Deep inside the Cabinet, in the murky depths, you’ll come across stacks and stacks of macabre and somehow inspiring material. You wouldn’t know what to make of it at first. In fact you might not want to explore at all, but they’ll call to you, they’ll beckon in a soft and dark whisper… “come closer” see what you have found…”

The work of Gordon Smith has been hailed as revolutionary in the industry, his portfolio of film and television projects is beyond compare. You don’t have to be a movie buff or television squatter to easily recognize dozens of pictures that he personally helped to make memorable if not unforgettable. Pictures such as Platoon, X-Men, Jacob’s Ladder, Legends of the Fall, Benjamin Buttons, Snow Falling on Cedars, Nixon, Truman and hundreds more.

The Cabinet is proud to feature an extensive collection for sale and display from the genius of work. We’ll soon be adding some photos of the collection to inspire and impress. Here we have an image of resin elephant tusks created for the Oscar winning film Legends of the Fall starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas and Julia Ormond.

True crime collectibles are available in the shop often… collectors would need to email us to see what we have in store. Artwork, photos, letters, documents, personal effects and more from the most undesirable, infamous killers.

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Now that’s a cup of Joe! Or should we say Billy!! Proof that some of the best and rarest items come in the most unexpected shapes and forms. This distinct coffee cup speaks of more than just Java… it speaks of dreams … before Billy Jamieson became a household name, he was pitching the premise of a one-of-a-kind reality show to powerhouse executives as “Heads or Tales”… not a bad idea given the nature of the show that would eventually become known as History Television’s “Treasure Trader”.

We are big fans of Billy and Jessica, so this item is Not For Sale.

RIP Billy

read more about Billy, the one the only.

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Types of Vintage Cameras For Beginners

Here is a brief description of eight types of vintage cameras that is needed for any beginner’s collection. For each camera described one manufacturer is suggested to help you in your search for these vintage beauties.


1. Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) Cameras

A single – lens reflex camera employs a mirror and prism system for previewing and capturing photographs. The mirror and prism allows a photographer to preview a scene through the lens before committing it to film. SLR technology made it easier for photographers to make adjustments to their cameras and to their scenes before snapping photos, which helped photographers to both improve the quality of their photos and to be more efficient with their photography.

German company Exakta was the first company to bring a modern version of the SLR camera to market, doing so in 1936. An SLR camera from this pioneering manufacturer would make a fine addition to any beginner’s collection.


2. Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) Cameras

A twin – lens reflex ( TLR ) camera employs two lenses to help photographers capture a shot. One lens is used for previewing and the other is used for shooting the image. Like SLRs, TLRs employ a mirror for reflecting the image to the viewing lens (or viewfinder, in the case of the SLR).

Mass marketing of the TLR predated the SLR by about seven years, with the first TLRs coming to market in 1929. Rolleiflex was the first company to mass-market TLRs and numerous competitors subsequently imitated that company’s designs. Rolleiflex cameras are thus a good choice for beginning collectors who are looking to add a TLR to their collections.


3. Instant Cameras

The introduction of instant cameras to the market in 1948 represented a significant moment in the history of photography. It was the first time that a photographer could capture a photo and print it on the spot, thanks to the instant camera’s photo-capture and development technology being housed in the same small device. Although instant cameras were relatively limited in their photo-shooting features compared to other cameras of the time, consumers were thrilled to be able to develop their photos on the spot. This convenience was what introduced many people to photography.

Polaroid is the great innovator and marketer behind the instant camera, so much so that instant cameras are usually referred to as polaroids. The company suspended manufacturing of instant film cameras in 2008, so a Polaroid is practically a must for a beginner’s vintage camera collection.


4. Folding Cameras

Folding camera technology is one of the oldest camera technologies, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The main feature of this kind of camera is that the lens extends outward from a compacted position to give photographers both a portable and a functional camera. It uses pleated leather or cloth over a metal substructure to keep light out and looks like a rudimentary telephoto lens. When lying fully extended on its back with its lens pointing upwards, a folding camera would resemble a pyramid.

Folding cameras were popular until World War II and sales experienced a decline in the post-war period. German camera maker Zeiss Ikon produced many folding cameras that stand as good examples of the technology, thus making them a good choice for a vintage camera collection.


