Jasper52 vintage map auction Nov. 5 going global

A 19th century French terrestrial globe tops an auction of vintage maps that will be conducted by Jasper52 on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Fifteen globes and more than 130 maps and atlases are offered in the online auction.

Delamarche terrestrial globe, signed ‘Maison Delamarche Paris,’ circa 1870, 23in high, 14in diameter, overall good condition. Estimate: $2,500-$3,000. Jasper52 image

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Halloween candy containers sweet ’n’ scary collectibles

NEW YORK – When it comes to Halloween decorations, particularly candy containers, pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns are fairly common. Harder to find are witches, black cats, veggie people and devils. From its roots in the early Celtic holiday of Samhain, when people would slip on costumes to hide from evil spirits, Halloween has evolved into a fun holiday for all ages, marked by parties, trick-or-treating and elaborate decorating. Early and colorful candy containers in all manner of Halloween imagery are highly sought after by holiday collectors.

This vegetable man candy container/lantern, 9½ inches tall, sold for $9,000 at Morphy Auctions in September 2015. Photo courtesy of Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Early examples were made of composition, molded cardboard with a composition wash and litho over cardboard and these are the ones most collectors are drawn to, explains Rob LaPlace of Vintage Halloween Collector. He cites German-made examples in particular “that are all original and complete with exceptional detailing, surface molding, have a compelling character and captivating expression.”

Interestingly, many of the most desirable early examples were not made in America but in Germany for export to the United States as the country was trying to rebuild its economy after World War I. “Several American discount-merchandising magnates like Frank W. Woolworth and Sebastian S. Kresge more strongly encouraged German artisans at this time to use their creative expertise to craft unique and wondrous items for export to the vast and growing American holiday market,” writes Mark B. Ledenbach on his website, Halloween Collector. A collector of Halloween antiques since 1988, he explains that these German-made items were usually made in small operations (either homes or shops) from a set design or a mold and decorated by hand.

This 13-inch-tall German-made pumpkin candy container was once packed with an abundance of candy and doubled as a roly-poly toy. It and the accompanying 2¼-inch roly-poly brought $4,500 in September 2010 at Morphy Auctions. Photo courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Some candy containers were made in Japan, mostly of cardboard, crepe paper and composition, but usually not made to the same standards of quality as the German-made pieces. Today’s secondhand and auction markets will usually bear that out with antique German candy containers bringing the higher prices. Also collectible are hard-plastic American-made candy containers from firms like Rosbro as well as paper ones by Beistle and Dennison.

If a diamond is judged by four C’s (cut, color, clarity and carat) then perhaps it can be said that candy containers can be gauged by their own set of the four C’s: condition, color, composition or cardboard.

This rare Halloween lantern paper litho candy container, marked Germany, 3½in tall, realized $2,250 in April 2018 at Bertoia Auctions. Photo courtesy of Bertoia Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

“Condition is the most important factor when collecting vintage Halloween candy containers,” said Cynthia J. Breen Vogel of Marcin Antiques in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. “The earliest ones are most desirable and date from the very early 20th century and up to what many consider to be the golden age of Halloween—the 1920s and 1930s,” she said. “The most sought-after pieces were made in Germany from composition, formed-and-stapled cardboard, or both. Some candy containers were made as lanterns as well, and some were also made as ‘nodders’ with tiny springs or with heads balanced on a stem. One of the most desirable sets of candy containers is referred to by collectors as ‘The Trio’ and consists of a witch, a devil, and a black cat.”

A German jack-o’-lantern candlestick form candy container 4¼in tall, went out at $2,250 at Bertoia Auctions in November 2013. Photo courtesy of Bertoia Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

So-called “veggie people” candy containers are also quite collectible, Breen noted, and these pay homage to the earliest imagery of the holiday by honoring the fall harvest. These candy containers frequently have a jack-o’-lantern head that sometimes does double duty as a candle lantern, along with parsnip arms, zucchini legs and potato feet. To get at the candy, one need only remove the head.

Given the ease with which modern reproductions can be created, LaPlace says, “One of the true tests of age is simply to smell it. Condition is a consideration, but flaking paint or hairline cracks further ages the piece.”

Among American-made candy containers is this 3in-tall composition pumpkin head figure (shown in center of photo) by the Beistle Co., which earned $1,300 at Ron Rhoads Auctioneers in September 2015. Photo courtesy of Ron Rhoads Auctioneers and LiveAuctioneers

Telling the old from the new can be challenging as there are those who fake vintage items down the last detail as well as people making brand new “fantasy creations” to look vintage even though such a piece never existed then. “Although most reproductions are mass produced overseas, they are being made by hand in much the same manner as vintage originals,” according to Real or Repro. New pieces from China, India and the Philippines have enough random irregularities and flaws, which collectors have previously used to authentic genuine pieces, that new collectors need to be wary, the website cautions.

