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Is It Junk? Or Is It A Chunk Of Cash?
Clean up could mean you can really clean up!
Be careful what you throw away!
The kids grew up and you needed their room for a guest room, so you threw away some of their odds and ends. But, what did you really throw away? And, if you made a mistake, how do you avoid making any more?
If it was that first issue of "Sports Illustrated" or "Playboy." or even that toy Hot Wheekl(c) VW car they sold in 1966 which your son get in a trade for something, you just might have thrown out some equivalents of a brand new, real automobile! Most folks know that old comic books, and sports trading cards have avid collectors, along with stamps and coins, even old envelopes, and some period letters.
That leaking teapot your grandmother used to keep on display by the fireplace, even though you were much too young to have ever seen her use it, turns out to have been made by a blacksmith in Connecticut well before even your grandmother was born. But who would have known that, and besides you can see the small hole in the bottom!
Short of going to a live session of the Antique Roadshow the PBS televises, what recourse do you have? There are professional appraisal services online for a fee, some very good and reasonable. Local antique dealers can sometimes be helpful, but remember how they make their living. There are magazines devoted to collectibles, and some libraries have copies and can also tell you how to access others via computer.
Several local and regional shows are devoted to current collectibles. One prominent host-expert for more than 30 years has been Tony Hyman whose books have included several editions of his book on "Hyman's Trash or Treasure."
What are some other items to keep in mind?
That odd teapot is just one of a whole variety of antique cookware that can bring lots of dollars.
Each year when you are packing up the Christmas decorations for another year, if you are hard pressed going into the new year, there are collectors looking for many of the older decorations, even the really old artificial trees that were made of aluminum and feathers.
Did you give up smoking, but the odd cigarette lighters or old tobacco pipes are still waiting to be thrown away? Some lighters, and some pipes, are collector's items these days. Often lighters had engravings for a memorable event or military unit. Some pipes made from briar, or more expensive materials, are heavily sought after.
Speaking of military items, war souvenirs, including items from the war in Vietnam, have lots of collectors worldwide, in addition there are museums still adding to their collections (but pledged to staying within their budgets, while many collectors are not so limited in what they can afford to pay.)
Less commonly recognized collectibles you will find on the web, in magazines, and mentioned in books, are matchbook covers, PEZ(c) candy dispensers, recordings on 45, 33, and 78 rpm records, vintage bicycles, old "five and dime" costume jewelry, some clothing items, old books (some were private printings,) handcrafted items (such as the teapot) including glassware, pottery, old radios and electronic items, etc.
The list goes on, and on, so what do you have and what is it worth? Find out before you are sorry, and then continue making room for new valuables.
(c) 2011 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
Here's a good source of information...
- Amazon.com: Trash or Treasure Directory of Buyers: How and Where to Easily Sell Collectibles, Antiqu
Amazon.com: Trash or Treasure Directory of Buyers: How and Where to Easily Sell Collectibles, Antiques & Other Treasures Found Around Your House & Neighborhood (Hyman's Trash Or Treasure Directory of Buyers) (9780937111062): Tony Hyman: Books