Amusing Insights into the Value of Vintage Grannies

Angie Ha Barone

I should of course be extolling the virtues of travelling in our area but right now with covid-19 having slammed the lid on travel and many of our colleagues and friends seeking alternative means of income, especially if age is not in your favour, this post is for you…

Am I an Antique or a Vintage?

An ‘Antique’ is a term used to describe something of 100 years or older whereas ‘Vintage’ is usually something between 50 and 100 years having a high value because of age and quality.

So, therefore, I am vintage! 

To gain a clear understanding of Antiques and or Vintages I delved into “The Five Signs of a Valuable Antique” published somewhere under Antiques for Dummies.

The first clue says:

“Here’s the rule as far as value goes: The less that was done to the original item to alter it, the more it’s worth. That is, the fewer the additions or deletions over the years, the better. “

I’m assuming that my cosmetic dentistry would be considered an addition as would the implants and uplifts but would the facelift and be considered a deletion? At this stage deletions in the weight department are without a doubt fewer and fewer as the years pass so there could be some value in that area. 

The article goes on to mention:

“Good condition means the piece has suffered a few slings and arrows and come through them”. 

 So, I think I can safely then say I am in “good condition” as long as a few dents from hail damage and the odd age spot are considered under the heading of slings or arrows.

The RADAR test

The same source then offers advice on “The Five Signs of a Valuable Antique”. Those in the ‘know’ call it the RADAR test which is practiced by all credible Antiquarians.

Each item must be assessed under the following five headings: 

Rarity, Aesthetics, Desirability, Authenticity, and Really great condition. So they tell us that:

When you find an antique that meets these five criteria, you’ve probably found an item that’s likely to appreciate in value as the years go by.”

Without ado, I quickly grabbed the necessary tape measures, calculators, and notepads to assess my value.

1. Rarity:

The Explanation:

“Of course, something might be rare because it just didn’t make it in the marketplace. (They didn’t need to get personal here!) The piece might be too large, too loud, or too ugly. Still, if you like it, well, this aspect of rarity can work to your advantage.

I’m right on the top of the Christmas Tree for this one. There is no-one out there even vaguely like me, even my DNA is unique. So there you have it, I have to be considered rare to someone out there?

 I asked ‘the husband’ and he hastily agreed that there is no-one out there quite like me. He asked me to repeat the too large, too loud, or too ugly, part but I’d already moved onto the next criteria.

2.  Aesthetics:  

The Explanation:

Some folks believe that an object’s aesthetic value is a matter of personal taste. On the other hand, some pieces of art and furniture have almost universal aesthetic appeal.  

Ok, I’ve got to capitulate on this one. No question that I am a very personal taste, I have to admit that I don’t have almost universal aesthetic appeal and frankly never did.

 I asked ‘the husband’ but he suddenly appeared to be very busy checking for dust under the table, so I wasn’t able to get a solid response between lots of inaudible mutterings

3.  Desirability:

The Explanation:

Desirability is defined by what’s in vogue in the current market. A few decades after Tiffany created his now-famous lamps, some people thought of them as gaudy, and so prices were steals by today’s standards. 

Nope. I’m not in vogue in the current market so maybe a thumbs down on this one?

The hubby started demanding to take ‘the fifth’ when I asked him. I think he’s coming down with something?

4. Authenticity:

The Explanation:

Is it the real thing or is it a mere shadow of the original? Is it from the time period the seller says it’s from? Is it made by the artist or company that is indicated? If it’s signed, is the signature real? 

Well, I might not have Tiffany tattooed on my butt however my birth certificate is the real thing and is signed by a khaki-clad official with a black pen, so it’s genuine alright.

‘The husband’ asked to check the detail about Tiffany. I gave him my birth certificate instead.

5. Really great condition:

The Explanation:

In an ideal world, the antique you are contemplating would be in exactly the same condition as it was the day it was made. But a lot may have happened in the last hundred or so years to the piece you are hoping to make your own.

Firm thumbs down here, but you can’t win them all.

‘The husband’ left the room.

Two and a half out of five would indicate that I still have some value to be considered except of course if you are a recruitment officer.

The Covid Curse

Since covid-19 crept into our bank accounts and ravaged and pillaged anything of value, retrenchments became the order of the day. Vintages were put out to pasture first and had to polish up CVs and put on a firm face to try to brave the job market. Linked In and Online Employment Portals became more important than articles on ‘Self Help’ but the one aspect no-one had mentioned was that although qualifications and experience screamed from the headlines, none of the ads mentioned that Vintages and Obsolete Models were not to apply. In most cases, the recipient was probably a bored tween-ager not long out of nappies so the likelihood of experience and credentials being considered above the DOB is extremely remote.

