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Kovel's Guide to Selling Your Antiques and Collectibles
by Ralph and Terry Kovel

In this handy guide, the Kovels offer advice on selling a variety of antiques and collectibles in 75 categories, all arranged in alphabetical order. They discuss everything from where’s the market to appraisals to the proper procedures for a house sale and dealing with auction houses.                More Books

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LATEST SPOTLIGHT_________________________________

Souvenirs From the Heart
by Bob Brooke


A 19th-century Sailor's Valentine from Barbados.During the mid 19th century, men spent years aboard sailing ships in search of whales and moving cargo from one port of call to the next. When they stopped to exchange cargo or gather provisions, they went ashore, discovering unique souvenirs to take home to their wives and girlfriends. Besides objects decorated with scrimshaw, which they, themselves, made, they found some unusual octagonal wooden boxes filled with seashells on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean.

Between about 1830 and 1880, enterprising residents of Barbados made and sold what have come to be known as Sailor’s Valentines to the lonely sailors, many of whom had sailed out of their home ports of New Bedford and Nantucket, Massachusetts, the center of the whaling trade.

They constructed the special hinged valentine boxes, ranging in size from 8 to 15 inches across, of native cedar wood called cedrella, then they filled them with hundreds of colorful tiny seashells in intricate symmetrical mosaic designs incorporating hearts and flowers, which often featured a compass rose centerpiece. Sometimes they included a special sentimental message that the sailor would order, thus the name Sailor’s Valentine. After gluing down all the shells, the maker placed a piece of glass over the design to protect them.

Collectors of nautical and whaling memorabilia command high prices at auctions throughout the country, especially in Massachusetts. Some of the best, however, are part of the collections of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, the Nantucket Whaling Museum on Nantucket Island, and the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut.

Read more about whaling antiques.

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An occasional feature about caring for your antiques and collectibles.

A new feature showcasing outstanding museums where you can see unusual antiques.

No antiques or collectibles
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How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

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