Consignment Stories

From the ridiculous to the sublime, the items we receive at Pacific Galleries are always changing and never-ending. Everyday is Christmas, and you never know what you are going to get.

Our first subject is a simple mid-20th century alacite lamp by the Aladdin Company. Aladdin began producing a material called alacite in the 1930s. Alacite is a is a type of opaque glass which had uranium included in its composition until 1941, after which this use was curtailed by the war effort. Like other types of uranium glass, it fluoresces when under a black light and gives off an unusual glow under any other type of lighting. A common alacite item might be a lamp body worth $10 to $40 today, but due to its fragility, the lamps decorative finial might be worth as much or more that the lamp body.

Other auction consignments weve received included a 1950-1965 hobbyhorse with casters, which appeals to horse lovers and western toy collectors alike. This example was covered in real pony skin or cowhide, and had a plastic saddle and tack, which made it very easy to date as that style of plastic is very of the era. This hobbyhorse was complete and in good condition, and we estimated it to sell in the $100 to $225 range.

Most curious were a large lot of antique railroad tickets from mostly the Boston area, together with a white metal flask and an old stamp or seal. Unfortunately, the market for rail ticketsespecially material from the east coast where everyday rail travel has been common for over a hundred yearsis practically nil in the United States (most interest is in the UK with demand for only tickets from the UK).

Another interesting consignment was a Meiji-era (1868-1912) Japanese wood hibachi with brass, bronze and mother-of-pearl inlay. Coals would be placed in the center and lit to warm a bronze teapot with a flattened bottom. This example had a lovely floral motif (its always such a knockout when inlay looks effortless and naturalisticcan you imagine what it takes to do that?). It was of a size to accommodate a large plant, and the bronze liner would protect the wood, so this is the type of item that could be repurposed by a collector to a more modern use. This particular lot had some major losses to the inlay, which knocked the estimate down considerably, so look for minimal damage with this sort of item for maximum valueunless you just want to use it as a planter of course!