The Three Stooges - Journal Article

The following article appeared in the "Three Stooges Journal", Volume 41, Spring 1987. The Journal is the official publication of the "Three Stooges Fan Club, Inc".

Bradford Limited Edition Collector Plate

by Bruce Laliberte

Last year while attending a local Antique Show, I happened across a dealer in Bradford Plates. I gazed over her displayed collection, noticing several T.V. personalities (John Wayne, Lasie, Star Trek, etc.). I asked the dealer if she knew of a Three Stooges issue, and sure enough there had been one. I immediately left a deposit, and asked her to find one for me.

The way Bradford works is this - each plate is produced in a limited edition issue, and sold throughout all the authorized dealerships. When the issue becomes depleted, the plate goes on the Bradford Exchange (sort of like the stock exchange) for owners and buyers to sell and buy the once sold plate. Like the stock market, prices are determined by supply and demand. Once on the exchange, a dealer may enter a want, and wait for one to become available. Once available, if the price is within the buyer's range, the dealer will obtain the plate from the seller through the exchange and in turn sell it to the buyer. You can see the potential value appreciation in such a practice.

The Three Stooges issue, produced in August 1984 was held to a world-wide edition of 10,000. The artist who drew the plate was a gentleman named Bill Markowski. The plate was produced by T.Buckley Inc. The rear of the plate reads:

In a special tribute to Moe, Larry and Curly at whom we laughed in our youth and have not stopped enjoying since".

In addition to the plate, the owner receives a certificate of authenticity which reads:

It is hereby certified that this plate number ____ is an authentic registered issue in the only edition of "The Three Stooges." This commemorative plate is to pay tribute to Moe, Larry & Curly for years of laughs experienced by many then, as well as now."

The plate itself features six black and white (two each of Moe, Larry and Curly) head figures. It is an extremely attractive plate, and makes a fine addition to anyone's collection.

Plate numbers ranging in the lower hundreds from the 10,000 issued are considered valued collectibles. Those less than 100 are extremely valuable and usually rare. I was very fortunate by the exchange and got plate #31 out of the 10,000 issued. What a great find! I hope this bit of info will be helpful to the club members.


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