Thursday, December 27, 2012

December's Embers


Everything runs in streaks in this business. What was once hot is now lukewarm. The end of the year review reveals the bad buys and what should I spend less on or completely avoid in the future. When you're flipping for a quick profit, price generally doesn't matter as much. Long term investing though is a different story.

I held on to Victorian furniture for years. I bought it at fair prices when the market was hot. I took it to shows and turned down great offers on some of it thinking the prices would continue to steadily rise. In fact, just the opposite happened. Over the past 12 years, the prices of average to better quality pieces have steadily declined. This isn't including the Blue Chip Victorian like Belter, Meeks, Herter Brothers or the best Horner . Even though they have dropped in price, those names seem to hold steady for the top tier pieces. Some of those offers I turned down I would now gladly take half of what I was originally presented.

Looking back, I should have sold off more of the better pieces 10 years ago when prices were better. Sometimes holding everything and waiting for the prices to rise is just wishful thinking. It might take decades. A better way of collecting furniture would have been diversification. Decorating in a eclectic style mixing high quality 50's-60's and 70's designer pieces with Victorian and Mission furniture would be a nice balance when selling. Mid Century Modern has only increased and still strong.
So now it's time for a fire sale on the Victorian pieces I have left. I'm letting them go. I might get burned on one or two single pieces, but sold as a lot, I should break even or show a small profit. If I had not waited so long to sell, I could have easily doubled the numbers I will probably get. We'll see.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays

                                                                   Merry Christmas
                                                       "Get me down. This is stupid"

Thursday, December 20, 2012



Ivory. It's been used centuries for carvings, objects of art, jewelry, inlay on furniture, miniature paintings, boxes, the list is long. By definition, "The teeth and tusks of animals" or dentine. I'm specifically referring to elephant and walrus tusk. Whales tooth for Scrimshaw is usually just call "Ivory whale's tooth". (go figure)

This is for those who can't tell the difference between ivory, bone, and plastic. It's great when you're buying from someone who can't identify ivory, unless it's plastic priced like ivory. I still see it all the time "Real ivory carving" that is actually made from bone.

Elephant Ivory.

Can grow up to 8 feet long. Asian and African variety sometimes sold in tusk form all the way down to small rosette motif earrings. This is the easiest to spot due to the distinct cross hatching that is nearly impossible to reproduce. The overall appearance of antique ivory should have a warm caramel color over a light creamy yellow to yellow white. Cool to the touch and dense. Heavy in hand. The cross hatching diamond pattern should be visible on any carved piece. African ivory has darker lines. Asian ivory has the same pattern with lighter colored almost beige off white lines. The obvious subject matter, dragons, immortals, Netsukes, etc. would be an indication of origin.

                                            Netsuke. (Pronounced "Net-skee")

Chinese and Japanese ivories are probably the most copied from very convincing resins and plastics. These will have no lines, have a greasy feel to them, the decoration is dark and sometimes they will even have mold lines. The color is even with no variation, often grey-beige.

I don't recommend doing this but I know some people just won't be able to sleep at night if they don't know what they own. So if you're still not sure if the piece is ivory or plastic, there is a test you can use on a inconspicuous area of the piece. If it's not a collectible piece of jewelry, CAREFULLY heat the tip of a needle and touch the piece where it's not visible. It will sink into plastic. It will not do anything if it's ivory.
19th Century ivory Okimono

Note: I watched a dealer push a pin completely through the face from the back of a reproduction plastic mask giving it three nostrils. Do at your own risk. It will ruin plastic.

The tusk of a walrus are often found carved as mortals, Nesukes, Okimono, Chinese figures etc. Very popular in the late 19th century. Surface of antique walrus ivory has a warm caramel color a little richer and slightly deeper than elephant's ivory with swirls and faint irregular lines unlike those of the elephants. If polished down it will be lighter cream shades. Cool to the touch and very dense and smooth.

Easy to spot. Very porous, open grain, light white color. Light in weight Small black specks are usually visible to the naked eye. There is a lot of quickly and often crudely carved figures and jewelry sometimes sold as "Real ivory" by uniformed dealers. Buy with caution. Generally ivory will be more collectible but there are high quality beautiful contemporary works that can be sold legally.




