wings and things


on March 5, 2015

On Tuesday, Dina and I arranged all of the stuff I wanted valued onto two tables ready for the antique guy, Mike, to value and/or purchase. When he arrived, introductions were made and he got his little eye-magnifier-thingy out and began what ended up being over four hours of a fascinating adventure into the history and mystery of everything from chinaware to silverware to walking sticks to coins etc.

Every time Mike said “Oh, you know what this is?” or “Now that is beautiful!” I felt quite chuffed. As Anthony was/is an antique enthusiast and, to some extent, a collector, it was interesting to find out what the things he had bought, or we had bought together (prints/lithographs; a piano stool, the grandfather clock, coins/banknotes, a silver egg coddler, willow pattern china, a Gallopili photo, etc.) were actually worth.

As the three of us went through the wares, I wrote down what things might be worth and what Mike would pay me for items he was interested in. Anything chipped or cracked was either discarded or put into the garage-sale box; most of the silver-plated and brass goods were deemed low in value as nobody wants to polish anymore. Mike wasn’t interested in any of that so Dina and I put these items onto a separate table for me to sort out later.

Interestingly, it was the little tangled-up trinkets plus my grandmother’s collection of Royal Doulton teacup sets, that had more value than the bigger, more impressive-looking objects! I sold a few of these to Mike but kept this one (see the peacock?)


Family heirloomy stuff for Ming went straight into my now decluttered office at the back of the house; give-to-relatives stuff went into a couple of boxes; stuff to keep (because I love it) will go back into the living room; garage-sale things ended up in several boxes!

Call me mercenary but I had not wanted to give away or sell anything that might be worth a fortune so, thanks to Mike, I am now in the position of being able to give/sell things more cannily – ha! And it is almost a relief to know that none of this clutter is particularly valuable monetarily.

This means that I can now retrieve the objects that have/had sentimental value for Anthony’s mother, Ants, Ming, my own mother and father, and me … and put them back on display. I particularly like the silver and brass because I can remember polishing it with Anthony’s mother, Gar, and then with Anthony. I haven’t polished any of it for some time so will not take a photo until I have, but it is beautiful!

Towards the early afternoon, as Dina and I sorted things according to Mike’s valuations, I remembered to show him the coin I’d bought for Anthony in the Christmas of 2000. It is a one-kilo silver coin produced by the Perth Mint for the year of the dragon – absolutely beautiful and very heavy. Mike was impressed and suggested I do a bit of research into what it might be worth now (I paid $600AUS at the time).


Well, after doing a lot of googling and ebay-scouring and general research I found out that this particular limited edition coin is now worth up to $5,500! People appear to be selling them at lower prices than this, but it is interesting and rather wonderful to find that this random Christmas gift has turned into a worthwhile investment and I feel quite clever.

You should have seen Anthony’s face when I took the coin in to show and remind him, and tell him its value had increased so markedly. He actually grinned! Money does that to him.

Later that day, I was telling Ming about how it all went and he was a little nonplussed at my thrill. But, just as I was about to put Gar’s plastic tomatoes, which have hung in the kitchen for over 50 years, into the bin, Ming yelped “Nooooooo!” So they’re freshly washed and back where they were!


It is now the fifth week of my experience with Dina, who has helped me to declutter, reorganise and create space where there was chaos. I have discovered, in this process, that I can do such things without the anxiety of Anthony’s hoarding, my sentimental attachment to objects that just made me sad (eg. a pair of glasses once worn my my father), Ming’s fickleness. There has definitely been a bit of a power struggle between Ming and me but I have now reasserted my authority haha!

I have learned so much about the notion of value and it has got absolutely nothing to do with things. Of course I already knew that but the reminder has been wonderful!

44 responses to “Values

  1. It must feel so good to de-clutter….I think that even your mind must feel less ‘cluttered’..Diane

  2. Vicki says:

    I find it fascinating what some people value (and I do not).

    In general, my family find that if anything’s free and new(ish), it’s worth keeping (i.e. hoarding, just in case they might use it one day). I do the opposite. If I have no use for it, I believe in giving it away (to someone in need or to sell for charity).

