By Kimberley Mathisen


I was happy to see that “Antiques Roadshow” is back with new episodes that bring updated prices from past shows. Just last week there were quite a few items that surprised me with new values. In general, some prices went down; others remained the same and a few others went up quite high. The original episode came from Philadelphia in 2006; so we’re looking at 14 years’ difference in values.

A yellow diamond ring from the 1920s or 1930s boasted a 3.2 octagon-shaped carat weight with smaller diamonds around it. In 2006 it was appraised at $75,000 to $100,000. Sadly, that value dropped considerably in 2020 –the valuation went down to $45,000 to $50,000. I mistakenly thought that diamonds would always go up in value –maybe they’re not a girl’s best friend after all.

Another interesting group of items was a set of posters purchased for $10 in a book about the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Inside the book were three Art Deco posters from the 1939 New York World’s Fair which were valued by Nicholas Lowry from Swann Galleries in New York. In 2006, he valued them at $1,500 to $2,200. Today, the same posters went up to $2,200 to $3,300.

By far, one of the most interesting items was a prosthetic arm from the Civil War. The man’s ancestor had fought in several battles, was taken prisoner, exchanged, and went back to fight some more. He also had a picture of his ancestor in his full dress blue uniform (Union Army) as well as a bone neckerchief holder that was carved by a fellow inmate at the prison and the articulated prosthetic arm. The entire group was valued a $2,500 to $3,000 in 2006 and that price rose to $5,000 in 2020.

This issue of Collectors Journal also features a pull out of Barr’s Post Card News & Ephemera, our sister publication. Fans of postcards, paper and other ephemera will want to check out this new feature. Barr’s will continue to publish twice a month and be included with Collectors Journal.

As gatherings of large crowds continues to be discouraged without face masks and spacing, our antiques industry is adapting with new methods of auctioning as well as other special sales and shows. Here are a few upcoming auctions and sales that I received via e-mail:

An online-only Estate Treasures auction is planned for (tomorrow) Wednesday, July 8th, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, by Nye & Company Auctioneers, based in Bloomfield, N.J. The auction will be headlined by a wonderfully rich, diverse and eclectic collection from the estates of Cornella and Simon Michael Bessie of Lyme, Conn. The Bessies are well-known and respected in the literary publishing world. Michael had a top editorial position at Harper & Brothers and co-founded Atheneum Books (both in New York City). Internet bidding via,, If you need additional information about this auction, you may call John Nye or Andrew Holter at 973-984-6900; or you can email them at or

A rare Posters Auction #81, takes place Tuesday, July 21st by Poster Auctions International, online and live in the New York City gallery. Around 500 rare and iconic works, most of them lithographs and maquettes, will come up for bid. Included will be never-before-seen designs, including 43 Spanish Art Nouveau posters, 16 hand-painted posters from North Vietnam and works from Cappiello, Cheret, Loupot, Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Online bidding is via If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Jessica Adams at 212-787-4000; or, you can email her at

A Design for the Home and Garden Auction is planned for Sunday, July 26th, by Andrew Jones Auctions, based in downtown Los Angeles, Calif. The sale will start at 11 a.m. and is online-only, with no live gallery bidding. The auction is packed with more than 250 lots of important fine art, design, antiques and accessories, pulled from collections and estates across the country and throughout California. Internet bidding will be via, and the Andrew Jones website. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Aileen Ward at 213-748-8008; or, you can email her at

Our next publication date will be July 21. Please contact us with mystery items; Auction Action news; club and convention news; and unusual collections. As always, we can reached at; or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.