Blog by Dr. Lori

3 Valuables in your House

by Dr. Lori Verderame
3 Valuables in your House

Nobody believes that they have valuable stuff in their house or that grandma had it either. You’d all rather go shopping and make an estate sale mistake or shop at a flea market before looking right in your home or in grandma's basement for valuable stuff. Big mistake. Before those valuables are bought at a yard sale or auction, they start off residing right in your house. You all believe you have nothing. Why? Because it's your stuff, it's familiar stuff to you. Shop at home first. Read these three stories about valuables found right at home. All identified at my popular antiques appraisal events.

1. Grandma’s Valuable Pottery

Martinez pottery

I met cousins Johnathan, Chris, and Ryan at an afternoon event in Minneapolis, MN. They drove several hours from Iowa so I could look at their pottery pieces. They confessed in front of the audience that they wanted to attend my morning event, but enjoyed a little too much partying the night before. Nothing wrong with having a little fun. Each cousin received a black-on-blackware piece of Martinez pottery from their grandma. The cousins told me they knew they liked whiskey over beer, but they didn't know anything about the values of their pottery heirlooms. That is where I helped out, a lot. Ryan, the youngest cousin, had the most valuable carved and glazed pot from the 1920s worth 3,500 dollars that I identified. Nice guys. You just have to attend an event or even better, host an event, to see how we have so much fun. See what fun my events are as I appraise another Maria and Julian Martinez pottery piece worth 8,500 dollars.

2. Valuable Belleek Found in the Closet

Belleek sculpture

I met Jess and her mother Holly in Evansville, IN at one of my antiques appraisal events at the Home and Garden Show held at the Ford Center. Jess was looking in the closet at her grandma's house and found a sculpture of Venus. She followed my advice and looked around her house and her grandma's house first. As I evaluated the piece, she was surprised to learn that her sculpture of Venus was a rare piece of Belleek valued at 15,000 dollars. That's right, a 15,000 dollar sculpture right in the closet. How could I tell? I know a lot about deciphering rare marks on pottery and you can too. Read my tips and watch a video from me, Ph.D. appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame, about how understanding pottery marks can help you find valuable ceramics and pottery.

3. Grandfather’s Duck Decoys

Duck decoy

Grandpas never get the attention they deserve. It’s never their basement or attic that we talk about, it is always grandma's. Just like grandmas, grandpas have valuable stuff tucked away too. I met Gene in Sioux Falls, SD at one of my events. This particular event helped create awareness for special needs children and adults. Many groups host my events to support their charities or important causes. We have some fun and raise some money. Gene's duck decoys collectibles were his Grandpa's who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area along the east coast of the United States. That's a long way from South Dakota. I was happy to authenticate and value the decoys at 2,000 dollars---each. See tips on what to look for in duck decoy collectibles.

These are only three examples of the valuables found right in your own house. I have more to tell in future blogs as you all bring your art, antiques, and collectibles to my events. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your stuff is not valuable. Also, don’t let a reseller tell you that your stuff is junk. They could be just saying that to get you to sell your valuables to them very cheaply--and you won't even realize it. I can walk around your house and show you the valuables via my in home appraisal visits or with a video call using FaceTime or Skype from anywhere in the country. Then, you can use the money we found in your house or grandpa’s attic to go shopping.

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