This is a double edged sword. I have found real ivory necklaces in with junk jewelry. Lots of jewelry is out there that looks like ivory made from, celluloid, resin or plastic. Plastic beads will be even in color, light in weight, the cheap variety will even have mold lines. Celluloid made an attempt on some pieces to include the lines that ivory has but it is symmetrical even and thin. Dresser sets from the 20's used Celluloid that resembles ivory. Collectible in it's own right yet not convincing as ivory.
                                              Celluloid dresser set 1920s -30's
I don't buy or trade in new ivory. I will buy pre ban antique ivory and sell it through good aution houses. Due to restrictions, be aware that sites like Ebay don't allow the sale of some ivory though there is always ivory for sale on ebay. I don't know how they determine what is deemed acceptable, but I have had two pieces removed that were clearly antique. I have also seen clever "Pachyderm" wording to get pieces under the radar. I'm not suggesting it.. jus sayin...  If it is a good piece of antique ivory, it is best to sell through a quality auction house, your shop or locally and only trade in antique pieces.  The new ivory looks much better on the elephant.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cheap Can Opener

 Power failure, computer shut down mid sentence, *poof text vanished,  two lengthy blogs gone, lost files, electric can opener broke, bought cheap replacement at dollar store, brand new dollar can opener makes wonderful holes but doesn't open anything. Should be called a  can holer... Blogs coming soon.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Collecting Mistakes Part 2


So you like vintage match books or American Art Pottery. Maybe your grandmother left you a Maxfield Parrish print or a French doll and decided you wanted to add to the few pieces to the ones you already have. You've developed an interest in some item and now you want to collect it.

Good! The first thing you should do as a new collector is get informed. Know what you're gathering and why. It's important to know what makes a piece valuable and collectible. There are books on nearly every collectible imaginable. A wealth of resources exist and many of them are free. Libraries, shows, collector groups, shops, dealers. There's no excuse to be uninformed. If you're reading this post, you have access to the singles greatest resource available to you, the internet. Google and EBay will answer 98 percent of your collecting questions. Get familiar with both.

Mistake : No Direction

The first mistake many new collectors tend to make is to buy anything that fits the criteria with no plan or direction. The initial excitement of finding a piece in a shop compels them to make a rash decisions. Emotionally based impulse purchases "Ohh!! I have one of those!"

Let's take Hummels for example. I've seen large collections of these. There are millions in existence and continued to be made to this day. Figurines, plates, postcards, plaques, Christmas collection, Limited Editions, ornaments, Collector clubs. It's a mind blowing list. A new collector could end up with a large variety of these things including common and even repaired pieces that will likely never show a return on their investment. When the shelves are full of dozens even hundreds of figurines, they realize the early part of what they own consist of common easy to find and hard to resell pieces that they paid too much for.

Remedy: Focus

Specialize in a specific area. STUDY and LEARN what makes a piece more valuable than others. Know why a Crown mark Umbrella Boy Hummel with blue umbrella is much better than the Last Bee mark Umbrella Boy Hummel with the Brown umbrella. Don't buy everything that has the name of your collectible on it. Magazines, Hummel calendars, plates that rarely appreciate...yuck!

Collect the best you can afford. Resist the urge to buy low end common items. Pass on the repaired pieces. If you must have them, buy only if they are dirt cheap (10 to 15 percent of the value) Think of repaired chipped or cracked pieces as a windshield for a car. Would you buy a windshield for your car if it had a crack in it? Even at 80 percent off? There are some exceptions to the rule with damages. Some rare high end glass, some Flow Blue and Majolica and scarce high end pottery. Pieces that are used for parts. There are always buyers who don't mind some damage if the price is right. Think cheap. I'm talking about common mass produced items. Roseville, McCoy, Clocks, wristwatches, prints etc. Build a quality collection from the start and it will only appreciate and be easier to sell in the future.

Mistake: Keeping Everything

It is easy to love what you collect, but don't let it overwhelm you with clutter. Keeping doubles, common items, worthless beyond repair pieces, and dust catching entry level stuff for marginal sentimental reasons is not the best way to build a collection. It takes the room that a quality piece could fill and it ties up your cash. Volume is good thing if it is quality.

Remedy: Cull

When I was 15, I took a course in black and white photography. I was impressed with one of the instructors ability to consistently produce perfect images. They were beautiful. His office walls were filled with incredible pictures, many with honorable mentions or awards from shows. His portfolio was page after page of perfection and professional quality photographs. He was very good. I asked him how long it took him to learn to do this.

