Anita Jo Intenzo
     Entrepreneur, PAST IMAGES BY

Press Release: Yard Sale Tips

For Immediate Release

Tips from an expert on how to spot a valuable antique -- and how to avoid buying junk

    PHILADELPHIA -- (September 10) --  The pools have closed and the kids are back in school.  Fall is almost here and with it comes weekends full of yard sales, rummage sales, and flea markets.  Are you going out treasure hunting?  Will you discover the next valuable antique that is worth far more than what you paid for it?  Or, will you bring home something far less?  Ah, the thrill of the hunt!

    If you know what to look for, and what to avoid, it is far more likely that your purchase will be a "treasure."  Anita Intenzo, owner of Past Images By Anita, an art, photo, and doll restoration firm, is here to help you with a few tips to keep in mind as you shop.

        1.  If you find a piece of art that you think might be an oil painting, with broad brush stroke and the texture of painting, first check to see if there is more than one layer by looking at the side.  It could be a reproduction of an oil painting that was pasted on a wood board or Masonite, and will not have the value of an oil painting.

        2.  If you have found an oil painting, you will need to examine it for fixable damage.  Many times the surface will have a yellow tint; this could be the varnish applied by the artist.  The yellowing is caused by neglect, temperature change, cigarette smoke and other reasons, and can often be removed by a restorer.

        3.  If you find an old print, you will need to see if the print is discolored.  If so, it could be because of "foxing" and shows up as gold or brown spotted mold on the surface.  It can be expensive to remove and, unless there is a sentimental value to the print, may only be worth the cost if the print is valuable.

        4.  Who doesn't love family photos from long ago?  Vintage photographs might be valuable, particularly the 1800's tintypes.  However, they are on porous paper and can carry rodent bits, insect infestation, and even dangerous, black mold.  Buyers should check both the front and back of the photos very carefully -- even using a magnifying glass to inspect them closely.  (And, anyone handling a print with damage should make sure to wash their hands thoroughly before taking germs home!)

        5.  Old dolls can be charming and renew memories of a young girl's childhood but their value is based on other factors.  Generally, broken fingers on a doll can be repaired and broken eyes can be glued back together.  The doll head should not have large cracks; even hairline cracks can decrease a doll's value.  Look carefully for very fine cracks.  And, don't attempt to comb out or wash an old doll wig if it is part of the original set, as the doll loses value without it.

    Even if you do not go out to a sale seeking riches, having a little more knowledge will make you a savvier shopper.  In addition, getting a bargain adds to the fun.

    Anita Intenzo is classically trained as a fine artist and portrait painter and has studied with private artists and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  She graduated with honors from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, and now owns and operates art, photo and antique restoration firm, Past Images By Anita, in suburban Philadelphia.  She has worked in the field for over 30 years.

    Anita is the author of the book, ESTATE OF HORROR, the true story of her terrifying experience with the paranormal.  She lives, and has her art studio, on the grounds of an old farmhouse that dates to the 1800's, where her son and current resident ghosts join her.

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