Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raleigh Antiques Roadshow's Episodes to Air

Just a reminder: remember when Antiques Roadshow was taped in Raleigh during the summer but the program's air dates were not announced during the taping? Now, the episodes are scheduled to air on the first three Mondays in January, with the series season premiere on January 4th. Tune in to your local PBS station to see the Chinese carved jade and celadon from the Chien Lung Dynasty that set a record for the highest appraisal in the program's history! There will be an assortment of treasures from here in North Carolina that should be of interest to everyone! Remember, 8:00 pm!

Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM
Certified Antique and Art Appraiser
For appraisal information, contact Vicky at 919 475-6930

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A FABulous Affair

In early November, I worked as a featured appraiser in Melbourne's Brevard Cultural A lliance's second annual Fabulous Affair, which is an Antique Roadshow style appraisal fair. The event, sponsored by the Brevard Cultural Alliance of Brevard County, Florida, featured six celebrity appraisers from across the United States. I was fortunate to be one of those appraisers and to participate in this well organized event. Proceeds went to the Cultural Alliance’s Art Fund. The attendance at the event was more than anticipated, and everyone seemed to enjoy learning more about articles from their collections.

The diversity of items for which I provided verbal approximations of value was incredible; there were lots of fabulous treasures belonging to local residents. Many of the items were accompanied by great stories, some had documented historical provenance, and some have been in families for generations.

I valued items in my specialty area and, as I am also a generalist appraiser, I also valued a wide variety of decorative items and collectibles. Overall, I saw around 140 items during the 7 ½ hour appraisal fair. Asian art and ceramics were very prevalent; I saw some of the best Asian paintings that I have seen in my appraisal career, including one with provenance from an early US ambassador. There was also a variety of quality Chinese ceramics, including a Sung dynasty bowl, Chinese export porcelain, and Chinese blue and white porcelain.

I valued a number of Japanese items, including Satsuma pottery, woodblock prints, scrolls, and even an early 19th century Japanese matchlock rifle. And then there were the two fabulous Turkish bracelets with hand painted miniature tiles which were absolutely gorgeous. There was a large assortment of family silver items, including American sterling silver bowls, English sterling flatware and German 800 silver….all items for which their owners should have written appraisals for insurance purposes. One piece of English sterling flatware was a John William Blake hallmarked piece, complete with an 1824 datemark. Also with family provenance were porcelain sets of china and dishes, including some manufactured by some of the best 19th century English and French manufacturers, including Coalport, Worcester and Limoge. One collector had a two Egyptian tomb figurines, including an Ushabti, and while another collector brought two pre-Columbian figurines.

Barbie made her appearance, complete with a dated 1961 vinyl case. There were also German dolls, some quite collectible. Musical instruments were abundant, with the most impressive ones I saw included a 1938 Martin Guitar and a late 18th century signed Holt violin.

As in any appraisal fair, there were lines, but the seating which was provided made the time pass quickly. Organizers from the Brevard Cultural Alliance provided shuttle transportation, had well marked item drop off points, and insured that everyone was directed to the right appraisers, making the day a “FABulous Affair.” Attendees seemed to enjoy seeing items brought to the event by other attendees, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. The day was long, but was lots of fun for appraisers and collectors alike.
If you want to have some of your collectibles valued at an appraisal fair, watch for local press releases which advertise these types of event. And, be sure you choose an event which features credentialed appraisers by ISA, ASA, or AAA. And never take your collectibles to an event where organizers or appraisers are purchasing items; appraisers at appraisal fairs should always be unbiased, and never have a personal interest in the item they are valuing. If you can not find an appraisal fair, you can always hire an appraiser for a verbal approximation of value; if you have several items, hiring an appraisal for an hour or so can provide you with a wealth of information.

Authentic Appraisal & Estate Services, LLC (c) 2009
Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA CAPP
Certified Appraiser of Personal Property
919 475-6930 email: vicky.shaw@verizon.net

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A NEW Leonardo da Vinci!

So, could that painting or drawing you found in your attic be a Leonardo? His work is fairly well documented, so a year ago, I would have said no way…..but now? Who knows?