"How many years did it take you to stop shooting bad pictures?"

"I still do it all the time" He quickly answered.

"These are all great though" I said.

He said something that stuck with me to this day.

"Never show average or bad pictures to anyone. EVER. Discard them immediately. Don't even keep them around. Throw them away. If all you keep are very best, your client will think that is all you can produce. The best."

Common sense right? As profoundly simple as that sounds, few people actually follow through with it. Fortunes and great names have been built on that very premise. Tiffany, Rolls Royce, Rolex, etc. you won't find a $99. diamond ring at Tiffany. You expect the best and that is all you will see there.

It can be applied in many areas of your life. Including your collection. Learn to cull. Don't fall in love with every piece of crap out there, and yes, there is a lot of crap to  buy. Reject the inferior quality pieces and upgrade when you can. Sell off and trade up. You don't have to keep all of it JUST because it says "Roseville or Rookwood or Seth Thomas or Pez" on it, or what ever you may be collecting. Ford made the GT40 but they also made the Pinto. You get the idea. There's a finite amount of space for your collection. Fill it with quality even it it takes years to trade up. Keep only the best. Even if you're gathering common items, save the very best example of it. Crisp detail, rich or correct color, no damage. No apologies.

Finally, the main thing to remember is enjoy collecting. For some the hunt is the most rewarding part. That is what it is really all about if monetary return is not your priority. Buy smart, and buy what you like. Have FUN doing it. If you can do both, even better.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Collecting Mistakes. Part 1


First let me say, you should always collect what you truly enjoy and like, after all, you have to live with it every day.

Conversely, I don't think that buying what you like or love is always the best advice if you ever want to pass it on as a family heirloom or sell it some day as an investment. Let's be real here, not everyone has the same refined good taste you may or may not have. Eventually you might have to part with your six hundred assorted antique flat irons and find your family says "Thanks but I'll just take one or two" or worse you need some cash quickly. Try to get liquid with the three hundred fifty seven Beanie Babies you over paid for at the peak of the market. Be prepared to cry or rip their heads off with your teeth when you find out most of them are only good for dog toys when sold 4 for 1.00.

You hear it all the time on segments of TV morning news or collector shows, magazines etc. "Buy what you love". But what if you like manhole covers, balls of old yarn, boring clear common Mason jars, red pencils, or rail road spikes?

If the only criteria for your collection is "I WUV it"! and you aren't concerned with value, investment potential, resale, or desirability then yes, buy what you love. That's what it all about...(Sorta)

If you have the love for the item, the drive and commitment to build a quality collection, and most importantly, buy smart, you can also end up with a nice little nest egg when done properly without filling your house with hard to sell trash.

I can't tell you how many times I've received calls over the years from collectors ready to part with their accumulations. Always exciting but equally disappointing sometimes.

I went to a house in Citrus County in the mid 1990's. She lived a few blocks away from a large flea market which she attended regularly buying items. Over three decades she managed to build a collection that filled her modest home.

"I have a house full of stuff I need to get rid of" she told me over the phone.

Normally, when I enter a house it's natural for me to look at the objects for sale along with the stuff that isn't for sale. I will immediately spot the things that I'm interested in, taking mental notes and formulating offers in my head. If you're an antique dealer, you know what I'm talking about. You're initially drawn to the items you want to buy spotting the "gems" straight away.

Upon arrival at her house, I was shock at the immense volume crammed in it. Every wall had cabinets or home made shelves built on them. One wall had floor to ceiling shelves filled with nothing but reproduction cobalt blue glass with a few old pieces mixed in. There were, dolls, cracked crocks, clock parts, reproduction advertising trays, plastic toys from the 1980's, canning jars with no lids, faded prints, cheap fishing poles, lamp bases with no shades..It was sensory over load. Too much to take in at one time.

In this house packed with stuff, there was nothing, just nothing jumping out at me. The closer I looked at her stuff, the more I realized most of it was junk. A lot of it damaged. Some of it still had faded tags. ".25 cents, $2.00." Chipped glass, reproduction carnival glass from the 1970s, clocks with replaced quartz movements, common platinum rimmed plates from the 50's, partial sets of dishes, naked Barbie dolls, stacks of sheet music... Depressing and coated in dust. I just wanted to leave... It looked like the tail end of a yard sale on a Sunday with all the leftovers. Clearly the woman put a lot of time, cash and years of effort gathering this stuff. Thousands of pieces, but none of what I saw had resale value with out apologizing for it, even at flea market prices. I saw WORK! Lots of work with minimal returns for the amount of time involved cleaning and selling it.

