Antiques: Where Do You Find All This Stuff?

It might seem like a silly question: where do you find all this stuff? But there’s not an antique dealer out there who ever set up at a show or opened a shop that hasn’t had this query from novice shoppers. They wander into a booth mesmerized by the treasures within, and can’t help but wonder how you put together such an impressive collection of items for sale. The answer most dealers will give you? Everywhere. So if you’re thinking you might want to start a part-time antiques business or develop a sideline selling collectibles to supplement your retirement income, be prepared to work hard finding quality merchandise to sell at prices reasonable enough to keep the business going. These are some of the venues where you’ll compete with others to find the goods required to turn a profit and replenish your inventory:

Estate Sales

The estate sales holding the most potential are those run by family members as opposed to estate-liquidation companies. For one thing, these companies know a lot more about the merchandise they’re selling than the average family does. In fact, they tend to price the merchandise higher than most dealers would in a traditional shop. That said, prices do tend to fall as the sale drags on. Although making the effort to stand in line on the first day the sale will ensure that you get first look at that goods, you’ll tend to get better deals on the second and third days.
Check your local newspaper’s estate sale list in the classified advertising section each Thursday and Friday to locate the sales in your town and consult online listings as well. Better yet, if the operators of the estate sales you attend offer notices of upcoming sales, whether through email or snail mail, sign up to receive them. That way, you’ll learn about local sales even before they’re announced in the newspaper or through online ads.

Garage Sales

It’s gotten really hard to find older things at random garage sales anymore, but you may have more luck at neighborhood sales where several households stage garage sales on the same day. To that end, try to get a sense of which neighborhoods in your area are more upscale; that way, you increase your chances of finding nice things you might be able to resell even if they aren’t extremely old.

Flea Markets

Many flea markets these days are actually outlets for new and imported goods, which means that finding antiques can be challenging—but it’s not impossible. One of the best ways to find out about flea markets (not to mention antiques shows, crafts fairs and the like) in your area that sell mainly antiques is to check online event calendars provided by sites like this one along with other antiques publications. Don’t forget to check the calendar when you travel, too, to find out which markets to hit while you’re away.

Live Auctions

General auctions used to hold more potential for resellers than they do now, at least in many areas. But you can still hit a good one every now and then, especially when they’re estate auctions. The trick is to arrive early to inspect the goods you might be interested in bidding on to make sure the pieces are authentic (nothing stings like buying a reproduction at an auction) and in good condition. Take notes of lot numbers, and determine how much you can reasonably pay for a piece and still turn a decent profit. Use your list to make sure you don’t get caught up in the action and pay way more than an item’s worth. Also refrain from bidding on pieces you didn’t get to inspect if they are selling low. This rarely works in your favor since auctioneers tend to embellish items and don’t always describe flaws accurately. To locate auctions in your area, check your local newspaper or consult a service like liveauctioneers.com. You’ll not only learn where upcoming auctions are taking place, but you can sign up to bid online there as well.

Thirft Stores

Some people have great luck shopping at thrift stores for antiques and collectibles. Those who swear by them say to find out the day of the week they stock new merchandise and hit them then. It may also pay off to establish a rapport with the employees at your local thrift stores. Be extra friendly when you drop in, and make sure they have some idea of the types of pieces you’re looking to find. Then, leave your card with them so they can call you in the event items that might interest you are stocked.

Online Auctions

In many instances now online auctions provide a wholesale marketplace for more average antiques, and the rarities are snapped up by eager collectors who will pay top dollar. But sometimes you’ll find a great sleeper if you shop diligently. In fact, in her book Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, author Maureen Stanton writes of one seller she knows who makes a living finding undervalued and misidentified wares on eBay.com and then turning around and selling them in the same venue. You can even search on eBay using misspelled words to find things other buyers won’t tend to notice. Be aware, however, that this is a time-consuming proposition and you really need to be well-versed in the genres of antiques you’re “working” to make any money. But if you have the background, time and inclination, you can indeed score some great finds this way. Original article posted on About Home

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5 Budget Friendly Antiques Under $10

Start scouring flea markets, online auctions, and yard sales for these wallet-friendly scores—from miniature busts to rubber stamps.
Mass-produced by a handful of outfits during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, these diminutive statuettes served as popular gifts from piano teacher to student. Herco Industries, the accessories division of Hershman Brothers Musical Instrument Company, cast the four-inch-tall chalkware maestros below (from left, Paderewski, Mozart, and Mendelssohn). We snagged the trio for $9.

