Watch out for Bubbles

Dear Lee, During the past month, the news has informed us of record prices in the stock market, record prices in the art market, and the newest economic “bubble” — sneaker collecting — which is growing and making money. We first wrote about sneaker collecting in 2010. We first used the term “sneakerheads” in 2017. […]

Buried Treasures

Dear Lee, Archaeologists dig where there were old cities, carefully sieving the dirt looking for pieces of bones, chipped stones, pottery, wood and other man-made objects. They learned to “read” history. So when they dug the foundation for our house on land that once was a Shaker Community farm, we saved anything that seemed man-made. […]

Everything Old Is New Again

Dear Lee, To keep track of collecting trends, I read most of the major decorating magazines, skim through dozens of auction catalogs in print or online, many club publications, and all of the major antiques publications. I never know which comes first when it comes to trends: an article or exhibit or an auction of […]

What’s In and What’s Out?

What’s new in antiques? That was the joke line that started many collectors’ conversations, but today, it’s a serious question. What is wanted? What is now being ignored that was once popular? Why is this happening? It’s easy to see what is not wanted from auctions and flea markets. “Brown furniture” is out, but that’s […]

Lost, Found, Lost Again

Dear Lee, Years ago, trash was put out for collection each week on what in Cleveland is called a “tree lawn.” It was illegal to take the aluminum cans waiting to be recycled, but no one seemed to care about the rest. My best find was a very old, wooden crate labeled Ivory Soap. It’s […]

Treasure or Trash?

Dear Lee, We are collectors. We do not have a house filled with clutter, but we do have carefully chosen bits of art or history that we have inherited or found at a sale or even in piles on the curb on trash pick-up days. This month, our newspapers, which no longer runs an antiques […]

Hide and Seek

Dear Lee, Do you have a door key under the door mat? Does an aging relative hide money in cookbooks or under the mattress? Some people just need a safe place to hide an “emergency” key, or to stash money, a credit card and identification. A number of years ago, I thought I had the […]

Smoke Alarm Saved Us, Part 2

The Post-Fire Clean Up — continued from May issue    5) Sunday morning. I tried to clean the kitchen. Every countertop and window sill was covered with a greasy, smoky film. I could write my name on the black granite, so I moved everything I could, scrubbed with soap and water, and decided to keep […]

Smoke Alarm Saved Us

Dear Lee, We have written about how to protect antiques when there are floods and storms and other disasters. But this is for a minor problem that can still cause stress, hard physical work, and much expense — a kitchen fire. Smoke alarms saved us, but follow-up was worse than we expected. 1) Thursday morning. […]

“A Penny Saved . . .”

Dear Lee, We are collectors of 3D things like furniture or carousel horses, but we don’t collect much 2D ephemera, things that are exhibited flat in a case or on a wall. So, we weren’t among the lucky collectors who have found fortunes in their pocket money – old and rare United States coins. You […]