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Sorting Through Your Life's Leftovers Can Make Sense

Cinderellas - The stepchildren of collecting

After weeks of sorting and more weeks of cataloging, that wonderful little mixed lot we call "Treasures" is residing nicely in stock books or albums and are ready to be presented. All, that is, but a pile of odds and ends that seem to defy categorizing or are able to claim a space in our albums. What on earth are they? They look like collectibles but they are not to be found in the usual reference material.


Welcome to our world of Cinderellas. Until the late 1950's, there was no accepted terminology for this area of collectibles. That prompted rethinking their intrinsic value in our culture so that we could preserve them for posterity. As in the fairy tale, these are the stepchildren of collecting. They reside on the fringes of antiques, often regarded as "chic trash", but most, like ours, are treasures awaiting discovery. 


Information is the key. What it takes is the desire to research: hunt down the elusive article that would reference our Cinderellas. This is truly a treasure hunt. The prize is knowledge and interesting stories. It demands more of a collector than the crossing off of want lists and the filling of album spaces. This is a treasure hunt without much of a treasure map.


Sound like an adventure? It is. Sound like frustration? It is. If you're up to it, it could be the opening to a whole new world of collecting and fun. Yes, fun. This is a hobby after all and it should be fun whether the joy comes from offering one's treasures, finding elusive ones or even finding an esoteric piece of knowledge that tells you, "So that's what that is!"


So now let's take a broad overview of the sorts of things we could be encountering in our pile of Cinderellas. And while we're at it, let's dispel the rumor that this stuff doesn't show up in catalogs. Hunting down references is also an adventure as a good 50 to 75% of Cinderellas will show up somewhere - an out-of print reference, a specialized foreign catalog, antique articles, etc.. We'll talk about some of those sources as we go along in our listings. 



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