1. Composer Busts

Mass-produced by a handful of outfits during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, these diminutive statuettes served as popular gifts from piano teacher to student. Herco Industries, the accessories division of Hershman Brothers Musical Instrument Company, cast the four-inch-tall chalkware maestros below (from left, Paderewski, Mozart, and Mendelssohn). We snagged the trio for $9.    
The combo bottle-and-can opener debuted shortly after Prohibition—when brewers first started marketing canned beer—and remained prevalent until the pull tab's release in 1962. Often given away with the purchase of a six-pack, the simple tools are in plentiful supply today. Snap them up for as little as $1 each.

2. Bottle Openers

The combo bottle-and-can opener debuted shortly after Prohibition—when brewers first started marketing canned beer—and remained prevalent until the pull tab’s release in 1962. Often given away with the purchase of a six-pack, the simple tools are in plentiful supply today. Snap them up for as little as $1 each.
Beginning in the early 20th century, tailors, haberdasheries, dry cleaners, and even banks imprinted their logos, slogans, and other information on these wooden freebies—a publicity tactic that endured through the 1970s. The examples here, all under $5 a pop, hail from between the 1930s and the 1960s.

3. Advertising Hangers

Beginning in the early 20th century, tailors, haberdasheries, dry cleaners, and even banks imprinted their logos, slogans, and other information on these wooden freebies—a publicity tactic that endured through the 1970s. The examples here, all under $5 a pop, hail from between the 1930s and the 1960s.  
To create this two-headed horse, the developer flipped the negative and exposed the print a second time; but there's no telling if that move was intentional or merely a darkroom mistake. We unearthed these circa-1915 prints in a box of discarded proofs, priced at under a buck each—evidence that it's worth digging for special effects or gaffes (double exposures, light leaks, awkward cropping) that add extra interest to otherwise ordinary works.

4. Photographers’ Proofs

To create this two-headed horse, the developer flipped the negative and exposed the print a second time; but there’s no telling if that move was intentional or merely a darkroom mistake. We unearthed these circa-1915 prints in a box of discarded proofs, priced at under a buck each—evidence that it’s worth digging for special effects or gaffes (double exposures, light leaks, awkward cropping) that add extra interest to otherwise ordinary works.  
The first rubber stamp was introduced in the late 1860s. Businesses adopted the efficient labels over the next few decades, and the technology remained predominant for more than a century. The post-1930 devices at right recorded dates, payments, approvals, employee attendance on time sheets, and quality-control inspections. (Check out the workers' names—Topsy! Shirley! Dessie!) Now the throwbacks can be sourced for as little as $3 per stamp.

5. Rubber Stamps

The first rubber stamp was introduced in the late 1860s. Businesses adopted the efficient labels over the next few decades, and the technology remained predominant for more than a century. The post-1930 devices at right recorded dates, payments, approvals, employee attendance on time sheets, and quality-control inspections. (Check out the workers’ names—Topsy! Shirley! Dessie!) Now the throwbacks can be sourced for as little as $3 per stamp.   Original article posted on Country Living

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3 Antique Stoves Every Collector Should Know About

Sure, they’re expensive, but they don’t make these built-to-last beauties like they used to. Sturdy and striking, these antique stoves cook up some serious style. gallery-1426194670-antique-stoves-western-holly-0415

#1 – 1953 Western Holly

This green number features a gas-powered range, as well as a rotisserie cooker and an electric light and fan (both novel at the time). At 46 inches, it’s wide—even by 1950s standards. Value: $8,900
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#2 – 1952 Chambers

Built-in cabinets with standardized sizes for stoves first appeared in kitchens during the 1950s. At 37.5 inches wide, this 1952 Chambers is more representative of this shift in size.Value: $7,400

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1949 O’Keefe and Merritt

After World War II, vibrant colors and shiny chrome came into vogue. Thanks to flashy features—a griddle for pancakes, a “grillevator” that lowered food close to flames for indoor barbecuing, and built-in salt and pepper shakers—this brand still has a cult following. Value: $8,900
  All prices in this story reflect refurbished, functional models (sourced from antiqueappliances.com in Clayton, GA). Original article posted on CountryLiving.com

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Top 10 Irish Items to Collect for St. Patrick’s Day

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Originally a religious holiday commemorating the death of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day has transformed into an international celebration of Irish tradition and culture. While many festivities tend to focus on green beer, shamrocks and corny t-shirts, the Irish have an incredibly rich history, all of which deserves to be celebrated at least once a year. The unique culture of Ireland presents numerous rare and meaningful opportunities for those who wish to hold onto a piece of Éire. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are the top ten Irish items to add to your collection:

