It is easy to see the allure of a good antiques appraisal.
There could be the shock of learning that an old vase passed down from your great-grandmother, long forgotten until stumbled upon in the attic, turns out to be a valuable collector’s piece. Disappointment could loom just feet away as someone else learns that the painting of an old sailor that hung promisingly for years on the wall is worth very little.
The emotional rush can be addicting.
That is what the organizers of the first ever Antique Treasures appraisal day to be held on June 14 at St. Ann’s Church in Bridgehampton are hoping for. The event will feature several high-end appraisers specializing in fields ranging from paintings, to furniture, to literature, and will benefit three charities—Maureen’s Haven, the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service and East End Hospice.
“You never know what you have sitting in your home, what it is or how much it is worth, so it is nice to see an expert for a minimal price that will also go to a good cause,” said Elizabeth George, one of the organizers. “It should be fun, we are hoping for a good, fun day.”
The idea first came to the organizers last year. Previously, for 46 years, St. Ann’s had hosted an annual house and garden tour, but as other tours grew more popular and it became more difficult to find new homes to visit, they decided to go in a different direction. The first step, Ms. George said, was to find a panel of experts to evaluate the items. On June 14, the event will be staffed by Robert Barker, of L.I. Tag Sales, who specializes in furniture, fine art, silver, and collectibles; Leonard Davenport of Leonard Davenport Fine Arts, who specializes in post-war ceramics, paintings, decorative art, and Ab Ex art; Marsha Malinowski, of Marsha Malinowski Fine Books and Manuscripts, LLC, specializing in languages and literature; Kevin Tierney, of Kevin Tierney Antiques, specializing in silver and antiques; Terry Wallace of the Wallace Gallery in East Hampton, who specializes in paintings and antique furniture; and Gary Weinshank of Delage Jewelers, specializing in jewelry.
According to Mr. Wallace, who has been appraising fine art for 30 years, the appraisal itself will be very quick, most likely less than five minutes. The most important thing, he said, is for the owner to know what type of appraisal they would like, as that can affect the estimated value. There are several types, including insurance, distressed sale, resale appraisals and wholesale appraisals. The expert will assess a number of factors about the piece and may do a quick search online before offering an estimated dollar amount. If the person wishes for more than a verbal appraisal, they can make an appointment to meet with the appraiser for written documentation or recommendations about how to proceed with selling the piece.
“The appraisals are very fast,” Mr. Wallace said. “People don’t usually want to know too much about the piece, they want the price and some basic information, then they like to research it further on their own.”
Ms. George said the church expects that about 200 people will attend the event, which costs $30 and will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People can each take three items for evaluation. Appointments, which are suggested, can be made by calling 353-1489. More information is available at Antiquetreasuresday.com.
“We hope a lot of people can make it to the event,” Ms. George said. “We are anticipating a lot of people to help three very good causes.”