Blog by Dr. Lori

Appraisal Stories Revealed

by Dr. Lori Verderame
Appraisal Stories Revealed

People always ask me to share my stories of evaluating antiques, so I thought I'd start writing them down and sharing them with you. Here are only three memorable happenings to start from my in-home appraisal visits. Hollywood should follow me around for a reality TV show about this topic.

During an in-home appraisal visit, I meet and help families ready to clean out a house of a deceased relative, folks who want to sell off stuff, yard sale hunters who need to know the current values, and people who want to protect and insure their valuable stuff. Of course, it's never that simple as you read these stories.

1. Sisters Throwing Punches

Cow creamer

I remember what I first thought was a typical in-home appraisal appointment in a suburban neighborhood with a few family members on hand. They needed to know the value of some antiques, china, pieces like flow blue, costume jewelry, collectibles and dates for pottery pieces from their deceased mother's home. All of a sudden, the two 60-something year old sisters came to blows after I appraised a ceramic creamer in the shape of a cow. You know the type where the cream pours out of the cow's mouth. It was worth 15 dollars and they punched each other over who was going to keep it.

2. Amish Appraisal

I remember very well and quite fondly one private appraisal session that I did reviewing a premiere fine art collection for an Amish gentleman. Since having such worldly items in one's home is not allowed in the Amish community this appraisal had to be done in secret from his wife and family. The art collection was kept in a second story loft (like a tree house) with no electricity, heat, lighting, or air conditioning. When I visited, it was about 110 degrees up there. The Amish man carried an old fashioned lantern to give me some light to see the paintings by. This secret art collection was compiled from rural auctions for very little money and traded for labor, fruits, and vegetables. The kicker was that this collection was one of the most impressive collections of fine art and certainly of museum quality. He had a loft choc-full of works by major artists worth very, very big bucks.

3. FBI Agent

I once conducted an appraisal visit for an FBI agent. I remember him well because when I arrived and got out of my car, the first thing he said to me was "I ran a background check on you." I was a little taken aback, but still curious as to what he found out about me. I asked him what it revealed. He calmly said, "Well, you are pretty boring compared to the regulars that I typically run checks on." After my visit, the FBI agent said that he had trouble finding an appraiser that he could trust--until he found me.

Look for more stories in future posts. Do you have a favorite Dr. Lori in home appraisal visit you want me to share or just need me to appraise your stuff? Tell me or attend one of my events, send me photos or make an appointment for me to visit you at an in-home appraisal. Would your story make this list?

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