Collections of antiques
and collectibles have a special meaning and presence in the world of
Even seemingly mundane individual items can take on new
meaning and significance when placed
in the context of a well-focused and thoughtfully assembled antique
For example, we recently sold a collection
of Hog Oilers. When looked at or thought about individually, there is little
interest or much to consider
by most lookers. But when carefully
restored, displayed along the drive, or in the barn / museum,
they take on a different and special meaning. These farm
related devices offer a
glimpse into life on the farm back in their day, both for the hogs
and the farmers. That collection can be viewed in our sales
archives on our sister site
Antique collections can
be used to demonstrate how a particular idea or object evolved through
its different stages of development, or as a powerful and interesting
visual design statement, or simply as a means of preserving a portion
of our heritage for future generations to enjoy, view, and learn from.
Over the years we
have bought and sold numerous collections of antiques from all over
the country, ranging from tool collections, collections of irons and
laundry-related antiques, antique pencil sharpener collections, a collection
of antique hotel or call bells, several collections of antique sewing
machines and accessories, and more.
We have also helped
sell portions several large antique collections and other collections in their
entirety for collectors who were ready to sell after years of
amassing and enjoying
their collections. We have done the same for the collectors heirs
or family when they were
unexpectedly left with the task.
We are experienced and are well
positioned to take on the task of, and the considerable work involved in
properly dealing with this sort of endeavor.
At every imaginable venue where quality
antiques and collectibles used to be offered there is now stuff that's not even as old
as I am, and stuff that is simply ordered new from catalogs being offered
up for sale as antiques. The criteria for something to be considered
acceptable to be offered at "antique" shows has changed
from 100 years old to a new standard today where things 20 years old are
considered antique & acceptable. That is 1996 folks! It is a depressing situation.
General line auctions around the country
which used to have great stuff are now full of
nameless insignificant fill and fluff. Antique shows mostly
consist of made up fantasy pieces, currently called assemblages, or Steampunk. Many of the offerings
there and at other venues are marked China and came straight from Wal-Mart on its way to the dumpster. The days of going out
and finding, buying, and selling "real" antiques the old ways are about dead and gone.
We have heard this refrain from dealers
and collectors alike ever since we have been involved
with the antiques business. That is going on some 40 plus years now.
We use to chuckle as we were still buying and selling some great stuff
back in the 80's and early 90's. That was before the internet and its
effect on the market took place. We worked hard
at it. The complainers were remembering the "better old days"
when it just fell into their hands or walked through the door of
their antique shops. We could still find it
because we were willing to work at it---hard.
But now we feel that for most quality
antiques that refrain has finally come to
be true. It is certainly true for those types
of antiques that are of primary interest to us, being Americana,
technology, and scientific related antiques.
We have come to
the conclusion, and must reluctantly admit, that the vast majority of
quality antiques we are interested in are already in collections around
The days of good stuff
coming out of the attic, or being dug out of the basement or garage are
much over. Over the years we have consistently bought the
majority of our best and favorite antiques out of collections, from private collectors, individuals, and fellow dealers around
The common thread is that the vast majority of the great pieces always
seem to come from collections purposefully assembled over the years. These
use to come from shops, shows, auctions, and even private garages
and attics, but no longer in the volume it use to, or in the volume
necessary to run this business.
are actively seeking to help you sell large or small collections of
specifically related to those categories that are of interest to us.
We are currently helping several consignors sell good condition, quality antiques
and collections of antiques on our sales pages. There is room
Collections of antiques
often need to be dispersed the same way they were assembled.
Carefully and piece by piece.
down into their core
sections and then dealt with as the situation dictates.
Sometimes sold as smaller collections or groupings, other times piece by piece.
It takes a special knowledge and acumen to properly
catalog, identify, appreciate, and properly redistribute some of these
larger collections of antiques.