This holiday collectibles market genre has enough variety to support both emerging and veteran collectors. Depending on condition and rarity, prices can range from a few hundred dollars to nearly $10,000. Some recent sales include this rare horseshoe shaped pumpkin that sold on eBay for $888 in October 2019 to a policeman riding a pumpkin, 4 inches tall, which made $3,750 in September 2019 at Dan Morphy Auctions. Whether you collect candy containers that are gourd-form, figural, or seek out unusual examples in the form of small purses, hat boxes or skulls, there is something for every taste.

Online auction Oct. 30 marks Halloween with scary curiosities

A macabre collection that will scare bidders silly with the frightful delights is offered in an online auction being conducted by Jasper52 on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Items range from a sideshow gaff to fearsome antique medical devices. Bid absentee or live online exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.

An antique child-size casket that features a folk art acrylic painting in an American nautical theme, signed by Edwin Nagel (American b. 1925) and dated 1993. Estimate: $6,800-$8,000. Jasper52 image

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Jasper52 switches to vintage French lighting fixtures Oct. 30

From French Modernist chandeliers to mid-century industrial lamps, a Jasper52 online auction to be held Wednesday, Oct. 30, has everything needed to light up a room or desktop.

French Art Deco modernist chandelier, 1940s or early 1950s, 39in. high x 20in. wide x 30in. long. Estimate: $2,000-$2,500. Jasper52 image

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The wide world of tin-glazed earthenware

NEW YORK – Earthenware has a long history dating back nearly 30,000 years. The ability to form earth and clay into storage, drinking, cooking and household utensils proved helpful, especially as a nomadic life transitioned into more stable communities.


Earthenware by its nature is porous. Forming earth and clay into a pot or utensil, then allowing it to dry has limited use. It is fragile, unable to hold liquid and cannot be made too large as it is bulky, heavy and easily damaged. Firing it at temperatures as high as 1,100 degrees C (2,000 F) is the only way to strengthen it for daily use as a storage container.

However, to make it impermeable for the storage of liquids, a thin, clear coat of lead glaze and other oxides was fired to seal the pot. Later a tin oxide was added to form a white glaze from which a hand-painted decorative element could be applied.

A Rouen faience tray, mid 18th century, “decorated in the Rococo manner with an amourous Watteauesque couple set in a stylized garden setting,” according to the auction description. It sold for about $12,000 + the buyer’s premium in 2015. Image courtesy: Dreweatts Donnington Priory and LiveAuctioneers

Lead glaze vs. tin glaze

To fire correctly, the basic composition of clay used for earthenware today is 25% kaolin (a silicate), 25% ball clay, 35% quartz and 15% feldspar. When formed together and fired the result is a biscuit, or bisque, from which the final product is glazed and decorated.

A lead-based vitreous compound consisting of powdered glass melts over the earthenware at very high temperatures to create a glossy, transparent, impermeable coating. This type of “enameling” has been found in China as early as the 13th century B.C. Lead glaze is more durable than the tin-glazed compound and is used for molded decorative items that are painted after firing. Lead glaze alone was largely replaced by tin glaze about the 15th century.

Tin oxide was added to the lead glaze about the eighth century in region that is now Iraq to create a white opaque compound allowing colorful overglazes and design to be painted directly onto a mostly flat surface before being fired. This process required more skill since mistakes couldn’t be corrected and therefore was more expensive to produce. Tin oxide became difficult to get during World War I and zirconium and zircon has since been substituted as a cheaper alternative, except in very small quantities.

Identifying tin-glazed earthenware

Once tin oxide was added to lead glaze, most collectible earthenware is made with this formulation.


This is the French name for tin-glazed pottery first produced during the 15th century Renaissance period in the Italian city of Faenza, near Ravenna. Today, it is more of a catch phrase for white tin-glazed pottery glaze that doesn’t have its own particular style. Usually the term refers only to the tin-glazed wares made in France, Germany and Scandinavia.

Two 19th century Italian majolica plaques depicting saints “in the manner of Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian, 1421-1497),” according to the auction catalog description. The pair sold for $38,000 + the buyer’s premium in 2016. Image courtesy of Cottone Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Maiolica, Majolica

Said to have come from the Spanish island of Majorca to Italy in the 15th century, this style of tin-glazed pottery is highly decorated with vibrant stylized natural or historical events known as istoriato. It is common in collector circles to identify lead-glaze pottery as majolica and tin-glaze pottery as maiolica.

