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Military Collectibles - Military and War Memorabilia

November 9th, 2012 Collectibles

Finding Civil War Merchandise

Civil war merchandise may be found from a variety of sources including fellow collectors, online retailers and even garage sales. Networking with fellow Civil War merchandise collectors is one of the best ways to find memorabilia from this war. There are clubs, websites and message boards that put collectors in contact with others who share their interests. This is a useful resource because those you contact may not have the exact items you are seeking, but they may be able to put you in contact with others who can sell or trade the pieces you are looking to add to your collection.

Online retailers are also very popular resources for finding civil war merchandise. The Internet enables collectors to search for and view items from retailers around the world. However, it also makes it more difficult to verify the authenticity of the items so buyers should always proceed with caution when purchasing genuine Civil War merchandise online.

Inexpensive Vintage Military Clothing

Although authentic vintage military clothing formerly worn by war heroes may be rather expensive, there is a wealth of vintage military clothing available at surprisingly affordable prices. Collectors who enjoy adding military clothing to their personal collections, as well as those who are interested in these pieces as costumes, will find there are many affordable options.

Military surplus stores are a popular option for collectors who are looking for vintage military clothing at an affordable price. These stores focus on selling a variety of military items and may have vintage clothing in stock. Savvy buyers who recognize these pieces may find very affordable options.

Vintage clothing stores can also be a resource for military clothing but finding pieces at these stores is considerably more difficult. This is because the items may not be well categorized and finding military clothing may require diligent searching as well as a little luck. Similarly garage sales may offer vintage military clothing but collectors may have to devote a great deal of time to scouring these sales for the items they are seeking.

Finally, buyers may want to consider purchasing replicas of vintage military clothing if they are using the items for personal use as opposed to as part of a military collection. These replicas are often very similar in appearance to authentic pieces but are significantly more affordable.

Learning About War Memorabilia

The Natural Museum of American History website is an excellent resource for learning about items to add to a war memorabilia collection. The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit , divides the war memorabilia on display according to conflict and allows users to either browse through each conflict to view the memorabilia or use the search feature to located specific items for a variety of different conflicts. By searching through an educational website such as this one, war memorabilia collectors can find ideas for items to add to their collection and can learn more about the items which will help them to verify authenticity when purchasing collectibles.

Finally, garage sales, estate sales and flea markets can also be a useful resource for finding memorabilia from the Civil War era. Finding items this way can be much more time consuming because buyers cannot expect to find a wealth of items cataloged for easy reference at these sales. However, there is the potential to stumble upon some items which would make an excellent addition to a Civil War collection. Collectors must be savvy though and plan on attending many of these sales and arriving early to ensure they do not miss out on important items.

Popular Pieces of Korean War Memorabilia

Collectors who specialize in obtaining Korean War memorabilia often focus their collections on the clothing worn by soldiers during this conflict. Clothing such as the warm and cold weather gear and combat boots featured in the exhibit at The National Museum of American History are particularly popular. This conflict spanned several warm summers where temperature frequently exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit as well as brutally cold winters where temperatures often dropped below -30 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the cold weather gear used in the Korean War was designed after the first winter when many troops suffered from frostbite making it evident the current cold weather gear was not adequately protecting the troops from the elements.

In addition to clothing, collectors also focus on other items of interest which are popular in any military collection including weapons, letters, photographs, medals and vehicles.

Popular Spanish American War Memorabilia

Collectors interested in Spanish American War Memorabilia may be excited to know that locating and purchasing guns used during this conflict are available to add to their collections. Items of particular interest may include the .38 caliber Colt Model 1892 Revolver, similar to the one carried by Captain Allyn Capron. The .30 caliber Krag-Jorgensen Carbine, similar to the ones carried by the members of the Rough Riders is also very popular with Spanish American war memorabilia collectors.

Purchasing Vintage Military Uniforms

Vintage Military uniforms are popular collector’s items among those who are interested in memorabilia from different wars. These uniforms can be purchased from a variety of sources including trade magazines, military surplus stores, online auction websites and trade shows. When purchasing vintage military uniforms as an addition to a memorabilia collection or for resale purposes it is imperative to verify the authenticity of the item before making a purchase.

