My Weekly Score: Maritime Lantern

As I’ve said before, The Boss seems to have an affinity for lights and lamps. Lanterns are no exception. We got this bad boy in quite a while ago:

It’s an antique lantern that, presumably, once belonged on a ship. It was made out of copper and brass. Etched on the front were a bunch of number and letter combinations we couldn’t make head or tail out of.

The inside was for oil, and there was still a little bit of usable wick in there for it. There was some damage to the lantern as a whole, including some rusty areas, but overall I thought it still looked pretty nice.

Maritime items are pretty popular – particularly ones that have lighthouses on them. These old lanterns sell pretty well too. We had to sit on this one for a while, but having bought it from $150, we sold it off for $200, which didn’t include the shipping.

Although this was a great sale in terms of what we sold, the price wasn’t quite as much as we would hope for. No complaints here, though. It’s a neat item and I’m just glad that somebody found a good use for it!

Have you come across any neat nautical items recently?


My Weekly Score: Shakespeare Precision Fishing Reel

Now, this is a story all about how — Whoa, am I the only one that just got a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air flashback? Yes? Okay, then…

Anyway, this really is a story all about how you can buy something for dirt cheap and turn it around and sell it for a lot more. It’s also a story about making sure you always take your time when you create your listings so there are absolutely no mistakes when you’re finished. Because if there are, it might just cost you a pretty penny to fix them.

First, the item:

This is a vintage precision casting reel from Shakespeare. It’s the 1922 model and came in the original box. It still worked smoothly and was actually in excellent condition, even though we knew that it was used.

The exciting part of the tale is as follows. We bought this for right around $9. It sold for $222.50. We knew we’d get a good turnaround on it, but no one here had any idea it would be so popular. It was an incredible sale and definitely one for our “best scores ever” book.

Then we got the e-mail that no eBay seller ever wants to see: “Item not as described.”


Here’s my disclaimer. I try really, really hard to make all of our listings as accurate as possible. I never try to hide damage or misrepresent our items. Not only was I not brought up to be that way, but it just serves to give you a headache later on. Everyone on eBay pretty much has to have a refund policy at this point, so the buyer can return it and get their money back even if you were trying to be sneaky. Plus you’ll probably have to pay the return shipping and that puts you in the hole rather than out on top.

With that being said, I do miss things. And it happens more often than I’d care to admit. But I also have to list as many items in a day as I possibly can, and that leads to being rushed and making mistakes. I’m human and it happens. Some people get that, and others don’t.

This person got it. He was probably the nicest eBay buyer I’ve had to deal with so far. He told us that the flap to the box was missing and was wondering if (since we didn’t say it was missing in the description) we could look for it around our store to see if it just fell off.

But there never was a flap. It completely just slipped my mind to mention the fact that the box was damaged. With a little bit of humor, and a lot of apologies, I explained that to the buyer. He totally understood. He kindly asked for a refund, since (and I know this too, which makes me feel even more horrible!) the box is worth more money than the actual reel is.

In the end, we both agreed a $100 refund would be fair. He’d keep the reel, and we still had a $110 profit. It was win-win, just maybe not so much of a win-win.

But, lesson learned. Slow down, take your time. It’ll pay off in the end (sometimes quite literally).

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been on the buying side of this? Either way it’s a horrible thing to have to run into, but it definitely happens in this business, particularly when you’re dealing in vintage.

My Weekly Score: Gilbert Erector Set

This was a fabulous little find that we came across recently. It’s a vintage A.C. Gilbert erector set from the 1940s. This is the 8 ½ model to build an all electric Ferris wheel. How cool is that!?

It boasted the slogan, “The World’s Greatest Toy!” and I’m sure a lot of boys would have agreed. This is a future engineer’s dream and I’m sure it was on everybody’s Christmas list back when these were super popular.

Our erector set was a little worn. The metal case had some scratches, but not anything too deep or damaging. I’m sure some parts were missing too, but we had over 200 pieces here and a lot of them were still in great shape. There was a little bit of rusting as well, but considering this is 70+ years old…that’s to be expected!

