4 · SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2018 TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Pieces of history can be undervalued
If you are an auction watcher
who scrolls the lists of online auctions,
I don’t have to tell you that
yesterday’s favorites can be todays
no-sells. Or, if they do sell, prices
Many people, including myself,
are trying to sell collections. Be wary
of the so-called auction houses that
offer to buy outright. The people
they send to buy aren’t qualified
to buy your old dog house. Calling
them is a waste of time, as they
wander around, taking pictures and
To sell, photos and descriptions
are required. Can you take photos of
your items and label?
Collections of Waterford crystal
stemware are being dumped on
the market, where a dozen goblets
might fetch $50.
Other good examples of low
prices are 18th century chests of
drawers. Never mind that they are
made of good solid woods, such as
pine or mahogany, and probably by
a gifted cabinetmaker. Prices, if they
sell at all, range from $200 to $300.
Chinese porcelain vases and bowls
from the 19th century that were
once hot collectibles are showing
up at auctions around the country
at flea market prices. Rose medallion
pattern china has never stopped
Remember when pewter objects,
even reproductions, were eagerly
sought by collectors? Today’s generation
isn’t interested and might not
know what pewter is.
Back in the good old 20th century,
handmade quilts and coverlets,
along with linen table cloths, were
respected, family items. The best
examples, when sold by dealers or at
auction, were very expensive.
Reproductions of some objects,
such as Venetian glass mirrors have
ruined that market. Hand-blown
Murano Venetian glass mirrors that
once sold for thousands of dollars
are not only going unrecognized,
but when they do sell, it’s for only a
few hundred dollars.
CLUES: We are talking about history
in many of these items. Objects
relating to American history deserve
respect, as do the craftsmen who
made them. Howmany millennials
are aware that Paul Revere was an
important silversmith? Many of the
items he crafted are waiting to be
discovered, if they are recognized.
Collecting and conserving are a
part of our American heritage, and
it should be a learning experience
in our schools as part of American
Do you have an antique item and
need more information? For a personal
reply, send a photo, along with
history, size and any signatures with a
self-addressed, stamped envelope and
$25 to Anne Gilbert, 1811 Renaissance
Commons Blvd., #2319, Boynton
Beach, FL, 33426.
This antique colonial pewter plate with the maker marked was selling
on auction site Ebay for just $135.
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