Monday, January 28, 2013

Being An Amateur Picker Of Ohio Art Tea Sets

 "Picking" Ohio Art Tea Sets

My Vintage Mending: TeaMany, many decades ago, I was enjoying my role as a amateur picker of Ohio Art Company tea sets for a nice couple who had a HUGE private collection of these lithographed toy play sets.  I can't even remember how I met this chap and his wife, but they lived in Ohio and I agreed to be their eyes and ears in New England, keeping tabs on these colorful lithographed tea sets at auctions, flea markets, shops.

P6210051, via Flickr.Buying Full Sets For The Price Of A Few Cups And Saucers Today

Mind you, at the time, I had no idea what I was buying. I was a clueless mother of little ones, just beginning my immersion into the world of antiques and collectibles. It was so many years ago that I could  find a mint boxed set of  Ohio dishes for $30.00-45.00 and send it to my "penpal" collectors in Ohio.

Needless to say they were overjoyed to have my help.  You know how long ago I am refering to when you realize I was finding boxed sets  for under $50.00.

Collecting Vintage Ohio Art Tea sets Before Google 

Sometimes, my collector friends would send me a photo of a particular set they were looking for and ask me to keep a look out for these wished for tea sets. This was the time way before iPhone cameras (to send photos back and forth)  and Google searches (to hunt for comparative sets ), so my value as an amateur picker was really aprreciated.

Ohio Art Tea Sets Go To Auction

1940s Ohio Art tin toy tea setting. by AlliesAdornments, via FlickrA few months ago, I was poking through some old papers and I found some of the letters that went back and forth from this couple. I tracked down the fella and called him. To my surprise he told me that he no longer had his collection, it was given to auction years ago. He sounded quite detached from the earlier energy of the collecting years. I didn't ask for  details, but I was truly disappointed. I guess I wanted to hear that he was still in love with Ohio Art children's tea sets and that all was well. 

Vintage Ohio Art Tin Tea Sets And Toys Today

Today, you will find unboxed partial sets of these charming tea sets selling for BIG BUCKS. I am always surprised to see a few cups and saucers fetch $25.00-45.00 dollars and often in rusty or scratched condition. Boxed sets  (if you can find them ) sell for hundredths of dollars depending on age, condition and rarity.

Where To Find Vintage Ohio Art Tea Sets

You may find  teas sets in a number of places from shows to shops.  Check with antique and vintage toy dealers, Disney collectors, vintage Teddy Bear dealers and collectors,  antique doll sellers and collectors, kitchen collectibles dealers. Also visit online auctions and my site I Antique  is a great place to see many different Ohio Art tea sets. Be aware of  vintage toy, doll and and Teddy Bear shows. Visit my Pinterest board "Ohio Art Tea Sets" . You can also do a general search on (and other sites)  using terms like "vintage tin toys", "Ohio Art tea sets", "lithograph toys" etc.

Readers, please add more inforamtion about this toic? Do you collect Ohio Art dishes and tea sets? What has your experience been?

Articles, Books And  Websites To Explore:  

There is an Ohio Art Collectors Club:

Ohio Art: The World of Toys (paperback),1131567

Photo credits:
Boxed sets are from
Partial dishes are from

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

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