1. In Memoriam: Ralph Kovel
We were touched by the many notes from fans of our books, newsletters, and TV shows telling us how much Ralph would be missed. This week USA Today listed "those who died in 2008 [and] left an indelible mark." The list included Ralph as coauthor of "the popular Kovels' antiques and collectibles price guides that became a bible for antique shop and flea market treasure hunters." He would be pleased to know he is remembered and that his passion--collecting--is finally on a par with art.
2. Record-setting price for a Monopoly game
The very early $47,600 set was stored for 30 years, proving you should be careful not to throw away unusual old games.
3. Gibson Girl plate
The Charles Dana Gibson drawings of the Gibson Girls are still popular, but few know the history of the set of blue and white plates. The plates sell for about $85 each.
4. Eisenberg fur clip
To think shoplifting was the start of Eisenberg rhinestone jewelry! Eisenberg fur clips and other jewelry are now popular collectibles. And few collectors today realize the clips were originally worn on fur coat collars.
5. Georges Hoentschel vase
A plain tan vase with a GH cipher on the base turned out to be by a French potter--and worth as much as $3,000. It pays to do the research.
6. eBay tricks
Anytime we mention problems with eBay, our readers are interested.
7. Knitting for bottles, chairs and trees
What a novel idea--knitting covers for chairs or trees.
8. Nasty Valentines
Comic valentines, very popular in the 1840s, are more subtle now. And a 1930s "penny dreadful" is a popular collectible.
9. Modernist jewelry
2008 was the year for modernist jewelry exhibits at museums. Prices are rising because the maker's names and talents are becoming known.
10. eBay fees
It got more expensive to sell on eBay this year when fees went up.