5. Box Cameras

Box cameras represent camera technology that predates folding cameras. These cameras feature a cardboard or plastic box with a lens at one end and film at the other. Box cameras date back to the 1880s and the earliest ones were very straightforward with no adjustments to aperture or shutter speed possible. Minor adjustments were possible on later versions, but the technology was never very sophisticated when compared with that of current cameras.

The rudimentary nature of the box camera is precisely why it belongs in a vintage camera collection. Although simple, the box technology made this the first appealing camera to the wider public. It also created a design base for future consumer cameras. Kodak produced the first box cameras, and Brownie cameras are a prized item in many collectors’ camera collections.


6. Rangefinder Cameras

A rangefinder is a camera that is specially designed for adjusting the focus within a scene. The viewfinder in this type of camera shows everything in focus since the viewfinder is basically just a window. The viewfinder also features a ghost image that can be lined up with the actual scene by turning a wheel on the camera. Focus is achieved when the ghost image and the scene appear as one and the same.

A rangefinder is particularly adept at focusing in low light, even more so than an SLR. Rangefinders are also generally smaller than SLRs. Leica is famous for its rangefinders, making this German brand a good choice for representing rangefinder cameras within a collection.


7. Subminiature Cameras

Subminiature cameras are known for being the first truly compact cameras. Whereas a folding camera can be extended from a compact setting, a subminiature camera is always small in the hands. It also uses film sizes that are smaller than 35mm, which is the standard size of film used in most film cameras. The introduction of 35mm film represented a downsizing itself and this film size was termed miniature film, hence the subminiature moniker for film smaller than 35mm and the cameras that use it.

Minox was one of the leading manufacturers of subminiature cameras, so beginning collectors will therefore have a relatively easy time locating these types of subminiature cameras.


8. Stereo Cameras

Stereo cameras also represented an interesting development in camera technology, as these were the first cameras that were designed to help photographers produce three-dimensional photos. Stereo cameras use two lenses to capture two different images at the same time, only from slightly different angles. When the images are developed together on one print, there is increased depth of field, giving the picture a three-dimensional appearance to human eyes.

Stereo Realist cameras became popular for a brief period in the 1950s. These cameras are therefore not only good representations of the technology, but are also a good representation of a moment in the history of photography.



License Plates used to be made by prisoners. They still do in some places… in Ontario, they are made at the Lindsay Correctional Facility, Lindsay ON.

Collecting all depends on personal taste. Some license plates are very commonly found and therefore quite cheap. Others might be more expensive because of an unusual or desirable design, for example, N.W.T. bear-shaped plates, or Tennessee state-shaped plates. Some plates are valuable because of their scarcity, or their age. Plates from areas of low population tend to be expensive. Older plates tend to be valued higher, as do plates which have just been newly-issued. Some plates can be very expensive, but others are only a dollar or two in nice condition. There are plates out there for all budgets, whether you’re a millionaire or a student working part-time.

A 1921 Alaska plate sold ten years ago for $60,000 in a Wendy’s parking lot. Many of the most valuable seem to be Southern license plates from around 1912 and 1913…20 to 30 grand is not uncommon.license-plate-collecting-1-cabinet-of-curiosities

The oldest vintage license plates date prior to 1900.  In addition to age, collectible plates are sought for their color, origin, shape, condition or the history that goes along with them, among other attributes.

Junkyards, dumps and auto scrap yards could be an alternative for affordable plates. But you’ll also find them, perhaps for a little more money, by shopping antique shops, flea markets, automotive swap meets and thrift shops. Rusty, bent and generally beat up old plates might be great for decorating a patio or game room, but avid collectors only pay premium prices for plates in good to excellent condition.

What to Look for When Collecting License Plates

According to the ALPCA site, look for pre-1969 plates as a general rule. Newer plates won’t be nearly as valuable in the long term unless they are from a hard to find state, like Alaska or Hawaii, or specialty plates: handicapped, ham radio, police and the like.

If you find a really old plate at a reasonable price, buy it when you see it. Even if you don’t want to keep it for your collection, you can sell it for more collecting cash or trade it with another collector who would love to have it. Try to buy quality plates that are in good condition, and keep in mind that truck and trailer plates aren’t worth as much as passenger car plates in most cases.

In the featured photo is Mr. Harvey Wilson, Champion Michigan License Plate collector, at least in St. Charles. There is no date, but as the last two 1940 plates look fairly clean.

The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association