Book will give you an education in antiques

Book will give you an education in antiques

If you are into antiques or collectibles, you should read "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money" by Maureen Stanton. It is a book about the author's following of a longtime friend who happens to be an antique dealer.

It is nonfiction; only some of the names have been changed. It took me a long time to read it, but it is 21 chapters so you can pick it up and lay it down and start anew.

The book says everyone really into antiques should hit Brimfield, Mass., in May. This is according to Curt Avery (not his real name), the antique dealer the author followed to detail his trials and tribulations.

I could not help comparing myself to Avery as his story is told in great detail by the author. In reality, he is 10 times more a dealer than I am. He deals in thousands of dollars, where I deal in hundreds. Throughout the book, he makes many purchases of more than $1,000. I can only think of two or three transactions that I or we have been involved in where we have spent more than a $1,000.

Avery's house is loaded with stuff. If we buy something for our house, something has to go out of our house. Like Avery, we do not have room. He rents a storage space, as do we. He concentrates on the East Coast; we do mostly the Midwest.

It is a full-time business for Avery, while it is more of a hobby for us.

He attends about 100 auctions a year; I probably only do a half dozen, if that. He knows 100 times more stuff than I do. He is a history buff and spends a lot of time filling the author in on the history of items, their background, etc. He is part teacher. It is like he has taken her on a journey and explains every step of the way.

I learned a lot about antiques by reading this book. I am humbled by how little I really know. The field of antiques and collectibles is so large and diversified, you could spend a lifetime in it and never see a finished crop. It is a good read published by The Penguin Press.

Good antiquing!

Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent to Swisher by writing to The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-677 or emailing

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