Sunday 28 August 2016

Expensive Pez Dispensers

Pez (trademarked PEZ in capitals) is the brand name of an Austrian candy and their famous mechanical pocket dispensers. The candy itself takes the shape of pressed, dry, straight-edged, curved-corner blocks. Pez was originally introduced in Austria, later exported, notably to the U.S. One of the first character PEZ dispensers, the shape of the 1955 Santa Claus PEZ model is both rare and valuable. Departing from the norm, the dispenser has a round body, although the candy inside remains the same traditional narrow rectangular shape.

One last sold for $ 13,000
1982 World's Fair PEZ Dispenser. With only two in existence, the PEZ dispensers are the most valuable items of their kind. One with a blue stem features the head of an astronaut with a blue helmet. The other has a white helmet and a grass green stem.

The most recent known transaction involving either of these dispensers was in 2006, when the green astronaut sold for just over $32,000
The locking cap PEZ dispenser is a rare find from the 1940s. Among the first dispensers widely available and purposely shaped like cigarette lighters to help market them as smoking cessation aids, a few are vanilla colored and can sell for $ 2000. Certain very rare models, produced in Germany after WWII, bear the words "US Zone." and can sell for $ 5,000.

Available via mail order and in some retail settings in 1955, the Golden Glow PEZ Dispenser, with a wide gold colored base and gold stem, has become a rare find. With a stamp bearing the mark, "U.S. PATENT 2,620,061," these particular dispensers are highly sought-after.
The first robot PEZ dispensers, released in 1955, were solid colored in gray, navy blue, red, or bright yellow. Very rare, the 1955 Robot Flying Saucer promotional PEZ dispenser is the most prized and will easily bring $ 1,000 in good condition.
Alpine Man PEZ Dispenser is the 1972 Munich Olympics edition. Equipped with a brown or green hat adorned with feathers, this rare PEZ dispenser is highly coveted. The most desirable has a mustache.
Candy shooting PEZ guns appeared in the early 1960s and command high prices.
Make a Face PEZ Set were recalled over child safety issues. Resembling a tiny Mr. Potato Head toy, the pieces on the face are interchangeable. These particular dispensers often cost several thousand dollars in mint condition.

The Mickey Mouse Soft Head PEZ Dispenser is a prototype, which makes it very rare. Experts are aware of only one in existence. With a red rectangular candy shaft and a soft plastic Mickey Mouse head, this candy dispenser brought $7,000.
Pre-1989 Superhero PEZ dispensers are valuable. Popular versions include Wonderwoman, Batman, and Bugs Bunny.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Sotheby's - Treasures

German, probably Cologne, circa 1300-1320 Chess Piece: A King, Portrait of Frederick II Hohenstaufen (1194-1250) £653,000
The Sotheby's Treasures sale is one of the pre-eminent decorative art auctions. The Treasures sale exhibit with museum-like quality the carefully curated Furniture, Silver, Vertu, Clocks and Sculpture masterpieces, selected for their beauty, rarity, royal and aristocratic provenance. Attracting interest from across the globe, these magnificent objects transcend any single collecting field.

Louis XIV Savonnerie Carpet £341,000

Southern German, Augsburg, circa 1600. The Rothschild Orpheus Cup - £1,061,000

A pair of Regency gilt-bronze six-light candelabra and stands, circa 1802–06. £317,000

A George III mahogany longcase barograph regulator, case by Thomas Chippendale, 1766. Estimate 400,000–600,000 ($580,000–870,000).

An ormolu and enamel musical automaton “jardinière” table clock, the case Chinese, Qianlong, probably Guangzhou; circa 1785. £1,025,000

An Italian ivory and mother-of-pearl inlaid rosewood, kingwood, amaranth, fruitwood and oyster veneered olivewood marquetry commode, attributed to Pietro Piffetti, Turin, circa 1730. Estimate £200,000–300,000 ($289,000–433,000).

Pair of salts with the profiles of King Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici and grotesques, French, Limoges, early 17th century. £125,000

An Italian neoclassical giltwood and verre eglomisé console table, Sicilian, late 18th century. Estimate £70,000–100,000 ($102,000–145,000).

A rare jewelled and Canton-enamelled gilt-decorated sword and basse-taille scabbard with gold foils, Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period, circa 1800. Estimate £125,000

Thursday 18 August 2016

The Oak Island Money Pit

Oak Island is approximately 140 acres in size and located just off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. It is one of many small islands in the area and is now linked to the mainland via a narrow causeway.

