Feature Update

Hello everyone. Will and I have been hard at work the past few months, making improvements to the RelicRecord.com user experience. This post will highlight just a few of those improvements. You can view a full list here. Thank you to everyone for your feedback, ideas, and suggestions. If you don’t see your feature recommendations just yet, don’t worry, we keep a list!

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Dirty Harry's Opinion on Opinions

One of the most rewarding aspects of collecting, is sharing your passion for what you collect with others. Sharing comes in many forms, whether it be on social media, online forums, collectible shows, trade publications, clubs, or simply sharing what you love with friends and family. Most people show genuine interest in what you have to share and are happy to indulge you. On the other hand, we’ve all encountered people that are quick to offer less than flattering opinions about you and/or what you’ve chosen to collect. Read more

What Collectors Can Learn From Museum Exhibit Design

While there are countless genres of things to collect, there’s one common thread that connects them: where and how to display it all! It’s the same dilemma that most every museum struggles with as well. So what can a private collector learn from a museum? I asked myself the same question. Read more

Sordid History of the Term Picker

In the antiques world, when someone says picker, the image of a distinguished, high-end art dealer doesn’t come to mind. Although they serve a critical role within the antiques trade, pickers are often considered to be the bottom-feeders of the industry. But why?

As I’ve come to learn, the term “picker”, and its uncomplimentary connotation, is steeped in the gutters and sewers of history. Henry Mayhew, the author behind the mammoth four-volume study of London Labour and the London Poor, points to two Victorian era (1837–1901) occupations that gave birth to the term “picker.”   Read more

While photographs from earlier conflicts exist, the American Civil War is widely recognized as the first major war to be extensively photographed. Thanks in large part to such photographers as Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, and Timothy O’Sullivan, for the first time in history, ordinary citizens could view the carnage of war waged on faraway battlefields. As intriguing as their photographs are, I’ve always found them to be incomplete. They seem to lack the emotion and intimacy of what it was like to be a soldier―both on and off the battlefield. It’s for that reason, that I’ve always been drawn to the artwork created by the men that actually fought the war. Read more

Valentines Day Origins

The origins of Valentine’s Day, its namesake, and the date it’s celebrated on, are all shrouded in a murky cloud of paganism, Christianity, martyrdom, poetry, and a healthy dose of speculation. And here you thought Valentine’s Day was all about sappy cards, heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, sparkling jewelry, and fancy feasts! Read more

Cracker Barrel Antiques Blog

Growing up, I was raised on a steady diet of southern comfort food dished out by Cracker Barrel restaurants. To this day, I’m well acquainted with the Fancy Fixin’ menu and the wide array of antique décor that precariously hangs from every conceivable surface inside the Old Country Store. While the food is diabetically delicious, it’s the antiques that have always caught my attention and sparked my curiosity. I’ve often wondered why certain objects are selected for display, where they come from, and if they’re real. Read more

Sniffing Out Antiquities

Detection dogs have long been used to identify a variety of objects and substances, including illegal drugs, currency, firearms, explosives, fire accelerants, human remains, bodily disease, pests, and agricultural goods to name just a few. Now one organization wants to add another object to that list, cultural antiquities. Read more

The rickety wooden floors pop and squeak under the weight of my footsteps. The dull hum and soft glow of display lights creates a warm and inviting ambiance. The air is filled with a bouquet of earthy notes, hints of acidity, a tang of linseed oil and vanilla, over an underlying mossy dankness. Those unmistakable smells are not that of a well-aged Merlot, but that of the Civil War relics shops that I frequented in my youth. Shops that might as well be listed as “endangered”, right alongside the Civil War battlefields whose history they so beautifully bring alive. Read more

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), soldiers on both sides of the conflict spent more time in camp; or marching, than they did fighting. While resting in camp, soldiers wrote letters to loved ones, read, smoked, played music, gambled, or whittled away their worries on just about any object they could get their hands on. And for most soldiers, their ammo pouch provided the perfect material. Read more