Mid-18th century Dutch blue and white delftware, the smaller plate hallmarked with ‘IVDH’ for Jan van der Hagen of the ‘Het Jonge Moriaanshooft’ workshop. Image courtesy: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries and LiveAuctioneers


A vibrant blue and white tin-glazed pottery from the city of Delft in the Netherlands. This style is easily recognized in the Delft blue tiles and jars showing Dutch scenes such as windmills. The heyday of Delftware is from 1640 to 1740 but became popular in England (known as English Delftware), Japan and China in the 18th century. Delftware production continued at a greatly reduced level through Victorian times into the 20th century. 

A 19th century luster glazed Etruscan-style charger featuring bulls, lions and other animals surrounding a large rooster in iridescent black, red and gold from the Italian potter Ulisse Cantagalli recently sold for $2,500 + the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy of Neue Auctions and LiveAuctioneers


Tin-glaze pottery having a golden iridescent sheen is aptly named luster, or lusterware. Originating in the Middle East in the ninth century, this metallic glaze of copper and other metallic oxides provides an earthy brown to the white tin-glaze underglaze. Luster decoration became popular with English potteries in the first quarter of the 19th century.

Tin glazed Hispano-Moresque copper luster charger, probably 16th century, decorated with leaves, flowers and acorns with luster gold rings and small circles decorating the reverse that sold for $2,200 + the buyer’s premium in 2012. Image courtesy of Hyde Park Country Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

Hispano-Moresque ware

Produced during the period of Muslim Spain beginning in the eighth century, tin-glaze earthenware was originally produced using Islamic and Christian elements, particularly the “IHS” monogram and personal coats-of-arms for export to Europe. The 14th and 15th centuries constituted the peak period before the Italian maiolica earthenware become prominent.

Specialty ware

Saint-Porchaire Ware

From 1520 to 1550, a specialized and highly detailed bas relief white lead glaze earthenware was produced in the French city of Saint-Porchaire intended only for high-end collectors of the time. Known as Henri II ware or Saint-Porchaire Ware, only about 70 pieces survive from the period.

Palissy Ware

French potter Bernard Palissy (1510-1590) created high relief, polychrome lead-glaze natural scenes such as fish, snakes, frogs and even mussels often from taking casts of the real thing. Known also as “rustic ware,” most examples at auction are 19th and 20th century reproductions attributed to the style of Palissy while the 16th century originals are considered museum pieces.

Made for export to the United States, this early 19th century English creamware jug made in Liverpool features President Thomas Jefferson surrounded by a garland and the 13 original states that sold for $5,500 + the buyer’s premium in 2016. Image courtesy: Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers


Making use of the white, glassy lead-glaze coating, potters in 18th century England, particularly from Staffordshire and Leeds, created a relatively inexpensive substitute for porcelain. Josiah Wedgwood’s production of what was called pearlware was so prolific by 1780, that his mass- produced transferware was exported throughout Europe and undercut the more expensively produced tin-glazed, hand-painted earthenware.


When reviewing auction values for vintage lead-glaze or tin-glaze earthenware, it doesn’t seem as if there is a significant difference in the final hammer prices. The style, period, age and condition dictate what is more collectible.

Tin-glazed earthenware doesn’t hold up as well as lead glaze, however. Edges, posts and the feet of tin-glazed objects are prone to crack and decay more often than the harder edge lead-glaze pottery.

While most early tin-glaze and lead-glaze pottery have higher auction values, a resurgence in replicating early Renaissance tin-glaze pottery in Italy in the early 20th century can be an alternative. Artists such as Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Alan Caiger-Smith and others from the 1920s to the 1950s can be the start of an alternative collection. Even Picasso has his own brand of tin-glaze earthenware design.

There is a lot more to glazed earthenware to discover. With so many design elements and periods to choose from, tin-glaze and lead-glaze earthenware easily lends itself to the collector mantra: Collect what you like first.

Scores of Hermes bags offered in Jasper52 auction Oct. 30

Jasper52 will host a Rare and Coveted Designer Accessories auction on Wednesday, Oct. 30. This online auction offers some of the world’s rarest and most coveted designer accessories. From one-of-a-kind Birkin bags to limited edition jewelry designs, these lots cannot be found anywhere else.

