Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori – Uncovering Buried Treasure with Dr. Lori

| January 1, 2018

Dr. Lori entertains her audience as she appraises an artwork.

Dr. Lori entertains her audience as she appraises an artwork.

Dr. Lori Verderame is an antiques appraiser, internationally syndicated columnist and author, and award-winning TV personality who stars on History’s The Curse of Oak Island and Discovery’s Auction Kings. With a Ph.D. from Penn State University and experience appraising 20,000 antiques every year, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events to worldwide audiences. call 888-431-1010 or visit

By Lori Verderame

Interesting appraisals at her recent local appearance

As the star appraiser on  History channel’s No. 1 show, The Curse of Oak Island, I spend a lot of time identifying buried treasure found on a small secluded island off Nova Scotia. At my antiques appraisal events where audience members bring me their art, antiques, and collectibles to review and evaluate in the greater Houston area at home and garden shows, I uncover the true stories behind objects from many historical time periods.  Like Oak Island treasures, sometimes folks’ valuable antiques are buried in plain sight.

Recently at my Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show held in The Woodlands, I showed audience members how to spot a fake and how to identify a fantastic antique or work of art. Complete with my own Houston Astros baseball cap in support of the World Series winners, I taught my audiences about the ways to identify valuable antiques. Whether I am appraising pottery, paintings, or pearls, I like to teach my audiences about what is little-known about various aging objects of all types. The useful information that I offer has been known to help people as they downsize or sell unwanted objects for
top dollar.

Many interesting objects were appraised during my seminars. A couple brought a lovely pair of Sioux Native Amer­ican beaded dolls to my appraisal show. The dolls had been handed down in their family and they were interested to know their value and origin. The first thing that I did when evaluating them was to assess the type of beadwork. The Native American tribes were very adept at beadwork; however, the patterns of the beadwork typically reveal which tribe made the dolls. The leather was in good condition which means that the dolls were probably not stored away somewhere hot like an attic or damp like a basement. The beadwork was colorful and very well executed, which spoke to the quality of the object. The two dolls dated to the early 1900s and were worth nearly $1,000 on the market today. Remember, when it comes to leather, dryness is the culprit.

A young man who enjoys yard sale shopping told me that he was learning more and more about 19th and 20th century art by reading my blog and visiting museums. He explained that on occasion, he would buy a painting or print at a local yard sale if the price was right. He knew that he had a winner when he recognized the butterfly mark on a landscape print for sale at a local yard sale. That butterfly mark was the famous mark of American expatriate artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (of Whistler’s Mother fame).

According to this young man, for just $5, that print was not going to stay at the yard sale for long. I was happy to hear that members of my audience were learning to recognize such visual clues when shopping for famous artwork. I authenticated the print by Whistler, because the mark is not the only thing that lends credibility to an old print, and dated it to the late 19th century. Then I revealed that this savvy shopper had a work of art worth $1,500. Prints hate direct sunlight. Keep your prints framed to protect them and hang them in a dark area of your  home.

A fine painting of a Formula 1 race car driver was probably the most valuable object of the weekend at my show, worth upwards of $25,000 to $30,000. Joseph Kraham, the artist, uses acrylic paints on Lego tiles in the colorful, pointillist method to create fascinating works of art. I was happy to view the original portrait in person.

Two Sioux Native American beaded dolls dolls dated to the early 1900s and were worth nearly $1,000.

Two Sioux Native American beaded dolls dolls dated to the early 1900s and were worth nearly $1,000.

Uncovering Buried Treasure with Dr. Lori

Category: Dr. Lori Arts & Antiques

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