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In my last column I wrote that I would share which antiques and collectibles I find are selling well in today’s market. With David Letterman’s recent retirement I thought that it was appropriate to offer a top 10 list similar to his, counting down backwards to the top item.

  1. 1960’s and earlier toys, comic books and other collectibles
  2. Early Chinese and other Asian antiques
  3. Mid-20th century Scandinavian and other modern design art and furnishings
  4. Arts and crafts and art deco design furnishings
  5. 1960’s and earlier baseball and other sports memorabilia
  6. Advertising signs, posters and displays
  7. Gold coins and jewelry – silver coins, flatware and hollow ware
  8. Important historical memorabilia
  9. Antique and classic automobiles and motorcycles
  10. Paintings by listed artists

Just limiting the list to ten was difficult because there are plenty of items that are selling well so I took some liberties and combined some of the items. Also, there are times when items from higher ranked categories can sell for more than lower ranked ones. For example, some comic books ranked number 10 can sell for six figures or more while some listed artist works from number 1 could sell for under $100. Now that I’ve provided more disclaimers than you’d find on a box for a new chain saw, I’ll explain more about why these items made my list.

We’ll start with number 10. Many baby boomers are still actively buying collectibles. Tin and steel toys from the 1960’s and earlier are especially collectible but even plastic ones are desirable. Condition is important as with all antiques and collectibles. We had a plastic Remco 1960’s war ship sell in the mid $100’s a few years ago because it was unopened in the original box. We also had a Rifleman ranch set fetch a price in the high $100’s several years ago because it was complete and was in the box as well.

Cowboy on Horseback watercolor by H. Hansen estimated to sell in $10,000's in our August auction

Cowboy on Horseback watercolor by H. Hansen estimated to sell in $10,000’s in our August auction

Comic books seem to always be sought after. Collectors especially covet superheroes. The first appearance of a superhero like Spiderman or the Hulk can make your 1962 comic book worth five figure sums.

Although we discussed 1960’s era collectibles, older toys and comic books can often be more valuable. A 1938 first edition of Superman sold for $3.2 million. Some pre-war tin toys and dolls can bring figures in the $100’s or $1,000’s. With a new generation of collectors becoming active buyers, 1980’s Star Wars figures, Transformers and Magic Cards are some of the hottest collectibles on the market. I will write more about other items on the top 10 list in future columns.

The Worcester Senior Center’s annual antique appraisal day took place on June 8th. Thank you to the readers of this column who attended. Our next live auction in Worcester is scheduled for August 27th. We also have an online auction currently running with collectibles, many from Lomonosov, Russia which is the sister city of Framingham.


Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services (508-612- 6111),

Get the maximum value from your sale. Contact Central Mass Auctions today.

Central Mass Auctions

255 Park Ave. Suite # 1000

Worcester, MA 01609

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