This appears to be a wall panel that was cut into 2″ X 3 1/2″ rectangles and then pieced back together inside a frame.  The whole thing weighs about 12 pounds and has the look of something looted from a temple.  However, is it real?  I’m having a hard time determining that because some of the cut marks don’t look like they go all the way through and makes me think they were just put there for the appearance.  On the other hand, there could well be a real seam and the tiles fitted together so well the seams cannot be seen, only the surface cuts.  It’s a lovely piece just the same and for the price I got it, I may at least break even on the re-sale or make a little profit.  Here is the centerpiece Buddha.

There is no question that this Mayan mask is real.  It’s very heavy and the stone clearly shows wear that can only be natural.  I had sold this on eBay but probably would’ve been better off taking it to a museum.

So, is it legal?  As long as the items you buy in the U.S. and resell in the U.S. including ivory, you should be alright.  It seems confusing but this article in the National Geographic explained how that works.  I don’t like to feel I’m supporting looters in the antiques trade but they are hard to avoid and much is unknown after the item’s been sold to a collector put on the market.  However, it goes to show they are out there and we shouldn’t be afraid to take something to a museum even without proof of where it was purchased.  Hanging onto receipts helps, though yard sales don’t provide receipts,  estate sales do. Photos help and a passport can provide a record of your travels.  Estate sales agents don’t always have the answers or know if something is real or fake or looted.  Most of them are very good, but as with all of us, knowledge comes with experience,  lots of reading and research.  There’s no real school for this, it’s a self taught degree.  A course in art history wouldn’t hurt.


IMG_0415.jpgYard sale season has begun and the finds are endless!  Today is the beginning with the Apple Valley sales and next week is the most popular Bryn Mawr sales.  Food trucks, canoe raffle, nearby coffee shops with bathrooms and all!  The calendars are still incomplete but here’s a list I’ve started: May 6- Bryn Mawr, Tangle Town, Summit Hill; May 12/13 Plymouth Ferndale North, Harrison Hills; May 20-Little Canada, Burnsville, Linden Hills, Como Park. Carag, E. Harriet, Kingfield, Seward; June 3-Armatage, Andover.IMG_0090.jpgThat curious word “regionality”  means just what it sounds like.  I thought I was the one who made it up but when I checked online I found that it is a new word and somebody else had beat me to it.   Every region has it’s own personality and tastes but with the chain store/franchise boom, now globalization and the movement of people these tastes may shift somewhat.  However, every region still preserves something, we have out beaches, forests, lakes, rivers, prairies, mountains, and always the weather that define every region unique.  People dress themselves to adapt to these various regions and things they collect over time and use to decorate their homes also reflect the region they live in.  A great way to learn the personality of a city is to explore the gardens people create on their front and back yards or even on their windowsills.  There’s no better opportunity to explore these gardens than going to an annual neighborhood yard sale.

The New Year is a Rooster

I am on hand to herald in the day, and to announce its exit. I thrive by clockwork and precision. In my unending quest for perfection all things will be restored to their rightful place. This littl…

Source: The New Year is a Rooster

The New Year is a Rooster


I am on hand to herald in the day,

and to announce its exit.

I thrive by clockwork and precision.

In my unending quest for perfection

all things will be restored to their rightful place.


This little ceramic holder and measuring spoon set could once be found in a Dime Store.  My mother remembers the Dime Stores well, and I do too.  There was one in Dinkytown where I grew up. Items of all sorts of convenience and household decoration could be found and very low prices.  Today we have the Dollar Store.  Dime Store items can still be found at a sale, though very few people probably remember the Dime Stores of yesteryear.


Don’t let this image scare you.  Kovels’ listed 8 types of collectors in the February issue of their newsletter:

Memorabilia collectors usually want things they remember from their childhood years.

“Squirrels” describe the people who search for the best sources and buy a variety of stuff for later.  They may become serious collectors and maybe eventually later they become dealers and prune their collections.

“In the genes” are the collectors who buy for special collections for display and usually inherit their collecting habits from their parents or other family members.

