Join me to learn the best tips for collecting vintage mermaids and fish and even what to look out for from top manufacturers like Norcrest, Lefton, Bradley, and Freeman McFarlin and the history behind them! Let’s dive into the magical depths of yesteryear and discover the irresistible appeal of these delightful figurines.
A Brief History of Vintage Mermaids and their Makers:
The 1940s-1950s marked the golden age for the production of vintage mermaids and fish. During this time, countless families across the US adorned their bathrooms and vanities with these enchanting wall plaques, available at local five-and-dime stores and souvenir shops.
From California’s renowned potteries, such as Arnels, Ceramic Craft, Deforest, Florence Ceramics, Gilner, Freeman-McFarlin, Kay Finch, and Tropic Treasures, to Japanese manufacturers like Artmark, Bradley Exclusives, CNC, Enesco, Josef Originals, Kelvin Exclusives, Lefton, Nameth, Napco, Norcrest, PY, Holt Howard, and Ucagco, these exquisite pieces were crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Many potteries and manufacturers would either stamp their items, include numbers, or apply a foil label featuring their company name.
5 Essential Tips for Collecting Vintage Mermaids and Fish:
- Top Makers to Look for: Keep an eye out for renowned brands such as Napco, Lefton, Bradley, Joty, Kay Finch, Freeman-McFarlin, Norcrest, PY, and Holt Howard. Ensure tags and stamps are intact.
- Quality: Examine the craftsmanship, focusing on well-modeled and painted features, as well as intricate details in the face and tailfin.
- Damage: Check for any signs of damage, such as broken or repaired tailfins, fingers, and hair, or chipped elements.
- Fish and Seahorses: Make sure no rhinestones are missing from their eyes and that tails are intact and not repaired. For seahorses and dolphins, verify that there is no missing paint or scratches on their scales as sometimes happened when they would get scratched being put up on the walls..
- Price: With the rising demand for vintage mermaids, prices have soared. Expect to pay around $125-$150 for a 5-6-inch Lefton mermaid or Norcrest vintage mermaid wall plaque. Keep an eye on Ebay auctions for fair prices and consider joining Facebook collector groups and Instagram communities for exclusive deals. When shopping at flea markets or antique shops, offering cash could result in 20-25% discounts.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge and tips to navigate the enchanting world of 1950s vintage mermaids and fish collectibles, you’re ready to embark on your treasure hunt. Happy collecting, and may your home be filled with these captivating aquatic wonders!
Keep up on my collecting site here where I share the vintage mermaids and fish I find.