opalescent moonstone hobnail

lou_texasMarch 16, 2012

Hello, y'all. I've learned many things from hovering on this site and I'm still learning. It's been fun. What I need from you now is advice on next steps to take with some opalescent moonstone hobnail pieces.

My sister inherited dozens of these from our aunt about 20 years ago. Now she has decided that she wants to sell them, but neither of us knows anything other than the prices we see for random pieces on e-bay. We've never sold anything or bought anything on ebay. I need to know what our first steps should be. Should we find an appraiser? How should we go about doing that? Should we find a consignment shop? How would I know if we're receiving a fair deal? Would it be more profitable to sell the moonstone a piece at a time or as a complete set? My sister needs the money to supplement her soc sec income so I want to help her do this right.

Also, I noticed on ebay that there are two companies: Hocking and Foster. How would I know which we have? Does it make that much difference?

If I can learn from your experience, I'll surely appreciate it. Thanks, Lou

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As far as knowing whether it's Fenton or Hocking, this might help... "Fenton's hobs are more pointed, while the Hocking Moonstone hobs are smoother to the touch and more rounded."

From my experience selling on eBay, you are not really going to get what the items are "worth", but you will get "fair market value"... if that makes any sense.

Selling as a set would be ideal as far as convenience is concerned, but you may be able to make more $$ selling piece by piece. However, that could take ages and there may be some common pieces that you're never able to sell or end up having to give away for a song.

If it were up to me, I'd get some rough ideas of what each piece is selling for on eBay, then I'd place a value on my entire set and attempt to sell it all together... maybe on craigslist or a local classifieds site... and I hope that a serious collector comes along who really knows the value of what I'm selling.

Just my opinion... best of luck! (if I lived anywhere near Texas, I might be interested myself!! :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Most likely it's Hocking as there seems to be so much more of it made.

It's not bringing a lot on ebay these days....I suspect because the shipping jacks the price so much.
I think your best bet would be a consignment shop, preferably one that specializes in depression glass.
And be aware that it's not going to bring a lot of money...I don't know what she has....but things like fancy serving dishes bring the most.
I would say, at best she could hope to get $15 per piece.....less if the buyer has to pay shipping.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Thank you, oldstuff4me, I'll unpack a piece of two and feel to see if the nubs are rounded. And I understand what you're saying about fair market value - doesn't matter what these items were worth or will be worth, it's what they're worth to someone now and whether they're even desirable to someone. I guess it's time to make an inventory and get serious about looking up prices on the web. That's a good plan.

And thank you, Linda, I'm sure you're right about the shipping costs and with gasoline prices heading towards $4 a gallon, they'll probably soon be higher. I think I'll explore some shops at the antique malls and see if it looks like anyone is selling this type of thing. I'm nervous about being ripped off, and I was sure you would give me good advice as a disinterested party. But I've got to start taking some actions or it will never happen.

One more thing, I've heard that there are people who will sell your stuff on ebay for a commission. Is this anything I should consider? Any advice about doing that?

Thanks again, and if anyone else has an idea, please chime in. This is very helpful -- now I have some direction. Lou

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:02PM
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The major difference between Anchor(Hocking) and Fenton is price. Anchor Hocking is usually marked. It's common ware and everywhere. If your auntie were 'into' this sort of stuff, it's hard to tell what she'd picked up over the years. Don't just assume it's any particular maker.

First off, please look for marks on them. Are there sets? What kind of pieces?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Also....if you unpack 5 pieces and it's all hocking.....don't assume that it all is.

I know several people who will sell and pack and ship your stuff on eBay....they charge 20% of the selling price, buyer pays shipping and you also pay shipping materials.
For in expensive stuff that weighs a lot for it's selling price....you won't get much.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Well, calliope, my aunt did collect several types of glassware which she also left to my eldest sister - she had a large collection of blue-tinted glassware: glasses of various sizes, sherbet bowls, plates, cups, etc. My middle sister wanted that and bought it from my eldest sister and bought a second collection of blue-tinted glassware as well to give to a friend. So now we're down to the moonstone hobnail collection. This consists of plates, bowls, glasses, vases, perfume bottles, and decorative pieces of various kinds. I don't know what to call some of them.

I thought about buying them from my sister so she could receive the money she wants for them so I could save them for future family, but who knows if anyone in the next generation will even like them?

I'm sure this is way too much info, but you mentioned that my aunt might have been 'into' this stuff. I guess she was.

Now I'll look for marks. Will they be on the backs of the plates like with china patterns? I don't remember seeing any, but maybe I didn't know where to look on the pieces. I was mainly concerned with getting them all packed in bubble wrap for the move to Texas.

Thank you for helping me think this through. I'll unpack some and look at them over the weekend. I'll let you know on Monday if I find anything interesting. Lou

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Hello again, y'all. I'm sorry to be so late rejoining the conversation. I wasn't able to get to the boxes that contain the moonstone hobnail w/o some strong help with lots of muscles. As soon as I can get my son or son-in-law to come and help me, I'll see what I have. I think it may now be Easter before I can get into the storage area. Everyone in my family is overloaded with work (I'm thankful we have work). I have just now been able to take time to get back with you. This doesn't mean I don't appreciate your input. I DO! I'm just having to put the project on hold for a little while. Again, thank you very much for giving me direction. Lou

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:45PM
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