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.
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June 08, 2011
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