For example, a broad
tool collection or a collection of diverse office antiques could well
hold more significance and interest when re-focused or re-assembled
upon specific segments or themes. Say just planes within a tool collection,
or just pencil sharpeners or typewriters from a collection that was
focused on general office antiques. The same end buyer /
collector is almost
certainly not going to be interested in buying both the collection of
fans, and pencil sharpeners that one collector assembled, unless sold
at below wholesale, and that is what often happens when diverse antique
collections are dealt with as a whole. This is the situation
when a collection is just handed off to an auctioneer. In most
cases it is just lotted up and sold with little regard or thought
other than how quick can we get this done.
Another example of how not to deal w/ large collections is
to dump it all on the market one day in one auction. While a few key
pieces may do well, in almost
every instance flooding the market like this is a sure recipe for
lower values and oftentimes a disaster with pieces literally
bringing pennies on the dollar of their real or potential value.
Of late some of the larger better known auction houses have been
known to lot up good collections selling some poor collectors
lifetime collection in large lots. It has been a sad spectacle
to see a few times.
that must be factored in, and handled, is that in any collection there is always a small percentage
whole that is much more desirable, rare, and valuable than the bulk
of the collection - - - this can't be avoided
given the nature of collecting. We call it the 80-20 rule. Oftentimes the numbers can
work out to something like 80% of a given antique collections value
is concentrated in 20%
of the volume. This makes it crucial that the key pieces in a
collection be properly identified and dealt with so that their full
potential is realized. It also points to the pitfalls of
allowing somebody to "cream" a collection before the true
value is determined.
collections we are willing to deal with and sell
the good, as well as the bad, or the more common pieces in order to acquire
the key pieces of the collection as part of a package deal. And
this arrangement works to the benefit of the seller as well who is not
faced with the dreaded task of what to do with the "fluff" or lesser
items that are always left over after the top pieces disappear.
Oftentimes the original collector, or their heirs do not have any
sense of how to categorize and disperse the different aspects of the collection
when it encompasses different categories. We handle all that
when we handle collections of antiques for the heirs or other owners.
Take for example the
Glissman collection of
iron and laundry related antiques that we bought and sold. This single
collection included over
3,000 antique pressing
or sad irons and laundry related antiques. There
were also over
60 full size washing machines, 200 or more washboards, and 1000 or
trivets included in that collection. That collection had to be
carefully sorted and inventoried and then strategically placed and re-distributed
into a number of smaller collections. It was so large and diverse
that no one buyer would ever consider buying it in its entirety. The sheer size of this collection made it unmanageable to the typical
buyer, collector, dealer or even auctioneer.
We carefully inventoried,
sorted, identified, cleaned, and
categorized the different segments of this massive collection, and then
carefully and methodically distributed most of it back into other more
focused and smaller collections and the hands of collectors.
By analyzing which items should
be sold at which venues we were able to resell this collection for full
maximum benefit. Some pieces were sold for $1 or less
and other pieces sold individually for thousands of dollars. The theory was
to enhance the value of the upper end items by not "diluting" their
value selling them in the same venue as the lower end items.
An important consideration that only somebody with the proper
understanding can handle.
It was quite an undertaking,
but worked out well and we were able to add a few select pieces to our
own collection as a bonus for taking on this task. The entire
endeavor including an auction 2,000 miles away was accomplished in a
little over 6 months. Selling off other collections has taken longer, and should, and each
collection should be handled according to what is best, not just what is fastest
or most convenient.
We are interested
in buying or helping you sell antique collections, both large and small,
diverse or tightly focused, and entire collections as well as partial
segments of antique collections.
Of course you could
call the local auctioneer to do this, but it has been at some of those
auctions that we have acquired some of our best pieces at very reasonable
prices due to a lack of proper marketing or recognition of the importance
of select parts of a collection.
Call or Contact Us!!
* * * * We Sell Antiques!
* * * *
to Help you Sell Your quality Antiques
If you have a single antique, or a collection of antiques to sell
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org giving us your PHONE NUMBER
and other contact info
and we will get back to you ASAP.
To view examples of the types of antiques and collectibles we have previously
sold and are always interested in helping you sell please visit our
Sales Archive Pages at our sister website
Please see our
FAQ page, the
Appraisal / Selling Page and the
Selling Your Collection Pages
for further info.
Larry & Carole