Gold Hermes 40cm Bolide Monster Shark bag, comes with lock, key, clochette, sleeper and signature Hermes box. Estimate: $30,000-$36,000. Jasper52 image

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Scenic Japan revealed in vintage woodblock print auction Oct. 27

An exclusive online auction of Japanese woodblock prints will be conducted by Jasper52 on Sunday, Oct. 27. The 163-lot auction features such artists as Kawase Hasui, Hiroshige and Shotei Takahashi, whose prints reflect the scenic beauty of their homeland.

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), Japanese woodblock print, 1946, later edition published by Shoichiro Watanabe from the original woodblocks, 10½in. x 15½in. Estimate: $600-$800. Jasper52 image

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T206 cards king of sports collectibles

NEW YORK – Casual collectors of baseball cards will instantly recognize makers Topps, Bowman and Fleer, but seasoned veterans will also know the letter-number set known as T206 (aka the “White Border” set and, more descriptively, “The Monster”). T206 cards were a tobacco card set issued for three years, from 1909-1911, by the American Tobacco Co., which inserted them into cigarette packs, loose tobacco packs and tobacco tins, through the firm’s 16 different brands.

Many Hall of Fame stars and other players (even minor leaguers) are represented in the revered and iconic 524-card group – names like Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Home Run Baker, “Wee Willie” Keeler, Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Chief Bender, Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Zack Wheat, Tris Speaker, “Iron Man” McGinty, Rube Marquard and, most famous of all, Honus Wagner, whose T206 card sold for a staggering (and record) $3.12 million in October 2016.

T206 Honus Wagner Sweet Caporal 150/30 PSA-Authenticated card, sold for $540,000, a record for the card in a PSA Authentic grade, in the second edition of the David Hall T206 Collection held Sept. 19, 2019. by Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

The T206 set is considered a landmark in sport card collecting because of its diminutive size, rarity (hundreds of thousands were printed and distributed, but many have been lost to time) and the high quality (for its time) quality of the color lithographs. Stars from baseball’s “Dead Ball Era” are forever enshrined in the set, which has been an ongoing source of fascination since its introduction to the market over 100 years ago. They were, in fact, the first mass-produced cards.

“There are almost a quarter million T206 cards in the population of the hobby’s leading grading service – no other issue from that era even comes close,” said Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. “But it’s clearly much more than that. The T206 is just a masterpiece. The graphics are bold and simple, the roster is virtually endless and inclusive of so many Dead Ball Era icons. The majesty of the T206 issue is so self-evident that it’s actually difficult to verbalize the reasons for its greatness. It just is.” Ivy added, “The T206 market is red-hot, and there is no sign of that changing. It’s a blue-chip stock. Always has been.”

T206 white border card circa 1909-1911 for Eddie Plank of Philadelphia, with a Sweet Caporal 350 back. Condition: Good+ 2.5 in a PSA graded holder, EX+ 5.5 on the front and overall VG/EX+ 4.5 net. Est. $5,000-$50,000, sold for $50,000 at an auction held Oct. 19, 2013. Conestoga Auction Co. and LiveAuctioneers image

Tens of thousands of the cards still survive today. However, not all are in great condition. As of June 2017, PSA had graded more than 170,000 T206 cards; of those, only 13 were given a perfect grade of 10. Like with many collectibles, condition is key, and the T206 cards in better condition are worth considerably more than their shabbier counterparts. The high value of the cards has led to a good bit of counterfeiting over the years, so the caveat emptor rule applies.

1909-11 T206 Piedmont Cy Young (Cleveland) card, glove Shows. Clean card with sharp corners that may be trimmed. Est. $100-$200, sold for $550 at an auction held Aug. 18, 2016. MBA Seattle Auction and LiveAuctioneers image

PSA once said that T206 cards are “without a doubt, the most studied, dissected and discussed set in the history of the hobby.” The cards were printed at the American Lithographic Co. in New York City, using a six-color process, before being inserted into packs of tobacco products. Even though that market was exclusively adult, the cards proved to be hugely popular with children from the era, who collected and traded the unique color pictures of the ballplayers.

It was the legendary card collector Jefferson Burdick who coined the term “T206” in the first edition of his American Card Catalog, published in 1939. The cards were nicknamed the “White Border set” from the distinctive white borders surrounding the lithographs on each card, which measured 1 7/16 inches by 2 5/8 inches (considered by collectors the standard tobacco card size). A more thinly cut card was made for American Beauty cigarettes due to the small package size.

