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Having an inventory offers collectors peace of mind

Submitted by emtaylor561 on Sat, 01/02/2016 - 12:14
Taking photographs of such collectibles as this rare early 20th-century Florida souvenir brooch painted by Olive Commons can be used to establish ownership of an object in the event of theft.ELLIOT TAYLOR/FLORIDA WEEKLY

From my Florida Weekly Collector's Corner column:


I’m an incurable collector.

Walk just about anywhere in my house and there are objects and artwork I value highly.

Some items are valuable on their own merits; other things simply are precious to me.

Either way, I would be devastated if anything were to happen to them.

The recent threat of Tropical Storm Erika underscored the importance of having an inventory of one’s possessions.

All you had to do was watch television footage of the floodwaters sweeping across Caribbean islands to understand the full threat a storm poses.

Regardless of whether you live in a manse or a cottage, an inventory of your possessions can make the difference between being reimbursed for losses should something happen to your items.

A photographic record of art, antiques, silver and other items may lead to their recovery if they have been stolen.


Spend an hour. Walk around your home, take pictures and/or video — your smartphone should make that an easy task.

Note when and where you purchased items and for how much, if possible. Photograph silver hallmarks, signatures on artwork. If you have receipts for purchases, photograph them, too.

It’s not just art and antiques, either.

People frequently say they don’t own that much, but once you start adding up the costs of such essentials as clothing — even the cheapest of men’s suits can cost several hundred dollars — the values begin to climb. And that doesn’t count the electronics and other tech items that are now such important parts of our lives.

Store that information in a safe area, online or in a safety-deposit box.

Odds are, you won’t need it.

Odds also are that if you don’t have it, a disaster will be all the worse. A couple of collecting events:

¦ West Palm Beach Antiques Festival — Come to the show and say hello to me — ask for my booth number at the door. Early buyer admission, with a three-day pass is noon-5 p.m. Sept. 4. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 5 and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets: $10 early buyer, $8 adults, $7 seniors, free for younger than 16. Two-day admission is $10. Info at or 941-697-7475.

¦ Palm Beach Estate Antiques, Fine Art & Jewelry Auction — 1 p.m. Sept. 6, Bruce Kodner Galleries, 24. S. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth; 585-9999 or

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