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Keeping Heirlooms in the Family

Keeping Heirlooms in the Family

Whether a collection has been passed down through the family or collected through personal hunting, collectors often hope their treasures will stay in the family. Objects can be emotionally charged and conjure memories of ancestors, family history, or tremendous buying trips. Collectors’ children often don’t view the objects in the same light and may want [...]

Going Green with Antiques & Collectibles

Going Green with Antiques & Collectibles

 Buying, selling, and collecting antiques and collectibles gives me a leg up in the “green” department. The items I typically sell have made their carbon footprint on the planet years, if not decades or centuries, ago. Their only carbon usage now comes from the gasoline used for the buyers or sellers to receive the items, [...]

Sports Memorabilia

Sports Memorabilia

Athletes are superstars in this country. We pay the best of the best hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and spend millions of dollars on merchandise each year. Vintage sports memorabilia is also popular in this country. Each year our shop fields at least a dozen calls about selling baseball cards. Typically we refer [...]

To Toss, or Not to Toss – Paper and Small Advertising Items

To Toss, or Not to Toss – Paper and Small Advertising Items

When cleaning out an estate or attic or simply doing Spring Cleaning, it can be difficult to know what is junk and what has some value. Shop owners who deal in antiques and collectibles often overhear a conversation that sounds something like this Loved One #1: “Honey, honey look at this. Grandmother had one of these, [...]

Victorian Antiques

Victorian Antiques

Antiques of the Victorian era are those that were made during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria – July 20, 1837 through January 22, 1901. This is not to say that all items termed “Victorian” were made in Britain. Perhaps the number of American made Victorian pieces is due not only to the emigration of [...]

Antique, Collectible or Vintage?

Antique, Collectible or Vintage?

Did last week’s Spring weather send you to the attic or basement to de-clutter? Did you find a thingamajig and wonder: What is It? Can I sell it? Where? These days we hear and see the terms antique, collectible, and vintage bandied about on popular TV shows, the web, and in casual conversation. Did you [...]

Stolen Goods

Stolen Goods

Movies and television shows like USA Network’s White Collar make stealing art and artifacts look glamorous and somewhat safe. Forger and art thief extraordinaire Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer) is a charming FBI confidential informant full of knowledge about art, chemistry, and deception. Somehow he manages to help his handler Agent Burke while working [...]

Late Winter Sort

Late Winter Sort

I don’t know about you, but I have been looking forward to spring ever since Groundhog Day. Punxsutawny Phil did not see his shadow, which means that spring should arrive about a month or so from now . . . if only Phil’s prediction was a sure thing. Spring weather means an uptick in outdoor [...]

Valentine’s Day Postcards

Valentine’s Day Postcards

The origin of Valentine’s Day is not certain. Perhaps it was born out of the Roman festival Lupercalia which was celebrated each year in the middle of February. The festival was a time of match-making and fertility; there was also violence toward women. The holiday’s name comes from the two Christian martyrs – each with [...]

Means for Valuing Artifacts

Means for Valuing Artifacts

All of us want to know what our stuff is worth, whether purchased, inherited or gifted. Those who have read previous columns know that I recommend using a professional appraiser in order to have the proper documentation for insuring collections and making the best decisions regarding selling certain collections. For clients who have tiny budgets [...]

Decorate Away the Winter Blues

Decorate Away the Winter Blues

After a couple of weeks of rain, snow and ice, it is so nice to see some sunshine. Staring at the same four walls, same furniture, same textiles, same old, same old, I’m definitely ready for a change. As soon as my family heads back to school, I will be off to the local antiques [...]

Collecting Tools for Communication: Typewriter Ribbon Tins

Collecting Tools for Communication: Typewriter Ribbon Tins

One of my favorite college classes was Communication Technology and Culture. In twelve whirlwind weeks, we studied communication techniques from oral history all the way to the computer age. There were four main projects – an oral group presentation, a handwritten paper, a typewritten paper, and a computerized paper in which all the research was [...]

Gift Guide 2012

Gift Guide 2012

Thanksgiving is just ten days away. For many of us this has been a tough year . . . but there is still so much to be thankful for. As I have been thinking about the holidays this year and what I want to teach my children, I realized that many of the gifts we [...]

Who can resell items copyrighted outside the US?

Who can resell items copyrighted outside the US?

Does one really own what one buys? It sounds like a silly question, but increasingly in the global economy, this is becoming a serious thought for pondering. The digital age has brought the idea that consumers purchase use rights, rather than actually purchasing software, digital music, or e-books. Yet for over one hundred years, U. [...]