What's Selling on eBay - August 2013
By Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
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The following items sold recently on eBay. The comments are those of expert appraiser Deborah Abernethy.

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$5,114.61 (28 bids): Antique 1880s(?) Johnson Clapham and Morris Miners Lamp. I am selling this very old and interesting miner’s lamp. It is a strange-looking lamp with the air intake/exhaust on the side. Marked on the top, “Johnson Clapham and Morris Manchester Deflector Lamp” with “A. Howat” over the top. Its serial number is 6, one of the first made. In the center, it has air vents which can be opened and closed. It has Howats’ patent mark in three different places. It is 8 inches high, not counting the hanger. No cracks in the glass, and it looks like it will work okay. (Photo, courtesy of eBay seller marko4280.)

DBA: This is a form of old safety lamp to provide illumination in coal mines. We all know from news stories how dangerous it is to be a miner, especially in the early days! This lamp is designed to operate in air that may contain coal dust or gases, both of which are potentially flammable and/or explosive. Howat patented a feature in 1886 that was used by many manufacturers. These lamps have a system which separates the incoming air from the exhaust air, making a protection from the flame. Flame safety lamps have now been replaced with sealed electric lights for use in mines.

This is a high price for a miner’s lamp. However, this lamp has a horn-looking feature on the side with which I am not familiar, and this could have something to do with the rarity and/or value of this object. 

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$5,399.99 (12 bids): K.E.M. Weber Art Deco Chrome Triple Band Sofa. Up for auction is a super rare K.E.M. (Karl Emmanuel Martin) Weber triple band sofa. This all-original sofa was designed for the Lloyd Manufacturing Company in 1934 by Kem Weber, 1889-1963. It measures 78 inches long, 29.5 inches high, and 39 inches deep. This sofa is featured in Lloyd’s 1937 and 1938 catalogs. Production of this sofa ceased in 1941 due to WWII. Original K.E.M. Weber sofas are nearly impossible to find. This remarkable sofa is structurally sound. The chrome is in good condition. The upholstery is in good condition, with the exception of the two small holes; one hole is covered by the rear back cushion. Both easily repairable. The original seat plyboards are intact. The rosewood armrests are original and in great condition. This sofa is the rarest and most sought after single seat cushion style. This particular sofa was purchased new by a very prominent family in Bucyrus, Ohio. These sofas have been known to bring up to $12,000. (Photo: eBay seller lincolnwayauction, www.lincolnwayauction.com)

Karl Weber Art Deco Chrome Triple Band Sofa

Karl Weber’s airline chair from 1934.
(Photo: blog.mam.org )

DBA: Karl Emmanuel Martin Weber (1889-1963) was born in Germany where he was graduated from the Kunstgewerbeschule, studying under Bruno Paul. After graduating, he went to work in Paul’s office. He was sent to San Francisco to supervise work on the German pavilion built for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. World War I prevented him from returning home, leaving him stranded in California. He stayed in the U.S. after the war, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1924. He established an independent industrial design studio in Hollywood, and he was a furniture and industrial designer, architect, art director and teacher. He created several designs in the “Streamline” style. His best known work is the “Airline” chair, designed in 1934. I have seen the airline chair sell for $16,000.

These sofas are hard to find in good condition. The airline chair sells for many times more than his other designs. This sofa is more of a retail price. With the rarity of the sofa and the popularity of early modern design, one would expect the value to increase, so I would consider this good for buyer and seller. 

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$4,750 (33 bids): Adams-Bagnal Jandus Gyrofan All Original Electric Gyro Fan. This fan is in as-found condition. I just cleaned the name plates to read the information. On the frame is the following writing: “THE ADAMS-BAGNALL ELECTRIC COMPANY, CLEVELAND, O., U.S.A. PAT'D APR. 3, 1906, PAT. APL'D FOR, FORM E.” On the two fan motors is the following information: “THE ADAMS-BAGNALL ELECTRIC COMPANY, CLEVELAND, OHIO, U.S.A. No. 70540 Volts 110, Cycles 60.” This fan is, considering its age, in very good condition and perfect working!

This fan turns while the fans run, and the breeze of the air is evenly distributed throughout the room. The two fan blades measure 14.5 in diameter. The name plate is not scratched and in very good condition. The switch is original and working, too. This fan has never been altered, re-wired or restored. Underneath all the dirt and grime is the original shiny black lacquer! The dirt actually preserved the surface of the fan. The nameplates had some dried layer of something, maybe grease. There is no corrosion on the name plates. One of the fan blades is slightly bent and needs to be straightened out. The blades need to be re-painted to make them look nice again. This fan is all complete and shows little signs of wear and tear; the bearings are very tight, so tight the dried oil prevented the fans from spinning freely. After applying some WD40 and turning the fans, they run very smoothly and quietly. The bearings have no play whatsoever.

DBA: This fan was manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio, in the years 1903 through the 1920s. These fans rotate from the thrust of air produced by the spinning blades, and they are quiet while moving large amounts of air. The design and engineering of this fan is very good. We are beginning to see more of these types of designs in these days of “green” and “energy efficient” concepts. These old fans are rare, but they can be found, and the price depends, primarily, on the condition. This is a fair price for this object. 

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$3,272 (bids 41): AAFA Early German Carette Tin Clockwork Paddle-Wheeler Boat Antique Tin Toy Boat. It measures 20 inches long x 6.25 inches x 12.5 inches tall, weight 3 lbs. 8.4 oz., of German origin, circa 1900-1920; Carette or Fleischmann maker; marked lower port hull "Made in Germany." This antique clockwork toy boat is in untouched, as-found condition. Made of tin in the scarce paddle-wheeler form. Original mast, stacks, working anchor winch, paddle, all railings and roofs, six complete ventilators, stairs, working rudder and cradle. Missing rear mast, anchors, flags, three handles missing on tiller wheel. Original paint remnants of red, white, blue and gold-gilt. Old partial red overpaint to hull. Clockwork not working; paddles turn with light resistance. (Photo: eBay seller oldwellantiques.)

DBA: There seems to be much lack of manufacturing identification on these early tin toys. Carette did mark his toys with a company logo. However, most tin toys being sold from this era are all marked “Carette Fleischmann Bing Marklin,” as though no one knows who made the object. This could be due to wear on the certain toys with the mark damaged or lack of identification sources remaining from a war-torn area. Some toys do sell for larger amounts of money than we see in this exchange. For those toys with certain identification, the values all tend to be higher. This price is an appropriate retail price for this toy as described in the listing. 

Deborah Abernethy is a certified appraiser with the International Association of Appraisers. She can be contacted at 404-262-2131 or Deborah@expert-appraisers.com . Her website is www.expert-appraisers.com .




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