Jonathan Lopez's Reviews > Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money by Maureen Stanton
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's review
Jun 10, 11

bookshelves: art
Read in June, 2011

The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote that "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." For the habitually "lucky" antiques dealer at the heart of Maureen Stanton's "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money," preparation means cultivating a deep knowledge of objects—Shaker furniture, heirloom porcelain, 18th-century weathervanes—while opportunity results from meticulously examining tens of thousands of items every year at flea markets, auctions and antiques fairs. His sharp eyes spot unrecognized wonders amid a profusion of second-rate wares—much to the amazement of the author...

The rest of my review is available free online at the Wall Street Journal's website:

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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Dvora (new)

Dvora Very cool. That's a career I would have liked to have had. I did enjoy treasure huntings on weekends when I lived in California and always visited small antique shops when I traveled around the US. Here in Spain, unless it's very old and very valuable, it isn't an antique or even a collectible, it's just junk so there aren't many venues for treasure hunting. But when I move to France, I plan to take up my old hobby again. I think I should read this book!

Jonathan Lopez I think you'd like it, Dvora. The author has a nice way with words, and although she "plays dumb," kind of like Lt. Columbo, in order to draw out information from the dealer, she clearly has a good understanding of the subject and has studied up on it.

France is famous for its weekend flea markets, especially in Paris, so you should find happy hunting there. I'm not much for antiquing myself, to be honest--my interest, as you know, is mostly in paintings--but the book does have an infectious enthusiasm about it.

message 3: by Dvora (new)

Dvora I'm afraid to read it. There isn't much I would rather do than go treasure hunting and it's impossible here. It's also impossible for me to move until I sell my villa, so I'm stuck. Know anyone who wants a pretty villa with a private pool and just 400 meters from the Mediterranean?

Jonathan Lopez In principle, I would. But empty pockets prevent me from making an offer. Buena suerte.

message 5: by Dvora (new)

Dvora Darn. Maybe a rich uncle or high-flying friend?

Jonathan Lopez None that I'm aware of, but I'll keep a lookout.

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