I always advise people to collect objects that chronicle a historic event or relate to historic figures. It has been proven that in the market for art and antiques, these types of objects will hold their value long term. So, what’s more historic than the story of our nation’s presidents? When it comes to collecting American history, many objects of note relate to the men who have sat in the Oval Office.
Some of the most common collectibles relating to the presidential history relate to George and Martha Washington. For example, I have appraised Washington oil on canvas portraits, Mount Vernon plates, and other Washington collectibles. From historic documents with Washington’s authenticated autograph to plastic mugs featuring his well known likeness, Washington antiques and collectibles are of interest and often relate to the President’s courage in battle and vision for our young country.
George and Martha Dolls
Recently, I appraised a rare pair of dolls made by the Effanbee company featuring George and Martha Washington in period costumes. The George doll is dressed in a tricorn hat and military garb typical of the 18th Century and the Martha doll wears a lace trimmed dress and pink overcoat. These collectible Washington dolls by Effanbee are worth $1,500. Don’t just throw out those old dolls, particularly presidential or other celebrity style dolls, from the attic. You could be trashing some real cash.
Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, and Jackson are arguably the most popular Presidents when it comes to the 19th Century antiques and collectibles market. For instance, Jefferson coins and Monticello related items are always of interest while President Lincoln and Vice President Johnson campaign buttons have sold for upwards of $4,000 a piece.
Rough Rider Roosevelt
Since the 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt interesting personality and love of hunting was highlighted by some of the world’s toy companies during his administration. In 1909, the Schoenhut Toy Company manufactured the Teddy Roosevelt African safari set featuring a group of moveable action figures. The set came with a printed landscape scene and action figures of President Teddy and wild animals from lions and tigers to giraffes and gorillas. Recently, this antique toy set sold for $44,000.
Typically, presidential collectibles are a good investment as long as your piece is authentic and of historical value. That means those Barack Obama action figure dolls that are marked “collectible” on the box will probably not command big bucks. It’s the real Presidential objects that attract collectors.
Here are some local antiques dealers:
- , 3004 Skippack Pike, Worcester. (610) 584-5999
- , 7 W. Main St., Lansdale. (215) 362-2545. www.nostalgiccollectibles.com
- , 308 W. Main St., Lansdale. (215) 855-4335.
- , 725 W. Second St., Lansdale. (610) 635-2533.
- Alderfer Auction & Appraisal, 501 Fairgrounds Road, Hatfield. (215) 368-5477.
- Barn Attic, 324 Harleysville Pike, Harleysville. (215) 256-9305. Call between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for daily business hours.
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. As seen on NBC’s The Tonight Show and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, watch Dr. Lori on the national TV morning show, Daytime weekdays. Visit DrLoriV.com, Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.