Good Life

Fine Art & Antiques | Appraisal events reveal great finds

Annually, I present about 150 antique appraisal shows throughout the United States. My appraisal events empower folks with information that they can use when cleaning out their homes, downsizing, handing down family heirlooms, or visiting estate and yard sales. The appraisal events, whichserve as fun-filled evenings to show clients appreciation, opportunities to attract clients to businesses or trade show events, festival or fair entertainment, highlight design trends at home and garden shows or women’s expos, or charity fundraisers, are as interesting as they are amusing.

Check out what I’ve seen recently and plan to come to one of my events with your antiques or family heirlooms (schedule posted at www.DrLoriV.com/events ):

Reno, Nev.: An Alfred Blakelock painting, whose works are in the Brooklyn Museum and the Corcoran Gallery, was brought to my event by a gentleman whose grandfather received the painting in payment of a debt during the Great Depression. The painting has been displayed in his home ever since. I told the owner at my event that his Romantic landscape painting by Blakelock is now worth $30,000.

Hartville, Ohio: A couple married 35 years brought an early 1900s Native American leather, wood, and beadwork baby papoose to my event. When I asked the wife if anyone in her family was Native American, she said “No.” Her husband, seated next to her, interrupted ... “Hello, I am Cheyenne!” He was just as shocked by his wife’s ignorance of their family history as he was by the antique’s value. Value: $10,000.

Virginia Beach, Va.: A hand-drawn World War II map of Europe documenting the sites where the 42nd “Rainbow” infantry division served was brought to me by Andrea, whose father served with the famous military division. They were the U.S. Army division that liberated the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. Her colorful map and a yearbook of photos documenting the 42nd Infantry Division’s service are treasured family keepsakes. Value: $5,000.

Grand Island, Neb.: Tanner, age 5, brought his grandmother’s 1930s-era Bakelite pin in the shape of a squirrel to my event for an appraisal. Tanner told me it was okay for a boy to wear this pin because squirrels are scary animals. The not-so-scary value of that piece of costume jewelry was $275.

Fort Wayne, Ind.: A pair of beaded moccasins, in mint condition, had been in the owner’s family for generations and lovingly stored with tissue paper out of direct sunlight for years. She was told to take care of them and she did. Value: $4,000.

Atlanta: Charles brought a Freemason’s apron that was handmade by the wife of one of his relatives who served in the Civil War. Decorated with the famous symbols of the secret society, the antique was said to have saved the family from certain death as it hung in a front window during the burning of Atlanta. Historical value: Priceless.

The Villages, Fla.: A 1947 New York Yankees/St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring featuring 14-karat gold and diamonds was owned by a series umpire. The owner/umpire was in his 90s when I appraised the ring recently and he was still cool under pressure. He didn’t move a muscle when I appraised it for $20,000.

Greensboro, N.C.: The granddaughter of a man who made a pass at Margaret Mitchell in the summer of 1936 while the author was selling her books on an Atlanta sidewalk brought a signed first edition copy of Gone with the Wind to my event. She retold the story of how her grandfather, though rejected by Mitchell, bought the famous Civil War novel from the author. That book had it all: famous story, great condition, first edition, original cover, autographed, impeccable provenance. Value: $60,000.

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