Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Dealing with Antique Dealers

My lovely mate and I attended an antiques festival on the weekend of 10/13. We had some interesting experiences interacting with the dealers. I've sold used books at festivals and on line for about three years. There is an incredible thrill to finding a book that is hard to find, valuable, or just really really neat. Truth is that I might be addicted to the shopping experience, but heck, one could be addicted to worst! (smile)

Some books are kept and other books are sold. In the process of selling used books I learned a lot about buying low and selling high. This is the key to antiques biz in general. So here is the story. My mate is talking to a dealer about a old dentist's office cabinet. There are lots of little drawers that could be used for storing the many beautiful things my mate has. The dealer says he wants $5,000 for it. Ok, fair enough. It is old and rare enough. Later the dealer says that he has looked up the value of the cabinet and it is worth around $12,000 elsewhere. I think my mate and I did a collective roll of the eyes in response. Later we talked about this experience.

It seem cheesy of the dealer to casual mention the 'possible' value of the cabinet. My mate pointed out that a similar cabinet may be worth that if it were fully restored and in pristine condition. The cabinet we saw in Easley was a good enough condition, but the doors stuck a little and the finish could have been restored. Only then would it bump up to the higher value. My mate estimated that it may cost another $1,000 to do the full restoration. In theory a good investment, but this all hinged on the word of the dealer and his evaluation of the cabinet at hand vs. a theoretical one. This seems like an expensive game. Was the dealer dishonest? No. Was he being a little tricky? Let's call that 'cheesy' and say yes.

The following pictures are of a mural that another dealer had. He said he purchased it at auction. He also said that he thought it was very old. I looked at the backing material and it looked like modern enough plywood. Not impressive. The mural has an odd signature and no date. Does anybody have an idea if this is indeed a modern piece?

Mural seen at 'Easley's Antiques on Main'. Click on the pictures to see more detail.

Tags: antiques, pics

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