A chancer with a fondness for small wooden things and decent threads sets out to make his fortune in the world of antique dealing.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Things are tense here at the um...I haven't made up a name for my imaginary lair yet. But things are tense. Here's how it happened:

Went off this morning to an antiques fair at Kinver, a village near my old manor of Kidderminster. Now all was looking pretty innocuous to begin with: housed in a primary school, drizzly day, we might be in an out in ten minutes. Well, upon stepping up in the place it became clear that fate had a different tale in store. Soon after arriving, it became clear that the place was stuffed with cigarette cards.

Not totally stuffed, there was room to walk around, but very little. As you'll know from a couple of posts ago, ciggy cards brought me a windfall recently, and it turns out that I now see nothing but $$$ whenever I clap eyes on them. It was a frantic half hour or so, but I emerged with the following:

Repro Tennis Cards:

A full set of cards depicting crisp 'lads and lasses playing jaunty tennis in the 1920s. Now don't get excited, because the cards themselves are from 1997. They're a reprint of a set from 1928 so I won't be retiring off them. Thing is, they're in top nick, they were £2 and they're a full set. So they tick a couple of boxes. There are even some swish horizontal ones showing action poses, with stubborn grass-stains surely only seconds away. Presumably these are the equivalent of the rare 'shiny' stickers one might get in one's Panini packs as a ten-year-old. These were gold-dust, and could be relied upon in the event of forgetting one's packed lunch as one's peers would always be open to a straight swap.

Manchester Regal Cinema Programme

Chek it out, it's got Chubby Checker on the front!

He's doing a little dance. He's on there because the Regal were showing his film Twist Around the Clock (they claim it's 'Twist-errific') that month. Judging by the other stuff in there, it was February of 1961. Gawd knows if anyone out there collects cinema programmes... I probably should have thought about that. Hmm... well this is the best way to find out. I'm a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing really, because the guy's not chubby at all. I mean, he's a professional. Dude was constantly doing the Twist for like, ten years. He had to have horribly overdeveloped lats. Maybe that's why folks thought he was fat. I'm rambling now, so as to avoid talking about how little money this will earn. The porky twat.

Wolves Season Review 1995/6

From back when season review DVDs came with very long booklets and no DVD. 1995/6 was a dog's arse of a season for us really, but I'll still read it before I try and get rid of it.

I shelled out £4 for this litany of underachievement, and to make matters worse, some cheeky scrote's scribbled their name in it. Worse still, it's the chairman! The manager has stuck his name in the next page as well. Sadly it's not Graham Taylor because he was sacked by the time the book came out. I love Taylor.

So is there a market for tat like this? The pictures don't even move. I suppose I'd have to find a credulous Wolves fan and hope they take leave of their senses or have a weakness for collectibles. It worked for the bloke who sold it to me, so it could work again.

Film Stars Ciggy Cards

This is the last of my halfway sensible purchases. Writing this is like watching the last half hour of TV before you have to go and do an exam. Soon I'll be fessing up to a huge moment of folly, so for now I'm going to enjoy the last grains of hope to be shaken out of today's purchases.

I love these cards! Two full sets of Players' cigarette cards featuring famous film stars of the 1930s, the first from '34 and the second from '38. Check some of them out:

Maurice Chevalier, bitches. How pleased does he look? So pleased. He always seems like a jolly chap in pictures. You could fry an egg on his hair.

Wait, let me look up this woman's name. That's right! It's Boots Mallory. I don't know what you'd have to do these days to get a nickname like 'Boots', but it wouldn't be cheap. It's the kind of nickname that speaks of a bygone age of swagger and innocence but she probably got the name by slurping coke out of a boot.

It's Clarke Gable. The thing that this shows is that with out his moustache, Clarke looked quite a lot like William H. Macy. I'm not sure whether or not H. Macy knows this, but someone should let him know that he just needs to sprout a 'tache and all women are his. Oh shit wait, he's married to Felicity Huffman isn't he? Has he done well there? I can't decide. I suppose that if I were to be jduging how well Felicity had done then I'd judge her harshly for ending up with Bill H., so on that logic he's done well. But think how much better you could have done with some hair on your lip, WHM!

I nabbed these two sets for £4 each. Now, I checked Ebay and that's about market value, which is a bit disappointing. It's not as disappointing as what follows though.

Sports Cards x 4

I met this old chap, and he had a bunch of sports cards. He said he was turning £85 next birthday and wanted to get rid of his stock over the next 12 months. The four sets that I wanted were priced at £102 so I offered him £85. I thought that was pretty cute, but he wanted £90. Fair enough. If I make it to 85 then I'll be holding out for 90 as well.

I was happy enough with this whole load of cards when I bought them. They were all full sets from the 20s and 30s in good condition and they even came with dinky plastic holders. One of them, below, is a set of just fast dudes. That's the theme. So you've got guys like Jesse Owens in the same set as, like Squadron Leader J. W. Gillan. It's completely mental that you used to be able to get trading cards of famous soldiers.

I digress. The others that I bought were cricketers from 1928 and 1938, and footballers from 1935. Now, given that I sold a set of footballers from 1951 for fifty quid last month, you'd think that these even older ones would fetch a sum more...right? Right. Well not right, but I just wanted to say it and believe that it was true.

I got home with them and was all like 'hey Ebay, check these out. Don't lose your shit, I need you to give me a level-headed analysis of what these are going for'. Ebay just kind of looked at me and shook his head like I'd gone too far. I can't really bring myself to write down how little this stuff's selling for right now, but suffice it to say that it's about -

Oh shit, wait! It's not all that bad. Over on Ebay.com they're doing a bit better. I won't make profit but maybe I'll not loose as much of my stake as I thought. Sorry, screw this blogging nonsense, I'm over to list them right now. I'll let you know how it goes...

No, hang on, these prices are all in dollars...