Monday, July 11, 2011

Vintage Health and Beauty Gadgets

Health and Beauty Gadgets

Be on the look-out for retired or discontinued beauty or skin care gadgets. One such item called "Dermal-Tone" was recently discontinued and bringing good money on Ebay. I paid $2.00 for one recently and it sold for $150.00.

Another one to look for is the Connie Stevens Forever Spring Time Machine.

In short, any older or vintage heath or beauty aid, especially featuring a past celebrity is a pretty safe bet.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vintage and Designer Perfumes and Bottles

Vintage and Designer Perfumes and Bottles

It is always a good idea to look for perfume and even empty perfume bottles at garage sales, thrift stores and estate sales for resale purposes. Many people collect vintage perfumes and others are simply looking for their favorite perfume that has been discontinued. Other times, buyers are searching Ebay for designer fragrances so they can get a lower price.

I will usually purchase perfumes that aren't completely full, also, if they are collectible or sought after.

I look for:

1. Current designer brands (Chanel, Burberry, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana....)

2. Discontinued fragrances (Almost any discontinued perfume has a disappointed fan somewhere. Some older Mary Kay does well in this category.)

3. Older perfume bottles are very collectible, even if they are empty. These tend to be bottles from higher-end fragrances. Look for heavy, well-made bottles, unusual designs or figural bottles and anything marked France. Some very collectible bottles were made by Lalique, Tiffany, Baccarat, and Steuben.

I'm often asked about Avon bottles. Avon made many hundreds of styles of bottles, most labeled as collectible. I have found that most don't bring much money on Ebay at all. The exceptions to this are the newer high-end fragrances that Avon has been producing recently and some fragrances that were discontinued.

I have found perfumes to resell at garage sales, estate sales (check the bathrooms and dresser tops), thrift stores, auctions, and overstock stores. There is a great market out there for collectors and just people searching for their discontinued favorites.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Florence Ceramics Figurines




 The Florence Ceramics Company made beautiful collectible figurines that can still be found at garage sales and estate sales. It was founded by Florence Ward in Pasadena, Ca. in 1939 and it continued into the '60's. Florence began creating the figurines at home as a hobby to help herself cope with the loss of her son. She displayed them in her garage and soon began getting orders from high-end department stores and jewelry stores. She moved her business then into a large factory.

Florence Ceramics figurines are primarily Victorian ladies and gentlemen, as well as some children and famous historical figures. Some identifying features of Florence figurines are merry, usually brown eyes with brown painted lashes, gold trim and extended arms with articulated fingers. Many of her figurines are decorated with lots of lace that was dipped in slip and fired. The intricate details of the fingers and lace leave these collectibles very prone to damage. Almost all of these figurines have their names hand-written in cursive on the bottoms and most have a Florence Ceramics circle-shaped stamp.

In the 1960s the Lefton Company copied many of Florence Ward's designs and used overseas workers to reproduce them. They were then sold more cheaply in the US. Florence Ceramics won several copyright infringement battles against Lefton but the Lefton Company simply modified their figures and continued to sell them. These cheaper-made imitations were the downfall of the Florence Ceramics Company.

Some Florence figurines are:

Scarlett, Melanie and Rhett from Gone with the Wind
Napoleon and Josephine
a VERY collectible series of mermaids

I always buy Florence figurines when I see them, even if damaged and have started a small collection of my own. Florence figurines will still sell on Ebay even if damaged and some people buy them and repair them. They are very lovely examples of California pottery with great attention to detail.
Other Collectible California Pottery makers are:
Kay Finch
Vernon Kilns
Heidi Schoop