In Review: Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2012

The new 44th edition of 'Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide' contains 722 pages and 2,500 full-color photographs. Image courtesy of Black Dog & Leventhal.

The new 44th edition of ‘Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide’ contains 722 pages and 2,500 full-color photographs. Image courtesy of Black Dog & Leventhal.

Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2012 (Black Dog & Leventhal: Sept. 14, 2011; $27.95; 978-1-57912-883-8) is the 44th and newest edition of what The New York Times calls “the bibles of the field,” could arguably be considered an immediate collector’s item itself: It is the 100th book put out by the Kovel family, the reigning experts on all things collectible.

In May, The New York Times ran a cover story foregrounding the recent surge in the popularity of flea markets. Times writer Ashley Parker asks: “What, exactly, is behind the new flea market hegemony?” Regardless of what’s behind the zeitgeist of shopping for hidden treasures, the Kovels are ahead of it. House Beautiful puts it plainly: “What the Kovels don’t know about antiques isn’t worth knowing.” And what they do know will make each reader the lord of the fleas … as well as garage sales, auctions, antique shops and shows. And in these challenging times, think of how invaluable a resource this book will be to the growing throngs, looking to cash in on their household treasures, including their appreciating gold and silver.

Unparalleled by any other index, the book is completely recreated from the ground up, with 40,000, all new, real-market prices in over 700 categories. The Kovels do all the work for us, painstakingly listing actual prices collected from the year’s sales—not pie-in-the-sky estimates. Terry Kovel and her daughter Kim offer us 2,500 color photographs, hundreds of expert tips and informational sidebars, countless cross-references, record-setting prices and a computer-generated index. This ‘bible’ has more tips, marks, logos and photographs of individual items—in all price ranges—than any other price guide.

From pattern glass, pottery and porcelain, to jewelry and furniture, photography and sports memorabilia to Halloween and compacts, over 700 categories that cover an enormous range of interests are spotlighted.

Terry Kovel has been a lifelong collector and has written 100 books on antiques and collectibles. She also writes Kovels: Antiques and Collectibles, the oldest nationally syndicated newspaper column that is still written by the original author. Her expert advice is in Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, a monthly printed newsletter that has over 50,000 paid subscribers, and a weekly ezine, Kovels Komments, that boasts well over 200,000 opt-in readers. Until the fall of 2008, when Ralph Kovel, Terry’s husband, died, all Kovel ventures and adventures were the work of this indefatigable husband-and-wife team. Now, Terry continues to spearhead the Kovel enterprise along with her daughter, Kim Kovel. Terry lives in an old house in the Cleveland area.

Kim Kovel, daughter of Terry and Ralph, caught the collecting bug as a child, growing up in a house filled with antiques and traveling regularly to antique shows and flea markets. She manages the Kovels’ website and has spent the last 12 years working on the Kovels’ price guides and other Kovel projects. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and her impressive collections in a ’50s house in Florida.