It would be nice to think that the happy accident that befell a homeless man in the UK recently was an act of kindness. After begging for money for hours in Exeter’s town centre, a homeless man was asked to move on by police. He paused before complying with their wishes and asked if they would mind using their phones to search for the identity of a coin he had just received from a passerby. He was in luck. The coin in question comes from the Beatrix Potter series issued last year by the Royal Mint to mark the author’s 150th anniversary. The coins depict some of the beloved characters Beatrix Potter created for children, including Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and Jemima Puddle Duck. The silver edition coins sold out within eight days of their release and are now highly collectable, selling for ten times their original price. The 50 pence piece given to the homeless man is estimated to collect £400 or $700.
The One With The Most Vintage Toys Wins
If you’re a collector looking for an affordable hobby, why not turn to vintage toys? Popular with Boomers, toys of the 60s are quickly disappearing off the shelves! At a recent auction for Action Man (GI Joe’s British cousin), figures sold for as little as $30 to 100. At that price, it’s enough incentive to dig out your old toy box in the attic.
Lego Cars and Trucks
Another popular area of the toy world is of course Lego. For years collectors have been keen to get their hands on limited editions, vintage sets and anything to do with Star Wars. What many aficionados might not know is that in the 1950s Lego also made toy cars and trucks. These are the ones to watch out for and collect. Rarely seen at auction, you can pick up one of these automobiles for about $30 to 100.
Star Wars Vlix Droid
It’s also no secret that Star Wars figures often fetch a hefty sum at auction. One such figure, a rarity by all respects and considered in the top ten list of most collectable Star Wars dolls, is a character called Vlix. Estimated between $5,000 and 6,500, the Vlix Droid recently fetched $14,000.
Eastern Trends In Collecting
It seems the current political climate in the US and the UK has driven most collectors East to the Orient, where the Chinese auction scene is really heating up. Experts point to China as the new place to be for buying and selling antiques. Asian art, in particular, is the hot ticket and this spans from wall art and furnishings to porcelain like this 18th century teapot that recently sold at Sotheby’s for $3.5 million – more than 10 times the asking price.
Irish Eyes Are Smiling Down On The Auction Block
If you’re holding onto any Irish art, even modern and contemporary art, then you might be in luck this year as it is also in hot demand. Auctioneers are so keen to get their hands on paintings by Irish artists that most are willing to appraise any art for free. For Irish eyes, that’s something to smile about.
Auctions Go Viral
It seems online auctions are also gaining in popularity. Sotheby’s alone has seen a 20 per cent increase in global online sales in just one year. Auctioneers are hopeful that the following years are going to continue this trend, as buyers and sellers look for alternative means of investing their money.
Digging Up Treasure
How far would you go to find something rare and valuable? For one man in England, all it took was a hunch, a shovel and the purchase of a plot of land for $53,000. Convinced that treasure lay secreted under the soil, he spent the next 12 years excavating the 4.6 acres of land. His hunch was right and after all that toil, he unearthed a Medieval city once home to an industrial town in Wales.
Happy Antiques Hunting!
Whether you’re surfing the web or attending live auctions, there’s no end to the treasure you can find once you start looking. Discovering new places to haunt is part of the fun. So if you’re ever in Alberta, take some time to visit the town of Nanton in the south. Along Highway 2, you can find two blocks of door-to-door antique shops and, according to visitors to the area, you won’t leave empty-handed.
If you find yourself more south of the border, you’ll be happy to learn that Chicago is opening its doors to Heritage Auctions – the only international auction house to take up residence in the city since 2003 when Sotheby’s made its exit. You can find the global auction house on Ohio Street in the neighborhood of River North.