There were multiple cards for the same player in different poses, different uniforms or even with different teams after being traded, since the set was issued over a three-year period. Ty Cobb was featured in four different poses (a red portrait, a green portrait, with a bat on his shoulder and a bat off his shoulder). The best known and most valuable card, of course, is the Honus Wagner, partly because of his place among baseball’s immortals and partly because of the card’s rarity.

Group of six T206 cards from 1909 to 1911, including Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Rube Waddell, and McGinnity. The gold border cards (1911) include Joe Tinker and John McGraw. All cards have some creasing; Cy Young card has heaviest creasing. Est. $200-$600, sold for $450 at an auction held Sept. 7, 2013. Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers image

Remarkably, it’s estimated that only 50-200 of the Wagner cards were ever distributed to the public, and only a precious few survive today. There are several theories as to why the card is so rare. One is that the printing plate used to create Wagner’s card broke early on in the production process. Another is that there was a copyright dispute between the American Tobacco Co. and the artist who created the Wagner lithograph. But a third theory is most commonly accepted.

It states that Wagner himself simply objected to the card, possibly because he was a nonsmoker who didn’t want to encourage kids to start smoking (although it’s a fact that Wagner was a user of chewing tobacco and allowed his image to appear on cigar boxes and other tobacco-related products prior to 1909. Some think he objected to the card because he wanted more financial compensation for the use of his image. Whatever the reason, it’s the Holy Grail of cards today.

Eight 1909-11 T206 Beckett Graded Cards — Rube Marquard, Cy Young, Frank Baker, Jack Pfeister, Addie Joss, Rube Waddell, Roger Bresnahan and Nap Lajoie. Minimum bid: $50, sold for $1,262 in a Holiday Catalog Auction held Dec. 7, 2016 by Grey Flannel Auctions in Scottsdale, Ariz.

A high-quality example of the Wagner T206 card sold on eBay in 2000 for $1.27 million. The same card sold in 2007 for $2.35 million. Later that year, it changed hands for $2.8 million. In April 2013, a T206 “jumbo” Wagner (so-named because it measured a little bit larger than most other known examples) went for $2.1 million. The same card (the current record-holder, graded PSA 5) made $3.12 million in 2016 thru Goldin Auctions. The price included buyer’s premium.

The card that sold in 2007 for $2.8 million was previously owned by hockey star Wayne Gretzky and was purchased by Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. At the time of the sale, the card was rumored to have been trimmed. This was later confirmed, in 2013, when Bill Mastro, the former head of Mastro Auctions, who was deeply involved in the card’s sale history, admitted to the trimming as part of a plea deal stemming from mail fraud charges.

“In my opinion the popularity of the T206 cards is based on the wide array of top-notch Hall of Fame players in the set,” said Troy Thibodeau of Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford, Maine. “Many of the other sets put out around the turn of the century were not inclusive. The cards themselves are considered fine art in the hobby, due to their vibrant colors.”

1909-1911 T206 Ty Cobb red background card with Polar Bear back, graded 45 VG+ 3.5. Est. $2,000-$3,000, sold for $2,600 at an auction Jan. 3, 2018. Saco River Auction and LiveAuctioneers image

Thibodeau continued, “The T206 cards carry great mystique, as some of the most expensive baseball cards ever sold came from the set, like the Wagner card and several Ty Cobb backs. It’s also so large, with so many variations, that any collector can spend a lifetime working on it. I know people who only collect them by the tobacco ads on the back, or rare factory designations. It’s a wonderful set.”

As for market demand, Thibodeau observed, “In recent times I have noticed that prices have leveled off slightly. It seems that there is a huge interest in collecting 1950s cards and most of the recent action has been on high-end 1950s stars and rookies. Like anything, the hobby goes through ebbs and flows based on what people are hooked on currently, but I have no doubt that tobacco cards, especially the T206 cards, will always be near the top of the hobby.”

Vintage guitars yours for the picking in Oct. 16 auction

Violins, mandolins, guitars – both acoustic and electric – and other stringed instruments are offered in an online auction that will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 16, by Jasper52. Many of the nearly three dozen instruments presented were made in Europe in the 20th century.

Wolfgang Teller model B15 harp-guitar, Germany, 15 strings, 1990. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000. Jasper52 image

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Jasper52 auction Oct. 15 reveals many faces of tribal art

A tribal auction that features rare masks and figures from tribes across Africa will be conducted by Jasper52 on Tuesday, Oct. 15. This collection of 42 hand-picked artifacts exhibit significant use in tribal ceremonies and rituals.

Lengola stool, Congo DRC, wood, about 7 x 9¼in. Estimate: $2,500-$3,000. Jasper52

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