Watch this one.
How many times have I shared with you that when something is on your mind you should settle it before going on to something else? That sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Then add the fact that if you have been dealing in antiques for over 45 years, this rule should be permanently embedded in your head, right? You probably know that I am talking about myself and warning you not to do what I did.
Earlier this week I was browsing through the classifieds and in one ad there were three large Royal Doulton mugs that were to be sold. I noticed that two of the mugs were very common but the third was the rare one called The Clown. I gave it very little attention but did make a note to myself to call the conductor of the house sale to ask more about the mugs later. The week passed and on Friday I saw the note and went to www.estatesales.net to locate the sale but the ad had already been deleted and I was unable to find the sale address or the number to call about the sale.
Why should this matter, I am sure you're asking. Here is the reason. I thought that over many years of collecting Doulton I had accumulated most of the information I would ever need pertaining to Royal Doulton. As a general rule that would be true. If you remember I wrote in my book about the Pearly Boy mug I bought for $165 and sold for $6500 because of the special decoration. But seeing these three mugs nothing really jumped out at me because on its best day The Clown mug might bring $1000 today.
Before I attempted to find the ad on Friday for the house sale (by the way the sale started on Friday), I though that it might be good to just glance at the Doulton guide to be sure of myself. The first two were mugs that I may have given $35 for but The Clown was a different matter. You see my memory served me well because The Clown was listed for just a little over $1000 but here is the rest of the story. There is a rare version of The Clown that has red hair that will bring over $5000. You guessed it. The sale that I considered attending had the red haired clown and I will never know what it sold for. The price could have very easily been $250 or much less if they didn't do their research at the sale.
The older I get the truer those old sayings seem to be. Remember this one: "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." I am sure there is someone here in the Chicago area who is smiling all the way to their bank and it could have been me. Knowledge is wonderful but there are times when knowing where to find knowledge and using resources are just as important.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but in my case I just need to do the tricks I know over and over again. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes.
My 220 page book about how to make money buying and selling antiques and collectibles is