How can I find the artist's name of a vintage item I can't find?
November 21, 2020 7:06 AM   Subscribe

It was already sold sometime during the summer and is an oval shaped decorative plate with two blue colored birds on it.

Supposedly the artist is well known and the plate retails for almost $200. I'm not sure how many were made, but it was sold on ebay for like $80 if I remember correctly. Unfortunately I can't remember the seller. Only that the item was coming from somewhere in Brooklyn, NY.

I've tried searching "bird plate" and such, but I haven't been able to come across an image of the plate yet.
posted by fantasticness to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Was it antique or modern?
posted by essexjan at 8:21 AM on November 21


Your question made me curious about whether the Internet Archive takes snapshots of ebay.com. Turns out they do seem to take a handful; here's the main Pottery & Glass page as it was on June 1st.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any real way to do a full-text search of IA snapshots; this appears to have been a TBD feature for the last quarter-century (but, hey, they're a nonprofit charity, it's an amazing and equalizing free resource as-is.)

The only sort of search you really can do is on the URL, the address that would appear at the top of your web browser when you're looking at a web page. In an IA URL, if you replace the datetime stamp and the end of the URL with an asterisk (“*”), you can see a list of all snapshotted pages “underneath” that URL, for example:
https://web.archive.org/web/*᷽/https://www.ebay.com/b/Lenox-Dinner-Plate/*᷽
...which right now just shows me one item, the Lenox Dinner Plates page itself.

So, the question of whether this might help you would seem to boil down to whether your bird plate happened to be visible on a page when IA snapshotted it, and if identifying information was present in the image or description, and whether you can find IA's snapshot if one exists. (Though maybe Ebay saves closed auctions anyways, I'm realizing—if so, perhaps IA's archived index pages from the summer can still help you find it.)

In any case, if you can get hold of a thumbnail image of the plate or something like that, I'd then try using TinEye and Google's Search by Image to find other web sites which mention it.
posted by XMLicious at 8:29 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Have you gone through your browser history for the last six months to try to pull up the listing?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:44 AM on November 21


It doesn't happen to be this Laura Zindel plate does it?

Or you might try Worthpoint.com, it's an eBay auction price guide. The price guide part costs money but you can just view the images and descriptions of the items without signing up for anything (or actually throwing "worthpoint" in with the rest of your search words in a Google image search might give you better results than the site's own search).
posted by Poogle at 2:24 PM on November 21


The pattern ID folks at Replacements.com are great when you have photos, and I wonder if they might be worth a try even with just a description.
posted by daisyace at 5:15 PM on November 21


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