Wednesday, September 10, 2008


One of Ralph & Terry Kovel's first purchases: A lithographed tin Grape Nuts Sign.

A Note of Thanks from Terry Kovel

Thank you, collectors, dealers, curators, authors and the many others who are part of our community of "antiquers." Your hundreds of notes and calls have made the past two weeks a little easier.

Ralph and I were together in work and marriage for many years, yet there are many stories I had forgotten or perhaps never heard:

  • How he schemed with a dealer to make me think he was buying a 10-foot-tall airplane propeller for our living room, then told me about it in front of the camera during a TV taping.

  • How he sat for hours in an auction to buy a special antique for me for our anniversary. He got it with the best ploy I have ever seen at an auction. He noticed only two other bidders wanted the antique, so he tapped the one nearest to us on the shoulder and said, "Pardon me, I have waited all day for the next piece--don't you have to go to the bathroom?" The dealer laughed, left for a short time, and Ralph's bid won.

  • How he often gave a tie or cufflinks to someone who admired them.

  • How he gave information and advice to anyone who asked, including one bottle collector from Alaska who called at 2 in the morning.
The house is filled with Ralph. Every piece of furniture, every vase, and of course our country store collection are all reminders of a wonderful husband and our years of collecting fun. The personal stories from you, especially the ones that tell of a chance encounter at a show or of the importance of his work, have kept me going. I keep thinking that, as one blogger said, "He's probably poking around in God's cupboards" looking for that next treasure.


Cheryl Shute Walter, Lake Murray Treasures said...

Dear Terry (I feel I can call you that although I never personally met you or Ralph),
I was very sad upon hearing of Ralph's passing. I have only been in this business for half a dozen years. I receive your newsletter and on-line Kovel's Komments, and have come to rely on your expertise while doing my research. I know Ralph will be missed, but I am glad to hear that you and the company you both started will continue. May God bless you during this difficult time.
Cheryl Shute Walter
Lake Murray Treasures

steviethecat said...

Oh my goodness! I had no idea that your wonderful husband passed away until I received your newsletter. It was your TV show that got me started on my way to collecting and how we loved your visits to the outdoor flea markets. I am heartbroken for you and your family. Your husband was a very special person and the times you shared will stay with you for the rest of your life. I wish you comfort in your time of sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Terry, you and Ralph were like old friends to my mom and to me. She was in the "junque" business and your books were bibles to her as they are now to me. I hope you find comfort in knowing how many people both of you have touched through the years. -Nancy P

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
God's peace be with you. What an amazing life to have found your own true love. There is no greater
I pray that deep grief will pass and your soul will recall the numberless happy moments and laughter and smiles. We care about you! Carolyn

Kim said...

Terry, I'm sorry I'm just now posting a comment on the loss of your wonderful husband, Ralph. I was going through Hurricane Gustav and was late in finding out due to power outages and such.

I received an answer from Ralph one time on something I was doing research on, it took me by surprise because I didn't expect it. In this business you have to love what you do, and it showed in everything he did and said. You were so lucky to have each other and I know you feel a great loss without him. My prayers are with you and your family. Have comfort in knowing how many people he helped and touched while he was here.

Kim D. Martin
S & K Enterprises
Holden, Louisiana

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

We are saddened by the loss of one of the "antique" generations best friends. We used to love your program on the Home & Garden network and have thoroughly enjoyed getting the montly Kovel's price guide which has been an invaluable tool for us in buying and selling. Our deepest sympathy to the Kovel's family, especially Terry.
Bob & Judy Stray/Wisconsin

Shirley Schuller said...

Terry, if my faith did not help me understand lonesome feelings are not in Heaven, I would just know how lonesome he is for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
Very sorry to hear about the loss of your kindred spirit. I hope that in time you will learn to embrace what may hurt you now, you have been much more of a positive influence via email than you will ever know. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for letting 'us' as collectors know that antiques collecting is not an instant sign of insanity! You have both shown us all that it is so much more. Thank you for your endless contributions.
A. Warren

Laura Summerson said...

I Am saddened to hear of your loss.I am in my senior years and many times think of how I would handle it if I lost my companion of 48 years.Now you are facing that and I am hoping that you will be comforted by many people who may not even have met you or your husband.I am so sorry to hear this news.I too would like to think he is in some cabinet,basement or attic looking for a "buy" in God's house . I would like to thank you and your husband for all you have contributed to the antique world.How wonderful it must have been to work side by side doing something you both liked.

Anonymous said...

Terry, as a long time reader of your newsletters by both snail mail and email, and watching you on your television show, its easy to feel like Ive known you and Ralph for years. Your husband was so obviously a very special person, I cried when I heard he had passed away. He will be missed my millions of people. I'm sure he's finding all sorts of hidden treasures where he is now!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I, too, was shocked to read of Ralph's death. It was like finding out a dear relative of mine had died. You have my deepest sympathies. I have enjoyed all your books and look forward to your email newsletters. Thanks for keeping up the good work without him. Maureen B., Florida

Anonymous said...

