Vintage Gambles: Winners and Losers

Every once in a while I’ll take a gamble on items I buy to resell. We all do. Usually these gambles work out, but not always…

Amos Carr Ship Painting

I bought this painting off Shopgoodwill where I’ve bought paintings in the past. I couldn’t find much information about Amos before bidding, but did discover he had a penchant for painting ships and these paintings sell. Not for much, though the larger ones have sold for $500-$600. I detested this painting’s ’80s mirrored frame, but planned on removing and reframing the painting if I won the auction.

This is one of the listing photos for this small painting.

When all the bidding was done I had indeed won it for $20.50 ($33 total with shipping). When it arrived, I excitedly unraveled and cut away wads of bubble wrap. I then started to dismantle the backing of the frame to remove the painting, but was thwarted when I discovered there was no easy way to remove the solid piece of mirror without getting tools and taking apart the frame. Hmmm. I flipped the frame around and started pulling off the decorative edging around the painting hoping to release it that way. That’s when I discovered to my horror that the framers had glued the canvas to the mirror! Yes, it’s glued. I was flabbergasted. Who in their right mind does that to a painting?

So now I have a neat little ship painting GLUED to a hunk of mirror. Arrggh!! I am hoping to salvage the painting by scoring the glass and removing the excess around it, but if the glass behind the painting breaks I could end up just having to trash it. My husband thinks I should just put matting over the glass and sell it like that. Either way I would have to disclose it’s attached to glass and that greatly devalues the painting. Is it even worth trying to salvage or sell? I don’t know.

The weird thing is if I had bought this painting in person I still wouldn’t have known or guessed it was glued to the mirror. No one does that!

Vintage English Charm Bracelet

Because I’ve collected charm bracelets for decades, I feel confident in buying them without doing research beforehand. So despite the high price tag ($200) on this one, I bought it because I saw a few charms that I knew could be valuable. But of course without seeing and handling the charms in person there’s always a risk they aren’t as good as one thinks!

Which charms look most valuable to you?

Well the bracelet arrived in the mail yesterday (and in less than a week from England to California!) and I anxiously opened it up. Here are some of the best charms…

Spinner Fob Charms with Stones or Glass

The smaller spinner fob is glass (was hoping it might be citrine), but still a nice desirable piece. I’ll list it for $30.

I’ll be honest, one of the main reasons I bought this bracelet was in the hopes this large gold-tone spinner fob might be 9 or 10kt gold. So far I haven’t found any markings (not unusual) and it’s not magnetic. Was going to buy a gold-testing kit, but noticed in a damaged area it looks like there is a base metal beneath gold plating, alas, alas. Still, it might be worth testing to make sure as old fobs like this were typically made of low-grade gold.

Working Compass Mechanical Charm in a Case

I’ll list this for $50.

Vintage compass charms like this are popular among charm collectors and bonus, this one is housed in a little filigree case that opens. The older compass fobs are highly sought after.

Cross with Ancient Bronze Roman Coin (replica?)

This is an unusual charm or pendant with what appears to be an old Roman coin. Not sure what I’ll list this for yet.

Big, Solid Silver Swan Charm

I’ll list this for $40.

I don’t see as many large as this one and it’s big enough to work as a pendant too! It weighs a whooping 12.6 grams.

Old Mother Hubbard’s Mechanical Shoe Charm

I’ll list this for $30.

These charms are common, but this one is particularly large with unusual heart-shaped windows.

Hefty 8″ Sterling Silver Link Bracelet with Padlock Closure

I’ll list this for $90 sans chat!

The bracelet itself is a winner. It’s 8″ long, weighs 57 grams (!) and closes with a working heart padlock with safety chain. Each large link features a lion passant hallmark indicating that it’s sterling silver.

The bracelet also has a lot of charms that are more common and/or not as popular, but are still nice and sellable. Like the mechanical church that opens to a bridge and groom at the altar and a wacky tilted haunted house charm (if this one opened it would be worth more!).

Will this $200 purchase bring a big profit? Well, no. Not as much as I’d hoped, but I should make a modest profit.

In Conclusion

Overall I’m feeling a tad frustrated. I hate wasting money. Granted $33 is not a lot. Still, it’s frustrating to think of what I could have bought with that money. But okay, what’s done is done.

Hope your gambles have been better ones!

Karen

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