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Kovels’ May 2023 newsletter features sales reports on 1970s Italian furniture, vintage toy airplanes, Clarice Cliff pottery, circus posters, and hand-carved wooden Americana. Be sure to check out the Market Report on vintage LEGO sets.

Few collecting areas offer the colorful, three-ring spectacle of vintage circus posters. While always sought-after by collectors, circus posters’ popularity has roared in recent years. A recent auction at Freedom Auction Co. in Sarasota, Florida, featured 858 lots of circus and carnival memorabilia, with prices ranging from $25 to an impressive $32,500 for a 1909 Barnum & Bailey Circus poster. See more circus fun in Kovels’ May issue.

It’s no secret: We love the ’70s! Bellbottoms, tie-dye T-shirts, platform shoes, puka shells, love beads, disco, and Lips sofas. Wait … what? That’s right, a Lips sofa prototype by Studio 65 for the Gufram Multiple line, Italy, was a thing in the ’70s. For more far-out 1970s Italian furniture, lighting and objects, we explore a sale of designer prototypes at Incanto auction house with a flair that is most definitely vintage ’70s. How fun are the prototypes? Well, a polka-dotted foam armchair and pouf ottoman prototype was hailed as “anti-design.” It sold for $2,217. For more, boogie down to the full report from this groovy auction in our May issue.

Colorful Clarice Cliff pottery has been enchanting collectors for years. Delightful vases, bowls, pitchers, and a host of other pieces sell for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. You’ll understand why as we take a deep dive into the results of a Ripley Clarice Cliff auction. Of particular interest for bidders were pieces from Cliff’s famous Art Deco-inspired Bizarre line from 1927 to 1936. A hand-painted Bizarre vase with a jagged Shark’s Teeth pattern sold for $2,2125 against a pre-sale estimate of $300-$500. You’ll discover more about the delightful and often surprising Clarice Cliff pottery in the newsletter.

Some collectors like their wings hot, which may be why the prices were extra spicy for windup toy airplanes at a recent Bertoia auction in New Jersey. Prices for the toy planes in the 940-lot event ranged from $74 for a set of four early rubber planes to $1,800 for a pressed steel Buddy L bomber plane. A toy bi-wing airplane modeled after the Wright Brothers plane sold for $1,107. Made in Germany, c.1910, the toy plane can fly in circles when hung from a string. If you don’t want to be left hanging regarding the other toy plane auction results, make sure to taxi over to the May newsletter.

The newsletter also includes a Sales Report on hand-carved wooden items, 32 values in our Buyer’s Price Guide for everything from advertising to textiles, a Market Report on LEGO sets, and pressed glass patterns featured in our Dictionary of Marks. Pressed glass, also known as pattern glass, was first made in the U.S. around 1825 and reached its height of popularity in the late 1880s and 1890s. The always popular Collector’s Gallery answers readers’ questions about vintage costume jewelry, a side-by-side oak secretary, a mystery porcelain pitcher that could be worth thousands of dollars, and an antique light fixture. All in all, you could say Kovels’ May newsletter is rather illuminating.