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Glass canning jars better known as Mason Jars have been around since the mid 1800’s and are named for their inventor, John Landis Mason. Some of these old glass jars have become very sought after by collectors and some have sold recently for over $30,000.
Returning home from work, Mikey is shocked to find his house ransacked and burglarized. Mikey telephoned the police at once and reported the crime. The police dispatcher broadcasted the call on the channels, and a K-9 unit patrolling nearby was the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog on a leash, Mikey ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps. Putting his face in his hands, Mikey moaned, "I come home to find all my possessions stolen. I call the police for help, and what do they do? They send me a BLIND policeman!"
Eliphalet Chapin was born in 1741 in Massachusetts but studied the craft of furniture making in Philadelphia. Chapin later moved to East Hartford, Connecticut to set up shop, and become the most renowned furniture maker in that state.
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Although he was inspired by the Rococo designed furniture of Philadelphia, Chapin’s creations were lighter and cleaner in detail. While other Connecticut furniture makers of the time were making slim and tall furniture, Chapin was creating more compact and stocky furniture. His style is regarded as one of the most elegant of the period with ball and claw feet as well as scrolled pediments and spiral rosettes.
On a past episode of Antiques Roadshow a woman from Oak Hill, Virginia brought in a cherry tea table that she had purchased at an Estate Sale for a mere $200. Appraiser John Hays removed the top and found although the top and base wereoriginals and made by Chapin, the surface had been replaced. Even still the tea table was valued at $15,000 - $20,000. Had the surface been original, the tea table would have brought in closer to $50,000.
In 1974, Mexican police after conducting what they thought a thorough investigation into the looting of pre-Columbian ceramics, arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail a man named Brigído Lara. These rare and nationally protected antiquities are highly sought after by collectors and usually bring in record prices at auction houses in New York and Europe. At the trial, many archeologists and other experts testified that the antiquities in question had been stolen from ancient sites.
The earliest glass jars used a sealing wax around the lip of the jar that held the tin lid in place. John Landis Mason however changed everything when he invented a version of the screw on cap in 1858. Many of the surviving jars from that period are embossed with the “Patent Nov 30th 1858 on the bottom. The earlier jars also have the words “THE GEM” embossed on one side. Jars with 1858 patent date embossed were made well into the 1900’s, which makes it difficult for collectors to determine the value of a Mason jar. Add to that, the fact that other companies later adopted the name “Mason” for their jars as well.
According to the Travel Channel the 10 best flea markets in the world are:
1. Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show in Brimfield, MA
2. Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California
3. The Maxwell Street Market in Chicago, Illinois
4. 127 Corridor in Jamestown, Tennessee
5. The All Night Flea Market in Wheaton, Illinois
6. Daytona Flea Market in Daytona, Florida
7. San Jose Flea Market in San Jose, California
8. Austin County Flea Market in Austin, Texas
9. New Caladonian Market in London England
10. Marche Aux Puces De Clignancourt in Paris, France
Regular clear or aqua colored glass Mason Jars can range in price from a couple of dollars to a couple of hundred dollars depending on what type of jar it is. Collectors look for other colors that include amber and dark shades of green. The rarer jars have turned up and in other colors including cobalt blue, amber, black and even milk glass. These colored glass jars helped preserve the food better by keeping less light from entering. The blue jar on the left recently sold on Ebay for about $104.
Many public libraries have been subscribing to the p4A Antiques Reference database and you can access it either in the library itself or through the Internet. This is excellent considering that a 365 day subscription to the service costs about $465. The database contains recent auction prices along with other information about a wide variety of objects, such as furniture, glass, pottery, porcelain, paintings, prints, clocks, toys and dolls. However the best thing about the p4A is that it focuses on the American market and does not include prices realized at the big, top scale London art and antiques markets. Many professionals use the p4A database for appraisals.
While in prison, Mr. Lara requested and was brought some clay so that he could prove his innocence and much to the chagrin of the experts that testified against him, and the authorities; Mr. Lara created and produced some of the same items he was accused of looting and smuggling. Brigído Lara was not a looter or smuggler, but was an expert forger that fooled even the experts.
Mr. Lara had begun to create forgeries in the 50’s and 60’s in the Mayan, Aztec and Totonac’s style. He then sold this to many museums andcollectors, including the Morton D. May collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. He was released from prison in 1975. Brigído Lara is now employed by the state Anthropology Museum in Xalapa, where he repairs ancient pieces and reviews the collections of museums for forgeries.