Carter’s Price Guide to Antiques… and home of pretty shiny things!

I don’t consider myself to be a materialistic person, nor do I have expensive tastes. That is probably just as well as, despite a “higher” education, I have not found a pot of gold at the end of the “user pays” rainbow; in fact, it was more a cesspit of student debt that I am still paying back in my thirties! But I digress….Carters

What has led me to despair at my own poverty was playing with a new electronic resource – Carter’s Price Guide to Antiques.  Amongst the colourful online pages of antiques and collectables are whole sections devoted to antique jewellery. What stories these pieces could tell! How did a “Georgian enamel and seed pearl mourning ring from the late 18th century” ever make it to Sotheby’s Australia? Why was an “Art Deco 18ct white gold necklace with a centrally oval solid white opal” sold at auction rather than being placed by some handsome Mr Darcy type of a man around my neck? Could it be the $AUD 7,000 that it sold for?

Most of my possessions are old and second-hand, so maybe if I look through this site I may spot something worth selling? Something that I could sell so I could get just one glittering jewel around my neck or on my finger? It could work for me or you, considering Carter’s is an Australian product with plenty of New Zealand content. Time to sort through dusty boxes and see if you can trade up to pretty shiny things!

You can use this online resource and another like minded one, Price it! through the library catalogue and at the Source using your library card number and PIN. Enjoy your fossicking!

But I need it! Crafts and collecting

Are you a hoarder, a collector, someone who just can’t bear to part with things? Maybe you feel you must be a keeper of the knowledge of your life, community or every piece of paper you ever owned, including receipts. As a child, did you not want to eat because you felt the food would be sad and feel pain as you chewed? Are you a compulsive shopper, buying gifts for people, but once your purchases are home, you can’t part with them? Then you will find kindred spirits in Stuff – compulsive hoarding and the meaning of things. This riveting book sheds light into the crevices and dark tunnels in the homes of America biggest hoarders. And yes, apparently there is a reality show!

CoverI found it a fascinating read, even bored my fellow library lunchers with it in the staff room. In it are people whose lives are limited and crippled by a need to collect and an inability to throw away. There are often links strangely to perfectionism, ADHD and giftedness and it had me thinking about the more sane end of the spectrum –  the collectors amongst us.

I for one have always collected. Trade Me has been my recent undoing, my sparkly brooch collection is impressive, as are my necklaces and the group of very useful old Temuka pottery in my kitchen. I’ve just married a retro collector who also has ‘throwing away’ issues, so lord help us!

Whether it is rare bone china tea sets, GI Joe comics or making your own retro lamps , it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t collect stuff. Some do it for long-term rewards, hoping that in their dotage they can sell their collection and live off the profits. Others may love the feel of the objects in their hands, or the memories they evoke. But for whatever reason, it’s a trend that’s big and getting bigger.

The popularity of Antiques Roadshow and the ability to hunt down maker’s marks and the histories of objects on the internet as well as trade amongst others with ‘The Sickness’, all makes it easier and more exciting than ever before.

The libraries stock many books on objects, furniture, books, stamps and many other things people collect. Price It! is a searchable database is constantly updated and contains more than 20 million images and prices received on treasures people collect, buy and trade.

Just ensure the things you collect don’t take over, so you have to engineer complex tunnels through your possessions to get from one end of your house to another, as the reclusive and obsessive Collyer Brothers did in 1930s New York, one of whom was crushed to death by the ceiling high piles cramming their four storey mansion.

‘Stuff’ makes you think about your own attachment to ‘things’, our materialistic world and ways to collect but not obsess. Now, back to my Trade Me watch list…

Price it! Antiques and Collectibles – finding value in random items

How often have you looked at some household treasure such as  a vintage Barbie doll or picture  and wondered, “What’s it worth?”
Have you ever looked through a second-hand shop or stumbled across long forgotten items and tried to estimate a value?
Now there’s an easy way to find out.  Price It! Antiques & Collectibles powered by is a comprehensive antique and collectible pricing tool.

Users can find more than 125 subjects to search, from broad categories like stamps and toys to brand-specific items like Coca-Cola Collectibles. This easy online resource delivers more than 20 million realized prices on treasures people collect, buy and trade.

Features include:

  • Price It! Info Centre :  advice from industry experts which cover common and unusual topics in pricing restoration and repair.
  • Collecting Club :  a directory of more than 4,000 enthusiast organizations which delivers club descriptions, membership information and Web links.
  • Images:  Over 10 million images and growing to aid in identification.

Price It! Antiques & Collectibles is the ultimate identification, research and pricing tool for collectors, dealers, appraisers, Trade me addicts and anyone in between.

Access this and many other useful databases from you home with your library card number and PIN, or you can alternatively access this resource at our community libraries.