This year's famous auction of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' belongings, and the worldwide frenzy around the sale of the pieces of "Camelot" put antique collecting in the media spotlight. We gasped at front page accounts of items like a costume jewelry necklace worth $1,000 sold for an astonishing $90,000. According to Ralph and Terry Kovel, this country's foremost experts on antiques, "The truth is that many pieces did sell for high, probably too...
This year's famous auction of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' belongings, and the worldwide frenzy around the sale of the pieces of "Camelot" put antique collecting in the media spotlight. We gasped at front page accounts of items like a costume jewelry necklace worth $1,000 sold for an astonishing $90,000. According to Ralph and Terry Kovel, this country's foremost experts on antiques, "The truth is that many pieces did sell for high, probably too high, prices."
Collectibles are not necessarily expensive or historical — they range from the absurd to the sublime — from Soupy Sales lunch boxes to barbed wire, silver tea sets, and Tiffany lamps. If you've ever wanted to know something more about your own collection, you've probably already browsed through, been given, heard of, or own a Kovels' price guide. Now in its 29th edition, Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List 1997 continues to help both novice and expert collectors price, care for, and appreciate their own pieces.
Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List 1997 contains over 50,000 of the most accurate, up-to-date prices of antiques and collectibles, ranging from a 10 cent bottle cap to a $57,000 Newcomb pottery vase. Hundreds of pictures and manufacturers' logos are included to help collectors identify their pieces correctly. Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List 1997 also explains how to distinguish between an original piece and a newer version or reproduction (not always easy to do). Because categories are cross-referenced when necessary and the index is so complete, the Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List 1997is a perfect companion for expeditions and treasure hunts to flea markets, antique dealers, auctions, and yard sales.
Husband and wife team Ralph and Terry Kovel have written about the antique business for over 40 years. They have written over 70 books with over three million copies in print, along with hundreds of newspaper articles for their weekly syndicated column, and more than a decade's worth of monthly magazine articles for House Beautiful. In addition, the Kovels produce two monthly newsletters with over 200,000 subscribers, and appear on many national television shows as experts on antiques and collectibles.
Ralph and Terry Kovel embarked on their career as antiquing gurus while trying to furnish their first apartment on a budget, according to a newspaper bio. "Neither of us was trained in art, antiques or writing," Terry remembers. "We came from nowheresville as far as the experts were concerned. Maybe that's why we can write what we write, because we think like beginners and write in plain language."
They published their first guide, the Dictionary of Marks: Pottery and Porcelain in 1953. The first edition of Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles, published in 1968, was the first commercially published book to be sold in bookstores that was written and printed on a computer.
Since then, the Kovels have steadily expanded their reach as foremost authorities on old stuff of all kinds. The Kovels have been on television since their 1969 public-television series Know Your Antiques. Their current television program, the award-winning Flea Market Finds with the Kovels, begans its second season on HGTV (Home and Garden Television) in the fall of 2002. They also have a syndicated newspaper column.
Since 1974 the Kovels have published a national subscription-only newsletter, Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, which has more than 150,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada.
The Kovels are obsessive collectors, and they still make room for new "finds" in their antiques-filled home in Ohio. Their most recent purchase: an 1880s shoeshine stand. They still haven't figured out where they'll put that one. The Kovels home also includes a library filled with 18,000 books about antiques, although they do find time for other types of reading -- Ralph tends to read business-related books, while Terry especially enjoys murder mysteries.
Good To Know
Ralph and Terry Kovel ("Kovel" rhymes with "Oh Hell!") have collected and worked together throughout their 50-plus-year marriage -- Yes, and they are still married! They have two married children and three granddaughters, all of whom live in 1950s houses.
Terry taught math at a boys' school. Ralph has been in the food business as a manufacturer and executive for years, which explains the 1890s country store in their basement.
The Kovels' strangest claim to fame: They once were offered as shopping companions as part of a prize on a Publishers Clearinghouse contest. They were the subject of a question on the TV game show Jeopardy, cited as experts on an episode of the TV series Northern Exposure, and mentioned in a murder mystery by Elmore Leonard.