Q: My mother is trying to downsize and has many amazing antiques. Is it weird to cold-call or e-mail an antiques store to see if they would be interested? She doesn’t want to hold an estate sale but also has no concept of whether people would want what she has.
A: Matthew Quinn, a regular guest on the PBS program “Antiques Roadshow,” answers: Ideally, you would have an understanding of what you were selling before contacting a dealer whose interests are not necessarily aligned with yours. We always recommend that if a person chooses to sell directly to a dealer that he or she get three quotes and never answer the question “What do you want for it?” As an auctioneer, we would remove the items from the home and respect the client’s desire not to have people in the home, but still maximize value in a short period of time.
New product: deodorizing toilet seat
Kohler Co. has introduced a deodorizing toilet seat that it says eliminates bathroom odors. A fan hidden in the battery-operated seat sucks in air and pushes it through an odor-eating carbon filter, followed by an optional scent pack.
The $90 seat joins other options that have come out in recent years for toilet seats, including slow-closing lids, heat and nightlights. This seat turns on automatically when someone sits down. The fan emits a slight hum as it filters the odor. The air flows over a scent pack similar to air fresheners used in cars, and the masking smell builds gradually.
The seat requires two D batteries, and Kohler says the batteries and carbon filters, which cost $6.99, should last six months. Scent packs, which should be replaced monthly, are sold three for $7.99.
Crock-Pot cooking talk
Kay Neff of Neff Family Farms will be at Botanica on Wednesday to give new recipes and ideas for making meals in a slow cooker. Her lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission ($7 for adults, $5 for children) or membership. Truffles will have lunch for sale.