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    Killer Stuff and Tons of Money Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America

    ISBN-10: 1594202931
    ISBN-13: 9781594202933
    Author(s): Maureen Stanton
    Description: One dealer's journey from the populist mayhem of flea markets to the rarefied realm of auctions reveals the rich, often outrageous subculture of antiques and collectibles. Millions of Americans are drawn to antiques and flea-market culture, whether  More...
    Buy it from: $1.38
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    List Price: $26.95
    Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
    Binding: Hardcover
    Pages: 336
    Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
    Weight: 1.298
    Language: English

    One dealer's journey from the populist mayhem of flea markets to the rarefied realm of auctions reveals the rich, often outrageous subculture of antiques and collectibles. Millions of Americans are drawn to antiques and flea-market culture, whether as participants or as viewers of the perennially popular Antiques Roadshowor the recent hit American Pickers. This world has the air of a lottery: a $20 purchase might net you four, five, or six figures. Master dealer Curt Avery, the unlikely star of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, plays that lottery every day, and he wins it more than most. Occasionally he gets lucky, but more often, he draws on a deep knowledge of America's past and the odd, fascinating, and beautiful objects that have survived it. Week in, week out, Avery trawls the flea and antiques circuit-buying, selling, and advising other dealers in his many areas of expertise, from furniture to glass to stoneware, and more. On the surface, he's an improbable candidate for an antiques dealer. He wrestled in high school and still retains the pugilistic build; he is gruff, funny, and profane; he favors shorts and sneakers, even in November; and he is remarkably generous toward both competitors and customers who want a break. But as he struggles for a spot in a high-end Boston show, he must step up his game and, perhaps more challenging, fit in with a white-shoe crowd. Through his ascent, we see the flea-osphere for what it truly is-less a lottery than a contact sport with few rules and many pitfalls. This rich and sometimes hilarious subculture rewards peculiar interests and outright obsessions-one dealer specializes in shrunken heads; another wants all the postal memorabilia he can get. So Avery must be a guerrilla historian and use his hard-earned knowledge of America's past to live by and off his wits. Only the smartest survive in one of America's most ruthless meritocracies. Killer Stuff and Tons of Moneyis many things: an insider's look at a subculture replete with arcane traditions and high drama, an inspiring account of a self-made man making his way in a cutthroat field, a treasure trove of tips for those who seek out old things themselves, and a thoroughly fresh, vibrant view of history as blood sport.

    A Note to the Reader
    Prologue: Treasure Hunters: The Reality
    Opium Bottles and Knuckleheads
    One Man's Trash
    Boot Camp
    An Antiques Dealer Is Made
    That Good, Good Thing
    Everything Rich and Strange
    Ovoid Nuts and Southern Belles
    All Sad Things Are Just Like This
    Hot Potato
    Tea for Two
    Crowded House
    Two Heads Are Better Than One
    Stump the Dealer
    Shop Victoriously
    Gold Is Where You Find It
    Roadshow Rage
    Wilmington, aka the John Malkovich Show
    Living the Pilgrim-Century Life
    Red Carpet Affair
    Captain Antiques
    Life with Principle
    Coda: A Thousand Years
    Acknowledgments
    List of Pseudonyms
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

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