Theft prevention a challenge for antiques shops and historical archives

Exactly two years ago, as a rare copy of George Washington’s own map of Yorktown sold for more than $1.1 million, we warned about the threat of theft from museum holdings. This month a pair of “historians” are facing jail time for doing just that: accused of raiding document archives of small and medium-sized museums. We wish we could report that this is an isolated incident. As the Associate Press succinctly puts it: Hard economic times have sharpened thieves’ sneaky side.

Antique Trader Editor Eric Bradley  Eric Bradley

Reports of thefts at antique malls, shops and even auctions are reaching an all-time high. The spree is world wide. We will be visiting this topic in the future and offering some tips on how both dealers and collectors can prevent a theft. Sadly, even the best methods are never fool proof but there are ways you can protect yourself.

What are some of the ways you protect your shop? Feel free to send your tips via  email or mail to “Antiques Theft Prevention Tips,” c/o. Antique Trader, 700 E State St., Iola, WI 54945.

Perhaps the first move would be getting a reliable appraisal of your collection. In the event of a theft, an appraisal gives you a starting point with your insurance company or information to share with the police.

For more trade news, auction reports, research and expert columnists, get a year (26 issues) of Antique Trader magazine for just $1 per issue!

A letter in the January 25 edition has struck a nerve with readers. Mr. W. English’s letter calling out dealers who brag about the high margins on some purchases will get plenty of fair discussion over the next two issues. Even though readers may disagree, they are always courteous.

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2013  Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2013

We’re launching a new giveaway on our website starting March 1: We’re giving away a free copy of the new “Warman’s 2013 Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.” Unlike previous months, the sweepstakes will now also include subscribers! We will pick a subscriber at random and send them a copy of the book.

Keep those entries coming through February for your chance to win a copy of the Antique Trader Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide accompanied by the newly reprinted Brookhaven Cookbook Circa 1904, which the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum has been selling to raise funds.

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For more trade news, auction reports, research and expert columnists, get a year (26 issues) of Antique Trader magazine for just $1 an issue!