Monday, March 23, 2009

The Thrill of the Hunt

Over the past week, my daughter could hardly control her enthusiasm as she looks forward to the Easter Egg Hunt at Lakeland Elementary. Every year I watch with amazement as the excited children frantically scramble to find their Easter treasures. How can plastic Easter eggs filled with candy bring so much joy for these children? I call this phenomenon "the thrill of the hunt," i.e., the joy of searching for and finding a “treasure”, that certain something you have been looking for.

Working in the antique business, I am often witness to that same excitement in adults. Like when an avid collector of Roseville pottery acquires that rare Della Robbia pattern for their collection, or someone finally finds the perfect size antique table for their home, and there is always the person who is looking for the replacement piece of Spode china they broke last Thanksgiving. That moment of discovery, when you cannot believe your eyes, an endorphin rush takes over your body, and you experience the triumph of holding the elusive object in your hands. The only thing better, really, is when you find that item at a bargain price!

The “thrill” of the hunt is not always guaranteed, as anyone who has ever visited a dark and dirty antique store, traveled to a bad flea market or waited in a long line for a disappointing estate sale already knows. Who knew there were so many coffee mugs, plastic toys and tired doilies in the world? However, more often than not, I find fascinating items, a handcrafted wood dough bowl, a gorgeous piece of costume jewelry, or a fantastic mid-century lamp. Browsing antique shops, estate sales and flea markets is as much for entertainment as it is for consumption. I find myself easily entertained by the history of all the antiques and there is always something that sends me traveling down memory lane. When life was simple and finding great joy in a few Easter eggs filled with candy was the “thrill of the hunt”.

Here is my list of favorite places to hunt for treasures.

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