Antique Home Show

Last night my husband and I were watching Antique Road Show on Public Television, and we were amazed at how much money people’s old things were appraised at.  A man who bought some posters of railroads for a dollar could turn around and sell them for a thousand dollars apiece, and he had twenty-four of them!  Another man had an old, nearly life-size Chinese pottery statue, chipped and faded. Rather ugly, if you ask me.   It wasn’t even particularly old, maybe dating back to the twenties.  We were sure that the appraiser was going to tell the man that what he had was a piece of crap, but lo and behold, he told the man that he could get upwards of $40,000 for it at auction.

That leads me to wonder what we might have hanging around the house that could bring us some money in these hard economic times.  I’ve been puttering around looking for treasures all morning, and I think I’ve come up with some good ones.  I’m just going to put them out there and let you, dear reader, be the appraiser.

First, I have a 40-year-old G.E. percolator.  This predates the grind and brew drip systems and the coffee makers that use a little pod for each cup.  It has been making great coffee for 40 years, outlasting five drip machines.  No stainless steel carafe is needed because it is stainless steel.  Though it is definitely a great find, it is not nearly as valuable as my yellow enamelware stove-top percolator would be if I still had it.  For the edification of you youngsters, we actually used to make our coffee on top of a fire to rave reviews.  Electricity hadn’t been invented yet.

Second, my dishwasher.  Looks like heck, but it still runs, so I can’t justify getting a new one.  We had thought about getting one of those new ones that can be running while you stand right next to it, and you wouldn’t even know it.  This conversation we had last night when we went upstairs to bed changed my mind:

Me:  Did I start the dishwasher? 

Husband:  I don’t know.  I saw you put detergent in it.

Me:  Yeah, but did I actually start it?

Husband:  I think so, but why don’t you check.

I go to the top of the stairs, and sure enough, I hear it loud and clear.

Me:  Yep, I started it.

Husband:  Good thing we don’t have one of those quiet ones because you’d have to go all the way downstairs to check.

Third, my grandmother’s liver bowl and chopping blade.   She made the best chopped  chicken liver and taught me how to make it.  This is the bowl and blade she made it with, and I claimed it when she died.  After all, I am the only one left who knows the recipe.  Unfortunately, now that we know about such things as high cholesterol, liver is a no-no, and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) is definitely taboo.  I haven’t used this bowl for many years now.  What I wouldn’t give for a chopped chicken liver sandwich on rye with a big slice of red onion.  Anyway, the bowl and blade are ancient, so what do you think I could get at auction for them?  The liver smell is completely gone.  I swear.

What treasures are hiding in your home?

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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28 Responses to Antique Home Show

  1. arizonamel says:

    Hi!
    I realize this is an old post but I sure enjoyed it! I would use that wonderful bowl & blade for chopped salads. I have a blade like yours but I never thought about having a chopping bowl. Must have one!

    I have lots of inherited heirlooms and they are priceless… To me!

    I have a collection of 1950’s tiny tears dolls. I’m hoping someday my kids make money off them! 25 cents at s garage sale? Lol

    Thanks for the article!

    Wendy

    • Coming East says:

      Just saw this. I haven’t been blogging in quite awhile. Maybe I’ll start it up again someday, but thanks for visiting my old site. I remember Tiny Tears dolls. I think my little sister had one.

  2. “Good thing we don’t have one of those quiet ones because you’d have to go all the way downstairs to check.” Love it!
    We have a corning ware glass percolator…sure came in handy during Ike when we brewed coffee on the outdoor grill and shared with the neighbors. It’s a keeper around our stormy Gulf coast.
    I’ve enjoyed visiting several of your posts and am commenting here.

  3. huffygirl says:

    I’ve got quite a few things from my parent’s house that could probably qualify too. Many of the things that we donated to Goodwill are probably now in the hands of someone who actually knows what they’re worth. They’ve probably sold them for hundreds of dollars, which I could have done myself, had I taken the time to find out what things are worth. Sigh

  4. winsomebella says:

    I too am a Roadshow enthusiast. I think your bowl and blade have the most potential. Fun post!

  5. Love that show and this post! I have a few things…maybe we should make this a series with your readers!! I’d love to take pics of the things I have!

  6. I love that show! My mother used to have an old antique radio (until my brother snuck it away without telling me…tsk tsk) But I still have an entire set of bone china teacups and plates from my great-grandmother. We’ve moved so many times over the years and only one fragile piece has broken. I actually used these teacups at my daughter’s fourth birthday party (and held my breath the girls would accidently chip them!) I also own an antique (I want to say, Duncan Fife?) night stand. Unfortunately it’s been refinished so probably not worth much now. But I cherish it and will keep it as long as I live.

