Who is Harry Rinker?
The inside scoop


Harry L. Rinker is the owner of Harry L. Rinker LLC, dba as Rinker Consulting, a firm specializing in providing appraisal, consulting, editorial, educational, media, personal appearance, research, and writing services in the antiques and collectibles field.

“Rinker on Collectibles,” Rinker’s weekly syndicated column which celebrated its 25th anniversary in December 2011, appears in trade papers and daily periodicals from coast to coast and on antiques and collectibles internet websites.  Rinker’s biweekly blog is posted on  His research articles and special feature columns have appeared in AntiqueWeek, Collectors News, The Magazine Antiques, Maine Antique Digest, and numerous other periodicals and newspapers.

Rinker hosts Whatcha Got?, a nationally syndicated antiques and collectibles radio call-in show, airing Sunday mornings between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM Eastern Time.  The show streams live on the Internet at

In the fall of 2011, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe appointed Rinker to a three-year term (January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014) on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.  CSAC, a 15-member committee, recommends to the Postmaster General postage stamp subjects that are contemporary, timely, and relevant, while at the same time representative of the cultural diversity that is the United States.

Rinker hosted seventy-eight (78) half-hour episodes of Collector Inspector, a weekly show devoted to seeking out antiques and collectibles in private homes, on Home & Garden Television (HGTV). The show first aired on October 4, 2002, and was last broadcast on December 31, 2004. Rinker also appeared in two HGTV specials—2003 Endless Yard Sale (first aired on September 21, 2003) and Collectibles: Coast to Coast (first aired on March 20, 2004).  During the summer of 2005 Rinker served as a spokesman and expert during the taping of Discovery Channel’s Pop Nation: America’s Coolest Stuff.

Rinker is a frequent television and radio guest. His television credits include Oprah, Home Matters, Martha Stewart Living, Inside Edition, Wall Street Journal Report, the NBC-TV Today show, the ABC-TV Good Morning America show, the CBS This Morning Show and Sunday Morning, CNBC-TV Market Rap, and MPT Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser, along with many regional and local talk shows. WOR (New York), WHO (Des Moines), and WCCO (Minneapolis) are among Rinker’s hundred plus radio credits. Rinker on Collectibles, a twenty-six week half-hour television show focusing on post-1945 collectibles, aired between Spring 1994 and Summer 1995 on WFMZ-TV, Channel 69, in Allentown, PA.

Rinker is a prolific antiques and collectibles writer.  Guide To Toy Collecting (for the Smithsonian), published by Collins in March 2008 is his latest title. His Sell, Keep, or Toss: How To Downsize a Home, Settle An Estate, and Appraise Personal Property was released by House of Collectibles, an imprint of Random House Information Group, in September 2007.  Between 1981 and 1996 Rinker edited fifteen editions of Warman’s Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide and seven editions of Warman’s Americana & Collectibles.  He also edited four editions of The Official Rinker Price Guide to Collectibles and two editions of The Official Guide to Flea Market Prices for House of Collectibles.

Rinker has authored Antique Trader’s Guide to Games and Puzzles (1997), Collectors’ Guide to Toys, Games, and Puzzles (1991), Hopalong Cassidy: King of the Cowboy Merchandisers (1995), Rinker on Collectibles (1989) and How To Think Like a Collector (2005)—compilations of his weekly newspaper columns, How to Make the Most of Your Investments in Antiques and Collectibles (1988), and Warman’s Furniture (1993). He also is the author of a three-book series Dinnerware of the 20th Century: The Top 500 Patterns (1997), Silverware of the 20th Century: The Top 250 Patterns (1997), and Stemware of the 20th Century: The Top 200 Patterns (1997).  He co-authored Warman’s Paper (1994) with Norman E. Martinus, Snow Globes: The Collector’s Guide to Selecting, Displaying, and Restoring Snow Globes (1993) with Connie A. Moore, Garage Sale Manual & Price Guide (1995) and the first three editions of Warman’s Country Antiques and Collectibles (1992, 1994, and 1996) with Dana G. Morykan, and a cartoon book about collectors and dealers entitled The Joy of Collecting with Craven Moore (1985) with Frank Hill.

Rinker is often quoted in the nation’s leading magazines and newspapers such as Business Week, Chicago Tribune, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Newsday, New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today. The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Knight-Ridder, and Reuters have circulated feature articles to the newspaper media about Rinker and his collections.

Rinker makes numerous guest appearances at antiques shows, trade shows and exhibitions, home and garden shows, educational institutions, and museums and historic sites where he lectures and/or conducts verbal appraisal clinics. He also leads an occasional antiques and collectibles seminar cruise.

Internet, insurance, and publishing companies utilize Rinker’s consulting services. Rinker also works with corporate and private clients in the areas of collection management, valuation, and market analysis.

Rinker is a dedicated accumulator. His principal interests are Pennsylvania German material, objects associated with the Moravians, memorabilia of the American canal era, TV cowboy heroes with emphasis on Hopalong Cassidy, and advertising jigsaw puzzles and associated ephemera.

Items from Rinker’s private collection have been featured in a number of exhibitions among which are: “Hopalong Cassidy: King of the Cowboy Merchandisers” (American Museum of the Moving Image, New York, 1994-95; Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, 1995), “Hoppy, Gene, and the Lone Ranger” (Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles, 1991), “The Pennsylvania German Influence” (Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco, 1982), the 1976 “United States Bicentennial Exhibition” in Moscow, and at numerous museums, historical societies, and antiques shows.

Rinker has a BA from Lehigh University, an MA from Washington University of St. Louis, an MFA in Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University, and a PhD in American Decorative Arts with minors in American History and History of Science / History of Technology from Breyer State University.  His distinguished twelve-year career as a museum professional began as director of archival research for Historic Bethlehem and culminated as executive director of the Montgomery County (PA) Federation of Historical Societies.

Rinker currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Communications at Davenport University, Grand Rapids, MI.  Previously, he taught as an adjunct professor of English Composition at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT, of Communications and English Composition at Lincoln College of New England, Southington, CT, and of English Composition Writing Lab at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. He also was one of seven faculty members who team taught HON398 (Wunderkammer of Knowledge) at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT.

back to top