Your Questions: Baseball Cards, Skillets, and Documents
Jeff Pearson, ISA-AM and Tom Helms, ISA-CAPP
The floodgates opened! Thank you for thestream of letters and emails on topics you want to know about in the appraisal world. In the short time since the latest issue of Sun Life hit the newsstands, I have not had enough hands to open all the mail, nor enough time to get a prescription change for the amount of emails my eyes try to focus upon. Ask the Appraiser is all about YOU! Due to lack of space, only two to three per month will be answered; but I can assure you, they will all be answered!
Q. I have a wide selection of sports cards, specifically baseball. Most of them are mid 1960's and most of the names are well-known: Jim Kaat, Catfish Hunter, Willie Stargel. I was wondering if there is any market for such
cards or if anyone cares about them anymore? -Charles, Sun City West
A. Well this is one heck of a way to start out! I grew up in the 80's and was as obsessed with card collecting. Sadly, in 1994 the big baseball strike changed me and my way of thinking about collecting. My interest declined and I have not gone through my collection since 2001. Unfortunately, the card industry is down, and it seems that there are fewer methods of dealing with these cards. Three options are to sell individual cards on eBay; find a collector of sports card memorabilia; or place them back where the dust collects and hope "America's pastime" regains notoriety once again. Using eBay is my personal preference because you have the opportunity to search the world for collectors. Most cards on the internet range between $1.00 to about $10.00, unless they are well-sought after or difficult to find.
Q. I discovered I have a Wagner cast Iron skillet with a Feb. 10, 1920 Griswald "Erie #8 self-basting lid. Since I have no grandchildren who want to use them, how can I sell them? -Bette in Sun City
A. What a shame! Children today have no idea about the benefits of cooking in quality cast iron; however, there are many buyers who do know that cast iron adds a touch of iron to the food and evenly holds the heat. Since the Griswald lid has greater value than the Wagner #8, it would be best to sell them together with the lid carrying the weight of the value. There are a number of ways to sell. You could consign it to an eBay seller and after commissions, expect $35.00 to $45.00; contact a local antique mall and expect about the same; or consign it to a local Sun City auction house and expect around $45.00. Cast iron is "hot" and
the local savvy buyers are ready to buy. We have recommended Brunk's Auction and the Brass Armadillo which may help you make a decision.
Q. I have original American Indian land documents and would like to know their values? Sun City
A. Ephemera, or printed materials that are not intended to last but are sometimes kept by collectors, is a small niche market with a small cadre of avid collectors. Values range from $1.00 to the thousands depending on the document and its condition. I suggest you contact Brian Kathenes a senior certified appraiser with International Society of Appraisers 800-323-5996, or if you want to sell, call Don Nidiffer, the American Historical Documents in Virginia 434-296-2067.
Most Values quoted are either local market based, or final eBay sales and NOT what the item might be priced to sell as that is NOT a value, but what the dealer hopes it might bring. Also, price guides are not used to determine value since the values given are established by the writer and rarely on completed sales. Most values given are not realistic in today's market; however, guides are valuable in helping to give both a historical review and more finite identifications and descriptions.
Keep the questions coming! Write to and/or email....Ask the Appraiser; 5525 North 12th Street; Phoenix, Arizona 85014 OR firstname.lastname@example.org