For Jared Bennett, It’s All About the Chase!



Nothing is better for me than the chase for Frankoma. You never know what you will stumble across on your next treasure hunt. It may come from a garage sale, flea market, antique store, or maybe you will find it online on eBay or the web. Nevertheless, you won’t find it if you aren’t out there looking. Many people say that I am the luckiest person when it comes to finding Frankoma pieces, but the truth is, I hunt and search more than most people.


I stumbled onto a rare 1936 coyote pup in Willow Springs, MO, about 6-7 years ago. My job required me to travel a lot back in the day, and it allowed me to hit some new places from time to time. I always made time for a junk store or flea market. I guess on this day, it was one of those trips where luck and persistence paid off.


I entered the Red Barn Antique store there in town and started searching for all of the treasures that I studied in the Frankoma reference books. I always look for the early Norman-era pieces, which are my favorites. Suddenly, on the top shelf of one of the booths, there was a fawn-brown coyote pup.  I couldn’t believe it! I snatched it up! It was in absolutely pristine condition.


There is no telling how long this treasure had been setting there, as the tag was discounted about 50% off. I searched the rest of the mall, but found nothing else. As I drove home, I must have pulled this piece out of the brown paper sack and admired it at least a dozen times.  I still have this piece, and finding it is a memory that I will always treasure.




Another great find for a very special piece was during an Internet web search. I occasionally will type in misspelled or alternative words or phrases to see if something should happen to show up. One day I typed in “rare Frankoma bear.” I searched the first page and nothing, but on the second page I had a hit.  There was a classified ad someone had posted in a Colorado newspaper and the newspaper company had posted the ad on the Internet.


The ad said “rare Frankoma bear,” appraised on the Antique Road Show for $100. There was only a phone number listed. I sent the number a text asking to see a picture of the bear . . . No response. I almost forgot about it until a few days later when I decided to call the number. I was able to get ahold of the lady that had the piece.


She told me that she had no Internet or way to get me a picture, so I asked her to describe the piece. All she said was that it looked like he was eating on the ground and that it had been appraised on the Antique Road Show and valued at $100.  She said she would take $75, so, having no picture available, I paid her asking price and sent a check.


I waited and waited for the package to arrive. It seemed like forever. When the package came, I was absolutely blown away! It was indeed one of the rarest pieces ever produced by Frankoma, the Coati Mundi! It was glazed in a gunmetal/Pompeian bronze-type glaze. It is such an incredible piece. Since that day, it has been one of my all- time favorite pieces.


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I could go on and on about the amazing finds I’ve experienced, but sometimes it is just luck. Other times it’s just a matter of playing the odds. The more times you search, the more likely you will find what you’re looking for. Happy Hunting!

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