In the auction world, what usually makes major national headlines are record-breaking prices for antiques, art & collectibles. What hits the front page is a story a newly discovered art masterpiece or the one-in-a-million rare Ming vase that sells at a figure more likely to be associated with a phone number than the average price tag for any vase.
While headline news may be entertaining, like most news it's not useful to you unless you can do something with it. If you're a re-seller of antiques, collectibles & junque, odds are you're not finding an undiscovered Van Gogh or a piece of oriental porcelain from 500 AD this week.
No, the prices that matter most to you, are what the types of things most often found are likely be fetch at auction. This is one of the reasons that auction houses publish "prices realized" reports.
I'd rather study prices realized reports over something like an antiques price guides because price guides publish asking prices rather than what an item actually sold for.
However, nothing is fixed so there are still variables to consider. Things such as audience attendance, auction location, item condition, even the order of the auction at which the item of interest was sold has a lot to do with the price an item achieves on the auction block. Still when buying or selling, many dealers go to a prices realized list to research what they're considering because the consider if the best reflection of market value.
The list here are some things that sold in my September 8th, 2013 auction in Gloucester MA.