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Articles

Chinese Rank Badges

Prominant Positions – Chinese Rank Badges

Working in the appraisal business, we often have the pleasure of inspecting, researching, and valuing pieces of history. One such object that we have come across in the homes of several clients is the Chinese rank badge. These badges have become coveted collector’s items, but buyers must beware that new copies are being made and sold as antique originals.

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Antique Picture Frames

A Change of Perspective – The Antique Picture Frame

Experts contend that picture frames are one of the most undervalued antiques. In the past many galleries and even some museums have considered old frames not worth restoring or just plain out-of-style. Even today, knowledgeable frame collectors are rare and although frames are prized in Europe, in the United States they are routinely overlooked, abandoned or discarded.

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Antique Floor Screens

The Great Divide - Antique Floor Screens

It may not seem an essential piece of furniture, but an attractive floor screen can easily transform any living space and add dimension to your interior. Coco Chanel recognized the appeal as she famously sought out dozens of antique lacquered screens to adorn her Paris abode.

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Buying Your Perfect Diamond

Buying Your Perfect Diamond

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a diamond. You want to make sure that you are getting the most beautiful, high quality gem that your money can buy, but what do you need to know? In the end you shouldn’t get too “hung up” on optics, angles and scientific details. You should remember the old expression “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The question is, ultimately, do you think it’s a beautiful diamond?

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Archiving Your Assets

Taking Stock – The Importance of Archiving Your Assets

It’s human nature to keep thoughts of devastating fires, storms and theft furthest from our minds. But if disaster strikes, are you prepared? Having a detailed property inventory is the first step to ensuring that you will not only survive a damage loss, but that you will be made whole again. A property inventory is crucial not only to determine adequate amounts of insurance coverage prior to a loss, but it will also expedite the claims process after a loss has occurred.

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2012 Auction Art Sales

Mixed Messages in 2012 Auction Art Sales

Is the art market’s pace giving us mixed messages? How is it that the major auction houses have painted completely different art sale pictures? In 2012, Christie’s sold a total of $6.3 billion worth of fine and decorative art which included $5.3 billion in auction sales and $1 billion in privately brokered art sales. While auction sales at Christie’s increased 10%, their privately brokered sales rose 26%.

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Decorating Your Tree With History

Decorating Your Tree with History

In the late 19th century, James Clements, a Southern Pacific Railroad brakeman decorated his evergreen Christmas tree with seventy thousand dollars worth of gold nuggets he had found in the Klondike gold rush. And, though most of us probably won’t be able to enjoy such extravagance this holiday season, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree sets the tone for a joyous holiday spent with close friends and family.

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Un-Saleable Artwork

Un-Saleable Artwork: Does It Have Value?

The lawyers representing the heirs of art dealer Ileana Sonnabend intend to debate whether the IRS can establish a value of artwork that cannot be sold, in order to collect $29 million in taxes. The artwork under discussion is “Canyon” a 20th Century mixed media work created by Robert Rauschenberg in 1959 that was inherited by Mrs. Sonnabend’s children when she died in 2007. 

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Protecting Your Antiques from Mold

Preserving Your Assets – Protecting Your Antiques from Mold

Last fall I accepted an interesting assignment of appraising several homes in New York State. All three homes were primarily vacation getaways for their family and friends visiting during the warm summer months. The remainder of the year these 19th century farmhouses stood vacant and unventilated. We found the antique collections of Period furniture and decorative art to be extensive – but we also found a pervasive mold problem.

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Selecting An Appraiser

Selecting an Appraiser – Archiving Your Assets

Whether you collect out of passion or just for investment purposes (which is somewhat rare) it is a good idea to find out the intrinsic worth of your collection. Especially before an unfortunate event such as ‘mysterious disappearance’ takes place. Without documentation, it may be near impossible to prove to your insurance agent that you really did own that rare nineteenth century 22 kt. cigarette box that was commissioned by the Tsar of Russia.

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The French Bulldog ‘Growler’

The French Bulldog ‘Growler’

This friendly growling toy dog was created in France in homage to their native breed, the French Bulldog in the 1890’s. Modeled in Papier Mache they were typically life size in stature, with glass eyes, nodding head, articulated jaw and casters below their feet. Pull on the “leash” and he bares his teeth and growls.

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Early Treenware

Early Treenware Bowl Found in New Jersey Estate

After a brief introduction with the clients, I began what I refer to as detective work – to uncover the higher valued treasures and inform my client of their lucky inheritance. Besides the dusty antiques that stood alone waiting for companionship in this vacant home whose owner had recently departed, in the corner with the cobwebs, buried in old newspaper clippings, stood an old wooden bowl whose warm patina caught my eye in the angled rays of the early morning light.

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Mettlach Stein

It’s Time to Raise Your Mettlach Stein

Purchasing an early Mettlach stein may prove to be a worthwhile investment, but make sure to carefully inspect the piece for damage or repairs, and beware of reproductions! Although Mettlach steins are not considered to be rare, you may not find them at many antique shops. If you are in the market for a Mettlach stein, I would recommend checking local or online auctions, specialized dealers and canvassing local estate sales.

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Ph: (603) 563-8335
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