I have been a fond follower of Kovels and the price guides for many years. I refer to the guides as my lifesavers as they are full of wonderful information.
I also send my heart-felt condolences to your family during this difficult time. Ralph has found the greatest treasure possible and is in a much better place. Keep the fond memories and humorous stories alive in your heart as these make the tough times more tolerable. God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry, I am so sorry, I did not know your husband passed away, until I read your most recent news letter. It is wonderful that you shared so many things in your life together. I always enjoyed the sparkle in your husbands eyes and his your antique programs....and he must have treasured you. God bless you and your family. Linda White said...

Dear Terry (forgive the familiarity but you and your husband have been friends, just unmet, for years):

It was a sad moment when I opened my email today and saw your note about the loss of your loving and dear husband and fun & favorite collecting partner. My heart felt a stab as though an old friend had just passed away and the loss was hard.

It is with heartfelt well wishes for the coming months that I write this, hope and wishes that your pain at the loss passes into only those memories of the good and the bittersweet memories that come with time. Please know that I will be thinking good thoughts in your direction in the coming days and weeks, hoping that your life continues to be filled with the fond thoughts and memories of your beloved husband.

Take care and may your heart feel lightened as time passes.

J. M. Cali (calistudios)

Avon Gallore said...

To the Kovel family--I have read your books and loved your TV show. I always felt Ralph & Terry were great friends to go exploring the country side with. Ralph will be missed for his knowledge, sense of humor, and that twinkle in his eye. I am sure he pulled many a prank in his day--all good natured of course. God Bless--let your friends help you get through the journey that is ahead of you.

Annmarie O'Toole said...

Dear Terry,
I wanted to give you my condolences on the loss of your best friend and life partner. You two were a couple to be admired by all. Ralph was a wonderful, funny, marvelous man who was lucky to have you so long and you him!
I know you are surrounded by family and friends. They will help you to get by. I will miss him so much, I cried when I read of your loss, as you and Ralph seem almost like family.
Take care of yourself and I hope you hear many more funny stories about that man with the best sense of humor and a great big generous heart...the man, Ralph, who was your
Love and fond regards to you and your family,
Annmarie O'Toole

Anonymous said...

What a terribly sad time you are going through. Mr. Kovel was a true treasure. I know God will see you through this hard time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry:

Your Kovel's Komments have been the highlight of opening up my computer. Please know that I feel your pain having lost my husband in 1996. It is a terribly painful experience and hopefully you know that there are many of us out here extending our sympathies to you and your family.

Nan Larson

Anonymous said...

May GOD give you strength and courage during the upcoming weeks/months. If Ralph was saved then he is home. Find strength in HIM. You are a kindred spirit Terry. Keep up the great work you are doing and for which you love. We love you and share your love for antiques. May HE use you to help others to come to CHRIST. You have a lot of work yet to do and a lot of antiques left to discover. Becky

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry, I sit here with eyes filled with tears as I had no idea that Ralph had passed away until we got your newsletter this afternoon. You two are like family to we antiques folks and Ralph will be so very missed. With all of the information and kind words he shared with all of us down here, I'm surely God is patting him on the shoulder and telling him "Well Done". We mourn with you, Lisa Moore

Anonymous said...

Having relied on your annual listings for so many years, I feel as if I have lost a friend. Please accept my sympathy and the wish that you may find work to fill the void.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry

I want you to know how sorry I am that your wonderful husband Ralph Passed.I just now found out thru your newletter. I really enjoy getting your newsletter. I have been collecting Cameo's and India Brass plus many other Items.
Iam hoping my grand children will enjoy them as much as I do.
Wish you all the best and may God Bless you and your Family
Lots of love to you
The Junk Lady as my hubby and family call me

Anonymous said...

I still remember the first antiques I ever purchased: an Eastlake ladies desk, a hall settee, and two Victorian chairs - gentleman's and ladies...and all pretty hideous as I look back. I remember trying to figure out exactly what I had and the publication I turned to was Kovel's, 1969 edition, as I recall. It really didn't have what I needed but what I learned thumbing through the pages was are you two for giving me all the info I need for quick evaluations. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and even though Ralph is gone, long may you wave, dear Terry. Beth Kinstler, Avalon Appraisals

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry: I am so sorry to hear of your family's loss of Ralph. I feel as if I have know both of you forever; like you are family members. May you find comfort in your memories.

Anonymous said...

Terry, I am so sorry you lost your best friend. I loved watching you both on tv and I love going through your books over and over. They have been a great help to me in finding values of some of my treasures, or just knowing what I have. God be with you and your family at this time, and may He give you strength and comfort as you continue on without Ralph.
Dublin, GA

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a better way to live life Terry but with your soul mate enjoying love, laughter, family, friends, antiquing and collecting. You and Ralph had it all. It was so obvious when you were seen together. May God hold both of you in the palm of his hand.