Scientific tools previously used for crime solving are now being applied to art. According to an AP press release, an unsigned chalk, ink and pencil drawing of a young woman has just been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci by identifying a fingerprint and palm print on the paper, and subsequent attribution to him. (The white box on the portrait is the area of the fingerprint. Photo courtesy of Associated Press.) According to Peter Paul Biro, a Montreal forensic art expert, the print of an index finger matched a fingerprint found on Leonardo’s “St. Jerome” in the Vatican. And of course, the style and stylistic nature were appropriate to da Vinci’s work, and carbon dating evidence also indicates it to be an earlier work than 19th century. But the finger print is the proverbial icing on the cake which upon which Biro based his attribution. It seems that Leonardo used his hands frequently, and his fingerprints are found on many of his works. It appears that this is the first major work by Leonardo to have been identified in 100 years.

The work, known as La Bella Principessa” was previously thought to have been created by a 19th century German artist, and it sold two years ago for about $19,000. Now that experts believe the drawing is Leonardo’s, the value has soared. One London art dealer is now valuing the drawing at $150 million!

So, do you have a Leonardo work of art in your attic? Remember, this drawing is a previously documented and named work of art. Having an undocumented work of art be attributed to Leonardo da Vinci is highly unlikely. But, this discovery does remind us that there are hidden treasures out there, they just need to be identified.

If you believe you have a work of art or a decorative arts item that “could” be special, your first step would be to have it inspected by an appraiser who is familiar with the type of item that you have. The retention of a credentialed and certified appraiser is your first step. A qualified appraiser can provide you with basic information about what you have, and what you don’t have. Obviously they can’t attribute a Leonardo with just an inspection, but they can provide you with basic information that you can make further decisions.

An appraiser can often help you understand what you don’t have, and save you from unnecessary expense for further research. For example, I received a call earlier this year from a client who had a Rembrandt painting that she wanted me to value. I questioned her before we made an appointment, and she was certain she had “something valuable and original”. I thought she possibly had a Rembrandt etching, but she was certain it was an oil painting. Unfortunately, she did not have an etching; it was a mid-20th century reproduction print which had little value. So, since she had booked my time, we spent the next hour discussing how to tell the difference between an original painting and lithographic prints. Now, as she hunts and searches through yard sales and auctions, she is better equipped to find a valuable treasure. And she learned that her Rembrandt was a print, before she shipped it to one of the major auction houses at considerable expense.

Other times, an appraiser will deliver good news on that special item. Another client of mine had a silver bowl she no longer wanted, and retained me to help her sell it. The bowl she no longer wanted just happened to be a 1930’s Georg Jensen covered vegetable bowl; quite a find! So, will you find a valuable work of art? Who knows, but everything is possible. There's treasures out there, just waiting to be found and identified. Good hunting!

Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA CAPP
Certified Antique and Art Appraiser in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill

Article Sources: Associated Press and Antique Trader

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Durham Regent "roadshow" style appraisal fair was great success!

Following in the footsteps of the Raleigh Antiques Roadshow, the Durham Regent Retirement Community hosted an appraisal fair on August 4th. Open to both Regent residents and the local Durham community, the fair had a steady line of people for the three hour event. A wide array of items were valued; notable items included, a Springfield rifle, a Persian gold armor set, pair of period Windsor chairs, pair of mid-20th century Japanese presentation vases, German and English porcelain, and notable original oil paintings.

Becky Vollers, event coordinator reported "Our Durham Regent Retirement's) first appraisal fair was a wonderful and exciting experience. This event was filled with unforgettable memories.”

Antique and art appraiser Vicky Nash Shaw (blog author) was the featured appraiser. I provided valuations for about 40 customers and for about 150 items. Not only did I see some unusual treasures, but I heard some fabulous stories about the items. It was a fun appraisal event. Several individuals brought valuable treasures and collectibles which were unique and one of a kind…..many were items that need insurance appraisals for documentation in the event of a loss. Becky Vollers, event coordinator, also added “A special Thank You to Vicky Nash Shaw for her kindness and participation in this event.” The Durham Regent Community residents have a tradition of supporting the community, and proceeds from the appraisal fair benefited both
school children and the local Ronald McDonald home. The retirement community is located on Pickett Road in Durham; the management office as well as Becky Vollers can be reached at 919 490-6224.