    • comingeast says:

      That’s the thing with family heirlooms. Who cares what they’re worth monetarily? We have no intention of getting rid of them anyway. That’s amazing that you’ve been able to keep that set of china in nearly perfect condition.

  7. OMG!!! Was just writing a post about the roadshow. Hubbie and I were there Saturday. More details to follow, but a. so want to get a percolator–my parents had one always, and oldest friend has had one for eons and swears by it, b. my dishwasher is of same vintage, c. love your bowl and bladel!!! and d. I cook but don’t bake and would love to taste your awesome coffeecake…:)

    • comingeast says:

      Wow! This is getting to be a party. Come right along and join Julia, Mama, and me for coffee from my percolator and my coffee cake. You were really at the Roadshow I just saw? Unbelievable! Seriously, though, if they ever came into our area, I hope I find something to have them evaluate. Did you have something?

  8. Judith says:

    I had a fantastic glass stove top percolator for many years that made the best coffee ever. Unfortunately, my husband was a gadget man and so the percolator was ditched in favour of many other coffee makers – none nearly as good. And now I just use a plunger. Quicker, easier, less mess but nowhere near as good as the perk and what about the smell?

    • comingeast says:

      My sons both use a French press. I can’t figure out why they think it makes such great coffee. I like my percolator coffee better. Plus, don’t you just love the sound of coffee perking as opposed to dripping?

  9. I have absolutely nothing good in my place. I’ve moved too many times and inherited too few things. I have an original paperback copy of “The Velveteen Rabbit” purchased circa 1981. Does that count as anything? Actually, I do have one of my grandmother’s Hummels, but I’m not giving that up. Also I think she inked my name on the bottom of it to indicate that I’m the one it was to go to when she died. She was always doing stuff like that. Probably decreases the value, eh? Meanwhile, I believe I may never be able to use the word “schmaltz” again now that I know what it actually is.

    • comingeast says:

      You mean your “Velveteen Rabbit” book is a first edition? That might be worth something. That schmaltz comment made me laugh. I’ll bet a lot of people who use that word don’t know what it really means. Comes from having a Jewish grandmother.

  10. Leah says:

    My husband would go crazy for that percolator! He likes to find the best way to brew coffee. We actually found a glass percolator at a Goodwill shop a few months back. It was $4 and makes the best coffee. And the value is a lot more than $4.

    • comingeast says:

      We’ve given up on the drip ones. We think our old one makes better coffee. Does the glass one go on the stove top? My mother-in-law has an old Corning Ware electric one, and it makes better coffee than her drip maker, too.

  11. Oh, that one man’s trash is another one’s treasure thing doesn’t work for us! We thought we had some treasures from my parents’ home when we cleaned it out to prepare it for sale after they passed. Ha! There was an antiques show in our area, and as a favor to the organizers, one of those appraiser fellas would look at your treasure for a mere $5 a piece. Guess what? Of all the items we showed him, we had absolutely nothing of value other than some old bowls that he said to sell for $5 apiece!! Now, did I read something about coffee cake at your house?? Now, THAT sounds like a treasure to me. 🙂

    • comingeast says:

      What a rip-off! So that appraiser actually made some money and you lost out! And by all means, come and have some coffee cake with me and Julia while I put on some coffee in that old coffee pot.

  12. Julia says:

    Hilarious! I always wonder, too, when I watch that show! As my husband points out to me — when I do — we sold everything of value when we first got married and were poor(er) students together. Not that we had that much: an old camera, a guitar, etc. No posters worth 1K each. I do have my mother’s matchbook and postcard collections….but technically they belong to my kids. I suppose I’ll forego the 1/100th of a penny I’d get for each piece 🙂 p.s. nice coffee pot, I’d offer a buck if you throw in a coffee cake!

  13. mrngstr333 says:

    I would LOVE that bowl and blade. Should be worth a ton! I tried that going-around-the-house-looking-for-treasures thing. What I found was a whole lot of junk worth nothing– clearly the result of our throw-away society. They just don’t make things like they used to! Great blog, by the way.

    • comingeast says:

      Thanks, D of ND. Yep, I have just a bunch of old stuff not worth anything to anyone but me. But what wonderful memories! How nice that you like that old bowl and blade. Reminds me of my grandma.

  14. dorrule says:

    Another wonderful post! We have more in common – namely chopped liver! Wonder if our recipes are the same.

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