Welcome to the fifth annual Antique Trader Favorite Finds Contest! During the last four years, readers from across the nation have been sharing their best collecting stories. The contest keeps getting better and better with exciting stories guaranteed to give you the inspiration to get out and look for your own favorite find.
Once again this year we are teaming up with Heritage Auctions: one of the world’s largest auction houses, offering collectors an array of fine decorative arts and quality pop culture collectibles. From fine art to movie posters to comics and coins, Heritage offers the diversity we see in past favorite find submissions. I’m happy to announce this year’s
favorite finds grand prize will once again be a $500 auction credit good for any qualifying Heritage auction [see official contest rules on page 55 for complete details]. It’s our hope the winner will add a new favorite find to their collection courtesy of Heritage and Antique Trader.
Since it’s difficult to pick just one winner from the dozens of entries, we are once again issuing a runner-up prize: a 10-volume reference library courtesy of Krause Publications, plus a one-year subscription to Antique Trader.
By sharing your stories, you are inspiring a new generation to look at collecting as a vibrant, intelligent and insatiable hobby to meet new friends and new people. Every entry is published, no matter how short or long. Everyone who enters will also receive a copy of our Fifth Annual Favorite Finds edition, which will be published in November. We want to create a special keepsake worthy of sharing with your family and friends!
The ground rules are simple: Entry is free of charge, and participants are welcome to enter up to three submissions. (Each submission must be an original story, and stories cannot be repeated from previous years’ entries.) The contest is open to legal residents of the U.S. aged 18 years or older. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM ET Sept. 30, 2013, and entries become the property of F+W Media, Inc. and will be shared with Heritage Auction Galleries.
To get your collecting memories flowing, we’re sharing Lynne Adams Barzé’s story from 2012. We’re looking forward to reading your stories, too!
Research reveals dusty $2 garage sale box as Tiffany
This is a short story about a big find. It is still a mystery to me as to how so many rare pieces of Tiffany make it to the Deep South, but they do. Maybe it’s because of NASA’s presence or the great military facilities that have been imbedded around the Metropolitan New Orleans area and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The article I submitted in 2011 was about a Tiffany lamp I found at a garage sale in the mid-1990s, before I retired. Now I own and manage an antiques mall in Picayune, Miss., and would like to tell about the “Favorite Find” of one of my customers. A young woman in her late 20s browses often and occasionally makes a small purchase of vintage costume jewelry she puts away to give to her baby daughter some day “when she’s old enough.” I find this very endearing.
One day, this customer came in with a small package and said, “Miss Lynne, everyone in town says you are the one to ask about this.” She opened the bag and unwrapped a small (approximately 3-inch by 5-inch) heavy bronze box. She declared that she had gotten it at a garage sale in another part of the county for $2 and didn’t see the signature on the
bottom until she got home and wiped off the “dust of time,” as she put it.
There was the signature, “Tiffany Studios” and “#1891” She said she couldn’t find anything on the Internet concerning small Tiffany metal jewelry boxes. I got out one of my reference books. (I seldom resort to the Internet with my old-school ways.) I showed her the references to the Tiffany Desk Sets and told her that what she had was most likely a cigarette box, not a jewelry box.
Three days later, my young customer came back in with an email reply she got from her inquiries. Not only was the piece identified from the photos she included, but she was also given a book reference, William R. Holland’s “Tiffany Desk Sets,” pages 204-208, and also an estimated value. She was ecstatic over the potential 400-percent-plus profit she could make. She said she wanted to leave it with me to sell on consignment since I was the only one who even knew what it was. I told her I probably couldn’t realize a sale in our small town equal to the appraisal she had gotten. She insisted that whatever I got would be a definite increase on what she had invested in the find.
We agreed on a firm selling price of $475, including my commission of 25 percent. Today, another customer who sells through various venues on the Internet, but only deals with small items, bought it at full price after doing some research of her own. Both of my customers are happy, I’m happy, and soon someone out there in the Internet world will be very happy, too. All from a $2 garage sale “Favorite Find.” I sure hope that garage sale was a satisfying success for that seller that day.
As we say down South, “Pay it forward.”
— Lynne Adams Barzé
Barzé Place Antique
& Collectible Mall
To Submit Your 2013 Favorite Finds Contest Entry
Mail your entry to: Favorite Finds C/o Antique Trader 700 East State St., Iola, WI 54990; email it to us at ATNews@fwmedia.com; or fax it to 715-445-4087. All letters and e-mails must be signed with a first and last name and include a full return postal address. When sending via e-mail, please include full postal address, and please do not use all caps. Antique Trader reserves the right to edit all entries.