Danielle Arnet Smart Collector

Danielle Arnet

In her syndicated column, "The Smart Collector," Chicago writer and lifetime collector Danielle Arnet uses reader questions to educate and inform everyone from general interest readers to experienced collectors. "Smart" collectors know the ropes, thanks to her wealth of expertise, essential tools and inside info on how to negotiate through today's changing world of collecting.

Having bought and sold in shops, at auction and on eBay, Arnet knows the ins and outs of collecting from multiple perspectives. Years of collecting and observing, plus contacts with movers and shakers in the world of art and antiques, provide a wealth of sources for her readers. Tech savvy Arnet became "wired" to the exploding popularity of online auctions early on, and she is the only antiques writer to always supply Web and e-mail contacts. Now that 6.5 million new items are listed each day on eBay, online auctions are a valuable tool for collectors. Arnet helps readers find reliable e-sources, and provides tips on how to avoid online scams.

In addition to writing "The Smart Collector," Arnet is a freelance writer and journalist who covers the auction and collecting scene for Maine Antique Digest. She also contributes to several national publications. Her article "Why We Collect," written for Hemispheres (United Airlines), is required course reading at Harvard Law School. Other credits include USA Today (a regular column), USA Weekend, Woman's Day, The Rotarian, Modern Maturity and others. She was a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 10 years. She has also served as a regular contributor on Chicago's WBBM-TV and has appeared on WGN Radio in Chicago.

Arnet holds a master's degree and has served as lecturer in the department of comparative literature at Ohio State University. She and her collections reside in a suburb of Chicago.

Danielle Arnet Samples

Scarcity drives prices on World's Fair collectibles

Q: Your column on World's Fair collectibles got us thinking. A: World Fairs have yielded perhaps more souvenirs than any other series of events. Some fairs are more collected, especially the 1893 and 1933-1934 fairs in Chicago.

With value at stake, repairs can do more harm than good

Q: Is it worthwhile to take my 16-in. Pairpoint lamp to an expert to have the shade repaired? A: The reader has a circa 1920s authentic Pairpoint brass base with a glass shade.

Finest and best Limoges ware will always sell big

Q: How can I find approximate value for 12 Limoges chargers that I inherited? A: Seen in images sent, the reader's plates have Limoges, Hand Painted, 22 Carat Gold, and French Decoration stamped on the back.

Comparables, condition dictate auction rates for many items

Q: I have a permit issued in Virginia in 1814 to distill spirits. A: The history of spirits and their production in America goes back to the beginning of this country.

Collector groups not best sources for price information

Q: I served in the U.S. Air Force, and for some time was stationed in England. A: Our reader already qualifies as a smart collector because he used the Internet to track marks and discover what he has.

Collector crave World's Fair memorabilia

Q: My dad was a manager with IBM and managed their pavilion at the 1963-64 World's Fair at Flushing, N.Y. At the end of the exhibit, he brought home this picture from the People Wall exhibit.

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