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Last Minute Spring Cleaning

If you are a collector, especially of antiques or decorative glass, plates, bowls, mugs, tea sets, trinket boxes, etc, you know very well how intimidating it can be to come out of denial that it is time for some spring cleaning.

Refresh your collection with the following tips:best

For figurines, such as Hummels, Department 56, Charming Tales, (and others), a feather duster is best, or an aerosol blast of air for those hard to reach places. If dusting doesn’t do the job, using a barely-damp soft cloth or t-shirt to clean the pieces will help remove the unwanted dust bunnies.en

For glassware pieces, fill a pan or a sink with soapy warm water and dip each glass. Carefully and lightly use a soft dishcloth to swish around the glass. Add a little vinegar to warm water for rinsing, then all that is left is to air dry.

For glazed ceramics (cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers), be weary of any cracks, because if there are even just hairline cracks or crazing, they’ll quickly show when water gets into them. Never soak any piece, just like with the glassware pieces, fill a sink with soapy warm water and with each piece, dip into the water, use a soft cloth or sponge to wash it, rinse it, then let it air-dry.

There you have it, three different areas of decorative collectibles with the best cleaning practices to keep those collectibles shining in display!

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Treasure or Trash? 5 Ways To Identify and Price Your Find

 

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So you’ve discovered something either at a relatives’ estate sale, antique shop, garage sale, or you are doing some spring cleaning at home, and find something that could be potentially valuable.

What is the first step to determining whether something is treasure or trash?

The following tips should help-

  1. The first step is possibly the most obvious- identify the item by checking the marks, tags, and labels, if there are any.  Look closely and on the bottom, especially on glass, where the marks are often light and not easily noticeable.  If you can find the manufacturing company name or the name of a specific collection it is a part of, that will really key in to some helpful information.  Google these and see what comes up.
  2. Another tip is to be very descriptive when researching the item.  Use as many words as possible to narrow your search.  Using Google images is great for identifying the item- you can often find the exact item if you are able to accurately describe it.  However, not everything is online, and there may be information on a website without a picture of the item.  So, try both ways for best results.
  3. If there is a patent number on your item, you can find out more about your piece by going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website .
  4. Use A Good Ole Fashioned Book.  We often overlook the value of a library, which features whole sections about collecting and specific price guides- often with more accuracy and depth than online research.  Of course there are a ton of free e-books as well for those who prefer to use the computer for researching their item.
  5. Ask Around.  It might not be the best way of identifying an item, but it may give you a clue as to how much or if your item is valuable at all.  Many collectors out there love the hunt and identifying these is second nature to some.  Try your luck by posting a picture of the item with the most information possible, on a collector’s forum, and see what responses with your inquiry about the item’s value or whatever else you would like to know about the item.

Or Seek Other Resources.  As a price-guide, use an online mall for collectibles and antiques, like TIAS.com, priceminer.com and many other resources are available on the Collector’s Club or Association for your Collectible.

There ya go, some starter tips for researching that item!  Good luck!

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The Objective of Collecting Objects

From the earliest days of our ancestors, we’ve had in us the ‘thrill of the hunt’, this innate compulsion to find the answer of what will keep us alive and what we can gather in order to live a sustainable life.  Whereas back then it was strictly hunting and gathering for the sake of survival, I’m convinced, although we’ve become excellent gather-ers, we still have the natural incling to hunt down things which make us feel most secure.

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To learn more about this fascinating topic, check out the book entitled Cultures of Collecting.

“..traces the psychology, history and theory of the compulsion to collect, focusing not just on the normative collections of the Western canon, but also on collections that reflect a fascination with the “Other” and the marginal – the ephemeral, exotic, or just plain curious.”  

– Cultures of Collecting by Roger Cardinal

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Defining A Collectible.. A Matter Of Perspective

JeweledBee-Vintage-GraphicsFairyblu.jpgIf you ask a collector to define what a ‘collectible’, is you are bound to hear a completely different answer from that of a non-collector. For non-collectors, the answer is simple- something specific like coins, stamps, Beanie Babies, etc. Ask a collector what a collectible is, and with a twinkle in their eye, they’ll most likely reply something like,
 

“A collectible is something that has an emotional connection to you personally”,

or

“A piece of a person’s personal history that holds a special place in their heart”,

or

 “An item that’s valuable to you personally no matter what the actual value is”.

Neither answer is incorrect, because a ‘collectible’ can really be anything!  From ephemera (paper), to objects made to be collected, like those ‘limited edition’ items, collectibles are things people purposely find and treasure.  
The list goes way beyond stamps and coins, however these are popular forms of collecting because they can be started at a minimal expense.  What is so appealing to me about this business of collectibles, particularly decorative collectibles (figurines, wall hangings, spoons, decorative collectible brand items, etc), is that it really is a treasure hunt.  What you may find at a garage sale that has no value (including sentimental) to you, may be worth a grand to someone else.  
Just over the past year, we’ve seen things come in that we posted for auction on eBay and on swedemom.com that have really surprised us!  Those items, among others we’ve found can be seen on our Pinterest page here!  Follow us for rare finds and treasures galore!