I attended the Ellis Boston Antiques Show last night and happily spent a couple of hours among some of the prettiest antiques and fine arts!
Oak and mahogany English Regency Period library table from G. Sergeant Antiques . $13,500.
John Kimball Boston Banjo clock, 1831. The note on the back reads “Made by John Kimball, Jr. to pay old debts 1831”. Current price is $2,750. Not much changes, I guess. There is a similar eglomisé clock in my parents house that this one reminds me of. Bell Time Clocks.
Throughout the weekend, there are special programs and lectures that are free for attendees. I attended the panel discussion “Essentials for the New Collector”. Panelists included Colleene Fesko, who does fine art appraisals on Antiques Roadshow; John Fikse, Editor of New England Antiques Journal, and Nicholas M. O’Donnell, JD, an attorney who deals with the legal transfer of art and antiques. From Mr. Fiske, we learned what types of questions to ask a dealer when considering making a purchase. In essence, he said that the dealer should know more about a piece than just age and provenance, they should also be able to speak with knowledge on why a piece is special, the historical customs of the day when the piece was made and how they might have influenced the work or motifs represented in the piece and to clearly explain why he knows a piece is what he’s claiming. Basically, you should always come away from a dealer knowing more than you did when you went into the shop. If you don’t, then keep looking elsewhere.
Also discussed were two ways of valuing a piece: 1) Inherent value is the baseline value of a piece, meaning, its essential beauty (for the time it was made); authenticity; and history. 2) Trend value, which is the current “popularity” of a theme or type of piece. Ms. Fesco explained that current events or rising markets will effect the current value of a piece.
Finally, the discussion was on how to move art through sale, gift or donation. It’s very important to keep detailed records of pieces that have high values. Property is passed around due to: Death, Divorce, Debt or Downsizing. In all cases, having a clear paper trail proving ownership and provenance is very important. If there is no current paper train, start creating one by obtaining reputable appraisals and collecting anecdotal information (stories from Grandma, that sort of thing). Gather any kind of receipt or record of ownership, including purchase and sales, repair bills, moving or shipping costs, etc.
Anyway, it was a very interesting lecture!
If you’re looking for something interesting to do on Sunday 10/23, I highly recommend the show!