Verifying the authenticity of vintage military uniforms is particularly important when the items are being purchased from an unknown source as opposed to a reputable organization. Although many sellers who advertise in magazines offer items online or sell items during trade shows may be reputable, there are some sellers who may deceive buyers either intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, buyers should know how to determine whether or not a piece is authentic before making a purchase.

Replica Civil War Memorabilia Shells

Civil War memorabilia can be rather expensive. However, there are inexpensive alternatives for collectors who are looking for quality items to add to their collection. Replica shells are just one example of collectible items that may be displayed as part of a Civil War collection. The Confederate Ordinance website offers a variety of replica shells which would make an excellent addition to a Civil War collection. Examples of the replica shells available include the 3 Inch Mullane Shell, 5.1 Inch Dahlgren Naval Blind Shell, 3.8 Inch James Shot Type I, 6 LB. Shell with Bormann Time Fuse and 12 LB. Shell with Bormann Time Fuse. These are just a few of the replica shells available from the Union Army and the Confederate Army.

Selling Military Collectibles on eBay

Sellers of military collectibles may find a variety of interested buyers on eBay. This popular online auction website reaches a wide audience and will likely put sellers of military collectibles in contact with interested buyers. However, before selling an item on eBay, it is important to follow a few basic steps.

First, the seller should carefully inspect the item and verify its authenticity. Once the seller is ready to list the item, it is important to right an informative and accurate description of the item and to take pictures which will accurately represent the item. With this information, the seller can place the item up for bid.

It is also important to determine an appropriate price for the item being sold. This information can be used to set a minimum value for the auction. Determining an appropriate price should be based on information on the price of comparable items which have been sold on eBay as well as information regarding the seller’s investment in the piece.

Source for Army Recruitment Posters

All branches of the military have been using posters as a form of recruitment for quite awhile. These posters have been used to recruit for specific wars as well as for general recruiting purposes, and authentic posters can be quite valuable. Collectors interested in adding army recruitment posters may browse the Rare-Posters website for authentic posters used by the army as well as other branches of the military. Collectors will find examples of the military recruiting posters currently available with a description for each item that includes the title of the poster, the artists, size, price and condition. The condition is particularly important because items in excellent condition are considered to be more valuable than items in sub-par condition.

The Value of Military Memorabilia

Placing a value on military memorabilia is not always easy. Whether a collection features items such as letters from soldiers or airplanes from the war, all memorabilia can have a certain value. This value will depend on a number of factors including the rarity of the item as well as the condition of the item with rare items in excellent condition garnering higher asking prices than common items in fair condition.

Both buyers and sellers who are interested in military memorabilia should familiarize themselves with the values placed on these items to ensure they are paying or receiving a fair price for their collectibles. One way to do this is purchase books such as Official Price Guide to Military Collectibles: Sixth Edition. Buyers can also use online auction websites to find information on the recent sale prices of comparable items to obtain a good estimate for the value of an item.

Consulting with appraisers specializing in military memorabilia can also provide insight into the value of collectibles. A knowledgeable appraiser can not only detect whether or not an item is authentic or simply a quality replica and can also determine the approximate worth of the item.

Verifying Authenticity of World War II Collectibles

One of the most important aspects of collecting war memorabilia is the ability to differentiate between authentic war memorabilia and replicas. For this reason, many collectors like to focus on a specific niche such as World War II collectibles or collectibles from another conflict. By doing this the collector can focus his research on one particular war in an attempt to gain knowledge about the collectibles from that era. This is important because a well informed collector is more likely to be able to verify the authenticity of memorabilia from a particular war.

Doing adequate research and being as knowledgeable as possible about World War II will help collectors to verify the authenticity of the items they add to their collection. Additionally, collectors may want to invest in books such as The International Militaria Collector's Guide or Official Price Guide to Military Collectibles: Sixth Edition to minimize the risk of purchasing World War II collectibles that are not authentic.