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FOUNTAIN INN, SC, September 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dale Fenton has been collecting and dealing in antique advertising memorabilia for almost as long as he can remember. The passion started as a teenager when he would watch old black and white movies and see all of the porcelain advertising signs that used to line the downtown windows and sidewalks of main street America. Today Dale can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about advertising signs. Signs that seemed expensive in the 1980s at $200 are selling today for thousands of dollars. Fenton attributes a lot of this to baby-boomers and nostalgic collecting. However, you can't discount "man cave" decorating. Porcelain signs cover a lot of real estate on a wall. They look great in garages and basements.
Not everyone has the space to display large antique advertising signs; many people focus on smalls. Two of the most popular small advertising collectibles are antique tobacco tins and pocket mirrors. Tobacco tins are usually only worth a few dollars each. However, some rare ones can sell for thousands of dollars. Most collectors focus on graphics, region, and brand. A collection of tobacco tins worth six-figures could easily be stored on a single display shelf. Mr. Fenton says that if you want to go really small then you should look into antique pocket mirrors. These are also sometimes called celluloid mirrors or just advertising mirrors. Most sell for around $20 to $50. Rare examples can certainly be worth more than $1,000. These aren't as colorful as signs or tins, but they certainly popular with the same collectors.
Another hot area of advertising memorabilia is breweriana. Breweriana is a collector term that covers anything related to advertising for old breweries. Antique beer trays, cans, lithographs, and taps are extremely popular. If you like colorful graphics then old beer trays might be for you. They are a consistent size and shape. Many collectors focus on trays made before prohibition, called pre-pro trays. Prices range from $50 to $1,000 for most beer trays.
When asked if now is a good time to sell, Dale advises that markets are cyclical. What is hot now could be cold next year, and vice versa. It is always a good time to buy and it is always a good time to sell. You just need to work with an expert whether you are building a collection or liquidating one.
Got Questions For Dale?
Dale lives and works out of South Carolina. However, he is frequently traveling across the country to buy and appraise advertising antiques. He is best reached via email at Dale@AdvertisingAntiques.com. Free appraisals are happily given.
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