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We Love Buying In Bulk – And Traveling Back Through Time

Jul 2, 2019 by

Orion’s Attic loves buying in bulk. If you’re a retiring collector or you’re suddenly dealing with a huge collection of something fun that you need to sell, there’s a good chance we’re interested in buying it. From fine and costume jewelry and coin collections to old advertising and vintage toys — and almost anything in between — we love making deals on mountains of antiques and collectibles. If the price is right, we’re happy to make your problem our problem.

Our latest acquisition?

A woman called us a few weeks ago and asked if we would be interested in buying a collection of 500 vintage to antique souvenir ashtrays, trays, spoons and related items. Of course we would! We got of the phone, hopped in our truck and hit I-95 North through Maryland. We promptly made a deal, hauled all the boxes out of the basement and removed a few hundred pounds of stress from her shoulders in the process.

We weren’t completely sure there was a market for 500 neat old pieces of metal but that rarely stops us from buying in bulk. Part of the joy for us is getting to play with — and learn from — big mounds of old things. As antiques and collectibles dealers and estate liquidators, we of course have to make a profit but we wouldn’t work so hard to run this business if we didn’t have fun, too. The ability to time travel is one of the greatest perks of the job.

Our souvenir ashtray and tray collection immediately took us to Chicago in 1933 and 1934 for the Century of Progress World’s Fair. A few spoons and a bread crumb tray (bread crumb trays were wildly popular back then and some white tablecloth restaurants still use them today, even if the trays are far less elegant) sent us on a research dive. We learned that the motto of that year’s fair was “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts.” The idea was to convey that science and American life were joined at the hip.  We promptly listed the batch in our always-growing eBay store (which you can always find at the top of our web site) and moved on to more items in the trove.

We promptly turned up another World’s Fair item — a nifty ashtray from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and its image of the still iconic Unisphere globe. The globe represented that year’s theme of “Peace Through Understanding” and “Man’s Achievement On A Shrinking Globe In An Expanding Universe.”

The woman who sold us her grandparents’ collection told us that they had picked up the souvenirs during their travels across the country and around the world. We’ve found vintage ashtrays and miniature trays from every state in the union. From a spoon honoring Alaska’s Native American nations to an ashtray heralding The World’s Only Corn Palace in South Dakota and another celebrating the cowboys of Wyoming, every tray we examine is liking taking the world’s fastest road trip through time.

If you want to master U.S. history and trivia state by state, perusing our eBay store collection of vintage ashtrays and miniature trays is a great way to start. We’ve listed about the first 75 items, putting most of them in groups by state, and will keep on listing for months to come.

Old Ray Charles card in braille sold quickly!

The old trays, though, aren’t the only buying in bulk deals we’ve made recently. Scroll through previous stories on our Web site and you can find out more about the some 5,000 records and CDs we purchased from a Virginia home. We continue adding old rock and roll records and memorabilia, Elvis Presley, country, a bit of jazz and more to our eBay store every day. Records and CDs are coming back in fashion so if you’ve got a massive record collection and the records are in excellent condition, we’re definitely interested. CDs are heating up again, too, because it’s often cheaper to buy a CD then to download the same songs on iTunes.

We’ve also recently purchased a nice collection of Lladro figurines, old Marilyn Monroe magazines, vintage belt buckles, baseball cards, Disney/Mickey Mouse banks and more. If you have a huge collection of something you’d like to sell, contact us today. We serve the greater Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia region but have worked on projects in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and other states. For the right stuff, we’ll go about anywhere. Maybe we’ll even buy a few souvenir trays of our own along the way.

Orion’s Attic is a full-service estate liquidation firm and a company that likes to buy collectibles in bulk!