Appraising Some Manly Antiques
Dr. Lori’s antiques appraisal can sometimes break hearts and make millionaires.
At my events, I cut to the core. No nonsense, no delicate high-brow vocabulary, no malarkey. I tell it like it is. If you have a piece of junk, I tell you. If you spent too much money on something, I tell you. If you are hoping to become of millionaire on a collection of Pez dispensers, I tell you that it’s not happening in this lifetime.
I have been known to break a heart or two and I have been known to reveal that the ugly lamp you have can make you a millionaire in the antiques market.
And, I reveal my faults too—like my well-documented and obvious (particularly on my thighs and hips) addiction to chocolate bars. My antiques appraisal shows—presented more than 150 times every year-are funny and frank.
I have been told by my audience members the world over that my presentation style is engaging just like the wealth of information that I reveal about antiques. As audience members, men are typically brought to my appraisal events by their wives but they quickly become my most devoted fans. Men return to my events day after day, event after event when I appear in a particular city.
In Philly, I laughed with the male owner of a Shirley Temple doll worth $275. After I appraised it, he told me that only a real man would be comfortable enough to bring a doll out in public to an appraisal event.
Ray was at my antiques appraisal comedy show in Houston, Texas. He was on his way to the gym when his wife asked him if he could attend my appraisal event instead. He didn’t mind the diversion too much until his wife said that she wanted me to look at some piece of china she bought at a yard sale.
He convinced her to bring me an old book that was in his family originally from Spain. Wrapped in a black plastic trash bag, the book was a hand painted illuminated manuscript with period text and original paintings. Produced in the mid 1600s about the time of the reign of King Philip of Spain, the manuscript was worth $10,000.
Paul’s story warms my heart. I was presenting my appraisal show in Louisville, KY when a guy in his mid-30s puts a copper weathervane on my object table and tells me that he doesn’t know what he’s got but one of the neighbors told him it might be worth some money.
I explain how weathervanes do have good value in the marketplace and that his example has a strong provenance and is attributed to a particularly well known maker. I tell him that it is worth $15,000. All of a sudden this guy - who could be a linebacker in the NFL - starts crying like a baby in front of God and everybody. Wiping his eyes on his shirtsleeve, he jumps up, runs towards the stage and hugs me. No one knew what he was going to do but after he calms down and returns to his seat in the audience, he explains that his grandmother’s house is in foreclosure, he has been supporting his extended family for months, and that now he can start down the road to recovery by selling the weathervane (which was incidentally on the barn of the property in foreclosure all these months).
Someone had offered him a mere $1000 for the weathervane but he didn’t believe it was worth so little. He was thrilled to know the truth.
Sports collectibles, guns, edged weapons, fishing lures and reels, and other objects are the typical types of antiques and collectibles that I review at my events, but sometimes the real men show up with something interesting and unexpected. Guys want me to cut to the chase and tell it like it is. I’m all for it. Let’s hear it for the boys!
Antiques columnist, Dr. Lori will be featured on the season premiere of Discovery channel’s hit TV show “Auction Kings” airing Thursday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. Visit DrLoriV.com, Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.