Friday, September 23, 2011

Your Turn

While watching some Best Of Antiques Roadshow thing last night, my mom and dad and some neighbors from across the street got into a discussion about if you went on the show and someone told you that your painting or whatever thing you brought was worth $1M would you sell it or keep it. The obvious answer is you would sell it, but what if it had been in your family for 100 years. What if you really liked whatever it was, or thought it would go up more. I would like to know what you would do in the situation.



33 comments:

Rita said...

Sell it. Immediately. That family heirloom would definitely give our family a better chance of living a better life. specially in today's uncertain economy.

Patty said...

If I just acquired it, sell it. Of course you need to find a buyer who would pay that $1 mil.

However, if it had been in the family and had some kind of family significance (i.e. wedding ring), that would be a hard choice.

Rise and Shwine said...

i'm just a little girl and i let my parents to deal with this mayhem.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Depends on how sentimental the item in question is to me. Would I sell a million dollar painting that I didn't care about? Probably.

Would I sell my Grandmother's rocking chair if it were worth a million? No.

RJ said...

It would depend on how much the item meant to me personally. It would have to have a ton of sentimental value for me to keep it. Plus, with antiques, you have to strike while the iron is hot. Some things and artists are trendy for a while, and then, not so much. What is worth one million today might not be worth as much in five years.

SusanB said...

A million? I'd sell it. I don't care if every woman in my family had been born in that bed for the last 400 years. It's all I can do to pay the mortgage.

RocketQueen said...

Depends if I needed the money! At this point in my life, sure, I'd sell it, buy a house, quit my job and not worry so much about finances and whether I can afford to have another child after this one.

Jeri said...

Like RocketQueen it would depend on what was going on in my life.

However, it it were made public you now have the risk of getting ripped off by your nar and dear.

Jeri said...

"near and dear" Oops, that was supposed to be.

Deep said...

I'd be more inclined to sell it, but I think the smart choice would be to lease it for a decade or so.

That way you're making money off it, and it could potentially be increasing in value as well. In 10 years you can reevaluate it's worth.

iheartjacksparrow said...

Sell it! Between keeping some old piece of furniture and getting a million dollars, I'll pick the million dollars. I'm not that sentimental about any material object.

nunaurbiz said...

I think there's a way you can give it "on loan" to a museum and write it off somehow. If that's true, then I would do that!

Or borrow against it for what little I need to get ahead for awhile.

FYI, I got to take a family heirloom to a Roadshow. I was very politely told that it's priceless ... in sentimental value. Sigh.

mikey said...

I would sell anything, except my children, for $1 million. That's if you can even find a buyer - and if you do - SELL. Most normal houses are not equipped to house an antique of that quality - fire/air quality/insurance cost. I wouldn't even take it home from the appraisal area.

Krab said...

I'm considered an expert in a small antiques niche. Last year a lady showed my a piece that she inherited from her sister in law and asked me if I wanted to buy it for $1000. I knew immediately it was a treasure worth much more and instructed her to take it to Christie's. She did, and last autumn the piece sold for $85,000 and changed her life.

Sometimes I think YOU FOOL! If I'd bought it I would have kept it, because it's the stuff that I love and collect.

New Life and Attitude said...

I'd sell it in a heart beat!

SkittleKitty said...

My cousins went through selling our 150+ year-old family home/farm (my/our great great grandather's place) and much of its contents (they kept some and I took my great-grandmother's things plus I bought a few things from them, both directly and during the auction). If there had been an item that would have sold for $1M, I think they would have sold it and kept the house and rest of the contents, maybe.
I think the harder question is a smaller amount. I kept everything I could (and bought a bigger house to have room for two large furniture pieces!), but could have sold them for maybe $2K, perhaps a bit more.
I suppose it's a bit odd to some, since I never knew my grandmother, who died when my mom was an infant, nor my great-grandmother, who died when I was an infant. But I visited that house (and my cousins' mother, who was the last family caretaker of the home) many, many times. I feel/felt extremely connected to it and couldn't bear to sell any of the items.
Oh, and I was adopted at birth, too!

califblondy said...

Krab, it's nice that you were honest and changed someone's life. It'll come back to you.

I'm with Mikey. I might pretend to have a family meeting during which I know the rest of my gang would chant "sell, sell," and then we'd grab the cash and head for Vegas.

