By Kimberley Mathisen


As I’m sure everyone knows, the continued spread of the Covid-19 virus has had devastating effects on people all over the world. Each day we see and hear of rising numbers of cases and deaths. Here in the United States, there are “Stay at Home” orders for many of the states. All over the country bars, restaurants, shops and stores are closed with the exception of essential retail establishments such as grocery stores, hardware stores, fast food and a few others. Restaurants can remain open but only for pick-up or delivery orders.

This has impacted our industry as well as more paper and postcard shows are cancelled or postponed indefinitely. As of this writing the federal government is extending the “Shelter in Place” regimen to the end of April –here in Illinois (where I’m based) we are extended to April 30. Schools will also remain closed until the end of this month.

So when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade! Yes these are difficult times, but I feel confident in our doctors, medical professionals and government officials to continue to do their very best to ease our worries. This virus is unprecedented and will hopefully go away soon! And I’m also sure that our research physicians and medical personnel are working diligently on finding a vaccine or cure.

So in the meantime, the best thing to do is make the best of a bad situation. With our cell phones; skypes and computers, we can keep in touch with the world and with our family and friends. And there are plenty of online auctions and sales so we can continue with our quests for that treasure. With April here, the weather will likely be getting better and we can enjoy the outdoors (using social distancing).

I came across an interesting telegram in a book I have written about in earlier columns. “Letters of Note,” Volume 2. The book is an eclectic collection of correspondence between celebrities, authors, composers, scientists and others. I find it inspiring because it shows that even noted personalities have had to struggle sometimes – and we may all feel the same way at one time or another.

The following is a telegram sent by writer and critic, Dorothy Parker to her publisher in June of 1945. Parker was a noted writer and critic and is one of the founding members of the Algonquin Round Table group of writers in New York. It is complete as follows, and because it’s a telegram, certain punctuation marks are not included:

“This is instead of telephoning because I cant look you in the voice. I simply cannot get that thing done yet never have done such a hard night and day work never have so wanted anything to be good and all I have is a pile of paper covered with the wrong words. Can only keep at it and hope to heaven to get it done. Dont know why it is so terribly difficult or I so terribly incompetant.” Dorothy.

So even someone as great as Dorothy Parker suffered from “writers block.” That’s inspiring for the rest of us. Stay safe and hope for the best!

Here’s some information received via e-mail about some upcoming online sales.

An online-only Estate Treasures Auction is planned for Wednesday, April 15th, at 10 am Eastern time by Nye & Company Auctioneers, based in Bloomfield, N.J. There will be no live gallery bidding and no live preview for this sale. But the auction, which will focus primarily on English and American furniture and the traditional collecting aesthetics, is packed with quality merchandise pulled from prominent area estates and collections. Online bidding will be facilitated by the Nye website (, plus and If you need additional information about this auction, you may call John Nye or Andrew Holter at 973-984-6900; or, you can email them at or

Also please note that in April we will publish two issues, due to the Covid-19 virus and its effects on businesses, shops and auctions. Our next issue will be published on April 21.

So Happy Easter! Enjoy our featured stories in this issue and keep us in mind, and contact us with unusual collections; club and convention news; mystery items; Auction Action news; and any other antique-related issues. Also check our listings for more information about new dates for sales and auctions. We can be reached at; or via telephone at (319) 472-4763. Stay safe!