Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Larry Shapiro a personal property appraiser, antique, and art dealer recently explained what a "listed artist " is. Shapiro explained: "A listed artist is any artist that has had past sales of his or her works documented in one or more books or sites that make available such data to the public." "Also, an artist may be listed without past sales reference, but dollar amounts of past sales are most important for dealers, collectors, and appraisers when considering the value of an artists work". " "When considering the value of a single work of art, it is of great importance to compare this work to other like works by the same artist that have sold in the past." Shapiro, who has been buying and selling for over forty years has an active business based in Glastonbury CT.
Monday, January 3, 2011
With Ebay and other online auctions becoming the way to sell antiques and collectibles, it seems that recycled cardboard shipping boxes have become an inexpensive tool to use in the shipping process. You may acquire them from many different sources such as your local hardware store, your neighbors, or your own basement. Many dealers have been known to go "dumpster diving" to acquire these boxes. Once you are ready to use them , there are the old paper labels that you have to remove. This is not an easy task unless you use a heat gun or a hair dryer. Just apply heat with either of these devices and the labels will lift off easily. Start in one corner and slowly fan out to the rest of the label. In a short time you will able to remove the whole thing. This process makes "dumpster diving" a more satisfying experience.
White rings on furniture are usually caused by condensation under a waxy surface. They often appear on dark wood such as mahogany. There is an easy way to get rid of them. Cigar ashes and mayonnaise mixed together to form a pumice will usually do the trick. Buy a cheap cigar, light it, and let it burn down in an ash tray. Mix the ashes with a small amount of mayonnaise. Next take a rag and apply the mixture to the area that is affected. Rub while applying pressure and follow the grain of the wood. The mark should disappear. You may have to apply the mixture to the whole top to even out the finish. Once you have completed the task, wipe with a clean rag and apply a fresh coat of wax.
Friday, December 10, 2010
When asked which way is better to sell personal property, Craig's List or Ebay, Larry Shapiro the owner of Appraisals and Antiques.com answered the often asked question with another question. "What are you selling?" If you have large usable items like furniture or a wood burning stove, Larry says: "Try Craig's List" "It makes sense to sell it locally unless it is really something rare or special". "Use Ebay for those small collectible items that are in good condition. Small antiques and collectibles and even modern electronics etc will do well on Ebay. It is a lot of work between listing, shipping, and emails, but if it only involves a few things it may be worth it. Using Paypal to get your money from the sale before you ship is a great way to avoid scams. Beware of scams on Craig's List. Have all your money in hand before you let the item go. If a buyer mails you more money than you asked for, it may be a scam. " If you don't know the value of your items and you think they may be valuable, hire an appraiser to help you out. What you spend on an appraiser may increase your bottom line a great deal."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Larry Shapiro from Appraisals and Antiques.com who is both an appraiser and buyer of antiques advises his divorce clients to approach their personal property and antique appraisal in an objective manner. Have all joint property appraised at fair market value. Do not tell the appraiser who may get what, what you may sell, or that a specific item has been passed down etc. You want the appraiser to compare apples to apples using todays market prices. If there is going to be a fair family division, then let the appraiser work without being influenced by circumstances that really are not his or her concern. When the appraisal is completed the parties involved will have a useful tool to work from. The division will be equitable and each side should be satisfied.
Friday, October 8, 2010
"The economy is bad." "The younger people don't like antiques." "The internet has hurt the antiques market." These are three of the most common complaints that antique dealers in the U.S. can be heard repeating over and over again at shows, auctions, and in the marketplace. Well, guess what? There is a great deal of truth in all of these statements. But, is this the first time that there has been a depressed market? No! There have been many times in the past that the market has been down. It has not alway been exactly like this trend, but nevertheless, markets have recovered in the past. It appears that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jobs will increase. Houses will sell. There will always be collectors. Survey the situation and buy accordingly. You may not want to invest in a collectible that is being offered on the internet along with 5,000 other examples that have been mass produced. But, you may want to consider a scarce antique in any collectible field that is in excellent condition. Dealers are anxious to sell right now. They need to sell in order to pay their expenses. The buyer is now in the drivers seat.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
If you want to buy antiques at auction it is wise to do your homework before the sale. Make certain that you arrive with plenty of time to inspect the items. Look closely for damage, repairs, evidence of age, and reproductions. If it is a chair you are looking at, make sure that you sit in it before you buy it. Make certain that the table you are considering is high enough to sit under with the right size chair. Check paintings with a black light to look for repairs or an added signature. Most auctioneers sell items "as is where is" so don't expect a refund on the "mistake" you made unless the auctioneer represents the item incorrectly. If the marble top table you are looking at is represented as an antique and you find out it is a reproduction, you have recourse, but if it is represented as simply a marble top table and it turns out that it was made yesterday, then you own it. Don't be afraid to ask the auctioneer beforehand if the blue paint on the blanket chest is from the period or added later. The value of that blanket chest can vary greatly when the age of the finish is taken into consideration. Get to know dealers and appraisers that you can trust for advice on objects. Many will be happy to help you unless they are interested in the same item. Set a limit to what you are willing to pay for an item ahead of the sale. Don't get carried away with your bidding. When you make a mistake learn from it. Every dealer and appraiser will make a mistake on occasion. The key is to keep them at a minimum by "doing your homework".