Monday, January 12, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Warmth can mean Cash

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Do you dread the cold or is it a delight for you? Well, as I was walking my dog Katy and son Joshua to school, I couldn't help but enjoy the twelve inches of snow and the two feet snow drifts that turned the landscape into a winter wonderland. Yes, at some of the street stops it was difficult to get through where the snowplows had piled snow up to my waist, but my son and the dog just loved it.

Walking back to my house, I had visions of getting into my comfortable leather chair in front of the fireplace and draping a warm quilt over me with Fox News blasting on the television. I hope you can envision that because it never happened and I just returned to what I usually do which is sit in front of the computer. This time, however, I hope that I can bring you some ideas about how to make money while thinking about being warm.

Just a little humor here because as I dreamed of the fireplace and burning logs, of course the fire was from gas logs because who burns real logs today. The Greenies would be protesting in front of your house if you did. Ha Ha !

But if you have a fire there are a few things you need, right? And guess what? There are collectors for the antique items used around your fireplace. The first thing that comes to mind is andirons which can quickly get expensive. I was watching one of the antique shows the other day and a person brought in a rather simple looking set. The show expert got really excited. His question was “ Do you know who made these?”, and the response was “no.” Well they were made by a very special person by the name of Stickley. When he gave the person the estimated value, I thought they were going to pass out. “These should sell from $10,000 to $15,000 and not a penny less.” In Kovel’s price guide there are over ten sets of andirons priced at $4000 or more, so don't you think that it would be wise to keep our eyes looking for andirons? But if you have a fireplace, where are you going to place the logs? That could be in a bucket. I looked to see if a bucket to hold coal or logs could have value and to my amazement I found one. This bucket had a ribbed body, two brass bands and was made out of mahogany, price $5000. Now I began to have some real interest so next on the list were fenders, What could their values be? Again to my surprise, these could run in the thousands but they didn't even compare to what I found out about fire screens. Screens can run you up to $25,000 or more, and in some cases their value is totally out of sight.

To complete this fantasy of having the perfect fire in the perfect fireplace you will also need a Shovel and Tongs, Bellows, a Foot Warmer and a few more incidental items to complete the picture. But before you begin, let me warn you that all this may set you back a pretty penny. I am just kidding but I think you get the idea. Yes, these things are items that we should keep an eye out for. I haven't even gotten to the quilt but I think that will have to be saved for later.

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