Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sharp Treasure Hunting Skills Bring Rewards

Steuben Glass set found by 31 Club Member

by Daryle Lambert

As you become more knowledgeable than others in of antiques and fine art, you’ll be able to pick out the bargains, rather than guessing whether or not you’ve found a special piece. Of course, studying from books is important, but there are several other dimensions to becoming knowledgeable.

Studying Auction Results from companies who post these results with accompanying photos is very helpful, like from Rago Arts or Treadway Galleries.

Getting Up Close to some of the higher end items will help you begin to spot high quality when you attend estate sales and auctions. When you the attend antique shows in your area, you’ll find some of the highest quality items there to get up close to. Once you see plenty of these, your eyes for quality will begin to sharpen.

Another way to sharpen your skills and find some special pieces is to make a list of all upcoming auctions within 100 miles of where you live and ask to be put on their mailing list, whether they use the regular mail, e-mail, or both. Be sure to enter the upcoming dates on your scheduler. From their offerings, you can start studying, researching, and picking out the bargains ahead of time. Never hesitate to call the auction house to answer questions you might have. This process is a very important task, and one that will prevent you from spending your money on things that have little value. Members of the 31 Club can forward these auction house offerings to me and we can examine them together.

Always Remember the 25% Rule. That’s the rule where you buy an item at 25% of its retail value.

Conserve Your Money until there is value in your purchase. I know some of you might be saying, “Well Daryle, just the other day you encouraged us to buy something when we went out, even if it was a low end item we thought we could make some money on. What’s changed? Nothing’s changed.

What I encouraged you to do and said was okay to buy lower end items if there was nothing else, because in that way, you’d be honing your skills and staying in practice until a special item came your way. Money is money, and while you won’t get rich buying in the lower end, this can provide the means with which you’ll be able to buy the expensive pieces when they are found down the road. But, don’t forget, the 25% rule still applies with these types of purchases.

Practice and Persevere, and you’ll see results, like our member Julia D. did. Julia sends me e-mails with lists every week, and yesterday she sent me an e-mail with a photo of what I believe is a true treasure – a set of candlesticks and a bowl by Steuben. This is a fabulous set that is seldom seen, and it would make any auction house proud to sell.

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard of Julia. Earlier this summer, Julia spotted a Coromandel Lamp by Rookwood Lamp. It was purchased through our Associates Program. It was such a nice example, a representative from Cincinnati Art Galleries stopped in yesterday to pick it up. They will offer it in their November auction. I have no doubt Julia will be well-rewarded for this find. She also spotted a Muncie Lamp that will be added to our marketplace soon.

Julia is out there hunting, studying and researching. Her effort and perseverence will bring results. She will be well rewarded. When you do as Julia does, you'll be well rewarded, too.

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