Local appraiser Vicky Nash Shaw can be reached at 919 474-6930 or through her website at www.TheAuthenticAppraisal.com.
©2009 Vicky Nash Shaw

Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM
Accredited Antique and Art Appraiser
Downsizing & Brokering Consultant

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Noted author and former antique appraiser Emyl Jenkins spoke and autographed her new book book, The Big Steal, in Clarksville, Virginia, on Saturday August 8th. The event was hosted by Strum & Co. antique store, which is located on Virginia Avenue in downtown Clarksville. Local Virginia and North Carolina residents attended to meet Ms. Jenkins and to hear about her plans for more Sterling Glass Mysteries. Ms. Jenkins is a retired antique appraiser, formerly of Chapel Hill and Raleigh, who now esides in Richmond.

I attened the event and am pictured here with Emyl; I enjoyed her last book, and am looking forward to reading the lastest mystery about the world of antiques. I met Emyl a couple of years ago, and she is bright, charming and certainly understands the world of antiques. I hope you read her book!

Appraisals are an important part of collecting, and if you need information on art and antique appraisals, see our website at http://www.theauthenticappraisal.com/.

(c)2009 Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM
Accredited Antique and Art Appraiser
Downsizing & Brokering Consultant

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Art, Antiques and Hurriances!

When homeowners prepare for hurricanes, often their art and antiques get overlooked. The Miami CBS4 Affiliate ran an informative and public service article last week; the article was authored by their reporter Jorges Estavez. Here’s a portion of his report:

“When you are preparing for a hurricane, most of us have the basics, like boarding up the house, putting up shutters and stockpiling items like water, batteries, and canned food, down to a science. But there's still the issue of protecting your valuables, the ones you can't lock up like expensive furniture or antiques? Porcelain figurines, ornate chairs, priceless decorations, these are the items on a new kind of hurricane check list.

One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS4's Jorge Estevez she doesn't want you to make the same mistake she did with her stuff which got ruined after Hurricane Andrew. "My feeling was I really wanted to make sure that I knew what the appraisal value was, God forbid something should happen again," she said. Ever since, she has had everything appraised and thinks everyone else should too.

So make sure and ask yourself before a storm actually begins to head for South Florida, are my antiques checked? An appraisal can cost a couple of hundred dollars, but it could help you save thousands in the future.”
To see the entire article, see: www.cbs4.com/local.valuables.antiques.appraisal.2.1109336.html.

Here in North Carolina, we are exposed to potential hurricane and wind damage, even in the areas of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. It is important to remember that although your homeowners’ insurance may be adequate, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to provide proof of existence and valuation of all art, antiques and collectibles. Insurance companies’ claim policies have different provisions. Without an insurance appraisal, many homeowners have limited options after their loss, and some insurance companies only allow for decorative replacement valuation for art and antiques unless adequate proof of real valuation exists prior to the damage or loss. Investment in an insurance appraisal for your original art, high end collectibles, and period furniture is always a wise choice, especially after you spend a lifetime acquiring your collection.

I provide my clients with two signed original copies of their appraisal: one to retain in their home and one to be retained either by an insurance agent or to be stored outside the home in a secure location. In addition, I retain copies of the appraisal and my notes for five years. So, if a loss occurs, clients will always have access to copies of their appraisal document which not only provides value, but also has detailed item descriptions and photographs. If items have significant historical provenance, I include that information within the appraisal, as provenance can greatly impact value. And, because I have viewed the items included in the appraisal, I am a valuable resource for homeowners who need to prove that items actually existed within their home! For more information on insurance appraisals, see the insurance appraisal section of my website: www.TheAuthenticAppraisal.com/appraisals.php#insurance.

Another good altnernative to insurance appraisals are home inventories, especially when prepared by a professional. Again, you not only have the inventory in a formal document, but your appraiser is your best advocate in the event of a loss.

Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM
Accredited Antique and Art Appraiser

Monday, July 13, 2009

Missed Antiques Roadshow in Raleigh? Here's some Alternatives!

So, you could not get tickets to Antique Roadshow. Or, Antiques Roadshow is not scheduled to come to your area. If you have art, antiques or other collectibles that you would like to have valued, what are your alternatives? Surprisingly enough, there are lots of alternatives! And, of course, with each alternative, there are advantages and disadvantages.

