Making an opportunity of adversity.
Finding out about the heirlooms in our home is one of those little jobs we put on the long finger and end up never doing. Consequently, we don’t get the benefit of the valuable item and we end up hanging on to objects we don’t like, just in case. And yet, the process of finding out is simpler than you may imagine. Better still you can get bored, house-bound children involved.
So, dig out the dusty vase, pretty (or ugly) painting; great uncle John’s medals; or the big album of postcards from the attic or from under the stairs. Using your phone, take clear photos in natural light. Take one photo of the entire object and another of any signature, maker’s mark or label. Next, measure the object, it can be difficult to judge size from a photo. If it’s a picture in a frame measure the picture only. Next email the photos, dimensions and any pertinent information regarding the object to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll look at the photographs and respond by email with an estimate of what they could be expected to realise at auction. Some objects, unfortunately, will be of very little value but there will also be some which exceed expectations! Remember, any valuations will be subject to inspection of the object, as photographs can be deceptive.
Our coronavirus-delayed Collector’s Cabinet auction includes a very early and extremely rare map of Ireland by Abraham Ortelius, lot 14, €2,500-€3,000, which I spotted in the background of a photograph of a not very valuable Chinese vase!