Appraisals Archives

Illuminating exploration of the discreet world of appraisals

This NYT story is an illuminating exploration of the discreet world of appraisals....

Kneeling on the dining room floor, Evan Lattimer sliced open a cardboard box and braced herself for what might be inside: a lock of human hair, a half-smoked cigar, an arcane torture device, perhaps? Her face broke into a smile as she peeled away the bubble wrap: a dinosaur egg.

“You just never knew with Dad,” she said.

When her father, John Lattimer, died in May of 2007 at the age of 92, Ms. Lattimer knew her inheritance would include more than the family tea set. Dr. Lattimer, a prominent urologist at Columbia University, was also a renowned collector of relics, many of which might be considered quirky or even macabre.
. . .
As she moved through the estate’s many piles, she said, she was often perplexed. Was the tear-shape metal object on the third floor a piece of junk, or was it historically significant?

"In a Father’s Clutter, Historic Oddities," by Kassie Bracken and Erik Olsen, The New York Times, August 20, 2008

Posted August 21, 2008 01:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Appraisals   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)


After retiring from truck driving in 1987, Teri Horton devoted much of her time to bargain hunting around the Los Angeles area. Sometimes the bargains were discovered on Salvation Army shelves and sometimes, she willingly admits, at the bottom of Dumpsters.

Even the most stubborn deal scrounger probably would have been satisfied with the rate of return recently offered to her for a curiosity she snagged for $5 in a San Bernardino thrift shop in the early 1990s. A buyer, said to be from Saudi Arabia, was willing to pay $9 million for it, just under an 180 million percent increase on her original investment. Ms. Horton, a sandpaper-voiced woman with a hard-shell perm who lives in a mobile home in Costa Mesa and depends on her Social Security checks, turned him down without a second thought.

Ms. Horton’s find is not exactly the kind that gets pulled from a steamer trunk on the “Antiques Roadshow.” It is a dinner-table-size painting, crosshatched in the unmistakable drippy, streaky, swirly style that made Jackson Pollock one of the most famous artists of the last century. Ms. Horton had never heard of Pollock before buying the painting, but when an art teacher saw it and told her that it might be his work (and that it could fetch untold millions if it were), she launched herself on a single-minded post-retirement career — enlisting, along the way, a forensic expert and a once-powerful art dealer — to have her painting acknowledged as authentic by scholars and the art market.

"Could Be a Pollock; Must Be a Yarn," by Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, November 9, 2006

Where is the provenance???

"Provenance" is a list of the previous owners of a work of art, tracing it from its present location and owner back to the hand of the artist. Provenance has many uses: It can help to determine the authenticity of a work, to establish the historical importance of a work by suggesting other artists who might have seen and been influenced by it, and to determine the legitimacy of current ownership.

Provenance Research, Harvard University Art Museums


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Posted November 12, 2006 09:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Appraisals , Art , Auctions and Appraisals , Libraries and Research , Museums , Museums and Art , Research   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Movies Under the Stars - Bob Fosse - August 17, 8:30 pm

Movies Under the Stars

Sweet Charity, (1969) ... Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Chita Rivera and Sammy Davis, Jr. ... Director: Bob Fosse ... Shirley MacLaine triumphs as Charity Hope Valentine, an incurable optimist who happens to work at a seedy dime-a-dance joint. A hooker with a heart of gold, Charity's search for true love is beautifully captured in Fosse's stylistic film debut and features signature Fosse choreography and musical gems by the incomparable Cy Coleman.

Wednesday, August 17, 8:30pm, Riverside Park South, Pier I @ 70th Street ... bring a chair, blanket and picnic!

Peter appraised Bob Fosse's estate ... had the opportunity to examine and hold his Oscar ... see you at the movie!

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Posted August 16, 2005 08:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Appraisals , Riverside Park   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Christie's summer House Sale

Christies is having The House Sale August 9-10, 2005 ... no reserve (means that there is no minimum bid price, i.e., you can find bargains if there are no other bidders) ... located at 49th Street and Rockefeller Centre (btwn 5th Ave. and Avenue of the Americas/6th Ave.) ... no charge for looking and browsing ... a very wonderful way to spend some time browsing in a very civilised enviroment ...

Wu Liang Ye is around the corner on 48th Street for lunch or dinner (36 West 48th) ... Le Maison du Chocolat is across the street (30 Rockefeller Center) ...

Wu Liang Ye

Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop: B, D, F, V train to Rockefeller Center, 6 train to 51st and Lexington, 1 or 9 train to 50th and Broadway

Posted August 2, 2005 10:12 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Appraisals , Auctions , Auctions and Appraisals , Mid-Town , Sights & Sounds , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)