Oak Island is noted as the location of the so-called Money Pit and the site of over 200 years of treasure hunting. Repeated excavations have reported layers of apparently man-made artifacts as deep as 31 metres (102 ft), but ended in collapsed excavations and flooding.

Critics argue that there is no treasure and that the pit is a natural phenomenon, likely a sinkhole.
In 1795 Daniel McGinnis and a friend noticed a circular depression as if a pit had been dug and then filled in again. Believing something of value may have been buried there they dug to a depth of 9.1 metres. Initially they discovered a layer of flagstones followed by traces of pickaxes on the rocks.

Some stories say they found platforms of logs approximately every 3 metres. They failed to find anything of value but the story spread and was quickly linked to the missing treasure of Captain Kidd and even the notorious Blackbeard - Edward Thatch (Teach).
Over the following centuries the pit has been excavated many times and prospectors have even included an American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1909, at the age of 27, Franklin Delano Roosevelt joined the ranks of the Old Gold Salvage and Wrecking Company.

According to written correspondence, Roosevelt nurtured an interest in the Oak Island mystery well into his presidency. In a letter to a friend, the president intimated his intentions to return to the island, but was prevented from doing so by the outbreak of war in Europe
The pit is claimed to be 'booby trapped" and has regularly flooded. Oak Island had claimed a total of six people since the mystery began.
The deepest the excavations reached is 72 metres.
Oak Island lies on a glacial tumulus system and is underlaid by a series of water-filled anhydrite cavities, which may be responsible for the repeated flooding of the pit. This type of limestone easily dissolves when exposed to water, forming caves and natural voids.
Bedrock lies at a depth of 38–45 meters in the Money Pit area. Dye tests concluded that the flooding was caused by a natural interaction between the island's freshwater lens and tidal pressures in the underlying geology, refuting the idea of artificially constructed flood tunnels.

Monday 15 August 2016

Rare Paper Money

The 1890 $1,000 Treasury Note, popularly referred to as the "Grand Watermelon note," became the most valuable banknote in existence when it sold for $3,290,000, Jan. 10, 2014.

It's known as the 'Grand Watermelon' due to the large zeroes on the back of the bill. It was estimated to be worth $2 million. The last time this note was at auction was 1970, when it brought $11,000.
The silver certificate was issued in 1891.

A law passed in 1878 required the government to buy several million dollars' worth of silver bullion and mint it into coins. Because silver was so heavy, the government decided to issue certificates that could be exchanged for the same face value in silver dollar coins.

The note is one of 2 known in existence and sold at auction for $2.6 million.

1863 $1,000 Legal Tender. PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. Minor Edge Restorations. $881,250
Hawaiian $500 Currency of 1879. The face of the note bears vignettes of King Kamehameha, sailing vessels, a locomotive, and sugar cane harvesting. The obligation clause reads ‘five hundred dollars in silver coin payable to the bearer on demand.’ This design only exists as proof printings.

First National Bank of Daytona note, one of three in existence
A $20 bill, one of only three pieces of First National Bank of Daytona paper money known to exist, fetched $19,890 at auction. The $20 bill features a picture of Hugh McCullouch, Treasury secretary under Abraham Lincoln and two later presidents.

The First National Bank of Daytona was only in business from 1914 to 1923 and issued $317,550 in paper money.

25-cent denomination Republic of Texas Exchequer Note
This 25-cent denomination Republic of Texas Exchequer Note, dated May 1, 1843 and hand-signed by president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was found in an old textbook. It sold for $63,250 in an auction in 2011. Probably less than two dozen Texas Exchequer notes are known to survive today.

Most of the notes were destroyed when they were redeemed in the 1840s, the note shows no sign of cancellation meaning it was likely never redeemed for its 25 cents face value.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

World's most expensive Purse - Himalayan Birkin

A Birkin handbag made of white crocodile skin is likely the most expensive purse in the world, after it sold for more than $300,000 in an auction at Christie’s in Hong Kong in late May.

The matte-white crocodile-hide handbag went for $300,168 — well above Christie’s initial price estimate of between $194,000 and $259,000. The handbag is believed to have fetched a higher price than any bag ever sold at auction. Himalayan Birkins—so named because the hide of a Nilo crocodile is laboriously dyed to create a gray and white coloring reminiscent of snow-capped mountains—are some of the most sought-after purses on earth. They include hardware made of 18-karat white gold and diamonds.
Hermés makes only or two of the purses each year. The diamond Himalayan Birkin is very likely the rarest and most desirable handbag in the world.