Teacups, teakettles and an honest antiques customer

Some time ago, my mother and sister decided to have yard sale to clean out a storage area. They would be putting out typical yard-sale items—small appliances, pots and pans, bottles, lots of junk and maybe a collectibles or two.

My mother is 91-plus-years old and quite active. She was scurrying around the yard helping customers decide what items they needed. One customer in particular would not leave the table that held mom’s teacups and teakettles.

Every since I can remember, mom collected teacups and teakettles. Over the years, she accumulated quite a few. Her collecting stopped when dad died, but she kept the collection on display in her living and dining rooms.

When my sister was widowed, they moved and shared the same house. Space was a problem, and mom’s teacups and teakettles were stored. So now they were on this table to be sold. The price tags were for 50 cents or a dollar each for the teacups and $5 for the teakettles.

The customer who would not leave the teacup-and-kettle table spoke softly to mom and explained that items in her collection were quite valuable. True, the Niagara Falls and Graceland teacups were not worth much, but others could bring up to $75. Some of her teakettles are worth up to $300! The customer left without buying anything. A very honest person saved mom from giving away a nice collection.

This antique collection is now under my control and will be appraised by someone from WorthPoint in the near future. Most of us don’t know the value of what we have stored or stashed in the attic. Discover the value of your old stuff before you sell by using WorthPoint’s resources.

– Jim Sturgill is a director of WorthPoint and founding partner of Sturgill & Associates LLP, a DC and Baltimore area CPA firm.

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