Online Surveys.

Even online surveys bomb you out after the first two screens where it asks ‘40 or over?’ Over what I demand but by the following page you are declared unsuitable for this survey. 

Seriously, my spend on TVs, washing machines, or financial packages is still substantial seeing I tell my whole family, neighbours, and their families as well.  They listen to me as due to my advancing years they feel the need to be polite.

So how come my opinion no longer matters? 

Perhaps I’ll finally get to complete the retirement home survey or heaven forbid the Fossil Fitness questionnaire. We’ll just have to ensure that none are longer than 15 minutes or I make not make the finish line.

Are there any advantages for employers to toss a bone to the desperate, pleading Vintage grannies?

Shall we firstly consider the ethical issues? Surely employment must be offered to those with growing families and fresh skills? No doubt, but if the vintages no longer have an income, we’re more likely to drain your hospitals and health schemes as we won’t be able to afford medical aid. We’ll become a burden on the majority of your workforce as they’ll feel obliged to drop a coin or two into our misshapen hats as they leave the building, wait, leave what building as they’re all working from home.  

Ah, caught you out there, if we’re all working from home none of your clients will see our sagging torsos or the odd cabbage or two sprouting from our chins. They may just be surprised by the sharp wit and hours of dedication given to service their requirements. We promise to wear a paper bag or large mask during zoom calls, yes, we’ve heard of zoom calls as we set them up most nights with our children. We’re boring though, as we’ve no boyfriends or toddler’s potty habits to discuss. 

Instead. we prefer to work solidly and offer a faultless service because we know our jobs are compromised by our vintage status.

Advantages of Hiring a Vinnie.

Perhaps we should consider the advantages of hiring a Vinnie (that’s a merge between Vintage and Granny).

 1.  We start working earlier than expected.

 We’ve been up since 4h00 am because the left hip is giving trouble again so what’s the point in waiting until 08h00 to start the day.

 2.   We don’t take time for lunch or tea.

Ok, so probably because we’ve forgotten but that’s not important because we’ll probably forget to stop at 17h00 as well.

 3.  We’re pretty sharp as we’re never too smart to ask questions.

In fact, folk are very accommodating and explain things carefully in slow, loud, precise steps. We always tell them how clever they are! 

We know we can get any information we need from either a digital platform or from ‘that lovely young man at head office, I’m sure his Mom is so proud of him’. We’ve thought of updating your SOP’s later tonight if we’re kept awake by indigestion.

 4.   We don’t cost much.

We’re happy to get paid so are not demanding and are not interested if our next appraisal skips the section on “Where do you see yourself in five years”. In fact, we’re happy without a contract as we’re a little hesitant about the section that says we have to give a month’s notice.

 5.  We’re a wealth of information.

Not only because everyone talks in front of us as they think we’re deaf but we’re no threat to anyone, are really understanding about problems, are quiet about our opinions on current affairs and world economic conditions but mainly because we’ve been around forever and have probably tasted it, experienced it and sorted it out long before any of you were actually born. If not, we’ll just ‘borrow’ our grandson’s smartwatch to find out anything you require.

6.  We don’t want to be on a succession planning committee.

We’re happy to plod along in the background.  It’s safer as we don’t fall off our walkers on the stairs but most of all because whilst you’re involved for hours in planning the future we’re busy doing the work critical for today.

7.  We won’t steal, lie or defraud you.

At our age, we can’t afford to play roulette with what might happen when we hop the twig so to be on the safe side with the here-after we just keep our noses clean and Tutt Tutt when we see all the loopholes. 

 8.   We’re never going to have to take maternity leave.

Ever, just trust us, the odd day out for a mate’s funeral but never longer. If we don’t arrive behind the computer for more than a day, please send a nice bouquet with condolences to the grieving family. 

 9.  We never lay sexual harassment charges.

No explanation is required.

 10.  We’re better short-term value than other options, especially working from home.

Do the sums, if you can’t find your calculator or the electricity is out, we can help you as we learned to count on an abacus. You getting it all in one package that you don’t need to teach or to baby-sit or to spend motivating or paying for a business coach.

 Surely sixty is the new forty and both free-lancers and corporates should be pushing through the masses to get to the ‘Over the Hill” employment bureaus. We’re the era of the Baby Boomers so we don’t have huge pensions or squirreled away savings which means we’re prepared to give it all we’ve got because we’re survivors.

 Ah ‘the husband’s re-entered the room. Time to put the kettle on……

2 thoughts on “Amusing Insights into the Value of Vintage Grannies

  1. Lynn Paulssen says:

    Loved this. Thanks for making me laugh.

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