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Atlanta Appraisers - Betty Wilson Appraisal Firm - Atlanta, Georgia


By Melinda L. Wilson
Certified Appraiser and Consultant

What is a Collectible?

Often I am asked, "What is a collectible? Cut glass is too high and silver is out of the question, but I'd like something as a hobby." The answer is simply, "Whatever you are interested in or like or is a link, maybe, with your past."

The interest in collecting manifested today is, I believe, a phenomenon connected with people wishing to remember the old ways or wishing to have a line with yesteryear. A remark I often hear is, "Oh, I remember that...Grandmother had one in her –parlor." Once a lady went into ecstasies over an old paddle butter churn. She sat and fondled its smooth sides as she remembered girlhood days and hot summer nights on an open dogtrot where her grandmother would rock as she beat the dasher against the milk in the jar. Another lady began to collect old rug beaters and used them as effective wall hangings. Nobody beats rugs anymore. It is, from a practical standpoint, a very useless item. But to that person, a rug beater strikes a chord that links her to simpler days. Now, when the churn lady began to collect churns was in the early sixties. Old ones could be found in every junk shop, sometimes with the original scarred paddles, for four or five dollars. The last time I checked, an authentic churn, not a reproduction, was upward of a hundred dollars. The NEW ones were ten and fifteen dollars.

So, begin with an interest and then collect to fit your pocketbook. If you are looking to turn a profit on resale it can be risky, but often rewarding, when that pattern of china that today's seems only pretty to you, suddenly becomes the collecting craze and prices skyrocket! Then you can either sell, or sit back and display your collection proudly.

Listed among some of the collectors price guides are such oddities as matchbook covers, campaign buttons from political yesteryears, pop bottle collectibles, Mr. Peanut collectibles, woodworking tools, even barbed wire. Don't laugh. Some people even want barbed wire from different manufacturers.

Collecting is fun, if not always profitable. Pick what you like and what likes your pocketbook. Let your friends know what you are collecting and they always can find the perfect gift. You will have found your own trademark and your personal treasure.

The library is full of books on guns, quilts, Southern Arts and Crafts, coins, stamps, bottles, etc. Take a look at some of these and see what you have or how to begin and remember, have fun!

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