For Newbies, an introductory to the” top ten On Ebay”
Just after becoming the Moderator for the Secondary Market in July of 2004 I started a weekly to bi-weekly commentary on the top ten Harbour Light sales on Ebay. Using for a price reference a spreadsheet that I have tract over 1500 of the first 39 Harbour Light lighthouses that have been on ebay since 1998.
My interest lies with the first 39 and a few scattered variations but I do try to keep up to date on all Harbour Lights value by scanning daily over all Harbour Lights sold on Ebay.
Harbour Lights is still alive and well. It is just their value has come down. Many still collect them and probably the biggest reason that Harbour Lights is not collected like it use to be is that collectors have just ran out of room.
Each Lighthouse (most) is listed below with its name, its ebay price, the seller’s descriptions, my comments and the short-cut to the bid. I took a collection of the highest retired Lighthouse over the past two months. This generally takes me 8 to 12 hours to put this together so it can be spread over a week or two.
I quite this last year for many reason but probably the biggest reason was just the lack of interest in the old Harbour Lights. I have been getting emails to start it up again and probably the biggest inspiration to start this up again is from Max.
I know the old timers enjoy the top ten on Ebay and don’t have to comment, but I would like to hear from the silent. I accept questions and challenges. You don’t have to post on this forum but for the newbies and the silent ones if you could just email and let me know if this is worth my while.
1.Coquille River - 1991 - HL111 $820.01
This piece was in introduced in 1991 and retired after production of 1,138 pieces. The flag number of this piece is #400. This piece does come with the old-style white box that has "Handcrafted by Castle Studios, Inc." printed on it, and the "Coquille River" label has been taped to the top of the box. The number 1,303 is handwritten on the top of the box, so I am uncertain if this is the original boxintended for this piece. We originally sold this piece from our shop to a customer back in 1992. It is in excellent condition. The sticker for the bottom is loose but is included. There was no Certificate of Authenticity in the box, but it may be possible to obtain this by contacting Harbour Lights.
This is the lowest that a Coquille with a Castle Studious box, has gone for on ebay. There has been two Occasions that a coquille went for less but they didn’t come with a box. And as many of you know a rare lighthouse Without A box can go for considerably less.
For how the collectables market has been Probably most would believe that $820.01 is probably a good return. But for the past 6 years a coquille has been Going for $1200 to $1800 and I feel that the coquille is too rare and too popular of a light to over devaluate it. Of course a coquille did go for $820.01 but I will place this at the low side of what one is worth. With all this in consideration I would place a Coquille value between $800 to $1200 with $1000 being the norm.
2.HarbourLights Watch $404.00(reserve not met)
A prototype watch was done for Younger and Associates in the 1990's.
The Company received 10-12 watches from the manufacturer, and it was decided after they had received them that it would not be cost effective to proceed with this product.
So, at Bill's discretion, he gave one to 'The Survivor Guide' author, and one watch was auctioned off at the Rhode Island Harbour Light Reunion in 1998, of which the winner is unknown to me.
I received my watch in 1998 also for making a sizable donation to a lighthouse.
This watch is signed on the genuine pigskin band to me from Bill younger, but over time has begun to fade.
I only wore it at the Baltimore Reunion in 2001, and the March 2007 St Augustine Event.
The following is a description of the watch and it's pouch:
The black faux velveteen carrying pouch is 9 - 5/8" x 2 - 1/2" flap folded over.
The watch is 1 - 1/4 inch in diameter, and 9 inches long total which includes the band.
The face of the watch is tan with a "compass like" design, and an open window at "12 o'clock".
In this window is 6 lighthouses that are displayed one by one as time passes throughout the day. There is also a second hand on the watch.
The lighthouses displayed:
Old Michigan City
The back of the watch is as described:
LIGHTHOUSES OF AMERICA SERIES I of 15001993 Harbour Lights
A new battery has been added, and it keeps time. Yes, this watch is in very good condition.
This is a very interesting Harbour Light accessory. There is no-way I could put a value on this rare item. But if I did, I think I would have to say it is still possible to get $1200 to $2400 for it on ebay.
I am not restricting it’s value I would think it would still be fare game all the way up to $5,000. If it was to be insured I think I would get it insured for $10,000 mainly because it is irreplaceable.
I know, I know, the bid only went up to $404. I think the bidders are testing the waters and really haven’t thought out what they are passing up. This watch has a neat story to it, which adds to its value. Besides being a rare Harbour Light product it is also a rare watch. This puts this under two collectable types beside the one. Harbour Light collectable and a watch collectable.
