Question: My in-laws are selling their house and moving into a retirement home. This leaves us (because of their advanced age) with the responsibility of disposing of their 60-year collection of odd and old stuff they purchased at flea markets, house sales and country auctions over the years. What steps should we take to cash in on these items that'll realize the most profit and give my in-laws added income?
- Debbie Malloy, Buffalo, N.Y.
Answer: It is truly amazing what people collect and pay big bucks for. To contact such folks and reap the rewards of instant cash for stuff often thrown out, check out the eighth edition of "Hyman's Trash or Treasure 1997-1998 Directory of Buyers - How & Where to Easily Sell Collectibles, Antiques & Other Treasures Found Around Your House & Neighborhood" by Dr. Tony Hyman. It is available in a 640-page edition for $34.95 postpaid from Trash or Treasure, P.O. Box 3001-X, Pismo Beach, CA 93448. California residents add $1.60 sales tax.
Some of the newly added items in the directory are leather mini-skirts, TV dinner boxes, rock concert T-shirts, mood rings, bowling shirts, 16mm movie projectors, snowmobiles and horseshoes.
I said it before, and I'll say in again, the alleyways of America are paved with gold! For a copy of "How To Be A Successful Alley & Curbside Picker" send 50 cents and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Good Pickins' c/o Anita Gold, P.O. Box 597401, Chicago, IL 60659.
Question: About 40 years ago, my parents purchased a camp in New York state where in the basement, we found a very old child's highchair that collapses into a rocking chair. I've looked in several antique books and found highchairs with similar designs, but none combined with a rocking chair into which it coverts. How much would such a combination chair in good condition, complete with all its parts, be worth?
- Louise Cioppa, Albany, N.Y.
Question: I have an old mahogany child's highchair with a cane back and seat, that's made to crank down into a rocking chair. Can you provide me with any information regarding such a chair and its value?
- Frank Barnes, Nashville, Tenn.
Answer: A patent was issued to C.A. Perley of Baldwinsville, Mass., on Feb. 29, 1876, for the design of such a chair, and if you look closely with a magnifying glass, you'll see the words and date, "Design Pat. Feb. 29, 1876," stamped on the back of the chair. Some models, fitted with iron wheels, only converted into a stroller that could be wheeled about. Some convertible highchairs had woven cane backs and seats which are earlier. Others with perforated plywood seats, backs, and trays, were manufactured by Thompson, Perley, and Waite of Boston. Such an example can be found, pictured, described and priced at $450 in "Victorian Furniture With Prices" by David P. Lindquist and Caroline C. Warren (Wallace-Homestead); it is available for $23.45 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.
Question: Who can I write regarding old Lionel trains dating from 1955 with large-size tracks and railroad cars, and an engine that toots, that I want to sell?
- Lorraine Ferris, Albany, N.Y.
Answer: To sell Lionel or Marx trains, write Allan Miller, 2189 Sunny Slope Drive, No. 4, Dubuque, IA 52002. Enclose photos or a complete description of the trains, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply, offer or type of trains Miller buys. Miller also buys Dept. 56 Snow Village pieces.
Question: I have many old Cream of Wheat prints and other old advertisments, sheet music and paper items picturing black people. How can I find out their value?
- Nancy Peters, Houston, Texas
Answer: You'll find numerous examples of such items along with other pieces pictured in color with their current values in "Collecting Black Memorabilia - A Picture Price Guide" by J.P. Thompson . It is available for $22.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.
Comment on this story
Question: Who buys old microphones? I have one from an old radio station where my uncle worked during the '40s.
- Marv Williams, Buffalo, N.Y.
Answer: To sell old microphones with station call letters attached (or unattached) write Old Microphones Wanted, P.O. Box 214, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Enclose a photo, or drawing with description, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply or offer.