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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why buy Antiques & Collectibles

Being an Antique Addict and Lover it seems only natural for me to present you the many advantages Antiques&Collectibles bring into ones life. After reading this article I had to share and add a little to it.

What Napoleon Missed:
Legend records an account of a sovereign who really goofed when he turned down an opportunity to acquire an exquisite French cabinet. If this famous non-collector found out who now owns this masterpiece, he would turn over in his regal tomb at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris. Napoleon I, Emperor of France from 1804 to 1815, was offered a sumptuous cabinet that once belonged to in-laws of Queen Marie Antoinette of France. Bonaparte, who had little appreciation for peace and even less for curios, haughtily declared, “His majesty wants the new and not to buy old.” What perks do antiques offer that Napoleon so thoughtlessly disregarded? The benefits fall into four main categories: practical, financial, intellectual, and emotional.

Practical Perks
Mother Nature Loves Antiques:
Remember how Gram critiqued my antique choices? Her remark, “I threw one out just like it forty years ago,” suggests a rarely mentioned dividend of antiquing. Collecting is really a long-established form of recycling, which benefits our environment. Reusing discarded objects decreases the amount of trash entering landfills, and reclaiming wooden furniture saves trees by reducing demand for new wood.

No Assembly Required:
Have you purchased a new piece of furniture out of a box recently? Do you remember this tedious job? That experience illustrates another gratifying aspect of collecting: antiques, unlike most new furniture or practically anything else for our homes,they don’t require assembly.

Financial Perks:
Antiques Give More Dash for Your Cash
Visit an outdoor show or Antique store and compare. A 1940s end table may flirt with you with a price tag of only $40. Maybe a 1915 oak rocking chair for a mere $30.
It might seem unbelievable that in the twenty-first century you can buy a rocking chair and table for under $100, but it’s true. Although these pieces aren’t museum caliber, they are well made and charming. In contrast, what can you buy new for $70 in a furniture store (or even at Target)? You can actually buy better quality furniture for less by shopping for antiques.

Antiques Retain Value Better Than New:
The instant your new item leaves the store, it’s considered used merchandise and, therefore, plummets in value. Have you been to a garage sale where a downtrodden soul was trying to peddle a six-month old sofa? That demoralized individual might have been your antiques coach. After a day of wheeling and dealing on their driveway, and then thrilled to get $65 for what originally cost $650. That experience should teach us that antiques are far better investments when compared to new items.

Antiques May Increase In Value:
Unlike the former sofa, good antiques keep their value and sometimes increase. If you compare prices from the past to current ones, you’ll be startled to see how some have increased. For instance, buying a 1930s china closet in 1973 cost around $40 to $75. That semi-antique/collectible is now worth at least double that and sometimes even more. An excellent return for the investment. Best of all, it held up and still is desireable.

Antiques Offer Higher Quality:
It doesn’t take long to learn that antiques are usually better made than their modern counterparts. Older houses, as you know, have plastered walls, while contemporary homes have drywall. This similar disparity in quality exists between antiques and new goods. Modern furniture highlights the craftsmanship found in antiques. Current furniture may have particleboard or cardboard backs, unlike the solid wood backs used in antiques. When modern furniture features “carving,” it is usually plastic or molded, not the painstakingly hand carved wood found in vintage pieces. Modern furniture is assembled with weak, ugly staples, rather than with glue and screws. The same contrast in quality is evident in other products, from china to silver. While some modern goods have quality construction, they are the exception and are very expensive. How many of us have checkbooks that can tackle their lofty prices?

Intellectual Perks
Antiques Teach History:
Antiques make great history teachers because they offer personal and interesting insights into the past. For example, have you ever wondered why some old-fashioned chairs have casters on their front legs? Before central heating, they made scooting over to a warm fireplace much easier. Information like this illuminates the lifestyles and customs of our ancestors.

Emotional Perks
Antiques Provide Mini Vacations:
Have you ever heard the song Judy Garland sings in the 1950 movie Summer Stock? The lyrics include the words, “Forget your troubles; come on, get happy….” I always add, “…by going antiquing.” Rummaging aisle after aisle at malls, shows, or flea markets makes troubles and stress disappear as you search for that special antique. Or better yet, just enjoy being a tourist while sightseeing and reading descriptions, which incidentally is an easy way to study antiques.

Antiques Promotes Bonding:
Another benefit of antiquing is that anyone tagging along will probably become a lifelong friend. You can grow to respect your different tastes and shopping styles. One is usually the meanderer while the other is a sprinter. Your diverse modes complement each other; One spots the gems the other missed. Something to talk and tease about later.
Antiques can work the same magic with relatives. You can plan your vactions or summer get-togethers around outdoor shows,or maybe a small roadtrip on the hunt.

