Big Finds & Cool Things

If you’ve scoured auctions, estate sales, antique shops, and even flea markets searching for the elusive “Big Find” that, as collectors, we all dream about, this column is for you. It’s about the hunt; the thrill of the ones you win and the disappointment for ones that got away.

So what, exactly, is a Big Find? It could be an item worth a fortune, bought for a pittance. But it might also be the last piece you need that would complete your collection, but until now, has eluded you. A Big Find, like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.

We’re kicking off this inaugural feature with a look back at one of our Worthologists’—Christopher Kent’s—story about his involvement in a Big Find, as well as a couple of articles about cool things we’ve seen recently from Ask a Worthologist and our Consignment and Brokering service.

In a genuine, can’t-believe-your-eyes Big Find, Christopher Kent relates a story about an early 19th-century tea caddy, a hidden compartment, a mother’s hidden sorrow and a hidden king’s ransom.

Great Antiques Find: Tea Caddy’s Secret

by Christopher Kent (09/11/08)

You get 10 Worthologists together under one roof with approximately 30 years each of experience, and I guarantee no matter how diverse their areas of specialty, they all have one thing in common: stories of the great Antiques and Collectibles find. Here’s one of mine. More >>

And in the Cool Things category, Worthologist Audra Blevins tells us about helping a WorthPoint member get what would be someone else’s Big Find at auction, while Maggie Turnipseed, our manager of Worthologists, tells us that Worthologist Liz Holderman recently evaluated this item for a member. It’s a Myriopticon—a Milton Bradley boxed toy created in 1868 that just might be the precursor to today’s home theaters.

Brokering Adventures: Royal Vienna Vase

by Audra Blevins (04/10/09)

. . . Linda reached into her bag and withdrew a carefully wrapped object that turned out to be a stunning porcelain vase. It stood nine inches tall and the background was a lovely iridescent emerald green, with alternating panels of flowers and blue jewels. There was a center medallion that had an exquisite hand-painted portrait of a Victorian woman with rosy cheeks and flowing hair. More >>

‘The Myriopticon, A Historical Panorama: Rebellion’

by Maggie Turnipseed (04/10/09)

The name “The Myriopticon, A Historical Panorama: Rebellion” is not one that rolls off the tongue very easily, and “Myriopticon” is a word very few of us have ever come across. But suppose you find yourself at a flea market and come across a cardboard box that sports the word Myriopticon,” and looks like it might contain an old game. Upon closer inspection, you find the name Milton Bradley printed on it, along with an inscription in pencil, dating the box from the 1860s. You’ve never seen anything like this, but the price is set at just a couple of dollars. What do you do? More >>

If you have a story about a big find, please leave a detailed comment below or send us an e-mail to telling your tale.

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