Monthly Archives: May 2009

1940’s Gay Interest Snapshot Photos Added to Inventory

I love old photos, so when I was given several World War II albums of photos to scan to put into Black Market Antique’s online inventory I rather enjoyed the task.  I’ve scanned scores of photos, mostly snapshots from circa 1942-43, and have even added a few of them to the online catalog.  I will be adding new photos as time permits over the next few weeks (I’m sure I’ll be given a whole different type of item to deal with before I get all of the photos uploaded).

The first group of photos that I have added includes some great photos of soldiers in swim trunks in beach scenes, including several of a pretty buff man named Chester.  Although Chester doesn’t have the ideal body of today, he was refreshingly buff compared to the other relatively scrawny soldiers in the photos.  These photos have been added the the Snapshots>Men>Gay Interest category under snapshots.

Upcoming Flea Markets & Antique Shows – Post Your Favorites

If you have a favorite flea market, post a comment to this blog article and we’ll add a link to the show.  If you just want to promote your own flea market or even markets or shows that you will attend as a dealer, this is the place to do it.  Black Market Antiques will not approve comments with links to markets and shows elsewhere in this blog unless they are deemed relevant to the specific article.

Please include as much info about the market/show which you are promoting including website address, location, contact info and dates.  Dealer rent or booth rental rates would also be helpful.  The markets that appear below are ones that have been submitted or have been written about by someone at Black Market Antiques on this blog.


Rogers Open Air Flea Market: Rogers, OH – Open every Friday from 7:30 AM till ?


Flea Market: Beside Bowling Alley on Rt. 322 north of Clarion, PA.  Saturdays & Sundays, dealer spots $10.  814-797-5597 for details.

Flea-Tique at Bull Creek: Tarentum, PA – Third Sunday each month through October.   $25 per spot for dealers.

Hazen Flea Market: Brookville/Hazen, PA -First Sunday each month, and Saturday before (the day before the first Sunday), dawn till evening, May through October.  $15 per spot per dealer per day.

Peddler’s Ridge Flea Market: Strattanville, PA – Exit 70 of Interstate 80, Saturdays & Sundays each week through end of summer.

Trader Jack’s Flea Market: Bridgeville, PA – Saturdays & Sundays 6:00AM – 3:00 PM year round.

Peddler’s Ridge Flea Market Open – Strattanville, PA

The Peddler’s Ridge Flea Market is now open for the summer on Saturdays and Sundays every week.  If you’re driving through Pennsylvania on Interstate 80, the flea market is located just a quarter mile off of exit 70 (Strattanville).  Peddler’s Ridge is not a big flea market, but they are open each weekend with a couple dozen vendors.

Perhaps the nicest thing about Peddler’s Ridge is the fact that all the vendors are antique dealers and the inventory is all antiques and vintage collectibles.  No new items or crafters.   Probably not worth a three hour drive for most antiquers, but if you’re in the area it’s worth a look.

500 Pounds of Antiques in a 4 Ounce Cell Phone

Last week we received new company phones here at Black Market Antiques.  My new phone was not much more technologically advanced than my personal phone, which is a couple of years old, but my new company phone is equipped with a GPS navigational system.  As I was playing around with the GPS I couldn’t help but thinking that it was so much nicer than having a map or an atlas.  It was then I realized that I had completely taken technology for granted.

I was reminded of a conversation I had with my Grandfather after I got my first cell phone more than a decade ago.  My Grandfather – who is now in his mid-90’s – told me that he could remember the first phone to be installed in his rural community.  A family that lived next door (1/2 mile away in rural Pennsylvania at the time) got the first phone.  He remembered the exact year some seventy years later, yet I can’t remember the date from his story ten years ago.  He said that everyone in the area already thought of the family as being rich, but when the family got a telephone they suddenly became obscenely rich in everyone’s eyes.  That family’s house still stands today and it’s ~1200 square feet of space seem tiny by today’s standards.

My new phone that weighs four ounces has more functions than 500 pounds worth of items that were either not invented or available to my Grandfather as a child.   It’s easy to forget that less than a hundred years ago there was no television, radios were bulky and often enormous, telephones were scarce in most of the country, the only medium for playing music was hand-cranked victrolas, if you wanted to look up a location in another county it required a thick heavy atlas…etc.  Even the seemingly simple function of having a calculator on my cell phone is a marvel when considering the type of  intricate and complex calculating machines available a hundred years ago, many of which weighed 25 pounds or more themselves.

I am in my early thirties and was born before video games, CD’s,  VCR’s, satellite television, personal computers and GPS….  The world has changed so much since I was a child, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like for my Grandfather to see such advances in technology, and even harder to imagine what kind of technology will be available sixty years from now when I’m his age.

Follow Black Market Antiques on Twitter

If you would like to keep up the newest most relevant news and sales from, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter.  Black Market Antiques uses Twitter to announce special sales and relevant information.  Starting in June we will begin having “Flash Sales” that will only last for around 15 minutes.  These sales will offer deep discounts on antiques and collectibles and will be focused on those customers who follow us on Twitter.

We will soon be adding a Wish List feature to the site to allow customers to save products of interest in one automated list that can be emailed or viewed as a web page.  This feature will be especially helpful during Flash Sales and will allow you quick access to your items of interest that have incredible sale prices that will only last for a short period of time.