Dex said...

I'd sell it if I needed the money, but not just so I could get started on a Prada purse collection. Family heirlooms should be passed on if possible; however, you shouldn't love anything that can't love you back.

3culprits said...

Thank you, Krab. Feeling restored. Or it could be the Mirror Pond Pale Ale I just threw down.

kelly said...

Sell and share the money with family and close friends, seeing all of them happy would make me happy too and would be worth a million.

Deep said...

I know I said before I would sell/lease the item, but then I remembered something.

The only real heirloom I think we have in my family is from my Grandfather. He was a captain in WWII and fighting in Java, Indonesia against the Japanese. When the war was over, the Japanese Captain officially surrendered by giving his sword over to my Grandfather.

We still have the sword, which we keep in our prayer room. I can't imagine giving that sword up. It just symbolizes so much for my family.

kerri said...

I'd sell it quicker than Paris Hilton dropping her panties

HudsonJoe said...

Krab,
Well done. Your actions there will be repaid to you someday.

HudsonJoe said...

You always have to evaluate your personal situation.

For those of us that watch ARS how many times have we seen (what seems always to be) an older widow bring in a family piece that is valued very highly; and you just know in your soul that the sale of that piece will mean the difference eating cat food and comfortable senior years.

Miss X said...

Sell it.

MadLyb said...

@Krab - what you did is priceless. I wish there were more people like you in this world. Money can't buy ethics and just plain 'ol goodness.

Wil said...

I have my Grandmother's - on my Dad's side - engagement ring. It is amazing and has a ridiculous carat weight and is in a platinum setting. Selling it I would have had enough to vacate my credit card debt from my transplant and enough to keep my house with a bit left over for a decent small American car. Instead of selling it during my recent financial ruin and saving myself, I gave it to my parents to put in their safety deposit box specifically so I could not sell it.

No .. I would not sell it. I would keep it in the family and let someone else make the decision.

As for the ring, good thing I kept it .. my cousin just had her one and only child - complications and age keep her from trying again - and I am planning on willing it to her new infant daughter. I also have my Grandmother's wedding ring and her - so my Great Gradnmother - mother's wedding ring which will also go to the little girl.

I don't hold a whole hell of a lot dear. But as an only child .. some of this stuff seems just to precious to give away to strangers.

JS said...

If the item was something that was very rare or historical in nature, I always wished the owners could make a deal with a museum where it would be restored/maintained safely in exchange for the museum showing it for a while. I wouldn't want to be responsible for letting something decay by having it at my house. That being said, if it was a family item, I would need to discuss it with my siblings before doing any selling.

Lelando said...

A million dollars? Sell it. My family is struggling and I'm sure great-great Grandma would want her descendants to be happy.

I always have a more difficult time with stuff that is less expensive but still pricey, like, say, $10,000. Sure that would pay off a big chunk of student loans, but I'm not sure it's worth giving up the heirloom.

lutefisk said...

I could never part with family heirlooms unless I was desperate for money. My father had a complete set of Action One comics that were his from when he was a kid. My parents collect everything---some things are very valuable while others are worthless. In the late 1960's my mother forced him to get rid of the comics. I have no idea why, but she carried on so that he finally put an ad in the paper and a man purchased the complete collection and an antique hurricane lamp for $50. With all of the junk they had these are what she made him sell. Well, the comics are worth millions now, and every time someone mentions them he gets a crazed look in his eyes and leaves the room. It is a miracle he let my mother live.

Dahlia B. said...

The likelihood that I would sell it would probably be directly proportional to the degree of sentimental value and how badly I needed the money!

Lelaina Pierce said...

What Dahlia B. said.

BinkyM said...

@Wil: I'm with you, all the way, and I'm shocked reading how nearly everyone couldn't sell their possessions fast enough. I haven't any heirlooms; my grandparents came to this country with nothing, and what they left behind were their houses. Those are gone now. How wonderful that you now get to touch those rings and imagine where they've been! And how wonderfuller that you've saved them for your cousin's daughter so that she can do the same! I'm weeping because I never met two of my grandparents and would love just to touch something they'd touched. I'm so very, very sorry you've had the misery you've had, but I'm hopeful that what you're doing for your cousin's daughter will come back to you tenfold. Hand in there! Big mwaaa!