From my Collector's Corner column published in Florida Weekly:
My secret to the perfect find? Sometimes, it’s a matter of retracing my steps
There are few things more satisfying that finding that perfect item, be it at a shop, a show or even a garage sale.
But if I had taken a single pass around the merchandise I might have missed some of my best finds.
Instead, I try to retrace my steps, reversing the path throughout a shop.
Objects that were hidden in shadows suddenly become obvious when you do that.
Case in point: I was at a local consignment shop when I spotted a bowl filled with potpourri. It was an elegant, etched compote that caught the light and sparkled like a beacon from across the room. I knew it had to be something good.
Sure enough, it was signed Tiffany.
The price? $24.95.
Because whoever had done the pricing had inadvertently placed the price sticker over part of the acid-etched signature.
As for actually spotting the bowl, I had not noticed it when I walked in the door. I only noticed it when retracing my steps because the sunlight came into the room at a different angle.
Look up and down the shelves.
Don’t just look straight at the piece when you pick it up, either.
To look for a hallmark, hold a piece of glass at an angle — the hallmarks sometimes are almost like holographic images and not visible when viewed head-on.
Run your fingertips along the edges to inspect for chips, buy and enjoy!
Who knows? You may score a Tiffany of your own.
Start the New Year off with a little shopping:
West Palm Beach Antiques Festival — Noon-5 p.m. Jan. 1., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 2 and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets: Early buyer, 9 a.m.- noon Jan. 1, $25; general admission, $8; seniors, $7; two-day pass, $12. Note: Discounts not valid during early buyer hours. Info: wpbaf.com. ¦