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Big Score Stories

Scoring Gnomes

I was at a local flea market with my Dad and I noticed a Tom Clark gnome figurine in one of the booths. My Mom collects the Tom Clark gnomes, so I stopped to look. It was a very BIG figurine and it was actually SIGNED by the artist! I looked for a price, but it wasn't marked. I flagged down one of the two men that were working the tent. He came over and looked at the piece and said that he wasn't sure, and had to check with his partner. Well, by this time, I am expecting him to come back with a price of a couple hundred dollars, and figure that I'll just be placing it back on the shelf when he hands it back to me, so I wait for him to return with the bad news. Well, here he comes at a brisk clip toward me. He looks at me, then at the figurine, then says, "My partner said $15.00, but I'll take $12.00.........". (sound of my jaw dropping open.....) I hesitate for a moment (for effect, ONLY), then say "Yeah, I'll take it." I get home and look it up in some of my Mom's Tom Clark gnome literature, which isn't too current, and see that it's worth at least $600.00! Truly, my BIG score.
-Amy Becker

Sniffin' out Tiffin

By my grandmother's house, I happened on a garage sale. It looked as if the man in charge had simply taken the boxes out of the garage and attic of an elderly relative and spread them on the lawn. Nothing was sorted or priced. You just dug through the boxes and asked the man for a price on what you wanted. Among other things, I found a beautiful black urn-shaped pedastal vase. The guy wanted 25 cents for it. Later, I took the vase to The Antiques Road Show only to find out that it was not ceramic, but glass from the Tiffin Glass Company in Tiffin, Ohio. Value is between $150 and $200.
-Sheryl DeLeon SoRelle

Family Score

Way back in the 1960s a distant relative of mine worked as a housekeeper to a state senator. When he died she got her choice of several items, among them an old painting by a then-unknown artist, done in 1905. It sat around her basement, another aunt's attic 'til it was given to my mom back in the early 1980s. One day my mom - out of curiosity - took it to new york for an appraisal. She was planning on getting rid of it, but my grandmother insisted she take it just to see if they could find out anything about the artist. When the curator saw the painting he nearly flipped out, as the saying goes. The artist had been long dead, his works were worth a fortune and the value of the painting continues to this day to escalate! So much for moldy old paintings!
-Judith Senning




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