Looking back on this past year, I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see 2020 leave. On the whole it’s been quite a tumultuous year (understatement) with the Covid-19 pandemic taking center stage –as well as its effect on all our lives.

The light at the end of the tunnel however, is the vaccine, which is coming soon. I, for one, will be quite happy to see life get back to normal.

And for all of us antiques collectors, shopping and live auctions will return with a new vigor!

Some of the resell it shops in my area are open, with limited days and hours, and I still enjoy “masking up” and wandering through the shops looking for that unusual piece. I’ve also purchased some items at online auctions. But one of my recent finds came from an area resale shop.

It is a medium-sized brass box in a basketweave design and also features metal braiding around all the edges. The measurements are 6 inches by 4 inches and 2 inches deep. The box is very pretty and is stamped, “Made in India,” but what’s more interesting to me is that is has a Marshall Field sticker on the bottom. Marshall Field’s sold to Macy’s in 2005, but I have the feeling this piece is older than just 15 years.

And while I purchase some items with an eye to selling them, I think I will keep this find!

For those who are interested in some online sales, here’s a few interesting auctions that were sent to me via e-mail.

The Mahlstedt Gallery in Westchester County, New York, just outside New York City, which has entered into an exclusive collaboration with the famous Swiss art gallery Alexander E. Raber in Zurich, to sell a rare and extensive collection of limited-edition bronze sculptures by the renowned Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dali (1904-1989), throughout all of North America. Each sculpture is numbered and just 350 of each sculpture exist. The collaboration also includes artworks by other notable European artists. The Dali sculptures and other artworks will appeal to collectors, interior designers and art enthusiasts and would make wonderful and enduring holiday gifts. If you need to know more about this exclusive collaboration, or the sculptures and other artworks in the inventory, you may call the Mahlstedt Gallery at 914-246-0526; or, you can send an email to info@art415ny.com.

An online-only auction is Thursday, December 17th, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, by One of a Kind Collectibles, based in Coral Gables, Fla. Bidding is currently open at www.OAKauctions.com. Top lots include a 1792 letter written by Thomas Jefferson revealing him to be America’s first “foodie” and a 1953 glamour photo of Marilyn Monroe, signed to “Bob” (presumed to be Robert Mitchum, her co-star in a movie from that year). Many other items are signed by some of history’s brightest stars, such as Albert Einstein, Buddy Holly and Man Ray. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call David Gindy at 800-570-7273; or, you can email him at David@OAKauctions.com.

Morphy’s in Lancaster County, Pa., will conduct a Dec. 15-18 four-session auction that consists of a Dec. 15 Edged Weapons & Militaria session and Dec. 16-18 Field & Range Firearms sessions. A plentiful selection of antique and modern rifles, shotguns, handguns, accessories and rare ammunition is featured in this auction series, with estimates to please every pocketbook. Two unique and historically important Civil War items — both pertaining to the Union Army’s early use of telegraphic communications on the battlefield — are among the top highlights. One is an extremely rare Beardslee Magneto-Electric Military Telegraph that was adopted for military use because of its portability and advanced technology. The unit has an alphabet dial and pointer instead of the then-typical key for transmission. The operator needed only to move the lever to points on the dial representing the chosen alphabetic letters to compose his message, while on the receiving end, the dial would move to the corresponding position on the dial. Estimate: $35,000-$100,000. Morphy’s December 15-18, 2020 auction series, consisting of a Dec. 15 Edged Weapons & Militaria session and Dec. 16-18 Field & Range Firearms sessions, will be held at the company’s Denver, Pennsylvania gallery, starting each day at 10 a.m. ET. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Questions: call 877-968-8880 or email info@morphyauctions.com. Online: www.morphyauctions.com.

As this is our last issue of the year, I want to take this opportunity to thank all our writers and contributors to both Collectors Journal and Barr’s Postcard News & Ephemera. Writers who supply our informative articles include: Harry Rinker, Mary Jane Lamphier, Anne Gilbert, Jeff Figler, Rosemary McKittrick, Mike Ivankovich, Mark Roeder, Donald Brian Johnson, Ron Stookey, Ruth Hanchett, Robert Dissinger, Charles Bush, William Judnick and Ken Hall, as well as syndicated writers, Helene Fendelman, Joe Rosson, Katy Laughridge and Terry and Kim Kovel. We also enjoyed lighthearted antiquing moments from John Stinger’s cartoons. We will miss the articles by the late Matthew Anish, Roy Nuhn and William Pepe, who always wrote interesting stories for Barr’s and sometimes for Collectors Journal as well.

I had another wonderful time this past year, and one of the highlights was appearing as a guest on Mike Ivankovich’s Radio program back in September. I hope everyone enjoys a joyous Christmas and holiday season! Please keep us in mind with Auction Action news; unusual collections, young collectors, club and convention news, mystery items and other antiques-related matters. We can be reached at editor@collectorsjournal.com; meego929@aol.com or at (319) 472-4763.