Some time ago Country Living featured vintage sand pails in its "what's it worth" section. I had no idea they could be so valuable. Of course now that I've found my first vintage sand pail, I can't for the life of me find that issue of Country Living in my piles of old magazines. Does anyone remember that issue and know the month? Oh well. (Update! Kate found it--it's the August 2008 issue, which I finally found in my piles, and they estimate their value at around $30 - $1,000. Thanks, Kate!) This encyclopedia of sand pails could probably help me estimate its value, but I think I'm just going to give it to my nephew anyway. He's having a pirate themed birthday party in two weeks, and this would look really cute with something in it for display--maybe just filled with sand to hold the pirate flag I'm sending as well. I bought the pail a few weeks ago at that estate sale where I also bought the beautiful silk dress. Ahoy, matey! Isn't it so cute? And for just $3 dollars!
I searched for vintage pails online, mostly on ebay, and the prices are all over the place. The bids range from a few dollars to $75+. (Some of them are so cute, too, you should go look.) Also, I found some at here at a place called Ruby Lane that all range from $40 - $75. The prices here at Huxtons go all the way up to $190! I figure the prices vary depending on maker, design, year and condition. From what I've read, it sounds like Chein and the Ohio Art company's pails are the most valuable and sought after. Mine is made by the MFG company. Shabby Vintage Mom also wrote a good post about vintage sand pails a while back, which you can read here.
The top old photo is from littlebird2009 on flickr.