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Ahhh, finally, we were getting out of town for a long weekend to visit family. Even better was the fact that this time I was going to be a passenger, which meant I could gather up a stack of books to flip through and learn from along the way. With so many to choose from, I decided to include my book on British Glass from the 1800s, a perfect one to share with my aunt who still, after all these years, could inspire a smile with just her British accent.
As our first day of visiting began to wind down, I grabbed the oversized book with all the pretty pictures, and my aunt and I sat down to take it all in. The early chapters of the book told of the history of glass house cones, structures she reassured me were still around to add an interesting element to the view. Then we got to my favorite part — page after page featuring cut, engraved, and blown glass, with even the black and white photos depicting spectacular beauty through the works of Thomas Webb and others. Starry eyed and slightly salivating, my state of adoration suddenly came to a crashing halt as my aunt softly muttered, “Oh. We would throw glass like this away.”
Now, I’m rather confident that many collectors and dealers just nearly fainted, like I did, from a sharply drawn breath commonly known as a gasp of horror. Adding insult to injury, my dear aunt then told of a friend who had once inherited matching inlaid grandfather and grandmother clocks. Having no need or interest in a couple of big old clocks, her friend solved the space dilemma by simply reducing them to much-needed firewood. (As a clock collector myself, that one really hurt.)
The moral of this story is that sometimes you just don’t know what you just don’t know. So, in an effort to do my part in educating those of you who may be faced with sifting through a loved one’s estate or just clearing out the basement, I’ve added an extra element to my Facebook page with weekly “what do you know” quizzes, comparing values on various collectibles. Curious to see or share just how much you know? Come visit my Facebook page, Flashback Alley.