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Spotlight on Collections

Here at EstateSales.NET, we love collections. Many of us have our own collections—from Paul’s pipes to Rachel’s Pyrex to Matt’s Pop Vinyls...and even some that start with other letters of the alphabet.

Over on Facebook, we asked you to share some of your own collections. And you did not disappoint! There was an awesome Holt Howard collection. You showed us an army of floral frogs (Did you know a group of frogs is called an army? I didn’t!) as well as an army of toy soldiers...mushrooms, pottery, political name it, someone collects it.

In case you’re not following us (which is something we need to have a talk about, frankly) or you just happened to miss the great discussion we had, here are a few of the collections that were shared. Feel free to add yours to the conversation on Facebook!

I only wish we could have included them all here.

Beverly Mausbach, Lakewood, CA

Beverly Mausbach’s beautiful glass bird collection started innocently enough, after she inherited a pair of cobalt blue birds from her mother. “They came to me after she passed away and apparently they wanted company, because I started building the flock at that point.”

She now has around 70 birds rescued from estate sales and flea market, most of them blue and blown glass, though as you can see a few others have wandered in as well. “I love rescuing them from estate sales, flea markets, you name it,” she says.

Rocky Durbin, Cutler, IN

Rocky Durbin’s impressive fan collection is a relatively young one. “I started collecting and restoring fans about 6 or 7 years ago,” he said. “I find them very interesting and enjoy working on them in my retirement.” His home display is made up of 100 restored fans, but he has around 800 altogether. (The broken ones are just as important, he says, because parts are otherwise hard to find.)

So he’s always on the lookout for more. “Two weeks ago I bought another collection of 40 fans, all nearly 100 years old,” he said. “They don’t make them like that today!”

He’s now the Vice President of the Antique Fan Collectors Association.  

Lorrene Randall Kohnhorst, Wausau, WI

Lorrene’s collection of Barbie dolls has taken different shapes over the years. Now, her focus is mainly on boxed dolls of both the traditional variety, as well as those designed after popular 60s TV shows like Bewitched, I Dream of Genie,  and The Addams Family.

She’d love to one day find an original Barbie. She’s had one before, but she’s now after the holy grail: The original Barbie #1, complete with stand. 

“Barbie came out the same year I was born—1959—and her clothes from the 1960s amaze me with the quality zippers, snaps, linings they used,” she said. “They remind me of my youth.

Tony Toye

Tony Toye showed off his vintage Coleman lantern collection. I admired his collection, but said it was something I would have never considered collectible until he so clearly proved otherwise. “There are actually a lot of us out there worldwide,” he said. When he decides to sell any of his lanterns, he says they usually go to collectors in Japan. 

Mary Jo Bailin, Perrysburg, OH

Mary Jo Bailin has been creating art from vintage jewelry since 2016, when she was inspired by her own mother’s finery, and used them to make pieces for her daughters. 

Along with her own designs (frequently holiday and floral scenes), she also makes custom designs for others using their own keepsake jewelry.

The type of jewelry she looks for depends, naturally, on what she ultimately plans to make. “Lots of pearls for the snowmen,” she said, and glittery pieces for Christmas trees.  She sources her materials from estate sales, resale shops, and flea markets. 

Robert Barrett, Oregon

Robert’s radio collection, like so many others, began with an inheritance. Specifically, a 1941 Philco 41-225 tabletop. “My dad gave it to his aunt Lizzie in Sioux City, Iowa in 1941," he said. "She had it all those years until she gave it to me in 1977, when my family was on a trip there.”

His aunt, however, cut the cord from the radio after it stopped working. He displayed it anyway, until one day he read an article about people who collect and repair old radios. “That sparked an interest and I've been addicted to them since,” he said. 

His collection now includes 28 functioning radios, consoles and table tops in his house, and another 20 radios out in his workshop waiting to be repaired. None of them, he insists, will be converted into wine racks, a popular repurposing project. “ It can be painful to see a highly collectible console radio gutted, and used as a bottle holder,” he said. “The radio as a whole, refurbished and working properly, brought back to near original condition is still a piece of historic art to be enjoyed for many more years.”

Kevin P. Inman, South Jersey

Kevin P. Inman has an impressive collection of Czech glass—one that contains over 700 pieces—and it was all inspired by one, single...Belgian vase?

“It was a Belgian vase my grandmother had,” Inman said. “The spatter decor is shared with a lot of lower-end Czech pieces.”

His collection truly started growing, though, when he met his wife, who shared his passion for antiques. Because who doesn't love having a partner-in-crime?

He’s since dialed back on his collection due to lack of room. But he would certainly find space if the price was right. “You'd be surprised at the number of historic 100+-year-old pieces of Early American Pattern Glass I find in thrift shops and cardboard boxes from clean out services at flea markets.”

Patty Daniel, Florida

Patty Daniel has amusement parks in her blood. "My mother would go to Riverview Park (closed in 1967) in Chicago when she was a teen and loved to ride the coasters, so guess I inherited that," she said.

So her vintage theme park souvenir collection just makes sense.

She visited the parks as a child, but it wasn't until about 20 years ago that she really started collecting in earnest. It was easy, living in Florida, the "theme park capital of the world," she said. And in 2003, she took on a part-time job at a theme park, giving her an opportunity to obtain one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

"In the past two years, my husband and I have been going to estate sales more frequently—it's kind of become a recreational activity for us," she said. "I've expanded my collection to include other tourist attractions. I especially like to find items from places no longer in existence or have changed over the years."


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