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Rose Mary
By Rosemary McKittrick
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"Rosemary's insightful, concise writing is a real asset to our publication." -- Antiques & Collecting Magazine

You've probably heard the old adage “I paid for my education with the mistakes I’ve made.” That was pretty much the case for me starting out in the art, antique and collectibles field 25 years ago.

I had a good “eye” for quality. What I didn’t have was a good sense of what things were worth. I also didn’t know where to look.

Like you, I met my share of eager dealers who were happy to pay for a hot dog in exchange for a ham.

I could see the game was about buying low and selling high. And I honestly didn’t have a problem with dealers making a profit. I just didn’t want to get skinned alive in the process.

Ultimately, I ended up being skinned more times than I care to admit. I sold a number of valuable things at a fraction of their worth. Such is life!

I can be cavalier about it now. Back then, I just felt stupid.

At some point I started following “live” auctions around the country. I discovered certain auction houses specialized in selling certain things. Other auction houses sold all kinds of things. They also published catalogs of their upcoming sales which I started receiving. After the sales ended, I also got their sale results in the mail.

What a goldmine.

I could track the value of all kinds of things sold just by reviewing catalogs and sale results.

That’s when I started writing about auctions and reporting results. It sure seemed like a fast and fair way of buying and selling to me.

Believe me, long before the general public woke up about auctions, dealers were lined up with their hands in the air bidding on potential inventory.

Over the years my file cabinets ended up full of auction columns I wrote for newspapers and magazines.

That’s when I decided to post the archive online. Think of it as a mini-research center. Use it. Some of the answers you're searching for may be here.

If the site makes your path a little easier, all the better.

If the truth be told, writing is the part of the art, antiques and collectibles business I’ve loved the most.

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Free Article Of The Week
Steel Engraving; Washington Receiving a Salute on Field of Trenton; published by John McClure; circa 1863; 27 inches by 34 ¼ inches; sold for $1,968. Photo courtesy of Skinner Auctioneers.