Because of the slump sales in the secondary market bidders are just in a recession mind set and they are not thinking this out properly about the watch. I am sure after reading a few bidders might be kicking themselves for not bidding more.
3. # 102 Cape Hatteras NC (Mold 2) $250 (reserve not met)
This auction is for Harbour Lights #102 Cape Hatteras, North Carolina # 2445 of 5235 issued. The piece I am selling is Canadian made and has the lightning rod. It comes with the original white Castle Studio's box, a mint Cape Hatteras U.S. Lighthouse Bicentennial Commemorative Stamp from 1989, all stickers in place (on box & bottom of piece), and Certificate of Authenticity.
The piece is signed by Bill Younger and is in excellent condition with no chips, nicks or scratches. The lighthouse has never been displayed. It was issued Jan. 1992 and retired Dec. 21, 1993.
$250 is the going price for a mold II cape Hatteras. The fact it has a U.S. Lighthouse Bicentennial Commemorative Stamp, all the stickers and the Certificate of Authenticity, I feel that this one could peak out at $350 if the seller hangs in there.
Usually there is no value difference between a Canadian made and a Malaysian Cape Hatters. This is because there were more “Canadian made” produced than the Malaysian. But this one having a three-digit number does help in its value. Many “Canadian made” collectors prefer three- digit over the four since the double digits are just plain hard to find.
Many of the long-term collectors remember when the HL 102 was out of the reach of most collectors. It held a premium price of $750 from 1997 to 1999.
It wasn’t uncommon for collectors to pay even more than that, but for those that learned about the AOL bulletin board was able to find the deals. The AOL lighthouse bulletin board was the first internet tool that collectors and secondary marketers used to fine the best prices.
4. Harbour Lights PAINT SAMPLE Marble Head $180.27
An early model from Harbour Lights, a rare paint sample, this one for Marble Head OH, produced in 1991. 6 x 4 x 4. This item is signed by Tori Dawn, a Harbour.
Tori Dawn the Daughter of Bill Younger was the Harbour Light resident Artist for two years. She painted the paint samples for the 2nd and 3rd year of the Harbour Light’s LE.
Paint samples originally don’t have lightning rods and felt. But many of the HL paint samples have been given out thru the years and HL would prepare them as gifts adding what ever felt was lying around at the time and signing it.
I feel that it went on the low side, but probably the going price for today’s HL lower prices. Usually only two paint samples are made, with one going to the factory. Makes this one pretty rare.
I put the value of this between $200 and $350 and I would have it insured for $500 to $600. I have no problem for paint samples going for $1000 since usually there is only one of them. But if collectors are not willing to pay this for them thus we have the lower value.
5.HARBOUR LIGHTS Cape Hatteras HL102 $180.27
This retired piece from the Harbour Lights Collection is Cape Hatteras, HL102. This piece was in introduced in 1991 and was produced in a limited edition quantity of 5,500 pieces. The flag number of this piece is #2,646.
This piece does come with the old-style white box that has "Handcrafted by Castle Studios, Inc." printed on it, and the "Cape Hatteras" label has been taped to the top of the box.
There is a slight discoloration in the paint in the lower left-hand side of the bottom white stripe. Second, there is a small chip near the bottom left-hand side at the back of the piece. The Certificate of Authenticity is included as well as the U.S. Lighthouses Commemorative Stamp folio.
Probably the going price for a slightly damaged Cape Hatteras. I would not knock off any on the value for the paint discoloration at the stripes. That is shellac that was done intentionally by the artist to make the lighthouse look more weathered. This process was called antiquing and was done on about 10% of the Cape Hatterases. No value increase for it but in many cases it may hurt the value because most collectors will shy away from it, not knowing what it is.
I also would not knock off any value for the tinny pieces of paint that is missing on the base just below the flag. This is very common on the “Canadian made” bases and if in a small area it is usually acceptable by most collectors. But in no why should a seller call a lighthouse with tiny pieces of paint chipped off as a MIB (Mint In Box) or in excellent condition.
Okay that leaves us with the large chip out of the base. The fact that the chip is on the base and probably not seen I would have no problem purchasing one with this damage but I would expect to get it at a reasonable discount, as the buyer did.
Damages as shown in the picture is very common with the Canadian Made Lighthouses. Two reasons:
1. The most obvious is that the felt (flocking) is always set back at least 1/8”to ¼” from the edge. So where the most protection is needed is where there is none. For years Bill Younger tried to get Castle Studious to assemble a full piece felt but had no luck. He even bought regular lamp felt for them so that they would not use their Flocking, but all they did was cut the lamp felt back a 1/8” to ¼”.
