Vincent Astor had a fascination with penguins.They appeared on his personal stationary and a silvered chrome penguin hood ornament graced his favorite automobile, so it was fitting to commemorate the voyage with a presentation Galapagos penguin statuette, naturalistically modeled by sculptor James Lippit Clark for Gorham in sterling silver and signed in facsimile on the base by all his appreciative shipmates.
Memoirs of a Collector’s Daughter: A Summer of Baseball, Mike Piazza and Denny’s Grand Slam
By Kelly Kopa My father yells to the back of the van: “Today’s the day, I can feel it!” It was the summer of 1994. Denny’s had issued a new series of limited edition holographic major league baseball cards. As the van pulled into the Denny’s driveway, a faint sound of moaning and the occasional “dear […]
Making the Most of Your Search for that Elusive Piece
Finding that elusive piece can be frustrating. Below are tips and tricks on how to make the most of your live searches and your saved Wantlist searches to help you find exactly what you want. Here is a challenging search I face: I want to know when anything related to my last name (Shipman) comes […]
The Coin Geek: Bible Verse on U.S. Coins
While all current U.S. coins bear the national motto “In God We Trust,” a few designs from the 20th century actually cite a specific Bible verse.
The Coin Geek: Misplaced Dates
In the 1700s and 1800s, the dies used to strike coins were made partly by machine and partly by hand. Every step in the coin-manufacturing process creates the chance for another error, and misplaced dates (sometimes abbreviated MPDs) can be spectacular – if you know where to look.
The Coin Geek: A Kindness Repaid
Like any other professional numismatist, I have had many mentors who have given me assistance and insight throughout my career. Most of their gifts I could never pay back, so I pay them forward instead. Every once in a while, though, I get the chance to return a favor. In Spring 1998 I was 12 years […]
Overtaken By Events: Unexpected Collectibles
While I love looking at and studying old guns, my interest in “antique” firearms is almost purely from the shooter’s perspective. I don’t own any firearm I can’t shoot – no high dollar collectible wall hangers for me! When I started working on The Handbook of Modern Percussion Revolvers (from Krause Publications, due out in the […]
Chaos and Elkington Owls
Aestheticism is the Rodney Dangerfield of design movements: It can’t get no respect. Vintage English silver cups are quite common but examples from the Aesthetic Movement, decorated with owls, moons, stars and exotic plants, are the oddballs of the graphic design world and have a unique beauty if you look for it.