Claddagh Rings

irish memorabilia

A traditional representation of love, loyalty and friendship, the Claddagh ring is an emblem of Irish identity. Made in Ireland since at least 1700, the origin of the Claddagh ring is clothed in mystery and myth. The legend is that Richard Joyce, a silversmith, was captured and sold to a Moorish goldsmith who taught him the craft. Fourteen years later, Joyce was returned to Ireland – where he gave his ring to his sweetheart. His initials are even engraved into the earliest surviving Claddagh ring. Today, women wear the rings to “announce” their relationship status to the world: If worn with the heart pointed toward the fingers, the girl is single; if the heart points toward the wrist, she’s in a relationship. Whether it’s a collection of rings, one with sentimental value, or a valuable, rare ring from the 1800s, Claddagh rings are likely to be found in any Irish person’s Trov.

 

Traditional Irish Instruments

irish tin whistle

One of the strongest aspects of Irish culture is its music. Not only are they the exporters of the greatest rock ‘n roll band in the world, traditional Irish music has more than survived subsequent innovations and globalization, it has thrived. From Ireland’s national bagpipe, the uilleann pipes, to harps, tin whistles, bodhráns and of course – the fiddle, the traditional folk music, the jigs, stepdances and the crooning ballads all evoke feelings of rolling green pastures and jam sessions in small public houses. A welcome addition to any Trov, the music of Ireland, and by extension its instruments, are an important and active aspect of Irish culture and lifestyle.

 

Guinness Memorabilia

st. patrick's day, guinness

We can’t very well talk about St. Patrick’s Day without talking about Guinness, can we? Dublin’s favorite stout since 1759 has gone through many variations over the centuries, but still remains one of the world’s most successful beer brands. Some of this success might be attributed to Guinness’ iconic marketing campaigns of the 1920s. In fact, the posters and other advertising memorabilia are now collectors items of their own right, especially since they can no longer make the medical claims that “Guinness is good for you.”

 

Vintage Beer Tap Knobs

beer tap knobs, irish collectibles

On a similar note, the Irish culture of going out to the pub is one that cannot be denied. Public houses are gathering places for the communities, friends and families – when heading out to ‘the local’ – you expect to see the smiling faces of people you know. One of the most collectible items from pubs would have to be vintage beer tap knobs – for their age, rarity and value, these colorful handles are a great way to bring some of that community pub feeling to your home.

 

Aran Sweater

aran sweater, irish collectibles

The intricate designs, tight knits and natural oils all make traditional Aran jumpers a unique and appreciated staple of any Irish wardrobe. Though most are now machine knit or made on a hand loom, it is still possible to find a hand-knit Aran sweater, far superior in quality, but which can reach quite high prices: 215 Euros (about 300 American dollars) or more for a high quality vintage item.

 

Militaria

volunteer sheet

Undeniable is the fact that Ireland’s history is one that has been clouded in war. Invaded by many, but conquered by none, there is a large wealth of militaria and memorabilia to go around, collected by historians, history buffs, and those who have a passion for a connection to the past. Items such as collar badges, weapons, archives and hand-written journals are all incredibly interesting and educational items for any collection.

 

Rosaries

eucharistic dublin

Of course, the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day is actually a religious affair – commemorating the death of Ireland’s patron saint. Despite the myth that Saint Patrick “banned the snakes from Ireland” he is in fact known for bringing Christianity to the island, and the holiday is one that is celebrated in Ireland by heading to church. As such, rosary beads are a fitting collectible with which to celebrate this national holiday. Providing a spiritual connection as well as monetary value, vintage rosary beads can vary greatly in price depending on style, material, markings, construction and condition, making them a great option for anyone wishing to start a collection.

 

Irish Art

irish art

From the Bronze Age to today, Ireland is a country that has always emphasized its art. Whether you’re looking for traditional Celtic art, works by early Irish masters, or modern, contemporary pieces – there is something for everyone. In the world of art collecting, there has recently been an increased interest in Irish art, largely due to the country’s economic expansion since the 1980s.

 

Midleton Very Rare – Irish Whiskey

midleton irish whiskey

The French have their wine, the Russians, vodka, while Ireland is renowned for its production of some of the world’s best whiskey. Blended in their distillery in the southern county of Cork, Midleton Very Rare is known as one of the highest quality whiskeys available. However, a limited number of bottles are produced each year, and each bottle is dated, numbered and signed by the chief distiller – only adding to its value. A single bottle of Midleton Very Rare will cost around $150, though prices for rare editions and exceptional vintages will be much, much higher.

