May 1, Day 45, Vintage Brass

Yesterday was a lovely day–sunny, mid-70s with a caressing breeze that carried the scent of all the blooms in the yard. Couldn’t have been more perfect. But I just struggled to get anything done. I was so unmotivated. Lethargic. I spent most of the morning in our front yard…sitting. Staring off into space!

This morning however I put on real clothes and ran some errands, both for myself and a friend. When I got home I decided to have some fun and peruse ebay for interesting, undervalued antique and vintage brass items.

Brass is not a huge category for me and generally much I find is not valuable (typically under $100). Still as a metal I like it. Brass has heft, durability and versatility and pieces have price points accessible to most folks.

Some Brass Things I’ve Sold

Mottahedeh beehive biscuit barrel

First let me say that Mottahedeh is a luxury brand to look for. People buy Mottahedeh. While the company typically focuses on china and ceramics, I thought their brass beehive biscuit barrel was great fun.

PAID $6-7 at Goodwill. SOLD for $70 plus shipping.

Mid-century reproduction Victorian card dish hands

I’ll be honest I wasn’t too sure about these brass hands. Perhaps too fussy or old-fashioned? Still I bought them. Surprisingly they didn’t take long to sell!

PAID $4-5 at Goodwill, SOLD for $40, plus shipping.

Art Nouveau-era Belt Buckle

I just loved this beauty. If she had been a pendant I would have kept her.

PAID $10 at an estate sale. SOLD for $50, plus shipping.

Antique English Tea Kettle by James Clew

This was bought from a friend of a friend who was looking to sell a few things. I sold it four years ago and nowadays prices don’t seem to be as strong.

PAID $15 at a private sale. SOLD for $95, plus shipping in 2016.

Brualist Hen Holon Menorah

This was the third brass menorah I’ve bought and sold. The ones I find do not sell for much ($30-45), but if I can get them cheap enough it’s worth the effort.

PAID $4-5 at Goodwill. SOLD for $35, plus shipping.

Vintage Danish Bar Tools

This handsome set was all taped up and I couldn’t get a good look at them, but when I saw “Denmark” stamped on the bottom of one of the pieces, I knew it was one to buy. Scandinavian items are still hot right now as is mid-century bar ware.

PAID $7-8 at Goodwill. SOLD for $100, plus shipping.

What Do I Look for in Brass?

So as I was looking around eBay I focused on brass items of 1) quality, 2) uniqueness and/or 3) age. Here’s what I found…

This antique brass toffee hammer ticked all my boxes, but at $125 it needed research. I poked around and found out it’s a Charles T. Hennig Hammer and indeed an antique and they seem to be somewhat scarce at this point. (All good.) The last sold data I could find (in Worthpoint) was for a sale in 2017 at $100 and a few earlier sales were for less. Hmmm $125 seems like the high end retail price. Had to pass on this lovely.

This box of graduated brass camels was unique-ish ($35, plus shipping), though listed as antique, I doubted they were 100 years old and the craftsmanship was crude. Plus is this something that has great appeal? To be honest I’d only buy something like this for a few bucks at a yard sale or flea market.

This Dresden brass animal holiday wreath ($295 plus shipping) is NOT my kind of thing, but I include it here because these are popular and sell for crazy prices. If you spot one for next to nothing at a yard sale, grab it! I know I will.

So out of the hundreds of things I perused today I didn’t buy or bid on anything. I do have one item I thinking about though I have asked for more photos from the seller. Sometimes it takes a lot of looking to find items that have enough value left in them to make it worthwhile for a reseller to buy.

Brass For Sale in My Etsy Store

Thought I would share a few of my past finds that I’ve reduced in price.

Tall Brass Ibex Figurine

At 11″ tall he’s a striking piece that would work in contemporary, traditional and bohemian decors or even Hollywood Regency if he was shined up!

Primitive Antique Brass Mortar and Pestle

I did hours of research after I bought this mortar and pestle and found out it’s likely Spanish and quite possibly well over 100 years old.

Lot of 5 English Vintage Horse Brasses

Got a man cave you want to decorate like an English pub? I’ve got a nice collection of horse brasses for you.

Small Brass Bowl with Matching Plate Inlaid with Blue Stones

Just love the boho vibe of this set, likely from Indian or the Middle East. Would be fun for serving special things at a party (nuts, candy, olives, etc.), or for corralling keys, old photos or chunky necklaces.

In Closing

Gosh, I can’t wait till the world opens up again. I know you feel the same way too. Thankfully some things are slowly opening up. Still waiting for that green light on thrift stores.

Hope you are safe and happy in these strange times. Would love to hear about your favorite brass things.


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