-magnifier will allow you to see the details of the print to if there are little dots that make up the image. If you see those tiny dots, then you have a photo-reproduction)
2. Folds and Plate Marks (original maps will have folds down the center which were produced for atlases. Maps made before the 19th century were copper engravings. This creates a small ridge called a plate mark around the edges of the map)
3. Paper (according to Chris almost all maps prior to 1800 were made with hand-laid paper. Holding the map paper up to the light there will be a series of thin lines crossed approximately every inch or by a perpendicular line. Which Chris says this is referred to as chain marks and is similar to a weave in a rug.)
(image taken from http://gaukartifact.com/2013/03/06/limoges-porcelain/)
Have you stumbled across a great looking vase at a thrift shop, yard sale, auction, or flea market that you just couldn’t pass up? Maybe it reminded you of a family member or friend and you knew where it would fit in your home. You think it might be antique or vintage, but you just aren’t sure. According to SFGATE.com there are five checks that will help you determine the value and if it is an antique.
1. Check the Bottom (you will be looking for markings like signatures or logos. This will identify the manufacturer or designer. Signatures may be varied to represent different years)
2. Identify the Mark (look for the “makers mark” in your internet searches. According to SFGate.com, Kovels and Antique Marks contain listings of the well know makers marks.)
3. Inspection the Composition (old vases were made using wood fired kilns and were difficult to control the temperature which cause imperfections. “Coarseness along the mold mark, crackling or bubbles in glass, asymmetry of shape and a strong luster or iridescence are a few telltale signs that your vase is the real deal instead of a reproduction or forgery.”)
4. Look for an Overmark (this is a mark placed over the original manufactures mark and can be found on the bottom of the vase. The smudging of this mark indicates is authenticity, due to the glazing process to seal the marks. This technique was used between 1880-1930 and will help you date your vase.)
5. Get an Appraisal (if everything checks out based on the above steps, but you still have doubts get an appraisal. Sometimes it is very difficult to spot a reproduction and a certified appraiser can be most helpful with your new-found treasure.)
These are just a few helpful tips in identifying your newly found treasures. What are some of your great finds?
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