From talking with her I found out she tried to stick with a 5 dollar maximum spending limit. It's a shame, but unless the house was already picked over by another dealer, there was little value in her "collection". She wanted to sell all of it as a lot of course.

"Make me an offer an take it all"! She said.

Being cordial I found a few things that I made an offer on hoping she would refuse. I told her the collection was too big for me to handle and referred a local guy. I really didn't want any part of it.
On the other side of that coin, I've gone into houses and even mobile homes and found collections that got my heart literally pounding in disbelief...Sometimes the contents were worth more than the homes they were kept in.

One of the best calls I've ever been on was in a double wide trailer in a low income area. The lady said she had some things "I would like"... She wasn't kidding.

The outside of her run down mobile home was a hidden partially by two very large arborvitae bushes. It needed paint and landscape work to clear the overgrown bushes I had to duck under just to get to the half covered sidewalk scattered with rusty lawn mower parts and barrels, and plastic flower pots tipped on their side.

I knocked on the door and could hear the shuffling of what sounded like slippers on a sandy linoleum floor come to a halt.

"Yes?" replied a small voice behind the thin aluminum trailer home door .

"Hi, it's Bill. You called me about some items you had for sale."

The door slowly opened and there stood a frail lady, maybe in her late seventies, pale and slightly hunched over, wearing layers of clothing in the middle of the Summer with long grey hair tied back. She squinted as if to look at my shoes, smiled and said,

"Come in"

Inside was a dingy yellow time capsule. A faded haze of dust, aged vinyl, and tobacco colored film indicative of neglected old trailers. Everything looked to be what it was originally sold with in the late 1960s including the brown wood panelling  and tan curtains with tea pot motif sagging in the window.

First thing I noticed was a, completely out of place, large mahogany drop front secretary with a shell carving on the drop front lid. Over that hung a well done Impressionist style painting of a beach scene flanked by bronze French torchieres. "Wow" I thought.

She was leading me to the front of the trailer where the "good stuff" was kept. I was so preoccupied with the incredible stuff on the walls as I followed, I almost plowed into her from behind as she shuffled along.

At the end of the hallway there was a sheet that covered a doorway. When she pulled back the dirty sheet to the side, the light from the large bay window that dominated the wall illuminated the room revealing no less than 10 assorted reverse painted and leaded glass lamps. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was like I was entering Oz...

"This can't be....Really? In HERE?" I thought to myself.

One of the lamps had a peacock reverse painted on the inside, she had the palm tree Handel lamp I recognized immediately with the correct base. I was stunned. There was silver overlay vases on footed trays, a table with 5 or 6 mesh hand bags from the 1920s. These are the calls we all dream about as dealers. Years of fresh, untouched merchandise, hidden away by in a run down home for sale by the original owner or family. I was keeping cool with my "Meh... yeah this stuff is ok I guess...I've seen better though" attitude.

While on the inside I was really thinking "HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! YESSSSS!!" I wanted to run out in the parking lot and do back flips. The more I looked the more excited I got. Period furniture, high end art glass, Steuben, Loetz, Belleek tea service, sterling silver trinkets, Handel lamps, Tiffany silver, jewelry and paintings. Angled in the corner, was the very best French vitrine (scenic painted curio cabinet) I've ever seen. Big wide, bombe, ormolu mounts, FILLED with fairy lamps, miniature bronzes, carved ivory, painted plaques and jewelry, big allegorical scenic shell cameos in fitted cases, the kind of quality I've only seen in magazines and auction catalogs at the time. The lamps were all on knock out period furniture or French painted tables.

I realized I wasn't saying very much to her in my state of awe as she sat there, grinning at me, in the only chair that wasn't covered with stuff. I looked at the table next her "Mahogany?" I blurted out as I inspected it closer.

"That's a Spider leg table" she said pointing at it with a thin, white, bent finger.

"What kind of price are you looking for on that? I asked.

"Six fifty" She immediately replied.

I like it when a seller knows exactly what they want for their stuff.  Negotiating a price is not as romantic and fun as these reality shows make it seem. It's a daunting and sometimes stressful task. A part of the business that's expected though not always necessary.  You can easily insult someone if you cut the price too low on their objects of affection. If I did counter offer it was usually followed with an explanation.