Jace Shoemaker-Galloway said...


I am so very sorry to hear the sad news.

My mom and I used to own 2 antique shops and watched you and Ralph all the time on TV, read your many books and subscribed to your newsletter.

Not only were you informative, you were both fun to watch and made a great team.

I am so very sorry for your loss. Ralph will be missed.


Anonymous said...

Terry, I remember when Ralph talked about purchasing that airplane propeller! I loved to see the good-natured bantering between Ralph and you. I learned a lot from you both, especially this: don't purchase an antique or collectible unless I have some place to put it, or unless I plan to get rid of something I already have. Also, when I was unsure whether to buy something, I asked myself how I will feel when I get home and don't have the item. Terry, you and Ralph helped me become a much wiser collector. God's blessings on you.

Linette said...

Dear Terry:
I will keep you and Ralph in my prayers. Although, I never meet the two of you, I feel as if we are friends...from reading all of your books to receiving your newsletters. May perpetual light shine upon him, and may his soul rest in peace.

cnaestate said...

Although my comment is simple to most is means a lot to me, i always order the new Edition of Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, last year i received an Autographed Sticker to stick to the inside of my Treasured Edition. It really made my day. My deepest Sympathy during The Family and all those who knew and cared for him. Sincerely, susan wells of cnaestate (ebay)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you were blessed to have known him. I unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting him face to face, I have also like many others, learned so much from him.
In your time of sorrow, thank God for every precious moment you shared with him. For all the love you've shown, and the love he gave. Even though you won't see him you will be touched and still feel him through the memories you save.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
My wife and I extend our heart felt condolences to you and all in your family. We feel a special loss as Ralph and you were our best consultants in the early days of our antiques business through your TV show, antiques guides and books and continues today with your newsletters. We will miss his dry humor and extensive knowledge.
Richard and Catherine Gregoire
Lewiston, ME

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
My wife and I extend our heart felt condolences to you and all in your family. We feel a special loss as Ralph and you were our best consultants in the early days of our antiques business through your TV show, antiques guides and books and continues today with your newsletters. We will miss his dry humor and extensive knowledge.
Richard and Catherine Gregoire
Lewiston, ME

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, thank you for sharing some of your sweet memories of him,it shows the love you both had for each other, it must have been wonderful to have the opportunity to share your love of antiquing with the one you loved! May God, who loves you most be with you until you see Ralph again. Lynn Baker Lancaster S.C

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
Your loss,is also your joy; for God's Cupboard is within your heart. Ralph, has and will always be the treasure which filled it. Your loving partnership was the "antique" treasure he took with him, and he shares that extraordinary "find", today on: "God's Roadshow". May the pride you have in that relationship with both of them, release your grief swiftly and carry their love before you, with each new day.
Your antiquing "friend",
Michael Sureda

Anonymous said...

Terry & Family: i just now learned of Ralph's passing. I wish you heaartfelt memories and the comfort of knowing that so many people, including myself, are thinking of you this very minute. I have never done anything like what I am doing right now, but I have followed you both for so many years through TV, books, magazine articles and your faithful enlightning newsletter. he will be sadly missed yet fondly remembered. Dee, CT

redpeg2 said...

Terry and Family, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Ralph, i do know the feelings you must be having these days as i lost my husband just over six years ago, like Ralph my husband was my best friend and soul mate, your price guides have been my bibles to pricing antiques that i have collected over the years so i truly want to thank you both for all you have given to so many of us collectors, god bless you, peggy , sacramento, california

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
I have been a fond reader for many years. I have learned so much from both you and Ralph. I loved his since of humor. I also lost my husband and he also sat at many auctions to get me pricless gifts. Like you they are the ones I look at each day with wonderful memories. I pray you will find confort and peace during this difficult time.
Donna O'Brien

Anonymous said...

Hello Terry...My beloved husband, Bill Soukup, was an avid collector for 40 years or more, and he had great respect for both you and your dear Ralph. Many of the spaces on our book shelves are filled with Kovel's books. We also watched the WVIZ Auctions, especially when you and Ralph were presenters. Bill died in March of 2007. If there is an antiques auction in Heaven, I'm sure he is there! (and your Ralph, too, I'll bet)
Joan Soukup, Madison, Ohio

Jane Marie said...

I have never left you a comment I felt I to now. We have followed you two through books and tv for years. Ralph will be missed. Our prayers are with you and your family.


Dear Terry.
I am very sorry to hear of Ralph,s passing. You two were the right and left hands of the antique business. God Bless


Nancy White said...

Dear Terry,

I'm saddened to hear of your loss.

Nancy White
The Pack Rat's Pockety=s said...

I'm sorry for your loss but you know he really isn't gone. He is with you every day and is just helping God with all his antiques. Norma H. someone who loves the both of you