5 Budget Friendly Antiques Under $10
Start scouring flea markets, online auctions, and yard sales for these wallet-friendly scores—from miniature busts to rubber stamps.
1. Composer Busts
Mass-produced by a handful of outfits during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, these diminutive statuettes served as popular gifts from piano teacher to student. Herco Industries, the accessories division of Hershman Brothers Musical Instrument Company, cast the four-inch-tall chalkware maestros below (from left, Paderewski, Mozart, and Mendelssohn). We snagged the trio for $9.
2. Bottle Openers
The combo bottle-and-can opener debuted shortly after Prohibition—when brewers first started marketing canned beer—and remained prevalent until the pull tab’s release in 1962. Often given away with the purchase of a six-pack, the simple tools are in plentiful supply today. Snap them up for as little as $1 each.
3. Advertising Hangers
Beginning in the early 20th century, tailors, haberdasheries, dry cleaners, and even banks imprinted their logos, slogans, and other information on these wooden freebies—a publicity tactic that endured through the 1970s. The examples here, all under $5 a pop, hail from between the 1930s and the 1960s.
4. Photographers’ Proofs
To create this two-headed horse, the developer flipped the negative and exposed the print a second time; but there’s no telling if that move was intentional or merely a darkroom mistake. We unearthed these circa-1915 prints in a box of discarded proofs, priced at under a buck each—evidence that it’s worth digging for special effects or gaffes (double exposures, light leaks, awkward cropping) that add extra interest to otherwise ordinary works.
5. Rubber Stamps
The first rubber stamp was introduced in the late 1860s. Businesses adopted the efficient labels over the next few decades, and the technology remained predominant for more than a century. The post-1930 devices at right recorded dates, payments, approvals, employee attendance on time sheets, and quality-control inspections. (Check out the workers’ names—Topsy! Shirley! Dessie!) Now the throwbacks can be sourced for as little as $3 per stamp. Original article posted on Country Living
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