If you’re a collector of art and antiques or the heir to a family estate, no doubt you’ve thought about consigning some of that property to auction. So what might be stopping you? I’ve been an appraiser for over thirty years, and I’ve helped thousands of clients successfully auction their fine tangibles.
Author Archives: Karen Keane
One of the guiding principles behind understanding the value of antiques is the notion of “good, better, best”— the idea that seemingly similar pieces can vary in quality, construction, and history. These differences often result in a wide range of prices for the same kind of item. Understanding the “good, better, best” principle, and knowing as possible about a particular piece will ensure that as a buyer, you don’t pay too much, and as a seller, you estimate your antique accurately so that it sells well at auction.
I have always been drawn to the quiet aesthetic of New England. Just down the road from Skinner’s Marlborough, Massachusetts auction gallery sits a national treasure. The Fifth Meeting House of the Unitarian First Church of Christ was designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1816. Although he is most known for his design of the State House in Boston, many view the Lancaster church as his crowning achievement.
“Fifty thousand,” came a bid from the phones. A moment later, a man in the audience shouted, “Five hundred thousand,” upping the ante tenfold. I could feel the tension in the room from my place on the auction block.