In my world of personal property, one little chip on a porcelain piece can mean the difference between going into the trash and selling it for far less than it should have sold, had it been perfect. As an appraiser of fine items, I know that original condition is just one very important characteristic when assigning value.
My entire career has centered around selling items that are in good, original condition — not stripped of original finish, not repaired, not refurbished — just plain, old original condition. It is also that same original condition that attracts the collector toward the mellowness of color that only the passage of time can create on a beautiful antique wood piece — imperfections and all.
Those imperfections “prove” to that collector’s discriminating eye it’s true age, and the history and personality of the piece. Worn leather, distress marks, scars from accidents, etc. are all part of the life our antique possessions have led before they came to us.
The collector knows some of these marks are positive attributes, but the average person is in search of perfection — perfection of body, perfection of mind, perfection for each facet of their lives.
It suddenly occurred to me that we should look at ourselves and each other in the very same manner as that special collector. We are aging, we have earned our stripes, we have gained insight and wisdom through the passage of years. Yet we too have many imperfections: a chip here, a chip there, a few fracture lines. We should strive to do our best to live with our original condition for as long as possible.
While one chip can greatly diminish the value of an antique platter, our own self-worth only grows deeper with our well-earned battle scars from a life well lived.
© 2011 Julie Hall