It can make national news when someone pays a small amount at a yard sale or thrift shop for something that turns out to be very valuable. A past column about antique finds generated a lot of interest. Following are some more recent finds that have been in the news.
A Tennessee couple found a vintage West Point sweater while hunting through a box of clothing at a Tennessee Goodwill store. They buy items for resale and liked the look of the sweater. Old clothing is sold at that thrift shop for $1 a pound. After weighing it, the sweater’s price was 58 cents. One of the buyers later saw a documentary about Vince Lombardi with the coach wearing a similar sweater. They took a second look and found that the name tag was signed “Lombardi 46”. It was consigned to an auction house where it sold for over $43,000.
An Indiana man saw a worn painting of men playing pool at a yard sale. The owner was asking $1 but accepted the buyer’s 50 cent offer. It was tucked away for a few years, during which the owner moved, was robbed and some of his possessions were burned. Years later, the light struck the painting just right one day and he noticed the words “Pallete and Chisel Club 1910”. He researched it and found that the club was frequented by well known artists and is still in existence in Chicago. The owner is working with an art dealer to have it restored. The dealer believes it could fetch $10,000 to $20,000 at auction. The painting’s buyer is quoted as saying, “Watch to see if I pass up a yard sale now.”
In recent news, a woman bought a lithograph of a dog at a Florida Goodwill store for $43.50. On the way out of the store an antique dealer asked to purchase it from her. The dealer estimated its worth at $3,000. She decided to sell it on an online auction site and donate the proceeds to an animal rescue league. On April 10th it sold for $5,150.
You typically don’t hear anything about the person who sold the rare item at a tag sale or donated it to charity but it has to be a terrible feeling to know that you sold a rare possession for such a low amount. How can you be sure that you aren’t selling your heirlooms for too little or donating a rare piece to charity that will be the next antique news story? Valuable pieces can be consigned to auction. Competitive bidding at a well promoted auction will ensure that you get fair market value for your antiques and collectibles. You may also want to consider an appraisal for items that you plan to sell.
We have two auctions this month. The contents of a North Attleboro estate will be sold by online auction. We will have a live preview at the home on April 18th and 19th with online bidding ending April 21st. You can see www.centralmassauctions.com for details on this sale, our April 30th live auction and other upcoming events.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), firstname.lastname@example.org