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Favorite Finds Contest celebrating nostalgia and storytelling

Time is running short to submit stories for the 7th Annual Antique Trader Favorite Finds Contest, for a chance to win a $500 auction credit from contest sponsor, Heritage Auctions.

It's that time of year again; the Antique Trader Favorite Finds Contest is underway now. In fact, time is running out to turn in story submissions (Remember, including accompanying photos of each 'find' is encouraged.) The deadline for submitting the story of a favorite find is Sept. 30, 2015.


The contest, which is sponsored by Heritage Auctions, features a fantastic grand prize for one person: $500 auction credit from Heritage Auctions, for use with any qualifying auction. The runner up will receive 10 antiques and collectibles references, published by Antique Trader's sister publishing group, Krause Publications. Plus, every contestant will receive a complimentary keepsake copy of this special issue.View contest rules >>>

To inspire you in your storytelling, we invite you to enjoy these submissions from the 2014 contest. Both of these stories was considered a top contender in the contest.

Indian bicycle rides away with collector’s heart

As a child in the 1980s, my dad would fix up bicycles and resell them. He would keep the vintage bikes and even joined a Classic Bicycle club. It was great growing up with a wide range of bicycles to ride.

When I was 10 or 11 years old, I started collecting vintage bikes, too. My dad and I went to classic bike shows in the ’90s to display our bikes. Fixing up old bikes was something we could do together,

Indian bicycle

(Photo courtesy Daniel Sheffer)

and he always enjoyed teaching me how to fix them. Around the time I was born, my dad found a deal of a lifetime: a circa 1911 Indian Bicycle. The bike was made by the same company that made the Indian motorcycles. He took off the original wood wheels (and kept them, of course) and put on 1960s wheels so we could ride it around. He always let my brother and I ride his collector bikes because we took care of them.

In July 2013, I went to the three antique stores in Holly, Michigan, that I have been going to almost yearly since I was a child. Last year I went by myself. When I went in the third store I saw an antique bicycle made for a woman in the window. I mainly collect men’s bikes, but since it was an early bike I wanted to take a quick look at it when I went inside. It wasn’t just any old bike; it was a ladies Indian brand bike. It was 100 percent original, too. I’ve seen other men’s Indians, but I’d never seen a woman’s before. I didn’t have nearly enough money, so I negotiated a lower price and paid part cash, part credit card. I had to have it! I posted pictures to an online bike forum and learned it’s a 1916 model and quite scarce, as I had thought.

I am very fond of the Indian brand bikes because of the one my dad has and the fact that they made bikes and motorcycles. The brand has been in the spotlight more in the past few years due to the American Pickers TV show. But the bikes go back in my history way before the show came about. This 1916 Indian bicycle is my 2014 favorite find!
— Daniel Sheffer
Utica, Michigan

FAO Schwarz toy catalog finds its way back home

My favorite find is not a favorite because of a sizeable profit made from a good deal. I think of it as a favorite because of its “chance of this happening” quality.

It happened aft er Christmas 1992, when my husband Bob and I just purchased our first home. At about this same time, Bob added vintage toys to his area of collecting interest. On one ordinary jaunt

FAO Schwartz catalog

(Photo courtesy Louise Suzzi)

at a local antique mall while casually moving from booth to booth, each checking things out at our own pace, Bob backtracked into the booth I was in with a magazine wrapped in a plastic sleeve. It
was from FAO Schwarz — a 1956 Christmas catalog.

“Oh cool!” I said with excitement. Bob not only found something of interest to him, but it was dated the year we were both born. “Check this out,” he said as he turned over the catalog. There on the address label was the name of the woman we had just bought our home from at the address of
our new home! An odd, even weak feeling came over us. When uncanny events like
this happen, we cannot help but ask, “Really, what are the chances?”

We, of course, bought the catalog and have enjoyed seeing people’s reactions as they listen to our “chance of this happening” moment.

I read every issue of AT cover to cover and especially appreciate Wayne Jordan. Simply, I learn a lot from him.
— Louise Suzzi
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

We look forward to receive your story submission soon. If sending your story and photo via email, please include Favorite Finds in the subject line. If you choose to mail your story and photos, please make sure the photos are at least 3 inches long across the shortest side, and address the package:

Favorite Finds Contest, C/o Antique Trader 700 East State St., Iola, WI 54990.

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