Trader Question of the Week: What’s the single most valuable antique you’ve ever bought at a show?

I guess it’s only fair to open this question up to a broader range of sources, so let’s say then: What’s the single most valuable antique you’ve ever bought at a sale of any kind? How’s that?

When I go to a shop or a show, I tend to forget value and buy with nostalgia. This doesn’t take me back too far, to the 1970s and early 1980s, so I always end up with a beaten-up Star Wars action figure, or dog-eared football card of some Dallas Cowboy I loved as a kid.

Once, though, on a lonely Sunday while waiting for a movie to start in Downtown Waupaca, WI, I wandered into an antiques store to try and find something for my daughter. After an hour of looking, and believing I would leave empty-handed, I came to the last booth and saw it: A Lawson Wood print of two monkeys and a bear with the caption, “A good story, well told.”

I loved it immediately. The giggling bear, one wise ape scratching his chin with amusement, and one more monkey telling the story with an arm draped over the bear and a casual hand about to make the final point. The ground is littered with apple cores, nuts and banana peels. Simply awesome.

Monetary value? Who knows? Sentimental, seeing my daughter’s face light up whenever she looks at it and points, then says, “Papa!”?

There’s no value that can be placed on that.

So, what’s the single most valuable antique you’ve ever bought at a sale of any kind?

Send your answer to me at noah.fleisher@fwpubs.com, or post your answer in the comments below.

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