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What is it, that kicks up these prices?

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Spitfire, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    Sold on ebay for £114,00. Well, it's a nice mug. Good for drinking you morning tea from.
    I know. I have one like it. Different maker though. (And mine only cost me £28.00)

    This one was EMPIRE WARE - and it was made in 1941.
    But what is it that kicks up these prices? Besides the auction itself, that is. ("Two buyers fighting for the same item" stuff.)
    The manufacturing price for a mug like this - in 1941 - was probably not more than 1/10 of the price it went for. Or even less!!!
    And they were produced in thousands and thousands.

    Is it because we - all the happy buyers and suckers for WWII - buy the story.
    Because we all hope that THIS mug was used by a famous fighterpilot for his morning tea on the morning of that fatal day!
    (This one could not have been used during Battle of Britain at least - that's for sure)
    Or that THIS mug was one of the very few mugs in use after the Dambusters came home after that fantastic raid....we never know.
    It might just as well have stayed in the store of the canteen in some government office.
    Or have been forgotten at some store after the war - and just recently reappeared, only to be thrown out.
    Until somebody bought the whole lot to sell them on.
    We never know.
    And that - maybe - is the magic.
  2. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    Now that give me an idea, I happen to know somebody in the pottery business, I wonder if she could make up a replica. Hmmm, will get back if that is going to be a goer.
  3. Sounds like a good idea - just be sure to put a huge REPLICA underneath each one.
  4. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Probably could. As to the value of this stuff, I imagine it all spikes as each significant anniversary passes. Currently we're on a run through of 70th anniversaries; then it'll be 75ths..... There's also the buzz about Peter Jackson's take on the Dambusters, which will pull in a lot of interest.... Another factor which I don't think can be underestimated is the romantic pull of the air war. For whatever reason (maybe that the deaths involved were less direct? Maybe that air travel was for so many then like the idea of space travel to later generations?), the air war has always been romanticised in a way not the case on the ground. Sure, just look at us here - how many of us love the flying jackets compared to the number that collect regular army or navy (non-aviator) equivalents. That's a constant but the anniversaries thing I think is also key.
  5. I see a somewhat similar phenomenon in the book trade when it comes to certain books, particularly on aviation or military history. They often command higher prices not necessarily because they're rare but because people hang on to them. So relatively speaking, they don't turn up on the market quite as much as other books. Even the nonfiction paperbacks are hard to find for just that reason! I suspect the same is true with WWII memorabilia in respect to other kinds of antiques and collectibles.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Yes. Got to make that clear.

    Also.... legal issues surrounding the use of the RAF brand? I'm not sure whether they have some level of ownership that could affect this if you wanted to do a commercial run of them. It's a historical logo, certainly, but the organisation is still very much alive......
  7. I agree that it's anniversary dates that sparks increasing interest in historical or historical inspired items. As well as some degree of rarity.
    World war 1 items I think are now getting more expensive in anticipation of the 100th anniversary.
  8. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

    Militaria does nothing but go up in price. Here in the States, specifically Louisville, we have the largest militaria show in the US, The Show of Shows. I've gone every year for 4 years except this last one, because it's basically the same stuff just higher prices every year. I really don't know what the demand is, it kind of baffles the mind. Something tells me the hobby of collecting militaria is funded primarily by the upper crust and foreign buyers who can afford to drop insane prices on stuff, thereby affecting the market for everyone.
  9. MPicciotto

    MPicciotto Practically Family

    I'm not sure how much the mystique and potential for story lends itself to the buyer's valuation upon purchase. But I do think about afterwards as the newest owner. Particularly with some rifles that I own. an M1 carbine that came back to us from Korea when they surplused it in the 80's. That piece has HISTORY. It's parts are mixed up so it was rebuilt at least once if not more while in service. A "Mint" condition rifle never fired a shot in anger and possibly never fired a shot. As an example of it's class it's part of history. But it's not really PART of history. Like you said with this mug, it may have laid in stores (storage for us in the colonies) until recently and never really saw the war.

    But I too would be interested in a replica mug if they are produced.

  10. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up


    You know how it is old boy, the prices for virtually anything WWII RAF are going through the roof now and have been climbing exponentially over the last decade or so.

    You used to be able to pick these up for around 20 quid about 10 years back but those days are long gone. Also mugs in good condition are getting rarer now, most that you see have chips and chunks out of them. These are very popular with the reenactor boys for their displays at airshows so I wouldn't be surprised if the two bidders who drove the price through the roof belong to one of those groups. As we know reenactors will pay silly money for pieces for their collections and reenacting kit.

    Still, would I pay 114 sterling for that? Not on your nelly!
  11. Nevah . . .mmmm . . . in the history of human commerce . . .mmmm . . . . has so much . . . mmmm . . . been paid by so many . . . . mmmm . . . . for so little . . . .
  12. lol
  13. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco A-List Customer

    Just remember when the number of people who want somethings goes up and the supply goes down (in this case due to age) prices go up. I remember when Navy uniforms were dirt cheap in ebay and now they are very expensive. That and every WWII movie that comes out drives the prices up.

  14. Rarity and demand tend to shape prices. As does having more money than sense and being drunk while surfing on ebay.

    Things come and go. Stuff that was a dime a dozen some 20 years ago are now fetching high prices.

    Stuff that is really cool and can appeal to a variety of collecting bases can result in some surprising $.
  15. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    OK, I spoke with Barbera today, she can reproduce the logo easily enough and put it onto a porcelain blank but she no longer does slip molding so she personaly cannot duplicate the shape. However, she thinks it is a good idea in principal as repros of these seem to be nonexistant. she will keep her eyes open and put out some feelers, if I have anything to report back I will post it here.
  16. B-24J

    B-24J One of the Regulars

    I purchased one of these mugs from David Farnsworth a while back. Mine has the Blue RAF - King's Crown logo on the side. However, it does not have a date anywhere.

    Apparently this expensive one does? 1941? Do others?

    I bought mine because I like bombers and this style of mug was in the movie "Night Bombers", which was filmed in the winter of '43 - ''44. The mugs in this movie do not have logos on the side.

    While post war, "The Dam Busters" movie also has the non logo mugs.

    In the famous photo of Gibson's crew being debriefed after the Dams Raid, the mug on the table does have the logo.

    The 1941 "Target For Tonight" uses cups and saucers with trim for the post ops debriefing.

    While the economy is down for most, I have read articles where people who are concerned about inflation and low investment returns in other areas are purchasing collectibles. But like any investment, calculating which ones will go up in value is the trick.

    Spitfire, let us know what the next mug brings. It will be interesting to see if the 100+ mug is a trend or not .

  17. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    I asked my pal who served in the RAF in the late 50's and right through the 60's, he had never seen one of those mugs and he served in places like Aden. I guess it is a 30's thing that went the way of economy. When Brian served all the mugs were plain white porcelain.
  18. [​IMG]
    Got another one from ebay some weeks ago - unfortunately it had a crack so it could not hold the tea.
    This is how I use it now. Produced by A.J.Wilkinson.
    My winning bid was £ 30.09 - Reduced price due to the crack:£ 15,00 + postage.
  19. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    That's a fairer price Søren. Shame about the crack but your pens look very fetching in there :D
  20. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

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