Upcoming Auctions . . .

Quinn’s Auction Gallery of Falls Church Virginia will hold an antique and fine art auction on Saturday December 4, 2010.  The auction begins at 11 am and features fine and decorative arts, African folk art, Chinese snuff bottles and fine American paintings and artwork. 

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Bella Villa

Aldie, Virginia

Diamonds & Rust

Aldie, Virginia

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Newsletter 10-23-2009
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Newsletter 01-15-2010

If it’s Old It Must Be Valuable

I was reading an article recently on MSNBC.com about things that “you should leave to the pros.” One of the things they talked about was the pricing of heirlooms and how most of us don’t have the slightest idea of how much something might be worth.  I have seen this plenty of times when I hunt through yard sales and garage sales.  In most cases, people selling and most of the time people buying have no clue what something might be worth.

Recently, we wrote an article about the new TV shows on the History Channel, American Pickers and Pawn Stars and on these shows you always see people bring in “old stuff” that they think valuable.  In some cases it is and in some cases it isn’t, but the bottom line is that the people bringing it in do not have a clue.  Many people incorrectly think that if it’s old, it must be valuable, and of course valuable can also be a relative term.  If it is a family heirloom, it may be valuable to you, but no one else. 

Valuable to someone else depends on several factors. One of the factors may be how rare the item is; were the items massed produced and are there many still on the market, or was it one of a kind?  Provenance may be another important factor.  Who owned it, which family did it come from, and was it part of history?  Then condition of the item comes in to play.  In a recent auction a Honus Wagner baseball card sold at auction for about $262,000.  In 2008, a Honus Wagner baseball card sold at auction for about $791,000 and another sold for $1.62 million.


Shop Antiques & Collectibles for the Holiday Season . . .

The Holiday Antiques Show will take place on Friday – Sunday November 26-28, 2010 at the Kingsmill Marriott in Williamsburg, Virginia.  This antiques and collectibles show attracts more than thirty three dealers and hundreds of visitors from the Mid Atlantic region and features period and country furniture, antique lighting, prints, paintings, fine ceramics, vintage art glass, estate and antique jewelry as well as antique silver.

November 26-28, 2010, Antiques Extravaganza, LJVM Coliseum Annex, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

November 27-28, 2010, Syracuse Thanksgiving Antique Show, New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, New York

November 27-28, 2010, National Capital Winter Antiques Show, The Lab School, Washington, DC

December 3-4, 2010, Leesport Antiques Flea Market, Gernants Church Road, Leesport, Pennsylvania

The Christmas Antique Show will take place on Saturday & Sunday December 5 & 6, 2010 at the Old Turnpike School in Oldwick New Jersey. This is their seventh annual event and the antique show and benefits the Tewksbury Historical Society. The Christmas Antique Show attracts fifty five quality dealers.

A great place to shop for that special gift for someone this holiday season is in Middleburg Virginia and in particular Penny Farthing Antiques and the Middleburg Antique Emporium.  These two antique malls carry fine American and European antique furniture, paintings, clocks, and silver.  Both are committed to 100% customer satisfaction.


What is an Heirloom?

If you look it up in Webster, the word heirloom had in the past a very official and legal sounding definition. Nowadays an heirloom is normally something that has been in a family for many generations and has been handed down by family members as time passes.  In most cases an heirloom can have more sentimental value than monetary value; in some cases it has both. Heirlooms can be just about anything handed down; antique furniture, jewelry, paintings and artwork as well as ceramics, glass and even bibles and books.

A recent story in the news told of a centuries old violin that was stolen from a woman in Oregon.  Described in the article as a family heirloom given to the owner by a great aunt, the violin had been appraised at $50,000.  Another story recently told of a bravery medal discovered by police at a pawn shop in Louisiana.  It turns out the medal was awarded to a police officer in North Wales over seventy years ago.  Although no one can put a monetary value on the medal, it certainly had sentimental value to the family of the former officer.


Dumb Mikey Paints His House

Dumb Mikey decided he was going to save some money by painting his house himself, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend.  The first day, he paints the front of his house and all is well.  The second day, he paints the left side of the house.  The third day he starts the back of the house and the fourth day, he has to continue with the back of the house.


Upcoming Estate Sales

Estate Sale on Friday November 26, 2010, 66 Parkridge Drive, Bryn Mawr, PA: Vintage Glass, Teddy Bears, Furniture: 610-446-0504

Estate Sale on Friday & Saturday November 26 & 27, 2010, 701 Bashford Lane, Alexandria, VA:  Gold Jewelry, Sterling, Antique Furniture: 703-385-5452

Estate Sale on Sunday November 28, 2010, 12 Merrivalle Road, Great Neck, NY: High end English & French Furniture & Paintings: 631-691-5836


What was the difference in the Honus Wagner baseball cards?  First and foremost, rarity and condition and the same would hold true for any antique or collectible, whether it be a baseball card, an antique chair or a piece of jewelry found in a trunk at grandma’s house.  An old piece of jewelry may be just that, an old piece of jewelry and worth zero dollars, but then again, it may be worth thousands.  So if you if you want to know if something is valuable, as the article said, leave it to the pros.


Brief History of George Nakashima

George Nakashima was born in 1905 in Spokane, Washington and is widely considered one of the topfurniture designers and maker of the 20th Century. After attending the University of Washington and later receiving a Masters degree from M.I.T., Nakashima traveled to France and later to Japan. It was there that he met Antonin Raymond, who is well known for his collaborations with Frank Lloyd Wright.  Under his tutelage Nakashima became engaged in the study of Japanese design. After returning to the U.S. in 1940 however, Nakashima’s life took a detour when during World War II, he was put in a Japanese internment camp.

Some would argue that the detour in the camp was not all bad, as this is where Nakashima was first introduced to making furniture and where his passion grew full-fledged. While in the camp he studied the art of making furniture with traditional Japanese tools and the techniques used by the grand masters. In 1943, Antonin Raymond came into his life again; after Nakashima was released from the camp and moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania where he opened his first studio. Nakashima was one of the finest craftsmen of his time and today his works go at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although he passed away, his work continues through his daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall, who now runs the studio, still situated in New Hope.

Newsletter 05-15-2010

His girlfriend is dismayed and asks him, “the first day you started out like gangbusters and finished the whole front of the house, what happened the last few days, did you lose your motivation?”  To which Mikey replies, “no, it just gets harder every day because I have to walk further and further to the paint can.”

Antique Show of the Month
Christmas Antique Show 
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Rare Pink Diamond Sets Record Auction Price

It weighed in at 24.78 carats and set a record price for a single piece of jewel. Sotheby’s in the Netherlands this week sold a rare pink diamond for more than $46 million which surpassed by pre-auction estimates of $27-38 million.  The diamond is an emerald cut gemstone that was once owned by Harry Winston and is considered one of the rarest in the world.  A blue diamond sold this year at Sotheby’s for $6.3 million.

January 2011 Antique Shows 
February 2011 Antique Shows 
March 2011 Antique Shows 
Newsletter November 26, 2010
Heirlooms, Pink Diamond, Nakashima