Antiques And Feng Shui:
For centuries, the Chinese have followed Feng Shui, the art of arranging objects to promote positive energy in homes and businesses. The philosophy incorporates many principles, but one in particular especially pertains to us collectors.
One of the tenets of Feng Shui is the importance of surrounding ourselves with possessions that bring happiness and harmony. Antiques do this superbly. It doesn’t matter if yours are pedigreed or mixed breeds; the important thing is to pick what you love. Persian carpets, 1900 oak furniture, 1930s Depression glass, Beatles memorabilia, English china, and baseball cards all can work their mystical charm by bringing happiness to their owners.Forgive me for being so upbeat, but if you’re a collector, you understand. Or if you are about to plunge into antiques, then you’ll soon discover why I’m so enthusiastic.
Let me illustrate with a story,a lady vigilantly holding a pink teacup and saucer to be appraised taught me the meaning of Feng Shui. Grasping her treasure was no easy chore, for an illness had gnarled her hands. But her grin reflected her rapture as she chattered to me about her grandmother’s china. Just sharing her joy with me seemed to erase her discomfort.
I can testify from experience that a glance at a beloved heirloom can give you a thrill. Perhaps grandma’s china or a favorite uncle’s chair gives you good vibes. Precious family mementos such as these can keep beloved relatives always in your heart and give you peaceful thoughts during rough times. That’s Feng Shui in action!
Just imagine that while resting in your recently acquired 1900 rocking chair that you sense the happy times the chair has witnessed. The antique’s positive feelings are now yours until it goes on to the next person. And hopefully you will add even more delight to your antique for future generations to enjoy.

Now that you know all the perks antiques bring to our lives, you probably realize why few (if any) portraits of Napoleon ever depicted him smiling.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Only Shopping Local Family Blog
This is a blog for One Local Family--they have commited themselves to only shop local for one year. They post their experiences,but what I like is not only that they are making sacrifices temporarily to keep their commitment but are learning some insights about themselves and enjoying the benefits. This blog about buying new running shoes is a great example. Their points about past shopping strategies are very insightful.
Check them out sometime and consider buying local yourself when possible.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National Be Nice Day to an Antique Dealer

We in the business of Antiques&Collectibles have some pet peeves about how folks respond to us in many instances. People are always wantinq and expecting advise or want us to share knowledge with them and many times we gladly do,but please be polite and resonable about it. We are bombarded almost daily by folks wanting something for nothing and rather rude if they do not hear what they want to hear.
I have decided to make my own
National Holiday---Be Nice to an Antique Dealer Today or Anyday.

Don't tell them what you have thrown away, (their heart can't take it)
What all your mother had and you gave away, (if we had only known sooner)
How you have one at home just like that except for, (big exception)
My house is to full now,so I can't buy anything!! (you just dashed our hope)

Don't make us an offer way lower than ticket price, and then if we do decide to agree with that offer, say "I'll think about it". In other words do not make an offer you can't back up.

Don't assume we purchased an item dirt cheap so we should give 50% off or more. We buy our inventory with expertise and reference, so good merchandise is usually paid highly for and 9 out of 10 times 50% off is less than what we paid for that item.

Don't tell us what is hot and your opinion on worth. Worth/value is relative to many issues and changes regularly. Bottom line,it is worth what someone will pay.

Please do not be so obvious that the only reason you stopped by was to find out what to price your items for an upcoming yard/garage/estate sale. More importantly do not expect us to educate you as to current value on an item. Good dealers spend hours and years researching their field and trying to go with the trends. Now you want us to give that information away FREE.

Don't ask what an item is worth and then ask if we will pay you that same amount for the item. We have overhead and a need to make a profit.

Want to sell us something and when asked how much do you want "Exclaim I don't know,or whats it worth". Because as soon as we say an amount it becomes obvious you did have an amount in your head and now you are insulted. Instead tell us what you would like and if there is room to make a profit we will buy or make a counter offer. Also please please please do not walk out the door and go to every dealer in town and then return saying you will take our offer. Now we know they either didn't want the item or we offered too much and now we don't want it either.

We are not interested in chipped/damaged merchandise unless it is a very rare item. Even then we may pass,and you need to know that the damage drastically changes its value. Most Antique Dealers are also not interested in limited editions of dolls,coins,plates,beannie babies etc. Those items are for the secondary market like flea markets.

Four Words an Antique Dealer Hates to Hear "No Thanks,I'm just looking".

We do not all have the same customers or same market. Therefore we don't all price,buy,or carry the same merchandise. So don't be offended if we are not interested in what you want to sell us. It is also possible we have too much of that paticular item on hand.

I have seen and witnessed many an Antique location where junk seems to be the norm and prices are crazy. Alot of people call them selves an Antique Dealer but really have no Clue. I understand your frustrations and myself I do not frequent those locations or spend my money. Nor do I get rude or insult them,I just leave.

Lastly,let me say I love what I do for a living,enjoy interacting and sharing with others,I only ask that you be polite and think about our communications.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Buy Local Cartoon

Cartoon explaining just some of the reasons to buy at a local independent business instead of the big box stores. This is true wherever you live. If people in all communities across America understood and practiced this our nation would be better off economically. Now I understand some things you can only find at big box stores and that is fine and good, shop there for those things. Just remember, if their is a local independent business that has what you want and need, shop there regularly enough to keep them in business. You will be supporting them and the local community.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good Ole Days--Woolworths 1950's Menu

1957 Sandwich Menu from Woolworths

If anyone doubts what was paid for a coke and a sandwich at Woolworths in the 1950s, here's proof of the era. Click on photo for enlarged readable view.