The tabled was nice, but the most I've ever seen them priced was around 300.

"How about the palm tree lamp?"

"$2500" she said.

"What did you want for the curio cabinet?" I inquired

"I'll take five thousand"

...Five grand.."ugh" That's when a sinking feeling began in me. The prices were spot on retail and some much more. The lady was sharp and she knew what she was doing. I began to think she had no real intention of letting anything go at prices where I could make something on them. These were show and shop prices so now I was more interested in the story behind the glory. How she acquired all this stuff and why she hadn't sold it off to raise her standards of living just a little.

It was already apparent the women collected the best she could afford and had an eye for quality. Turns out the meat of the collection was inherited. Her mother at one time bought and sold antiques. That's the best way to learn. See it. Live with it. She followed in her mother's foot steps and continued adding to it over the years. She even asked ME if I had items to sell. I also found out I wasn't the only dealer that had been there. There were many over the course of years and they left with little to nothing.

In the end, I did manage to buy a few small pieces. One was the Belleek Nautilus shell on coral, a Tiffany sterling punch ladle, a large Imari bowl on a stand and other choice perfume bottles. I kept in contact with her for many years buying a piece here and there. She didn’t like selling it, but loved to show it off.

If it's not yet obvious to you what I am getting at between the two calls, that same desire and passion you feel about your collecting should be just as exciting to the dealers and buyers you're showing it to when you go to sell it. Excitement. Passion. Interest. They should want to own it and not feel like they are taking on a ton of work to show a decent profit. There are many buyers for this level of quality. At the risk of getting too lengthy here, I'll go over some ways to build a good collection in a part 2 soon to follow.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekly Buy Pass $20.00


Each week I will feature a quick list of items in a fixed price range to buy or pass on. This is strictly a general guide that I use to make a prompt decision while I'm out buying. It's not set in stone... it is something that works for me. Some of you may buy selected items that I marked as "PASS". If you have a shop to stock and don't mind holding merchandise for a long time, you could buy the "PASS" items to keep shelves full or you may have a client list that is searching for a specific pattern or piece to add to their collection. This list is for a quick turn around. To buy profitable pieces for a short term sales or a "flip".

Everyone has 20 bucks. Let's go spend it...or not.

More CAMERAS! Twenty dollars is a hard number to work with. Generally vintage cameras are worth less than twenty or waaaaay more. Not much grey area. Though there's big profits on the under priced mistakes being sold. Here's a few to look for. 
Nikon F2 Photomic 35mm Professional

A true 1970s classic. Nikon produced a broad range of high quality 35mm SLR cameras. 20 bucks is super cheap for this model in clean condition. This is one that will still bring $150+ depending on condition. Always check the lens for spots and the shutter speed for smooth and accurate operation. The best way to do this is set it on 1 second. Click the shutter and listen to the action. The sound it makes should take exactly one second. No more, no less. Some older cameras will get stuck for 1 1/2 to 2 or even 3 seconds in that mode. This will affect value. Also don't overlook wear to high spots. These were popular field cameras for the professional and many of them will show bag wear and rubs. Original lens caps and cleaning kits are good signs to see in the bag. The owner cared for it.
                                          Pentax K-1000 w/ after market lens

Great starter camera. It came with all the basic features necessary that other entry level 35 mm SLR's of the day had to produce professional looking images in the right hands. However, if the lens is replaced with a cheaper version of the original 50 mm, has excessive wear and shows its age, this drops the value significantly. They can be bought on Ebay from $6.00 to $30. in this condition. Put your money into something else.
                                                  Graflex Press Cameras

Worth $100-$250, (model specific) in good clean condition $500+ if minty with all the books, accessories, plates and original case. Why is it in with the "$20 Buy" items you ask? If they were left in grandpa's estate to the kids, sometimes they don't even know what it is or it just looks like an old Polaroid to them when closed. If they don't know how to open it, often times it's donated or dumped at estate sales. I found 2 of these cameras within 4 months of each other both closed and under 20 bucks. One looked like an attempt was made to open it with a screw driver, the other was in a box of tools. The inside is usually well preserved. The bellows should be free from mold rips and tears and the track should slide and lock smoothly. Even if you don't use this camera, it looks cool open and displayed in a library or office.
                                              Kodak 1920s-30s Folding

