EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 57 - December 01, 2001 - ISSN 1528-6703     5 of 6

Collector's Corner: Book Review: Protecting Your Collectible Treasures - Secrets of a Collecting Diva

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I subscribe to Judith Katz-Schwartz' newsletter, so it was no surprise to me that her new book is as entertaining as it is informative. Judith is the Erma Bombeck of the antiques and collecting world, and uses the rich material provided by her family to dish out advice in a humorous fashion. Judith's grandmother could heap out equal amounts of guilt and food, and there was no use arguing with Grandma.

Judith learned a lot from Grandma, including rules of negotiating and tips on cleaning (important skills for a collector). Grandma's first rule of life was "Never Throw Anything Away."

Judith has picked up many more secrets of cleaning and repairing antiques and collectibles in her career as dealer and appraiser. Judith founded Twin Brooks Antiques and Collectibles in 1986, and in 1987 she opened an independent appraisal practice. Judith may very well be the first antiques dealer to take her business online - she started the Twin Brooks Web site in 1993!

Protecting Your Collectible Treasures sounds like a book you may want to buy and stick with your other reference books, pulling it off the shelf when you come across a cleaning problem. But I recommend you sit down and read this book from start to finish, and THEN use it as a reference book. First, it's entertaining. But more importantly, Judith tells you how to PREVENT possible problems with your collectibles and gives lots of other useful advice.

The range of items covered ensures there is something for everyone, from porcelain, pottery and textiles to jewelry and paper. The last chapter is a potpourri of miscellaneous tips and tricks that don't fit into other categories. (Did you know there is an easy way to get the dents out of beer cans?!)

With her background as a chef - Judith earned a Graduate Chef's Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu - Judith whips up some terrific "recipes" in this book guaranteed to clean your precious treasures. And since most of us have the basic "ingredients" on hand - ketchup, baking soda, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and cream of tartar - it won't cost a fortune.

The book is easily portable. It's a 9" x 6" softcover of 128 pages, but has more useful advice - that can be put into action immediately - than many books two or three times the size. This book makes a great present for the collectors in your life, and while you're at it, get one for yourself!

You can purchase Judith's book online at Amazon for 20% off the list price of $12.95, totaling $10.36, plus s&h.

Judith will sell you an autographed copy on her Web site for $12.95 & $4.05 s&h (in the U.S.) - go to the site for details And while you're there, sign up for her free e-newsletter, "Antiques and Collectibles."

"Protecting Your Collectible Treasures: Secrets of A Collecting Diva" by Judith Katz-Schwartz is published by Martingale & Company.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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