    I had to smile at Ming’s protest over the plastic tomatoes. Obviously he isn’t the one to dust or clean them šŸ˜€

    • jmgoyder says:

      Ming never knew Gar of course but he has heard all of the many stories of her wonderful personality. I am glad we have kept the tomatoes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh I have a 2000 silver Irish pound I bought for Sorcha. Hopefully it’s worth a fortune when I eventually give it to her šŸ™‚

  4. I can well understand why Ming doesn’t want those tomatoes to go!

  5. tersiaburger says:

    I need your Dina!!!!

  6. Rhonda says:

    Fantastic!!! (and I’m with Ming…some things need to stay put!) Love what you’ve done Jules…just love it!

  7. Amy says:

    I tend to get rid of things too quickly and have only a small box of “valuable items” left. I think it is great that you are putting so much thought into the process, and have an expert to help. Way to go! The plastic tomatoes crack me up and obviously are of great sentimental value to Ming.

  8. Terry says:

    Really enjoyed reading this post. If you ever have costume jewelry for sale, think of me! hugs

  9. What a cleansing experience this must be for you Jules!

    I find that life has enough stresses without clutter. So why have clutter, right? ā¤

    An organized home actually brings my stress levels down. Home is my refuge. Home is where I retreat when the world outside is too overwhelming. ā¤
    Diana xo

  10. When the children and i were young we lived in rented houses and everything we had we carried around with us as we shifted from place to place. I remember my daughter and I gazing in a shop window once at a beautiful orange hand blown glass platter (Of course we could never afford it in a million years) Sopsta looked at it and sighed. then said -” We would have to pack it in a special box every single time – it would be too hard to shift – No more looking.” I have often thought of that when I am thinking of aquiring something new. Now I say “is it very, very beautiful or very, very essential?.” Usually neither. This de-cluttering journey is so healing and informative. You have inspired me to do a little de cluttering myself.. Starting with that Bloody pantry.. c

  11. Tiny says:

    Great progress! Congratulations! And I’m happy your coin has gained so much in value. Our “antiques” consist of silver things (my hubs recently polished them for three days!), some old stuff from central Europe (no idea of value, but hubs doesn’t want to touch) and quite a sizeable collection of original early 1960s recordings of Beatles etc. LPs. Some of them now sell USD 500 each so we’re not touching them – yet. Our son is a bit similar to Ming, attached to certain stuff he’s seen for years, but since he doesn’t live at home any more, I have a free reign šŸ˜€

  12. I have been going through this process with my mother and it is amazing the stories behind old pieces of (what I perceive as) junk that my mother treasures because it belonged to someone else years ago and looking at it brings back happy memories for her.

  13. tootlepedal says:

    The whole thing has been an impressive piece of organisation on your part. It is very easy to ask for advice and then ignore it. You have done well.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Oh Tom, despite my embarrassment at clutter and disorganisation, I have now bitten the bullet to get cleaners in, lawn people in, door-fixers in etc. Wonderful to get the help!

  14. I am so happy for you Jules and I love the plastic tomatoes šŸ˜€

  15. My Heartsong says:

    Interesting what things are of intrinsic value.Loved Ming’s reaction to the tomatoes. nice to hear mention of Gar again, remember your description of her when you first arrived to work for her.

  16. I love Ming’s sentimentality. šŸ˜‰ And it makes sense to me that he doesn’t want the tomatoes to go. And the process you are going through does sound quite empowering Julie.

  17. susanpoozan says:

    You describe it all so well, I lover reading your posts.

  18. Judith Post says:

    My husband hates clutter. We go through the house once a year and argue about new things he wants to toss out. The kids never used to care, but Nate and his girlfriend are moving into a house this weekend that they’re going to rent, and all of a sudden, he’s a lot fussier about what we pitch. He doesn’t want them, he just wants OUR house to stay the same:)

  19. It sounds like it was a bloody awesome experience having the things valued

  20. Wonderful! Now if I could just get my husband to de-clutter!

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