You can find an amazing variety of artifacts, antiques, and decorative items from around the world at the Leigh Acres Flea Market every Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Some of the wonderful items on sale include cast iron skillets, cast iron banks, chalk figure banks, McCoy pottery, milk crates, milk jugs and a variety of bottles.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron skillets have found new appeal both as cookware and as collectibles. The casting of iron cookware is an ancient technique originating in China 1,800 years ago. The modern method of casting was developed in Europe in 1707, and has changed little since then. Cast iron pots and pans were considered more valuable than gold because of their importance to daily life in the 18th Century. And their value is rising again.
Cast iron cookware can be worth from $15 to $1,500. Top sellers are old and unusual items by cookware makers Griswold and Wagner. Oval skillets, waffle irons, Dutch ovens, and roasting pans go for $40 to as much as $500. Some muffin pans are worth $2,000.
Cast Iron Banks
Cast iron banks appeared in the mid-19th century as a way to encourage children to save money. These banks depict historical, legendary or everyday events. They can also depict people, animals, buildings, clocks, and vehicles such as cars, tanks, and airships.
Cast iron banks can be worth $125 to $150. Cast iron mechanical banks, with moving parts, are rarer and can be worth much more. The rarest are worth more than $10,000. Some have even sold for $100,000. Even banks with signs of wear can be valuable, as the original paint should never be touched up.
Chalkware figurines are actually made in a mold of gypsum, the main ingredient in plaster of paris. First made in America in 1768, they became popular in the mid-19th century.
Considered a form of folk art, figurines in good condition are often worth about $200. Unique and rare examples can be worth more than $1,000.
Those made in the 19th century were mass produced but hand painted, making none of them exactly alike. They were not glazed or fired. Figures of animals, fruit, and flowers are common. Many depict angels, saints and cherubs. Tableaus with figures of the Christ child, Mary and Joseph, are especially valued by collectors.
The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company made pottery from 1910 to 1991, changing direction in 1933 from utilitarian wares to decorative items. McCoy pottery is probably the most collected pottery in America. Antique pieces are highly collectible and are available at all price levels.
McCoy cookie jars can be found for less than $100, including the popular strawberry and honey bear jars. The astronaut cookie jar is worth $500, in good condition. A rare Gleep cookie jar sold for $2,500 earlier this year.
Milk crates and milk jugs
Wooden and metal milk crates can be worth from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on condition and attractiveness. Milk jugs and milk cans are generally worth $25 to $100; more if they are rare or have a special history.
Antique and vintage bottles come in all sizes, shapes and values. Of course, a 100-year-old Coca Cola bottle will be more valuable than one 10-years-old.
The type of bottle is just one factor that affects value. Also important is the condition, including whether it has the original label or contents. Even the color of the bottle makes a big difference: clear, amber and aqua have a low value – black, teal, green, and olive have a medium value – purple, yellowish green, cobalt, and puce have a high value.
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