While you may associate lead glass candy dishes, vases and candlesticks with Grandma, the knickknacks are officially trending again. “High-quality crystal collectibles are making a comeback and are often overlooked,” explains antique expert Dr. Lori Verderame.
If Mom gifted you any brightly colored casserole dishes, you might want to check them out on eBay. Collectors will snap up vintage Pyrex for top dollar; one starburst-patterned container recently sold for over $2,000.
Don’t be fooled by the contents. “Even inexpensive perfumes can be housed in expensive bottles,” Dr. Verderame says. “Many perfume bottles are made by Lalique and other famous designers of glass and crystal.”
Everyone loves the holidays, and the decorations are no exception. Paper, glass or cotton, a wide variety of vintage ornaments can fetch high prices. Look for any Shiny Brites or German Kugels lurking in your collection.
The baking season is right around the corner, but sort through your drawers before churning out batches of gingerbread cookies. Vintage cookie cutters — especially the coveted “heart in hand” variety — can go for $50 apiece or more on resale sites.
Speaking of cookies, don’t forget the jars. Retro offerings also earn high marks from appraisers. Friar Tuck figurines, a line of monk-shaped tableware made by Goebel in the ’50s, specifically hold value. “Like their German Hummel relatives, they are widely collected internationally,” Dr. Verderame says.
A single piece from the late 19th century can go for up to a $1,000, but don’t discount mid-century designs. Interior designers love rattan poufs by Franco Albini, and the real deal will sometimes sell for over $300.
To you, it might just be a cozy throw, but these handmade works of art regularly fetch thousands of dollars at auction. Popular designs include crazy quilts, yo-yo quilts and grandmother’s flower garden quilts.