2. The second improvement since the Canadian and early Malaysian made was the use of Cold Cast Porcelain instead of Hydrostone. This strengthened the lighthouse and allowed the paint to adhere better. This did not happen until 1994 when Harbour Lights switched production to China. The first lighthouse made this way was the HL401Cape Hatteras in the “Great American Lighthouse” series.
6. Harbour Lights Artist Proof Fort Tompkins Summer US $150.00
No surprises here. The going price for an Artist proof from the years 1996 to 2005 is retail to $150 depending on the lighthouse. Because of the collecting slump most usually go for around $100 to $120 and sometimes less.
Pre-1996 and post 2006 (especially the 2008) go for more. The 2008 AP’s are harder to find since none of these where given to reps and the amount was cut down to 12.
7. HARBOUR LIGHTS 5 PIECE MATCHED SET STAMP SERIES SIGNED $150
HARBOR LIGHTS LIGHTHOUSES, 1995 STAMP SERIES-2ND: FIVE LIGHTHOUSES PRODUCED BY HARBOR LIGHTS IN 1995.
HAD BEEN PART OF A NEW UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE SPECIAL STAMP GROUP, FEATURED ON A 32 cent STAMP.
IN THIS SERIES THE FIRST 5,00O WERE SOLD AS A MATCHED SET, HL400.
THE SET INCLUDES HL 182 SPECTACLE REEF MI, HL183 ST.JOSEPH NORTH PIER MI, HL 184 THIRTY MILE POINT NY, HL 412 SPLIT ROCK MN, AND HL 413 MARBLEHEAD OH.
THE EDITION # IS 3667 OUT OF 5,000.
ALL THE PIECES ARE SIGNED BY BILL YOUNGER, FOUNDER OF HARBOR LIGHTS LIGHTHOUSES.
THIS SET IS BRAND NEW AND WAS NEVER DISPLAYED. THEY WERE STORED IN SMOKE FREE LOCATION IN MY GIFTWARE STORE.
About the going price for a match set. The great Lake stamp series is still somewhat popular and sells relatively easy. The retail price was $292.00 if purchased individually and sold for $275.00 as a complete set. So this makes it Ebay value at 55% of retail, which isn’t bad for today’s market.
Unusual thing about this set is how high the number is. 3667 is high for a match set, usually only the low numbers keep the set and higher numbers end up being sold separately. It doesn’t say but probably the original large box came with it making it just a little more special
8. Old St. Augustine Lighthouse (HL #275). $142.50
This sculpture was introduced in 2002. The issue number of this piece is 591/4000. This piece comes with the original box, Certificate of Authenticity and tent card. This light has not been displayed and comes from a smoke free home.
I would say this is on the high side, that possible someone got this one confused with the HL 138, but maybe there is a market on the HL 275 that I was not aware of. We definitely need to keep an eye on the old St Augustine L.E. http://cgi.ebay.com/Retired-Harbour-Ligh...1QQcmdZViewItem
9. Harbour Lights Big Bay Point #700 Christmas Lighthouse $79.01
This lighthouse portrays the Big Bay Point Michigan Lighthouse in a Christmas scene. Production started in September 1995, and retired in December 31, 1995 with 5000 pieces produced. Originally retailed for $70, and the auction starts at just $9.99!
Big Bay has been the most dependable in stable value from 1997 to 2006. It held a strong $200 value with highs of $280 and lows of $150 during the course of those years. For most it is the missing link to the Christmas set and is just a neat looking light.
It is still selling for above retail and we can expect its value to go up for the Christmas buying season. I don’t think it to be impossible to see some sell for up to $150 to in the next two months.
10. Harbour Lights Ocracoke Lighthouse Box HL# 135 Signed $77.50
1993 Harbour Lights Ocracoke, NC. Lighthouse # 135 is in good condition. It is number 4931/5900 and is in its original box. No COA.
The Ocracoke was the last of the southern Bells to hit the high market. In 1998 while the St Augustine was going for $550, the Hilton Head at $450 and The ST Simmons at $350, the Ocracoke was going for $175 It could still be found at some Harbour Light stores at retail. This was a true sleeper. The Ocracoke was not bought up for extras and was aloud to have a slow saturation into the public. After other Southern Bells where loosing their value the Ocracoke rose in value and became the most sought after lighthouse in 2002.
It was hard to find and many collectors and dealers was caught short without any extras. Even with ebay this lighthouse was very hard to find and collectors had to pay if they wanted one. In 2004 one common Malaysian Made went for as high as $600. In 2004 the GLOW version of the Ocracoke came out and by 2005 the Ocracoke dropped down to around $180
The high $70’s is generally its going price. But I expect this one to climb up to around $80 to $120 for the pre-holiday season.