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Antique Advertising Items/Antique Boy Scout Memorabilia

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Question
My cousin and I were cleaning out my great uncle's house.  We came across some of his father's old boy scout stuff like badges, uniforms, and a couple of medals.  We almost threw it away but then we saw that there might be some value to the older stuff.  Do you know anything about that, and is there a reference book or somebody online that buys old boy scout memorabilia?  I am seeing prices online that are all over the place.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer
Hi Jimmy,

There are some excellent resources online and in print for Boy Scout Collectibles, and many knowledgeable and dedicated Scouting collectors who have done enormous amounts of research about these items.

In general, with Boy Scout items, the most valuable items will be dated to the 1920's or earlier, when the Boy Scouts was still a relatively small organization. Almost any items from that period will be valuable and the best way to date your Great-Uncle's collection will be to look for his membership cards, rank cards, or merit badge cards. These cards will have a date so that you will be able to establish when he was active as a Scout. The next step is to identify exactly which types of badges, medals, and other items you have. Your best bet here will likely be to the guides at Boy Scout Collectibles, or a similar site.

It's not surprising that you're seeing wild ranges in prices because for most Boy Scout items there has been extensive categorizing of items and even tiny differences can mean a big difference in rarity or value to a collector. For this reason, I highly recommend working with a knowledgable person who can help and guide you.

Here is a short list of items that are most heavily collected:
Merit Badges
Rank and Position Patches
Council Shoulder Patches and Community Strips
Order of the Arrow Flaps and other items
Award Medals

There are also a wealth of reference books related to Boy Scout items, a few of them are:
Standard Price Guide to U.S. Scouting Collectibles by George Cuhaj
Collecting Boy Scout Rank Badges by Paul E. Myers Jr.
Merit Badge Field Guide by Fred Duersch, Jr.
Blue Book of Standard Order of the Arrow Insignia
A Comprehensive Guide to the Eagle Scout Award by Terry Grove
An Aid to Collecting Council Shoulder Patches and Valuation Guide by Franck, Hook, Ellis, and Jones

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Dale Fenton

Expertise

I can answer your questions about the history of many popular antique advertising brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Tobacco Brands, Petroliana (Gas, Oil, and Automotive Items), Breweriana (Beer and Brewing Items), Barbershop Items, as well as other areas. I can also help with determining approximate values of your items. I know how to identify fakes, reproductions, and fantasy items for Antique Advertising items such as tins, posters, signs, displays, trays, mugs, clocks, and much more. Even with my experience I don't know everything, but if I'm stumped I can usually refer you to someone who does know about whatever it is.

Experience

I am a full time dealer working in Antique Advertising every day. I run the website http://advertisingantiques.com which I built and maintain. I attend many shows, auctions, and other events related to Advertising Antiques and I know many other dealers and collectors interested in these items.

Education/Credentials
I have my BA in Architecture from Clemson University, my Master's of Architecture from Texas A&M. As far as education related to Advertising, I have an extensive library of books and literature related to these items and the many smaller collecting areas within it. I keep up with the published articles and information published by the AAAA.

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