Board games – Those over 35 years old have some value, the older & more complete the better.
Silver, flatware & serving pieces - Plated silver is often not valuable but items marked sterling can be very valuable.
Magazines from the last 35 years have no value and with magazines older than that, remember that the more popular the magazine, the less valuable it will be.
Women’s magazines from the 1800s are worth $15-$20 each at most. People buy them to frame the covers. The first issue of any magazine is the most valuable.
Pre-1955 sale catalogs & old owners manuals (like old tractor catalogs) can be worth a lot depending on the contents.
Political buttons – Be aware that many are reproductions done in the last 60 years. Sometimes on the edge it will say “reproduction” or have a stock #. Non- reproduction pieces from the early 1800s are the most valuable. As with magazines, those buttons that were the most abundant such as JFK or Nixon are generally least valuable.
Singer sewing machines rarely have any value but you can date and research them. The exception is the mini Singer model. The machine cabinets sell better than machines do.
Vintage sewing items such as old thimbles are “hot” right now and can have value.
Glass hens in nests are popular at the moment, especially in rural sale settings. Earlier versions are unmarked.
Vintage photos such as old portraits are not usually worth much. Pictures that are full-body, farm scenes, or pertain to African Americans may be worth more.
Newspapers, even those reporting historic events, often have little value but may be accepted by libraries for their local history collections. Old Detroit/local supplements from papers may have some value (but probably not much even then).
Barbed wire may have great value depending upon the pattern and will require further research/appraisal.
Vintage quilts vary greatly in value and are tough to appraise. Condition and style are very important and tied quilts rarely have any value.
Bakelite jewelry may be difficult to identify as it appears to the untrained eye to be more contemporary plastic. It is highly collectible and can be very valuable. Bakelite was also used as decorative handles for many old cooking utensils and they are also valuable. Ken’s tip: If you suspect your item is Bakelite, rub it quickly until it is warm and then smell the item. Plastic doesn’t have any smell but Bakelite has a chemical odor.
Costume jewelry may be very valuable and most good costume jewelry doesn’t have an identifying mark.
Baseball cards – post-1975 have no value. Older sports memorabilia should be appraised by an expert.
Antique furniture is selling for much less than it was in the recent past.
Ken Lindsay is the owner of American Eagle Auctions and Appraisals, www.AEAuctions.com