Adore & Adorn: Vintage Native American Silver Jewelry

At Mark Lawson Antiques, we appreciate and enjoy style, artistry, and craftsmanship. Though we are fortunate enough to see an array of beautiful antique items every day, we take special delight in evaluating and buying Southwest Native American jewelry. This traditional type of jewelry developed in part through contact with Spanish Colonials of Mexico and trade with early European fur trappers....

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Toys on the Move: Mechanical Tin Lithographs

    Wind-up tin lithographs are wonderful examples of the type of collectible toys that clients bring to Mark Lawson Antiques. The most common kinds that we see are automobiles, motorcycles, amusement park rids, popular entertainment characters, and robots. Wind-up mechanical toys have surprisingly uncomplicated inner workings but their form and decoration are incredibly variable. It...

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Thoughts on Settling an Estate

Settling an Estate Sale Saratoga Springs Albany NY
Settling an estate or thinking of having an estate sale? Here’s some of what we have learned: We have helped literally thousands of people over the last 25 years taking care of or resolving issues related to settling an estate. Figuring out how to find new homes for things that have come down through families or friends can be a difficult and overwhelming job. It may involve emptying a house...

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Serving Up Local History: Saratoga Chips

Saratoga chip serving spoon - Whiting sterling silver, Empire pattern
The holiday season is upon us! As our thoughts turn towards warm gatherings of friends and families around the table, let’s take a look at Saratoga Springs’ most famous family recipe: the Saratoga chip. The history of Saratoga chips is controversial, passed down word-of-mouth through local legend and lore, embellished by some sources, disputed hotly by others. Although many of the specifics...

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Looking at Coins: Pre-1964 US Silver Coins

Pre 1964 US Silver Coins
When helping clients settle an estate or prepare for an estate sale, the most common type of collectible coins we see are American silver dollars, half dollars, quarters. and dimes. The United States has been minting and issuing its own official coinage in gold, silver, copper, and nickel (along with various mixtures of nickel and copper) since 1793. From the 18th century until 1964, US silver coins...

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Estate Sale & Dispersal

One of the things we are busiest with and that I enjoy the most is providing estate sale services: helping families figure out how to deal with houses full of things that they need to take care of. For a variety of reasons, including downsizing or elderly parents moving on, clients call us to help them figure out what to do. It can be incredibly overwhelming to consider disposing of family treasures...

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Pocket Watches: The Value of Nostalgia

 Pocket watches were one of the most popular collectibles 15 to 20 years ago. Many people had fond memories of sitting with their grandfather and playing with or being shown his pocket watch, and it was traditional to pass these keepsakes down through the family. In the 1920s, the wristwatch began to replace the cumbersome pocket watch in popularity and by the 1950s pocket watches were a thing of...

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History & Horses at the Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga Springs Racetrack - 19th Century Stereoview Card
Today marks the opening day of the 153rd season at the Saratoga Race Course, the third oldest racetrack in the United States. Saratoga Springs was the summer spot during the heights of the Gilded Age, the ultimate 19th century destination where the wealthy elite would gather to dance, socialize, and gamble at the Saratoga Racetrack or at the elegant Canfield Casino in Congress Park. The elegant...

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