My job appraising art, antiques, and collectibles at big public events, online, and in private homes offers me many opportunities to learn about and share new and fascinating ideas about storage, display, and repurposing of antique and vintage objects.

I learn a lot from my audiences and from my clients, and I like to spread around what is a wealth of information about how others are enjoying their collectibles.

Here are some of my favorites:


1. A client for whom I conducted an in-home appraisal had been a longtime pet parent. Devastated when a pet member of her family passed, she started to host their cremated remains in her collection of antique lidded tobacco jars.

The jars were made of pewter or silver plate, and with the aid of some creative display techniques, she kept a photo of each pet near each jar.

My client kept the tobacco jar collection on her mantle. The jars were lined up in the order that she purchased or received each jar; she placed her oldest pet’s remains in the first jar she ever collected and continued the tradition down the line for other pets.

Her idea made for an attractive and heartfelt display.


2. Twin sisters shared their late mother’s china service for 12. Each sister got half of the service, or an eight-piece place setting for six people.

At holiday time, when one sister was hosting the entire family for dinner, she wanted to use all of her mother’s set, so her sister packed up her share of the set and brought them to her sister’s home.

The way she packed the fragile china was handy. She packed and transported the china by car, each piece wrapped in disposable diapers. The diapers’ sticky tabs made wrapping easy.

Once wrapped, the sister packed them tightly in a carry-on roller-board suitcase to her sister’s home. The diapers’ padding and the easily portable suitcase kept the china protected in transport.


3. Use antique and vintage canister sets with lids on the bathroom counter or in a linen closet to hold or store toiletries.

For instance, use the large flour or sugar containers for small washcloths, toothpaste tubes, soap bars, extra toothbrushes, etc. The smaller coffee and tea canisters are good for pocket-size tissues, travel-size shampoo bottles, makeup remover pads, and cotton balls.

They offer a nostalgic look displayed on the countertop and, in the linen closet, these vintage canisters can keep the chaos of toiletries tidy.

When someone opens the linen closet door, the closet looks uniform too. That is what my audience member told me she liked about her bright idea.


There are many more bright ideas for putting your antiques and collectibles into everyday use. You can share yours on my social media pages on Twitter @drloriv and


Dr. Lori Verderame is an author and award-winning TV personality on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. With a Ph.D. from Penn State University and experience appraising 20,000 antiques every year nationwide, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events and travels the world lecturing about art, museums, and history. Visit or call (888) 431-1010.

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