Whether it's a family heirloom of unknown provenance and value, or a treasure found in a rummage sale or a basement, a team of experts will be on hand to offer verbal appraisals for a wide range of antiques and collectibles. Driving around the countryside, shopping at flea markets and garage sales, or dusting off a long-forgotten find left in the attic, may yield a big profit down the road. Every year, appraisers at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum uncover precious collectibles once thought to be of little or no value.
"Experts at the Antiques Appraisal Weekend see a full range of antiques and collectibles," said event co-chairman Joe Passero. "From a watch once owned by a prominent statesman to a Raggedy Ann doll collection worth thousands of dollars, the AAW continues to be a recognized venue to evaluate one's precious possessions and uncover treasures, while supporting a National Historic Landmark."
Appraisals will be $15 for a small or medium size item and $40 for larger antiques such as furniture, (maximum of three appraisals). One free $15 appraisal will be available for anyone who becomes a new member of the museum, (an annual individual membership is $35). Antiques Appraisals proceeds will benefit the museum.
Sponsored by Klaff's and People's United Bank, the LMMM Antiques Appraisal Weekend will include: Kathy Braswell, owner of Braswell Galleries, Christine Downing of C. Downing Auctions; Terry Eletheriou; James Lipton; Kevin McClellan; Gil Rodriguez, owner of Gilann Books; and Jeff Roseman of David Harvey Jewelers.
"When I think of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, I am reminded of its irreplaceable beauty and unsurpassed craftsmanship" said co-chair Linda Fontaine.
"It will be the ideal venue for the stunning vintage and designer jewelry on sale this year."
About the appraisers
Braswell Galleries started in 1958 when Harvey Braswell opened a small used furniture store and auction house in Amarillo, Texas. A strong southern antique market encouraged Braswell to acquire his inventory from the Northeast and eventually the family came to the New York area.
In the mid 1980s, Kathy and Gary Braswell opened Braswell Galleries Auction House in Norwalk. Braswell Galleries relocated to Stamford in 2001. Since returning to Norwalk in January 2008, it has grown from a small local auction house to one of the Northeast's largest antiques and auctions centers. Braswell Galleries Antiques and Estate Center is now located in The Old Norwalk Lace Factory at 1 Muller Ave.
Stamford resident Downing grew up in the antiques business, courtesy of an aunt in the business, and has been buying and selling antiques and attending shows since early childhood. She held her first tag sale at the age of nine and hasn't looked back since.
Downing has appeared on HGTV's hit show Cash in the Attic as the antiques' appraiser and on HGTV's satellite radio station, discussing various aspects of collecting antiques and collectibles.
Eletheriou started collecting and dealing in Japanese swords in 1980. From there, he moved onto all forms of Japanese art: Japanese prints, metalwork, lacquer, Satsuma, porcelain, and cloisonne. Eletheriou studied Japanese at the Japan Society and studied the art of the sword at the Kenzan Institute.
He deals in fine Oriental and European porcelains and art, and exhibits at three major antique shows during the year.
As the owner of Appraisers Associates Inc., and a full time professional appraiser practicing for more than 40 years, Lipton has performed thousands of appraisals, spent countless hours researching and writing, and advised and consulted on millions of dollars worth of art and antiques on behalf of clients and their families.
At a recent appraisal at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, a local resident showed Lipton a Russian silver and enamel letter opener in a fitted box. Lipton was certain that it was not an antique.
The client said he had other similar pieces and went home to retrieve them. Upon his return he put on the table a small item that Lipton identified as a silver and white guilloche enamel, made in St. Petersburg, c. 1910, which would fetch around $50,000 at auction.
For the past three decades, McClellan has been a significant fixture in the business of appraising antiques. After working for Fairfield County Estate Liquidators for six years, he opened Kevin McClellan Appraiser and Auctioneer in 1983 and established himself as a reliable source of verifiable valuation services for bank trust departments, estate and divorce attorneys, local historical societies and individuals. He currently works as an expert appraiser for Hiden Galleries, Genesis Antiques and Greenwich Living Design Center.
Rodriguez opened Gilann Books of Darien in 1975. It was a summer bookshop at first, but due to its success, the business eventually expanded to a shop opened year-round that took Rodriguez to antiquarian book and ephemera fairs locally and nationally. Although his specialty is art and illustrated books, Rodriguez deals in all kinds of books.
Roseman is the president of David Harvey Jewelers of Norwalk and Darien. As a jeweler for 32 years, he specializes in design and estate jewelry restoration.
For a complete list of appraisers and information on their schedule at the mansion, visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.
About the jewelers
Located in Darien, A Silver Lining has more than 40 years of experience featuring vintage jewelry and silver, as well as unique, collectable pieces.
Its eclectic merchandise spans a few centuries to include Late Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Retro and Modern Contemporary. From Trafalgar to Jensen, A Silver Lining features crystal, pearl, rhinestone and antique ivory jewelry by well-known designers.
Founded by French native Jani Caroli, Paris Couture Jewelry is based in Norwalk, and features wearable art, and one-of-a kind jewelry by fashion designers imported to the U.S from France, and under exclusive representation.
Caroli grew up in the historic city of Marseille and studied architecture in France, before coming to the U.S. Prior to founding Paris Couture Jewelry and becoming the U.S. liaison to the Didier Peiro Collection, she owned a successful interior design, home furnishings and antiques firm in Greenwich.
Cox has a flair for color, which inspires her, and expresses one's individual style in a memorable way. The process for Cox begins with a color story inspired by a combination of fashion trends and authentic vibrant stones from around the world. Since each stone is hand selected, each piece reflects unique color and shape combinations.