Eastman Kodak vintage folding cameras. Although they look neat and add an air of nostalgia and history to a room, no one uses these pieces of crap. You can't find film for them, and if you did, they take terrible grainy images and are really only good for decoration. Okay..A little harsh on our little Kodak folding camera, but for some reason, new dealers, and some uniformed shops regularly over price these common cameras. If it's mint condition, you can pay 5 bucks...and sell it for 6. or 10. It' WON'T bring $125. as I have seen these priced sometimes. It just won't. With that said, there are some harder to find accordion cameras with RED bellows that sell for $40-$200. Buy those. 
                                          Vintage Wood Cameras 1880- 1910

Wood Studio cameras by Kodak and other makers are highly collectible even if they are slightly battered. They don't necessarily need to be complete to fetch strong prices due to the cross over appeal to decorators for large format cameras with period wood tripods. Unlikely the large plate models to be found in the twenty dollar range but sometimes smaller versions turn up found dirty, unappreciated and neglected in a box at yard sales.
                                                 Brownie Box Cameras

                      No...Just say no...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Collectible Cameras 1930s-80s


This is a broad subject and impossible to cover in a few paragraphs. I'm not talking about digital cameras, but instead the common SLR (Single Lens Reflex) 35MM cameras made between 1920-1985. Though most people consider these cameras obsolete, some are still very collectible and can command thousands of dollars.

Most of what you'll come across at sales are the 1970s -1980s cameras like Canon, Pentax, Minolta, and Olympus. Great names in their day but as a rule, most of the common entry level bodies with 50MM lenses sell for under $50. on the secondary market. 

For example, the Pentax K-1000 35MM in good clean working order can be bought online between 20.00 and 50.00 I see them over priced in shops, with some extra accessories, for 150.00 and more. They are also still sitting there collecting dust when I go back 2 months later. The Minolta, Canon, and Pentax cameras that are functioning properly with clear lenses should be bought for resale 10 bucks or less...Really. Some people think a lot of these cameras and would be insulted by an offer of ten bucks but the reality is, they just don't bring much anymore.

Below are a few examples of $10 to $50. (Camera, case and lens only)

Try not to pay more than $5 or $10 for any of these in clean working condition. If they have ANY issues, pass on them unless they come with a bag full of lenses and filters. Market not strong on these.

 Pentax K 1000 $10 $50 .
                                                   Yashica FX-2 $10-$50
                                                 Minolta SR t 101 $20 $50
                        Olympus OM-10 this one sold for $6.99 with free shipping

  Canon AE-1 $5-$30

Now for the opposite end of the spectrum.  Say "BIG cheese!"

Most of the better name in photographic equipment came out of Germany. The important name not to be confused or compared with the cameras above is Leica. Some of the rare models still bring 10,000 to 18,000 in minty condition. There are even confirmed sales over 20,000 for the Leica 1 A Anastigmat f3 of which there are only 150 in existence.

The main two rules that apply here are:

1. Like new to excellent condition on common cameras.

2. Rare cameras should be acquired regardless of condition though poor and damaged will factor into the pricing. Rare Leica models have seen their values increase disproportionately to common ones.

Things to look for: That little hockey stick shaped piece of metal on the left side of the lens when you're facing the camera. If you're lucky enough to find one of these at a garage sale and the owner recites the story of how much grandpa admired it because his dad gave it to him when he was a kid...Home run! "That's been in my family since the 1930's"

The early cameras had a simple rectangular streamline bodies with 50mm lenses. If you do pick up one of these rare models, don't rush to dump it on Ebay. Do your research. Serial numbers and lenses make a world of difference in the price. They are in such demand there are copies of rare cameras out there. Contact a professional and get at least two opinions. Dealers will show immediate interest and may offer a high price. Don't be tempted by the first offer. It's amazing what collectors will sometimes offer beyond book value.

Below are a few examples of Leica:

                                                          Leica 111B  $900.

                                    Leitz 3.5mm F/3.5 Summaron M Leica $350.

                              Leica 1 A Elmar Fu 50MM 1926-30 $1500 - $4500

                                    Leica 1 (B) Compur with Elmar $3000-$7000
Leica 111g 1956-60 $800-$2200 Leica
As stated condition is everything. Collectors and dealers often first ask if the lenses have mold in them. This is a problem with all older cameras if stored in area of extreme temperature swings. Look for spots on the inside on the lens when back lit. If sandwiched between the lens, it will have to be professionally corrected.