First, you can research the item yourself. If you need assistance in item identification, there are lots of publications available through local books stores, Amazon, Collector Books and other sources. If you are looking for value, the internet has a wealth of information plus there are pricde guides available. The disadvantage to this approach is that if your item is not something that you are familiar with, obtaining reference material can be quite expensive. If you are trying to establish value, the different types of value can be very confusing and locating a similar item may or not give you the appropriate value you are searching for. The information in price guides is often dated, and may not be the type of valuation you need.

Another approach is to take your item to a dealer; some specialty dealers are knowledgeable, but if you are trying to sell your item, asking a potential purchaser to value your item is not a good idea. Plus, many dealers are not educated on the various types of values, including fair market value, insurance replacement cost, market value, etc.

You can hire an appraiser. For high end collections, unique items, decorative items, original artwork, period furniture, silver and other items, this is the best approach. Many appraisers provide not only written appraisals, but verbal approximations of value. A qualified appraiser can provide you with the valuation you need, plus help you understand what’s going on in the market. However, professional appraisers charge for their services. (That’s how appraisers make their living, so please don’t expect us to provide appraisals for free.) Services of a professional appraiser will normally give you all the information you need, and they will use current market information for the valuation. Appraisers often have access to multiple data bases which publish real sales prices on all types of items, and that’s how they develop values for appraisals. Be sure you find a credentialed and tested appraiser. (See my website at http://www.theauthenticappraisal.com/appraiser_selection.php for more information on how to select an appraiser.) Selecting a qualified and experienced appraiser is the best way you can insure you will receive a quality appraisal.

Local appraisal fairs are another alternative. With the popularity of Antiques Roadshow, these appraisal fairs are popping up in lots of areas. They are often fund raisers for non-profit organizations, and there is a charge associated with a valuation. Expect to pay around $10.00 for each item you would like valued. If you only need one or two items valued, this is a good approach. If you have lots of items or entire collections, you will soon be paying more than if you had hired an appraiser and paid an hourly rate. Plus, most appraisal fairs only accept items that you can easily transport and bring to the fair. One disadvantage of appraisal fairs is that often the “appraisers “ are not professional appraisers. Before you go, verify that the appraisers are credentialed appraisers, just like you would if you hire an appraiser. Remember that time is very limited in these fairs, and that the appraiser will not do any research before giving you a verbal approximation of value.

Talking about appraisal fairs, if you are near the Raleigh-Durham area, there is an upcoming appraisal fair being hosted by the Durham Regent Retirement Community. The event is scheduled for August 1 between 1:30 and 4:30, and proceeds go to purchase school supplies for under privileged children and to the local Ronald McDonald house. The location is 3007 Pickett Road in Durham North Carolina. For a $15.00 donation, you can get up to two items valued. And I am scheduled to work the appraisal fair. So, if you have silver, Chinese export porcelain, Asian bronzes, prints, paintings, and other collectibles and decorative arts, I hope to see you there!

©2009 Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM
Accredited Antique and Art Appraiser

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Raleigh Antiques Roadshow

The arrival of Antiques Roadshow to any city is always exciting and Raleigh was no exception. Not only was the show a resounding success, but records were set! The highest valuation ever presented during an Antiques Roadshow session occurred last weekend in Raleigh, NC. A four piece set of Chinese jade, from the 18th century, was valued between $700k and $1.07 million. The previous highest record was a 2008 valuation of $500,000 for a Clyfford Still abstract painting.

The carved celadon jade collection included a large bowl crafted for the Chinese emperor. The bowl was identified by markings which translated as "By Imperial Order." The owner of the jade inherited them from her father, who purchased them in China during the 1930's and 40's.

The Raleigh event also shattered another record.According to an Associated Press report, Antiques Roadshow received over 34000 ticket requests, setting another record as the highest level previously requested had been 29,000 requests. Over 5,000 people actually attended the event, bringing everything from furniture to art to arrowheads to jewelery. According to Antiques Roadshow, three segments will be developed from the filming of the Raleigh event, and they will air in 2010.

So, what does this mean for the Triangle area? From my perspective, it indicates that there is not only a huge interest in art, antiques and collectibles in central North Carolina, but it also highlighted the quality of the collections which exist in North Carolina. Other states are often cited as havens for collectors, but we now know that there are a large number of quality collections and serious collectors in North Carolina. Many residents across the state, not only in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham, collect "stuff" and I believe the upcoming episodes will illustrate just how good these collections are. When you watch the show, I think you will see a varied assortment of fabulous items...most from homes across North Carolina. So, whether you collect Chinese export porcelain, silver, art glass, pottery or postcards, you are in the company of other serious collectors across North Carolina!