“Historians”  stay focused on time and period

Decorators style their homes from magazines and the homes of famous people.  They search for less expensive look a-likes or the real thing when they’re lucky.

“Social Climbers”  search for family heirlooms.

The secretive collector looks for ways to hide money from tax collectors and ex-spouses by investing in antiques and such that can be sold later.

Then then there’s the unfortunate hoarder who just can’t part with anything.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about hoarders lately because I have thoughts of going into the business of cleaning out houses.  It can be extremely expensive to clean out a hoarder house and often the workers wear hazmat suits to do so when there’s one that is really messy.  I used to believe that to deal with a hoarder is to get them out of the house for a period of time while a crew went in to clean it out.  I’ve learned that can be the worst thing to do to a hoarder.  They are very attached to their stuff and just taking it away like that would be like ripping their  hearts out.  It’s very delicate work and takes a long time.  If done the way I used to believe, the hoarder just hoards all over again.

The Collyer brothers of New York were the first to be acknowledged as hoarders.  They were wealthy lawyers and lived in the Bronx family mansion during the 1940’s.  Andy Warhol was known to be a hoarder and Sothby’s auction house made millions on his collections.  A film was made of Jackie Kennedy’s cousins. “Grey Gardens”  who lived in a mansion in the elite East Hampton and were eventually raided by the health department.  These three famous hoarders were all from wealthy families.

Another myth about hoarders is that they came from survivors of the Great Depression and learned to save everything.  Again not true.  Hoarders are often from the wealthy and have somehow become disconnected with people and became connected to things.  Out of the 3 hoarders mentioned above, Andy’s collections was the only one that profited.  I used to believe that people kept all that stuff because they thought they had a gold mine in their homes but after the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to clean out a hoarder house there really is no profit.  About $2000 worth of stuff that could be sold was found in the Collyer brother’s home.

So, if you have any fears of becoming a hoarder maybe you’re not  beyond a bit of self-help.  It’s good to enjoy what life offers while still alive and that includes collections as well as just having nice things you like.  However, sometimes it’s good to prune your attachments and pass them onto another custodian to enjoy.  Lately I have sold a number of my favorite things with that thought in mind and have gained a bit of money to buy more.  The World Wide Web offers lots of opportunities to become hobby buyers and sellers so the joy of going to Estate Sales and Yard Sales can continue well throughout our lives.



Dreams left behind in Boxes

As the sun begins to set on our lives . . . “In a melody that rings Like the tunes we used to play, And our dreams are playing yet!” One of the most common items found in Estate Sales a…

Source: Dreams left behind in Boxes

Dreams left behind in Boxes

IMG_0099.jpgAs the sun begins to set on our lives . . .

“In a melody that rings

Like the tunes we used to play,

And our dreams are playing yet!”

One of the most common items found in Estate Sales are lovely things that have never been used and are still in the boxes they were bought in.  They are things the living don’t have the heart to part with or may have forgotten in a back closet as part of a dream that never quite made it off the back burner.

More common are the ‘good’ sets of silverware or china, reserved for company that rarely if ever arrives.  Those sets are usually found in their original boxes put away for the day they can be proudly displayed.

IMG_0241.jpgWhatever happened to those dreams of the person who made all those purchases and never quite fulfilled them in their lifetime will never be known, but new dreams are now being passed on to the living through the estate sale and repurposed by the ones who buy them at discount.  The items of these dreams may go into a collection and preserved for future generations to gaze at or worn and used by their new owners.

IMG_0576.jpg I too am guilty of boxed dreams and sometimes I find I need to downsize them.  I donated many new items I had bought over time at the sales and packed away in my own closet and gifted more to people I know will use them and appreciate them.  That may not be the reason I bought them at the time but it was still a success.  Everything and everybody has their destiny.

In the end, it’s the joy of living that counted.


A Passing Hail Let us rest ourselves a bit! Worry? -wave your hand to it- Kiss your finger-tips, and smile It farewell a little while Weary of the weary way We  have come from Yesterday, Let us fre…


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