We pitched this as a collector’s item, though we were explicit to note the damage and the fact that it probably wasn’t complete. I also mentioned that it would be good if you already had a set that wasn’t complete, and used this to round out those parts that you were missing.

We bought this set for $30.80 at our local auction house and ended up selling it for $84.99. Some sets, depending on what model it is, sell for $200+. But we were really happy with what this went for and the fact that it got a new home! That’s win-win in my eyes. 🙂

Have you ever come across one of these before? Have you played with one?

My Weekly Score: Austin Statue

Now this was a beautiful find.

It’s a gorgeous Alice Heath statue by Austin Productions. This one is titled “Memories” and features a woman sitting on a rock with her legs crossed, looking outward as if she’s remembering pieces of her past.

This is a ceramic/plaster sculpture made to look like bronze. Her dress is a beautiful pearly silver color. “Alice Heath” is carved into the top edge of the stone on the back.

And although this was made not that long ago, in 1990, it’s no longer being produced. Statues from Austin Productions are highly collectible anyway, and we were lucky enough to come across one that was in perfect condition! The little art geek in me was doing a jig because I thought she was so beautiful.

We bought her for $23.52 and ended up selling her for $74.99. There are other statues in the same line, with the same girl in different poses, that sell for much more. If you ever see one of these hanging around somewhere, snatch it up! Not only is it a good sell, but it might just be the perfect addition to your garden. 😉

Ever hear of Austin Productions before? Have you ever picked up something to sell and decided you’d like to keep it instead?

My Weekly Score: Goldwash Flatware

For $28 we picked up this 134 piece set of goldwash flatware. It can’t get much better than that.

It didn’t have a pattern name of any maker’s marks, so I’m actually not sure where it came from. They all had wooden handles and the set came in its own wooden carrying case (with bright pink velvet lining, no less!).

This was roughly a setting for 12, and it also included some specialty serving pieces.

Something like this would be great to have on the table during Christmastime or during a fancy dinner. Imagine eating with gold forks!

We sold this set for $75.00.

Have you ever seen a set like this before? What kind of dinnerware/flatware do you put out during the holidays?

My Weekly Score: Bride’s Basket

To get a little Word of the Week on you, a bride’s basket (or bride’s bowl) is simply a bowl, usually with a fluted edge, that sits inside a carrier (the best of which are made of silver). These were often given as wedding presents and were – I believe – mostly decorative.

Here’s the one that we recently sold:

It was a beautiful pink and white cased bowl, hand blown (there was a pommel mark on the bottom), sitting inside a silver colored (but unfortunately not an actual silver) base.

This one had been sitting around for a while and I had mostly given up on it. It was a large investment on our part ($75), but it was such a beautiful piece and definitely one for a collector. No damage or anything.

In the end we sold it for $125. Not a huge profit, but one that was good enough. It’s now off our shelves and in a good home. There’s nothing more we could ask for. 🙂

Have you ever come across one of these before? Did you know what it was called?

My Weekly Score: Noritake ‘Tree in the Meadow’ Waffle Set

Here’s a beautiful find for this week. It’s a berry creamer (which I assume is just a small pitcher to hold your fruit sauce) and a sugar shaker set, used for waffles or pancakes. This was made by Noritake and is in the pattern called “Tree in the Meadow.”

These are absolutely gorgeous. It comes in a beautiful array or oranges and yellows, and depicts a house near a tree that sits alongside a pond.

You can see the stamp below, which indicated that it was made in Japan and is also hand painted. The symbol in the center (the ‘M’ inside the wreath) stands for “Morimura” and is Noritake’s most common stamp.

We bought this set for $17.50 and were able to sell it for $55.00!

Have you ever come across a waffle set before? What about any more pieces in this pattern? I looked it up on Replacements and the set is just stunning. I hope we come across some more of it soon!