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Dr. Lori Discovers Venus and other recent notable appraisals

Lori Verderame on Google+

Dr. Lori (far right) with Holly (left) and Jess holding her Belleek Venus sculpture at Dr. Lori’s Antiques Appraisal Comedy Tour.

Dr. Lori (far right) with Holly (left) and Jess holding her Belleek Venus sculpture at Dr. Lori’s Antiques Appraisal Comedy Tour.

Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide.  Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, Lori Verderame on Google+ or call (888) 431-1010.

By Lori Verderame

Venus is more than a celestial body. Venus is one of the most popular Classical figures in the history of art. The goddess of love and gardens, Venus gets a lot of press this time of year. In Renaissance art, Venus’ image adorned the headboards of the beds belonging to the famous Medici family of Florence. By
the Victorian period, sculptures of the classical beauty were all the rage.

At more than 150 antiques appraisal events all over the world every year, I tell people what they’ve got and what it is really worth. Venus was ushered into a recent appraisal event by two other lovely ladies — the sculpture’s owners. My appraisal approach is plain, simple, and straightforward. Many people say they have never seen anything like my appraisal show — unlike other appraisers. My unique approach, along with my unexpected flair for the comedic, has attracted standing-room-only audiences to my totally unscripted appraisal events for more than 15 years now at venues worldwide.

People know that if I am coming to their town, they better get their stuff out of the attic and have me take a look at it. After 15 years on the road doing on-the-spot appraisals, I know that people want to learn about their antiques from the honest, leading authority in the country, not some antiquing guru or appraiser wannabe.

At the Evansville Home Show, I appraised a Belleek sculpture of a Crouching Venus for 13-year-old Jess and her mom, Holly. Jess keeps the sculpture in her closet so her pets don’t get at it and her mom says that it is a good place to keep the sculpture safe. They were right, since the piece, dating from the late 1800s, didn’t have a scratch on it. It was in fine condition.

The Black mark on the underside of the sculpture was used by Belleek starting in 1891 and it indicated the age and origin of the piece. In 1891, the McKinley Act became law in America, and it indicated that any goods imported into the United States had to specify their country of origin. So, Belleek complied with a new black mark that included a ribbon banner and the words ‘Co Fermanagh Ireland.’

As her dad looked on, Jess and her mom were shocked to learn that her sculpture was worth $10,000-$15,000 on the retail market. Some similar pieces in fair condition have sold at wholesale auctions for $5,000.

Some of the other notable antiques and collectibles that I appraised recently during my Antiques Appraisal Comedy Tour included:

Pittsburgh, Pa.: A $50,000 baseball signed by Honus Wagner from the early 1900s when the Pittsburgh Pirates were the baseball team to beat

Evansville, Ind.: An Art Deco diamond brooch that belonged to 12-year-old Madison (she had just received it from her grandmother) worth $1,500

Deal, N.J.: A model ship that had been exhibited at the Exposition Universalle in Paris in 1900 complete with documents from the famous World’s Fair worth $3,000

Charlotte, N.C.: an European miniature painting worth $8,000

Rochester, N.Y.: a Dutch still life painting worth $100,000

Akron, Ohio: a World War II Nazi dagger worth $800

Indianapolis, Ind.: A souvenir coin from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 (a.k.a., Chicago World’s Fair) worth $250

Suffice it to say, my shows are not your traditional boring antiques appraisal events with some stuffy appraiser, some flowery language, and a magnifying loop. People don’t wait in line tirelessly. Audiences are informed and entertained. These events are an historical circus of sorts starring me, the audience members, and the stories gleaned from their antiques. At my events, held worldwide, we laugh, we learn, and we make some new friends — both human and man-made.

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