Start following Black Market Antiques on Twitter now.

Cash for Gold Scams

If you watch television, listen to the radio or read any sort of periodical there’s no doubt you’ve seen or heard the “Cash for Gold” advertisements.  In down economic times you may be tempted to send one of these companies some of your jewelry, and if times are really bad, you might consider even sending in some sentimental family heirlooms in the hopes of making ends meet for another couple of weeks.  Before you send any type of gold to such a company, we highly suggest you reconsider.

The internet is full of sites warning of the Cash for Gold type companies and for good reasons.  And many message boards and blogs where the companies are mentioned end up turning into sounding boards for irate sellers who fell for the scam.  In addition to paying way below market prices for gold, these companies often attribute no value to any jewelry that has any type of stones (including valuable diamonds and other precious stones), which the company will say needs to be “processed.”  Also, they do not give any value to silver jewelry or other items that are sent to them.  And God forbid you send them a nice piece of jewelry that is platinum.

These companies also do not attribute any additional value for antique or collectible gold jewelry.  Many pieces of jewelry, especially antique jewelry have values that far exceed the weight of the metal’s value.  So your Grandma’s Tiffany 18k bracelet would be considered to be the same thing as he old gold fillings.

For some further information on such scams and more in depth tactics used by the companies, visit this website, or simply do a search in Google for “cash for gold scams” – with over half a million results, there’s lots of info out there.

So how do you sell your gold?  That’s a good question that many people obviously don’t know, otherwise the Cash for Gold companies would not be able to afford to spend millions on advertising.  The first thing you need to do is determine an estimated value of your gold.  The gold price at this very moment is $916.38 per troy ounce or $835 per regular ounce.  To get real time gold prices, we suggest this online precious metals calculator.  At the current gold price an average men’s class ring would be worth around $80 in scrap (using 6-7 g / ~4 pennyweight).

If your gold jewelry is not antique and was just purchased at a department store or jewelry store chain, it is unlikely to be worth much more than the scrap value when trying to sell it to anyone.  Obviously fancy engagement rings with diamonds would have additional value, and a jeweler should be consulted for an appraisal.  If your jewelry is antique, ask your local jeweler for an appraisal and get a second opinion from a knowledgeable antique jewelry dealer in your area – any antique store should be able to recommend someone.

Who do you sell your gold to?  Basically anyone who will give you a fair value.  Most buyers of gold and jewelry will give you roughly the same price (approximately 80% of the current gold market value).  Anyone offering significantly less should be avoided.  Buyers who are easily found anywhere include just about any jewelry store, pawn shops, decent resale or thrift stores, and just about any antique store.  Whoever you choose to buy your jewelry should never take any value off for diamonds in the jewelry.  Semi-precious stones and pearls may or may not result in a lowered value depending on their size and number on the jewelry in question.

How to Win a Street Fight With Vintage Flair

File this under ‘Things Gramma would rather you not run with’ and ‘Devices that should be used in a murder scene in a B horror movie.”

Up to the 1930’s, meat carving sets were basically the same.  You had a reasonable sized carving knife and a two-pronged fork that had sharp tines.   After the 30’s you start seeing a trend towards larger-than-necessary knives and the forks’ tines get a bit longer.  As you go forward in time, innovation and ingenuity (if you can stretch their definitions) lead to unnecessary developments, ie. giant gripping claws, super long tines, giant faux stag Bakelite handles, etc.

When the Gerity Carve-ette was produced, all further innovation was rendered useless.  No longer would housewives have to worry about their roast slipping during carving, nor I suppose, would they have to worry about being bothered by their husbands while cutting the roast.  The Carve-ette’s handle is ergonomic even by today’s standards; just holding it gives you a feeling of…well, let’s just say you won’t feel afraid of being attacked while holding it.

Steady a ham for carving or fend off an attacker with the Carve-ette.

Steady a ham for carving or fend off an attacker with the Carve-ette.

Hazen Flea Market Kicks Off Season

This weekend marked the first Hazen Flea Market of the season.  A few of us from Black Market Antiques went to the flea market yesterday and a couple will return again for more today.  The Hazen Flea Market is held the first Sunday of each month during the summer through October, and the Saturday before the first Sunday.  A complete schedule can be found here.

Hazen is an eclectic mix of antiques dealers spaced sometimes inconveniently between hardened sellers of Chinese tools and entrepreneurial housewives selling new shampoo and other things that women like to rub on their skin.  It rained about as hard as it could on Friday night, and that kept some vendors away, but still it was a decent turnout with most of the regulars returning.

Prices to me seemed, not cheap, but cheaper than normal.  There was lots of talk about the economy from many dealers.  A couple dealers expressed their interest in liquidating as much as possible so that they could pay their mortgage or this bill or that.  Hazen is in rural PA, just the place that President Obama was (in my opinion) referring to when he made the “guns and religion” comment, and Obama was the subject of many comments that I heard in discussions of the economy.  It seemed even the staunchest conservatives were using a tone of hope when discussing him.  A lot of dealers seemed very anxious about the economy.

I haven’t seen what all the other guys from Black Market Antiques purchased yet, but I picked up a bunch of nice smalls that will be added to the online inventory in the coming week.  Look for a real nice set of original Jarts lawn darts in a decent original box.  Not the biggest ticket item in the world, but they go fast when we have them.