 

Irish Literature

oscar wilde irish literature rare books

A nation of storytellers, Ireland has contributed a massive amount of contributions to world literature, especially given its comparatively small size. From the tales of Irish mythology and epic sagas, to the playwrights and poets of the 18th century; from James Joyce and W.B. Yeates to Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and the Irish Literary Revival, the stories are endless, moving and inspirational. For collectors, or those who just wish to add some enlivening literature to their Trov, rare books and first editions are the perfect way to evoke the spirit of the Irish.

Original article posted on Trov.com

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Vintage Indian Jewelry Inspires Red Carpet Style

It may come as a shock for some, but the old dictum “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” made famous by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, may no longer prove universally true. A testament to how things have changed, Jennifer Aniston told the New York Times how hesitant she was with the enormous diamond engagement ring she received from her fiancé, actor Justin Theroux, “It took me a while to get used to it. I’m not a diamond girl. I’m more Indian jewelry and stuff.” Diamonds are not necessarily the ultimate accessory for contemporary women who want something colorful and bold. For traditional pieces that are vibrant and bespoke, look no further than antique Indian jewelry. Indian jewelry has been gaining traction in the United States, both at institutions and on the red carpet. The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York recently exhibited Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection, which features sixty prized pieces from the private collection of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani. Highlights included a number of sarpesh, or turban ornaments, originating from North and South India. Produced during the 19th century, the pieces are crafted with gold and set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and spinels, a deep blue and red colored gemstone that was long mistaken for rubies until the late 16th century.

Necklace and Earrings, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960

Necklace and Earrings, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960 The sarpesh boast amazing hidden details. Two of the pieces are backed with enamel, a feature that can be found in other Indian jewelry, namely kundan work earring and jewelry suites. Often adorned as part of an Indian wedding trousseau, kundan suites are typically comprised of elaborate bib form necklaces and teardrop earrings. “The kundan technique is unique to India,” explains Dr. Samina Khanyari of Samina Inc., the Indian and Islamic jeweled arts gallery based in London. “The stone is set with the purest soft gold wire by simple pressure pinching and hammering. This simple process is the most difficult. Great skill and craftsmanship are required to master this technique.” Bib form necklaces with graduated plaque designs provide amble space for ornate enamel detailing on the reverse. “Enamel work, or minakari, is another technique which shows the quality of a piece of jewelry. The style and quality of motifs in sublime jewel-like colors are a mark of sophisticated craftsmanship,” she explains.

Enamel Detail, Necklace, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960

Enamel Detail, Necklace, Diamonds, Quartz, Sapphires, India, c.1960 Also featured in the Al-Thani collection exhibit are examples of Indian jewelry’s influence on the West. Not only in style, although the exotic, spontaneous effect of Indian jewelry has inspired countless Western designers. Jewelry also played a role in navigating the tempestuous waters of world politics. The Nizam of Hyderabad and others in India strengthened their complex relationships with European royalty by giving spectacular pieces of jewelry as wedding gifts. Examples from Cartier not only show the wealth, taste, and command of natural resources at the Indian ruler’s disposal, but the synthesis of two cultures negotiating politics and power. In terms of dispersion, the bib necklace and drop earrings are two design motifs that continue to surface on the red carpet. Bold earrings were the statement piece of the 2015 awards season, from Helen Mirren’s diamond and ruby pair by Chopard at the Golden Globes to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fire Phoenix earrings by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie at the Oscars. No doubt, the modern chandelier earring has been influenced by the beaded tassels that fall from classic Indian sets.

Earrings with Diamonds and Ruby Cabochons, Gilt Silver

Earrings with Diamonds and Ruby Cabochons, Gilt Silver Although assessing Indian jewelry on the secondary market is no easy task, a few key details can shed light on the craftsmanship of a given piece. “The quality of gold and precious gems, the cut of stones, and technique of stone setting, the enamel work, are all significant in determining the quality of a piece of Indian jewelry,” says Dr. Khanyari. While the upper echelons of society demanded the very best, their jewelry inspired countless similar pieces of varying quality. “One of the main problems in acquiring Mughal and antique Indian jewelry is that this type of jewelry is still being made in India. There are master craftsmen who still use the same technique to produce the most exquisite jewels.”

Necklace with 220 Rubies and 984 Diamonds, Gold and Silver

Necklace with 220 Rubies and 984 Diamonds, Gold and Silver One does not have to travel to India to find a well-crafted vintage piece. Jewelry auctions, like those at Auctionata, offer one-of-a-kind finds at accessible prices. As Dr. Khanyari attests, “It is best to rely on experience and an eye for quality to acquire the right piece.” Ultimately, expertise develops with time and remains an indispensable part of the buying process. Original article posted on Forbes Life

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