If you haven’t played my new antiques quiz game yet, Dumpster or No Dumpster (TM), it is very easy to play. I provide you with a few objects from the typical basement re-organization or estate clean out, and you decide which pieces go to the Dumpster and which pieces do not.
American basements are funny places—some serve as home offices, man caves for viewing sporting events on big screen TVs, or lounges for the teenagers. Yet, most commonly, basements are the center for all of those objects that you MAY, emphasis on the word MAY, want to use at some time in the future. At least, basements are places where you store stuff that is too good to toss but not good enough to take up space upstairs.
Since objects that end up in the basement are in storage limbo, let’s see how they stand the Dumpster or No Dumpster test.
1. The ugly teapot: Mom doesn’t really entertain much anymore and she has relinquished the chore of cooking holiday dinners to her daughter. As a result, some of the china pieces have been relegated to the basement. This teapot has a lion stamp on the bottom of it and says Royal Doulton and Made in England on it. Yet, it is so ugly that no one wants it. Dumpster or No Dumpster?
When you decide to clean out the basement, remember my motto: Don’t let it go until you know what it’s worth! The ugly teapot with the highly recognizable Royal Doulton lion mark is ugly but valuable. The late 1880s style ceramic and hand painted and gilt teapot is a $1,200 collectible piece of porcelain. Trashing it would be a big mistake. NO DUMPSTER.
2. Grandpa’s collapsible seat from the World’s Fair held in New York City. Grandpa, an avid golfer, had a lot of these collapsible seats from various places, sports teams, and corporations. It is just taking up space now that grandpa’s golfing days are over.
Is it trash or is it worth cash?
Grandpa’s world fair collapsible seat was originally made in large numbers but today few of those objects still exist. Cashing in on it probably won’t bring you enough money to transform your basement into a game room, but this World’s Fair collectible is still worth $135 to collectors. NO DUMPSTER.
3. Mom never gets rid of the Christmas tree lights no matter how old they are. We have plastic tubs full of light strings with the old multi-colored screw-in bulbs. I am afraid to test them with their frayed wires and many of the bulbs are missing. Would you keep them or toss them?
If you are afraid to plug in the string of Christmas tree lights because of damaged wires and lost bulbs, then they should head for the dumpster. Condition is key for any holiday collectible; it is not worth the risk of starting a fire. DUMPSTER.
It is wise to inquire about the value and marketability of your vintage objects and antiques before making a decision to put them in the dumpster.
Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, award-winning TV personality, and TV talk show host, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide, including around Tampa Bay. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on the hit TV show "Auction Kings" on Discovery Channel airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori or call (888) 431-1010.