Thanksgiving items have value
The Thanksgiving tradition has many of us digging out or collecting some new Thanksgiving-themed objects to decorate our homes for the holiday. On the road as I present my antiques appraisal shows, I have evaluated many objects that highlight the holiday including the traditional transferware turkey platter with an image of turkey and all the trimmings at its center, Napco ceramic salt and pepper shakers from Japan in the form of two turkeys, Thanksgiving postcards from the early 1900s, brightly colored plastic popcorn door decorations featuring Native American children from the 1970s and other objects of holiday adornment.
I met Peggy in New Jersey whose family has placed a Steiff turkey from the mid-1900s on their Thanksgiving table every year for as long as she can remember. This little German collectible called Tucky from the famous toy maker retained its Steiff metal button and yellow identification tags. Tucky the turkey has printed felt hind feathers, brown painted feet and a long orange head and neck. On the market today, collectors of Steiff stuffed animals pay between $200 and $275 for this loveable, cheerful and high-quality Thanksgiving toy.
Sending holiday wishes
Thanksgiving postcards are easy and inexpensive to collect. I have some clients who have amassed a huge collection very quickly. Tried and true holiday collectors amass colorful lithographed cards from the early decades of the 20th century by John Winsch, the Detroit Publishing Company and Samuel L. Schmucker. Many of the postcards feature Native Americans, pilgrims and the foodstuffs that are enjoyed on the holiday.
For instance, turkey and other wild fowl along with corn, pumpkins, seasonal fruits and plum pudding have a prominent place in printed Thanksgiving images. These holiday collectibles range in cost from $1 to $5 each. Be sure to keep them in a metal storage box (not cardboard) or an acid free solander storage box to maintain good condition.
Objects relating to the Native Americans and the traditions they shared with the pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving remain of interest with collectors at this time of year. For example, Native American pottery and baskets some of which carry very high values on the antiques market are among some of the most coveted collectibles of the late autumn season.
Objects such as black on black ware plates, vessels and bowls by the San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez are popular and quite valuable. Baskets for seed beating, grain storage and tobacco pouches that were produced by some of the most important and influential Native American weavers from the Haida and Tlingit tribes are widely traded on the antiques market from Alaska, California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.
Also, silver bracelets, squash blossom necklaces featuring native stones and semi precious stone set jewelry pieces with blue/green turquoise, apple green gaspeite and orange spiny oyster, which are handmade by the Navajo and Zuni people, are worth big bucks with collectors of Native Americana, particularly around Thanksgiving.
Remember that seasonal collecting can be costly because prices for Thanksgiving related items are selling for high prices in November of each year. Collect wisely. This is certainly the time to share your seasonal collectibles with all of those friends and family members who sit at your Thanksgiving table. Happy Thanksgiving.
(Dr. Lori Verderame hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide and is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s hit TV show, Auction Kings. To learn about your antiques, visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or @DrLori on Twitter. )