An alternative to selling a collection is to consider donating it to a Museum or University for educational purposes. There are pros and cons.
The information in the article 7 Best Practices for Gifting Art to Museums applies to valuable antiques and collectibles as well, and provides valuable pointers; here's a summary of that article.
One of our PITCA members, Maureen Post, donated her pressing iron collection to a university museum. Here is her story.
Exhibited September 13, 2014 – November 8, 2014 at the University Museum, Sutton Hall located at Indiana University of Pennsylvania located in Indiana, PA.
Reprint of article in IUP Magazine
About 25 years ago, Maureen Flaherty Post ’63 had one collectible iron—a flat iron (a doorstop in many homes). One thing led to another: She received a gift of six assorted irons from one of her eight sisters. She began looking for irons and iron-related objects at flea markets and antique shops, then researched their use and history. She got involved in a professional guild, the Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America. Eventually, her collection grew to around 1,000 pieces, all of them accompanying her as she moved from New Jersey to North Carolina in 2009.
After talking with her sister Susan, an attorney, Post decided to donate her collection for educational purposes and approached her alma mater, IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). The University Museum accepted. Post spent more than a year inventorying the collection and packaging it (in 60 boxes) for transport to IUP. This fall, more than 200 pieces were on display in the University Museum for the exhibit Irons: Functional Tools to Art Objects.
A native of Turtle Creek, Post majored in home economics at IUP and worked in education for about 50 years, mainly in schools for students with disabilities. Even as a vice principal, she kept an iron, ironing board, and two sewing machines in her office, and many students—mostly boys, she said—would make use of the equipment to fix their clothes. Post also has a master’s degree from Georgian Court College in New Jersey.