Experts in antique books, stamps, silversmith, woven rugs, Persian rugs, clocks, estate jewelry, advertising, coins, etc. are getting harder to find for several reasons:
- They have died.
- They are up in years and no longer practice.
- They have gone out of business due to lack of interest and sales.
- The younger generations aren’t interested in learning the craft of their elders.
Now we are left with a shortage of rich-with-experience “old-timers” in these specialty areas.
- How will we be able to identify historic items and other pieces of significance after they are gone?
- How will we ever know the stories behind such items?
- Without these elders and their expertise, what will we have to teach our children and grandchildren?
This wealth of information has fallen on the deaf ears of the younger generations; now they have no trade to fall back on in life. It’s really sad, but it’s their decision to make.
I was in Arizona a couple of years back and talked with some of the Native Americans. They instantly saw how I lit up holding their silver jewelry, wondering how they achieved a certain shape, scroll, or color. This conversation led to another, when I asked the elder silversmith if he had taught his son and grandson his wonderful skills.
“Neither wanted to learn,” he said. “Now they have their fancy phones and games, but they have no way to make a living. They don’t know much.”
Spotting a weaver, I went over and talked with her as well. You’d be amazed how well a huge smile opens doors. Hers was the same story. All of these middle-aged and older people learned their skills from their parents and grandparents, but very few of their children were interested.
As someone who loves the estate industry, you could say that I study the possessions of those already passed. I wonder how appraisers in the future will be able to do their job, as experts die off.
This Estate Lady is collecting unusual books about all of the topics I mentioned at the top. At the rate everything is being read online, the real books containing rare information will be considered trash one day. I can see some of these books being dumped.
I know what is inside those books is more valuable than the things I appraise. They contain knowledge, and you can’t put a price on that!
©2014 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent. Email her at Julie@TheEstateLady.com.