Some Prices have dropped more than others

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Some Prices have dropped more than others

Post by Gmemg » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:44 pm

During a recent clearance of a Collection i found all sorts of interesting stuff - Fine machines, lots of interesting records, a lot of ephemera & paperwork and reference books about Gramophones & records and a lot of junk in sheds as well - that's all typical but what's not typical is that i found something of an "old Friend" i don't mean one entombed in amongst the rotting machines in a damp shed forgotten for 30 years (although it's not impossible and is a great fear of mine) no i found a copy of the 1980 Miller's Antiques Price Guide !


(I don't mean the guide to the rubbish spoken by Dealers produced by "Suicidal" Steve TMF Admin) Printed in 1979 it was the first of it's kind and a book i haven't seen in many years - the odd thing is that i have an almost photographic memory for it's pages and prices and actually sat down for some time looking through it with something akin to , well, joy but also rather a lot of sadness as well !

Sadness ? YES actually it is - that week i had bought a longcase clock for £45 i n Auction - not because of some shady "ring" adventure but because that;'s all it fetched in a room full of dealers & collectors - it had started at £10 and even though i didn't want it i decided to Bid having not seen such a thing sell for so little , when i spoke to some of the elderly , white haired "trade" Present they only shook their heads ruefully :

"You'll wait for a profit on that they said"

I was astonished - all right it is only an Oak Cased, Country Clock with Painted Dial but when i got it home it worked perfectly and inside was a receipt from a long gone Antiques shop (yes they did sell Antiques unlike to - day ) for £750 dated 1986 it seems odd but that's happening a lot nowadays as there simply isn't a demand for "Brown Furniture" as hammered home by "bargain Hunt" and other annoying TV Shows which like most TV doesn't actually reflect true life but , alas influences far too many people

But back to the book - People don;t know now what a change it was to have reference books with PICTURES and PRICES in those days - until then you had learned tomes about Porcelain with fairly crude drawings of Chelsea or Dresden Marks etc and even Books with Artist's Signatures so you could check the authenticity (And so could forgers !) but little else - for the hardline picture dealer you could subscribe to the "Art Sales Index" for (I think ) £1100 per year and they would send you pages with the details of all pictures sold in the uk with prices - that sounds handy but in fact all you got was an Auction house description (Not always accurate) and a tiny B/W photo of the picture, it's size and a price and that's IT, there were the "lyle" collectable price guides but they had fairly crude "drawings of Goss cottages and other things and were of little help

In those "dim & distant days beyond recall" most dealers had to rely on their experience and "experts" who were mostly then as now pompous, ill informed cretins who would often give talks to the Women's Institute for a 21/ fee + Tea & bikkies then often bought the best things for nothing and just as often followed the best looking ones home for a quickie & a bottle of cheap sherry !

"all Part of the Service madam"

As one pompous old twit i knew used to say - in the gramophone line there were a few books written about record collecting in the 40s & 50s but they soon became known for their omissions rather than their completeness "Not in Bauer" was the cry from most dealers, Proudie's first book came out and wasn't bad but is very general but was better than nothing but little else happened until the EMI Collection book (ripped off in Bedford as usual)

So for the General Antiques dealer the miller's Guides were a revelation and many profited by it ! not surprisingly as most Antiques Dealers (no inverted Commas as they really did deal in antiques then) bought them or were given them by Friends and Family (rarely will you find a dedication from a fellow member of the trade !) and then wanted a complete set - since like most early ventures the publishers didn't print many of the first two volumes the publishers hurredly brought out a compilation volume of vols 1 & 2 so by the late 1980s the first Volume was highly sought after , i used to get £^0 for a copy and there was NO shortage of buyers - in fact i had a waiting list for them and often had to pay up to £50 for a copy JUST to get one to sell on

Like most of th e"trade" i had a "reference library" including a complete set of the Miller's Guides but after the internet arrived they became less and less relevant and just after the turn of the Century i sold almost the lot off (I kept the combined Vols 1 & 2 ) and hadn't given a thought to them until finding this one volume and so i had a look on Amazon and LO ! there they were - most Volumes were and still are priced at between 10p and £4 + £2.80 Postage ! what a sad come down but what of volume one ? could i still get £60 for one ? Vol one with dustjacket in MINT Condition on Amazon was priced at..............1p + postage so £2.81 ! and there were 8 copies available and so much to the chagrin of the Post lady i ordered the lot and have now seen the price soar to 40p per copy + postage certainly the best Pro - rata investment i've ever had !
Estott : "An Ancient Half - Mad Uncle "

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Corruption in the CLPGS :
The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character .Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle.

Money. Greed. Naivety. Falsehoods. Exploitation. Welcome to the wonderful world of gramophones!

"He has as much comedic talent as the Straight man on a Linguaphone record "
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