Sailors Valentine's are Estate Sale Treasures

Happy Valentine's Day! Have you already found something special for your loved one or would you like some guidance for uncovering a unique gift to surprise your sweetheart? 

Sailors Valentine's are “a form of shell-craft” or "sentimental gift made using large numbers of small seashells”.  These intricate and delicate forms of art were originally made in the 1800’s as a romantic traditional gift for a sailor to bring home to a loved one. While you might think these were crafted aboard whaling ships, they were ordered and purchased in the island of Barbados and brought home.

These decorative art pieces often show up in estate sales or auction houses, waiting to be scooped up by eager treasure hunters. 

The goal of an estate sale is to dispose of, for cash, a substantial portion of the personal items owned by someone who has passed away. Estate sales are usually arranged and orchestrated with the help of a professional. 

There are a number of reasons for liquidating a decedent’s belongings:

  1. The surviving heirs have no interest in the items left behind by their loved one
  2. The heirs lack the space to keep the belongings
  3. The heirs don’t agree as to the disposition of the personal property so they have an estate sale in order to share the proceeds
  4. The deceased may have requested that all of his/her assets be sold - to avoid family disagreements

There are fervent estate sale followers who love to peruse the newspapers each week for notices of upcoming estate liquidation sales with high hopes of picking up a reasonably priced treasure or two.  There is the allure of finding something valuable buried inside a false desk drawer or hidden on the back side of an antique portrait.  And typically there is never any shortage of “stuff” to sift through.

Estate sales and auctions also take place when someone decides to downsize their home and they have 30-40 years of collectibles saved that their children don’t want and those items won’t be moving with them to their next residence. Estate sales are a highly effective and efficient way to sell the possessions of someone’s lifetime.

Finding a beautiful Sailors Valentine amid the rows of Hummel figurines or stacks of wedgewood china at your neighbor’s estate sale would be a wonderful discovery and a special gift to give to your loved one on Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine's Day and happy hunting.