I can "blame" my Mother for becoming involved in antiques and collectibles. Her love and fascination with history and unique items trickled down to me at a very young age.
Initially, I admit, at 5 years old, she had to drag me to antique shows, bribing me by giving me a couple of dollars to buy little bisque/china, German/Japanese dolls. These dolls fascinated me as I found that during the late 1800s to the early 1900s, this was what little girls just my age played with. I scoured each show looking for that special little doll and the dealers of course wouldn’t sell it to me until I listened to all of their stories.
Also while searching, I would see things that were used in the past and always asked questions about them. In a way, I learned all I know from those dealers’ stories and the many books we acquired throughout the years on antiques.
Flea marketing and then antique shows became a wonderful family hobby we enjoyed together! My Mother's love for history has given me the opportunity to own, enjoy and learn about some beautiful, historic items.
I feel honored to have owned and enjoyed antiques, even though it may have only been for a while. But more importantly, we met some very wonderful and knowledgeable people who share our interests throughout the years.
Times have changed now!
The Internet has opened up a new venue for selling and buying antiques from all over the world and researching them has become a lot easier as well.
But, people still seek advice, not knowing what to invest in and have a lot of questions about what their grandmother’s items are worth.
Not long ago, a couple walking by from Mount Lebanon stopped and ask me if a marble top table in the window was worth anything.
The husband had thrown out a similar set from his mother’s house, his wife said.
The marble top dressers were probably from the 1880s to the very early 1900s Victorian era and a matching set to boot and without even seeing them the value could have been between $800 to $1600 or more not to mention their historic value.
Needless to say, from the look on the wife's face, I'm sure the rest of their walk wasn't too pleasant for the husband.
Through this column, I would like to try to "save" antique and collectible items that are in your or your relatives home from "the Dumpster" by showing examples of different pieces one might find, a general idea of value, what to look for and the best way to sell them.