If you missed Antiques Roadshow, there are other ways to have your items valued. So, check back for my next blog which will talk about having YOUR items appraised. Also, see my website at http://www.theauthenticappraisal.com/ for appriasal information.

(c)2009 Vicky Nash Shaw
Authentic Appraisal & Estate Services, LLC

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Appraisal Studies Journal Presented to North Carolina Art Museum

The Carolinas Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) recently donated a copy of the new 2009 Journal of Appraisal Studies to the North Carolina Art Museum Reference Library in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Journal is published by the Foundation for Appraisal Education, a nonprofit organization where the proceeds of the Journal are directed to appraisal educational initiatives and scholarships. The new edition contains 20 articles which focus not only on appraisal theory, but includes diverse topics such as map valuation, autograph forgeries, illustration art resources and photograph appraisals.

The presentation was made to Ms. Natalia Lonchyna, librarian of the art reference library, by art and antique appraiser Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM. Vicky is a member of the ISA Carolinas Chapter, and is a full time personal property appraiser working in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. The Journal was purchased by the ISA Chapter specifically for donation to the Art Museum Reference Library. According to Shaw, “The library’s reference collection is a great asset for collectors and researchers, and our local ISA Chapter wanted the Appraisal Journal to be part of the collection.”

The Art Reference Library of the North Carolina Museum of Art is a non-circulating research collection open to the public. According to the museum’s website, the library’s holdings exceed 37,000 volumes, and include books and exhibition catalogues. The library has a large collection of reference material on European and American art. More information on the Museum can be found on its website

The International Society of Appraisers is a professional association that requires the successful completion of specialized course work and standard examinations by their accredited and certified members. The ISA has developed the most comprehensive personal property appraisal education program in America. Vicky Nash Shaw has been an accredited member of ISA for five years. She can be reached through her website
www.TheAuthenticAppraisal.com or by phone at 919 475-6930.

Vicky Nash Shaw ©2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Taking Advantage of the Current Art Market!

Are you taking advantage of the current art market? Art collecting is a passion that many of us share, and hopefully you collect for your personal enjoyment. However, original art can also be a wise economic investment, especially over long the long term. If you can collect and enjoy original art while it appreciates in value, you certainly have a winning combination.

In today’s economy, it is no secret that difficult times are affecting art prices. The Mei Moses Fine Art Index for the first quarter has just been released, and it indicates that art prices declined 35% during the first three months of the year. According to the Financial Times Limited, the “decline accelerated as people who lost money in the financial crisis put up works for sale, often at a loss.” Even the wealthy are experiencing cash flow problems. That is reflected by collectors liquating portions of their collections and by deflated selling prices. Even corporation and museums are selling items from their collections. According to data from the Mei Moses index, contemporary and postwar art prices appear to have been hit the hardest, with works by Old Masters only being marginally impacted.

In the low to mid-range art market, this same type of trend is being seen universally in galleries and in auction houses, both regionally and nationally. Works in this range are also typically selling for 15 to 20 percent less than eighteen months ago. So, is art a wise investment? Like the stock market, unless you have a crystal ball, it is difficult to tell. There are periods in recent history where art prices certainly outperformed the stock market, as measured by comparing the Mei Moses Index to the S & P Index. Many art experts believe that art will outperform the stock index over the long run, and it is clear that the art market did not see a major decline in 2008.

What does all of this mean for the average collector or for someone beginning to acquire works of art? If you have an interest in acquiring art and have the liquid funds to do so, now is a fabulous time to buy original artwork. Good works of art in all price ranges are coming to market, and your investment will go so much further than twelve months ago. If you worry that you might pay too much, engage the services of an appraiser or consultant to advise you or act as your agent; there are deals to be had in almost all categories of art and an expert representing your interest can minimize your risk. Don’t assume that prices for all works of art reflect current market trends; there still high prices out there for the unsuspecting buyer.

But even now, when there are good buys available, remember the most important rule of collecting art. Buy what you like. Collecting art purely for investment purposes is risky and not nearly as much fun as owning art for personal enjoyment. Be selective, know current market trends, look for good value, and buy what you like. Then, you can’t go wrong!

©2009 Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA AM