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What’s in Your Closet?

by Christopher Kent (12/23/08).

Real Christmas TreeWith Christmas just days away, I thought it expedient to throw open the large door of the closet just off the kitchen and start to dig for the Christmas decorations that I knew were hiding in the back.

Opening this door becomes a situational comedy not unlike Fibber McGee and Molly and their famous closet. Inching open the door produces a torrential outpouring of boots, magazines, a rake—what’s a rake doing in here?—boxes of dishes that I swear I’m going to use or recycle and other assorted items that have been crammed into the space.

Closing the door is achieved with a full-body slam and a quick turn of the key in the lock. Two hours into the process of retrieving the decks, I had found a box of photographs, mostly of my father in WWII, the box also contained diplomas, citations, some ribbons from long-ago horse shows, early elementary-school group shots and a few love letters that had been assembled presumably by my mother and summarily off-loaded on me.

Treasures among junk

The box behind that contained scraps of vintage fabric, behind that a box of childhood books long out of print, next to that a collection of family prayer books handed down from my father’s side of the family. Another box, the contents wrapped in blue tissue paper, was my dad’s officer’s hat and a pair of 18th-century spectacles. Behind that were a few rolled-up, moth-eaten Oriental rugs, thin enough to read the New York Times through, coffee tins of nuts and bolts, the odd hammer, boxes filled with the upended contents of kitchen drawers never unpacked from the last house move, another box filled with rolls of masking tape.

I had, through this tedious exercise, actually, unknowingly, embarked on a nostalgia trip where I had learned things about my father that I hadn’t known, learned things about myself that I had boxed away and vaguely remembered and had finally found the hammer that had been missing for at least a year. The Christmas decorations were not there, however.

Oh no, I thought, they must be in the other closet upstairs.

– By Christopher Kent, a member of the WorthPoint board of advisers and director of evaluations for WorthPoint. He is also an antiques and collectibles generalist, fine-arts broker and president of CTK Design.

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16 Responses to “What’s in Your Closet?”

  1. i have a wall cruifix that is on satin material with mary an other women and all the stuff that goes with the crufix, the catholic church wanted this picture, the picture is very very old. is there any information on a picture cruifix?

  2. maraget dingle says:

    i have an old 1937 hallmark card,it has star gazing on the front cover with lottie larsen on it, a little mystery story with a solution at the end of it. is there any information on something like this?

  3. maraget dingle says:

    i have an old picture that i bought from garage sale, it was pub by currier&ives(the river side) 152 nassau st. n.y, repub by&copyright by sidney z. lucas, new york city, it old do have any information on it or can i just throw it out, i had it for 19 years.

  4. Betsy says:

    I have a 1904 Victrola

  5. Looking to see what old sports illistrated magazinesare worth. Possibly sellsome too.1974 mostly.

  6. Jacques M Beckwith says:

    I have a bedroom group,consisting of dresser,mirror,chest of drawers,and two nightstands with tags stating:RWay Furniture Co,Sheboygan,WI,To Massey 16-2242.On the nightstands L.hand corner the #2154 appears.Can anyone tell me what these signs mean and the value
    of the pieces if any.Also dresser has a clear glass top.Thanks JMB.

  7. Jackie says:

    Are 1950′s Encycolopedia Britannicas worth anything? Thank you for your help.

  8. Kay (Lane) Gray says:

    Mr. Kent, The children are home for the holidays and going through some of their father’s old things. One of them is a collection of small (3 1/2 in.) soldiers of all nationalities. The are flat tin or steel with the bottom bent into a stand. Each one has a different name on the bottom such as :”American Infantry Doughboy – foot soldier of the United States Army” or “”German Infantry – Foot soldier of the German Arny”. They aren’t in very good shape – scratched, etc., however we are curious about their origin and value, if any. Also, I think you are a cousin of mine – once or twice removed!

  9. garyrich says:

    can anyone tell me what $1.20 in 10 cent war bond stamps in a book might be worth

  10. Judy Scott says:

    I have 2 Noel Cherub candle holders no.3006 a commodore original (on box sticker that read PASSED Jls s-3003 J.P.I.A. are these candles worth more than bringing out each Christmas…I guess they are abut 40 yrs old.thanks J.S.

    • Brad Newell says:

      Judy, Were you able to find anything out about the J.P.I.A. stuff. We have some china Christmas bells with similar markings. Just curious. Brad Newell

  11. susan johnson says:

    I recently purchased a sculpture titled ” The Eagle catcher” by Michael Boyett,it is signed,by the artist,at the base. It stands about 11 inches high,I believe it is bronze It is issued by “New England Collector’s Society” and has a serial # 0837. I would love to know the value (I bought it for $5 at a yard sale)

  12. I have 1)Filko IGNITION PARTS52-90S contact set, 2) PICKERING XL 15U by PICKERING, are worth anything are they junk ?????

  13. 1)filko INGNITION PARTS 52-90S CONTACT SET, 2) PICKERING XL 15U by PICKERING

  14. Sue Whitfield says:

    Holy Bible printed in 1837
    several Hawthorne’s book from 1990to1910
    several The works of James W. Riley 1903
    What would be there worth? Thanks

  15. suzie dalton says:

    I have a working victrola age unknown with many working records
    a tredale singer sewing machine working
    school desk with ink well and pen
    any takers any idea of the value

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