The Picker's Pocket Guide Series of Books

Bottles, Baseball Memorabilia, and Sign Prices in Portable Guides

The Picker's Pocket Guide Series from Krause Publications. Photos Courtesy of Krause Publications

The Picker’s Pocket Guide series by Krause Publications offers take-it-with-you convenience in books, akin to their previous Warman’s Field Guides, available on a number of topics of interest to dealers and collectors.

The Picker’s Pocket Guide series covers a number of topics, including:

Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs

With advertising collectibles being more popular than ever, honing in on one subcategory makes perfect sense for a pocket guide.

The Picker’s Pocket guide to Signs by Eric Bradley does just that. From porcelain to neon, signs get a great overview in this 207-page book.

The high-quality color photographs will draw you in, and they merit studying. From Coca-Cola to varied breweriana, many valuable signs worth thousands are highlighted in the guide. The book doesn’t stop there, however. It includes many signs that are exactly the type you might run across at your local flea market making it an excellent resource to keep handy on the fly.

Don’t stop at reviewing the photos though or you’ll miss the crux of the message in this book. Advertising signs can indeed be valuable, but many variables go into picking at the right price. It also covers the important topic of reproductions, and provides tips and advice from experts in the field.

You may recognize Bradley’s name as an author for this publisher. He also penned the popular Mantiques: A Manly Guide to Cool Stuff and served as editor of Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.

“The reasons we are drawn to vintage advertising signs today is partly due to the effectiveness of the signs in the first place. They are designed to catch our attention. But their appeal to collectors and pickers is much deeper than the original ad message. Maybe the sign reminds them of five-cent Coke floats after school or an afternoon of fishing.

Maybe it’s true artistry behind the work itself: the subject, the shape, the font, the colors, lines, and its historical significance,” Bradley said in a press release for the book.

Picker’s Pocket Guide to Bottles

Many of America’s top pickers, appraisers, and antiques dealers got their start digging bottles. And while these items are often found in long-forgotten garbage heaps, they can indeed be true examples of trash to treasure.

Yes, a glass flask sold for the hefty sum of $176,000 in 2013 so there is indeed money to be made in this area. That’s why the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Bottles by Michael Polak deserves a spot in your treasure hunting go bag.

All the different types of bottles including flasks, whiskey, fire grenades, and soda bottles are covered along with others. You’ll also learn about where to find bottles beyond digging for them with tips on navitgating flea markets, thrift stores, antique shops and more. Learning to distinguish and value bottles manufactured before 1900 and those made after the turn of the century are also covered in this book.

Polak, known as the Bottle King, is a respected author that has penned 10 books and numerous articles on this topic. He also has a collection of more than 3,000 bottles built over four decades making him a leading authority on the topic.

Picker’s Pocket Guide to Baseball Memorabilia

Krause Publications bills the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Baseball Memorabilia by Jeff Figler as a “handy, go anywhere guide to picking baseball memorabilia.” It’s perfect for the seasoned collector on the go or a novice wanting to learn more about this lucrative topic.

Covering subjects like the types of baseball memorabilia to look for, where to find these coveted collectibles, and how to negotiate a major league deal, this guide covers all the basics and then some. Even strategies for valuing and selling your prime picks get an overview in this handy book.

Figler, a former sports columnist for the St. Louis Dispatch, has written more than 300 articles on collecting sports memorabilia. He got started collecting as a kid, making his love for baseball memorabilia a lifelong endeavor.

Other Books in This Series

In addition to the three titles noted above, this series also includes books on United States coins and toys. One is a general guide toys and three separate guides that specifically cover comic books, Star Wars items, and Hot Wheels collectibles. 

Copie of the Picker’s Pocket Guide to Signs and the Picker's Guide to Baseball Memorabilia were provided by the publisher for review. Pamela Y. Wiggins is the author of Warman’s Costume Jewelry (Krause Publications, 2014).