Thursday, August 7, 2008

Antique & Collectible Business: Why Am I In This Businss?

This Historical Document, a Patrick Henry signed Land Grant is available in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get out there day after day to look at the things others are discarding, often times turning up with nothing. Every now and then I think, “Why am I doing this?”

Then, there comes a day like I had yesterday, and those thoughts flee as quickly as they popped into my head, and I know why I keep myself moving forward in this business, even when I don't feel like it.

When I answered the phone yesterday, a woman on the other end asked me, “Are you the ones with the Patrick Henry document?”

I told her yes, and she explained that she’d been trying to find someone who could help her, and that she’d called numerous places, including auction houses, with no success.

“I think you might have come to the right place. What do you have,” I asked her?

I was hardly prepared for what I heard next.

“I have at least six signed historical land grants plus many other very well known men’s autographs. You see, my father was a surgeon in New York, and he was collecting these pieces starting back in the late 1800's,” she told me.

I’ve got to admit, I was getting rather excited at this point, and I waited patiently for her story to unfold. We spoke for about fifteen minutes when she asked me, “Do you know who Robert Louis Stevenson was?”

While I was not the greatest scholar in my class, even this old country boy knows Robert Louis Stevenson as the author of my favorite book, Treasure Island. In my book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles,I wrote that Treasure Island was the story that first got me interested in treasure hunting as a child. I was all ears as she embellished on this question.

“My father was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, and they visited one day at an Inn. He gave my father a poem he had written for him, and it was passed on to me.”

This must be a one of a kind, unpublished poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson. I could hardly breathe, and as we continued talking, she dropped another bombshell on me.

“You may not have known my father, but I bet you know a baby he delivered. It was the most famous birth he performed in his long career as a surgeon.”

Okay, she had me hanging.

“He was the doctor who delivered Jacqueline Kennedy,” she said.

As in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis. The First Lady. Wife of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. These phrases were pounding in my head.

You can probably figure out by now, I'll soon be speaking with her again, very soon. And perhaps I'll be traveling to the East Coast to see her.

The fun has already arrived for me again. I think my nine-year-old, Joshua, would even enjoy a day like I had yesterday. What other business can give you a story like this? I hope profit will come for both me, and the lady who called me. In her own words, she told me it was time to sell these items now. The big question is: What all does she really have? Wow! What a day!

Do you have good and bad days in this business? Share how you handle things by adding them in the comments. You just might help another 31 Club Member.


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