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If you dog the online auctions, then it's no news to you that madness has seized this area of collecting! I'm out to demonstrate some examples, here. These are the actual prices paid for the items shown. Crazy as it seems, five years from now many will look like bargains! It gets worse with every passing Season. In fact, there is no "Season." When a good house comes up it usually gets it's price at any time of year. It can't be long before these little fellas come under
the Harrison Act as a Type II controlled substance. They are undeniably addictive.
Just because you see a high price here does not neccessarily mean that it's the true worth. Sometimes it is, but every year a new crop of neophytes discover them, go nuts - and pay fortunes for relative junk. We "Old-Timers" just shake our heads. remembering when we did the same, and blame it on the schools ....
Another one exactly like this, but slightly nicer, went the first week in December for $26.
Nov.,'05 - $560. Just barely okay buy.
Nov.,'05 - $480. Poor buy. 2 1/2 decent items.
Nov.,'05 - $324.95 Insane! 1 good item...................................Nov.,'05 - $304. ($40 tops!)
...Dec.,'05 - $300. Worth $40 tops............................................... ..Dec.,'05- -$162.50; Poor buy.
Dec.,'05 - $268.95.Boxed set, probably OK................................... Dec.,'05 - $255. $60 > Max.
Dec.,'05 - $159.59 Very small, but unusual. Okay, I suppose................. .....Dec,05: $70. Lucky buy! Worth $70 each!
Dec, '05: $167. I would have paid it. Choice and unusual.
Dec,'05: $165.31 -
Oh, my Dear God! "10 Little Indians:" -and I stress LITTLE, because these are the smallest size before "ornament." Late 50's early 60's. No detail charm.The sort of thing I stll pass by at fleas and shows. No item here is worth more than $5.
Dec,'05: $272 -
"Oh, my Dear God-II:" 2 medium common postwars, 1 ho-hum late '40s flat-card,1 decent prewar Dolly Toy. Some trees. My computer was built for less. Hey - it's your money! - or rather WAS your money....
Dec,'05: $241.50 -
"Oh,my Dear God-III - The final Insanity." " 3 tiny little flat-card early '60s - 2 very common late '40s. Somebody's sure a sucker for "Rembrandt Lighting!" I'm going to start grabbing these (and I still see them all the time) for resale on eBay. I see a new car in my future ...
Dec.05: $15.50 -
Now, that's more like it! (Actually, a steal!)Two fairly nice medium-sized "haciendas" from the mid 1930s. Compare with the 3 above.
My my my! Buyer wins!
Dec,05: - $560.
Ho-hum! Just another $560 town. Two nice, big pieces, one pretty good, and the rest are just so average, common and small. Half that price would have been high. Seller wins big with expert photography!- but the poor buyer won't get those lovely , velvet tiers when he/she opens the box.....
Dec,'05: - $83.
Perhaps prewar Dolly Toy Co. American are finally getting some respect. Before WW II cut off the Japanese product, they made some really quite decent and interesting houses, but once that competition was removed they went down to very plain things of simple design, and not much variety until the '50s after the Japanese had come back and Dolly Toy just sort of disappeared. Still, I wouldn't have given more than $20 for this one. Very plain and often found.
There's that deep-maroon velvet again. I'm getting some of that....
BIG EBAY PUTZKRIEG!
I hate to see lovely sets that have seen together 3/4 of a Century of Christmases Past
Some kind of a special sin in that. Below are some family members separated from the lovely putz above.
The seller - who deals in this kind of stuff all the time and knows better - touted these as being from "1910 to 1919." That's wrong. We all know that there were no Japanese houses of anykind before 1928.
8" X 5" X 9" high.
Jan,06 - $145.45
8.5" X 5.5" X 5.5" high.
Jan, 06 - $140.45:
6.6" X 4" X 8.5" high.
Jan,06 - $170.25:
6.5" X 4" X 5" high.
Jan,06 - $256.66
7.75" X 4.75" X 5,5" high.
Jan, '06 - $457.63
So far the record for a single piece, I think.
7.75" X 5" X 9" high.
I simply had to add a few more views to this one, known as "City Hall" to collectors.
I did not start this feature simply to chide fools, though that is often unavoidable. Had I the money, I'd have paid the price for the above and bought them all! Houses such as these are the CREAM. But alas, it happens every year; newcomers with bottomless pockets and the fever show up and spoil it for everyone. I suppose we understand. Not having seen something since childhood can instantly transport one to "The Magic Window," and who would not pay ANYthing for that?
The following two items are another matter, however ...
Jan, '06 - $204.45
Are you kidding? For a 14" bottlebrush tree? $20 would have been steep...
Jan,'06 - $338.50 .....I repeat, $338.50 ! ! !
For a COMMONLY found 1950's 13"bottlebrush tree? On a flat plywood base? Every collector I know has several of these. We look down on them because of that stupid painted plywood disc instead of the far more desirable turned-hardwood "tub" bases of the prewar trees.
Hey - get in touch! I'll sell you all you want of these for $300 each..
Jan,'06 - $24
This tree - identical to the one above in every way except it has glass ornaments,was won on the same auction site about 10 days later.
What further comment could be made?
Feb.14,'06: - $1,224.99
That's right, I said $1,224.99 !!
And it's kind of dirty and missing both trees.
Somebody sure bought themself
NEW RECORD !!!
I blame myself, really. I had to open my big mouth and say in the Dec.05 House of the Month how rare it was and that only one was known to exist. Well, now there are two!
Dec.28, '08: $337.89
Saddest case in years! Two very common little postwar houses and a bottle brush tree. In original condition I wouldn't have paid $25 for the lot. But here the pieces have been gooped up with artificial snow and other non-original crap. In a year or two that snow will turn brown and the lot will look like something you'd only pick up with a "pooper-scooper." I wouldn't have paid $5. Not only was the buyer a complete idiot, but this will encourage the seller to mutilate further originals.
Another fool and his money have been parted....
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