Sunday, February 17, 2013
Dr. Lori’s antiques appraisal can sometimes break hearts and make millionaires.
At my events, I cut to the core. No nonsense, no delicate high-brow vocabulary, no malarkey. I tell it like it is. If you have a piece of junk, I tell you. If you spent too much money on something, I tell you. If you are hoping to become of millionaire on a collection of Pez dispensers, I tell you that it’s not happening in this lifetime. I have been known to break a heart or two and I have been known to reveal that the ugly lamp you have can make you a millionaire in the antiques market. And, I reveal my faults too—like my well-documented and obvious (particularly on my thighs and hips) addiction to chocolate bars. My antiques appraisal shows—presented more than 150 times every year-are funny and frank. I have been told by my audience …
Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Palmer Museum boasts one of the best private collections of American art – on or off any college campus.
I know from personal experience that the exhibition currently on view at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art demonstrates works of art from one of the best private collections of American art anywhere —certainly on a university campus. This collection was amassed privately by longtime Penn State arts patrons and community philanthropists, James and Barbara Palmer. While parts of the collection have been viewed by the public on many occasions at museums and art institutions both far and wide, this local exhibition showcases a portion of the major gift of art that the Palmers have made to Penn State University. As a Penn Stater, I recall that the Palmers’ door was always open to scholars, art enthusiasts, museum patrons, fellow collectors, …
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Dr. Lori shares tips on taking care that your antique timepiece keeps running like ... clockwork.
For many of us, the sound of a familiar clock tick reminds us of home. Grandfather or tall case clocks offer some of the loveliest of chimes ranging from St. Michaels to Westminster. The serene ticking and tocking of many clocks provides comfort. And, clocks have personalities like late 19th Century mantle clocks, 1950s souvenir clocks from various locales or brass carriage clocks. For instance, my mother has a circa 1960s Seth Thomas clock made in Connecticut that we lovingly refer to as “time bomb”. We call it that because it sounds like a time bomb. We used to announce the time around our house with the quip, “Time bomb says 8:30 AM.” While all clocks have a rhythm or beat (a tick and a tock), my mom’s Seth Thomas clock certainly had a …
Sunday, December 30, 2012
By the 1900s, over 400-million wallpapers were being sold worldwide, some of which command high prices on the antiques market.
With today’s interest in vintage interior design concepts, wallpaper featuring old style imagery is making a huge comeback. Wallpaper has developed as a decorative art form which is easily changed as the styles change. Many of us are interested in sprucing up the place around the holidays so installing new or even old wallpaper can be a fun redecorating project. Dating as far back as the early days of decorative papyrus papermaking in ancient Egypt, wallpaper as we know it has evolved over time. The Chinese first glued rice paper to walls around 200 BC. By the 12th century AD, wallpaper had spread throughout Europe. Some believe that wallpaper’s imitative character — trying to look like something it is not such as a fine textile like …
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Dr. Lori reminds us that some of our most cherished holiday scents have roots in art history.
Along with festive sights, a major part of the holidays is aromatic smells. From evergreens to the holiday meal, the holidays offer a feast for the eyes and for the nose. Some of the most popular scents derive from holiday decorations like fruit wreaths, citrus pomanders, and evergreen garlands. The models for these luscious holiday elements all have roots in art history. The works of art by the Renaissance artisan and master, Luca della Robbia served as the impetus for today’s version of the holiday fruit wreath. Aptly called the della Robbia wreath, fruit wreaths decorate homes and hearths all over the world. Della Robbia’s 15th Century architectural medallions were often highlighted with fruit wreaths and decorative garlands of green …
Sunday, December 16, 2012
As 'highly sought after collectibles,' Dr. Lori takes a look at Christmas Cards from the President and family over the years.
President Ulysses S. Grant made Christmas Day (Dec. 25) a national holiday in 1870. From that point forward, a Christmas card from the White House was a special keepsake. While these cards are highly sought after collectibles, these coveted Christmas cards are rare and do not come to the antiques and collectibles market without a high sales value. Here is a look at some of the facts surrounding the official holiday card from the President of the United States. President Truman took office after President Roosevelt’s death in April of 1945. As World War II came to an end and Christmas of 1945 was upon the nation, the mood was ripe for a great big holiday celebration. The Truman White House sent out official, yet conservative White House …
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Dr. Lori provides tips and methods on keeping your antiques in tip-top condition.
Across the country, many people that attend my antiques appraisal events are shocked to hear about some of the little known methods used in major museums to preserve and protect precious art and antiques. While museums make a long-term commitment to preserving and protecting objects in their care to educate the public, most of us are equally committed to keeping our family heirlooms and keepsakes in good condition in order to retain their value. Hands off For instance, the oils on your hands and the hydrogen sulfide compounds in the air cause silver to tarnish and will leave a permanent mark on your valuable silver pieces. Signs that read “Do not touch” seem extreme but necessary when objects are on display in museums. When it comes to …
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Dr. Lori suggests that visiting a museum will help you get to better know your arts and antiques.
On more than one occasion, I have been known to advise people that if you want to learn about art and antiques, you need to visit a museum, and another, and another. Here is an update on what’s up in the fascinating world of museums. Two new Museums open in Vegas Neon Museum is the place where large scale signs are on display. These signs, once the objects of the Las Vegas, NV, skyline, are now symbols of the way life used to be on the famous strip. There are more than 150 neon signs that capture the high-lights (emphasis on the lights) of Las Vegas including the original 80 feet high Sahara sign and the Silver Slipper’s famous high heel shoe sign. Las Vegas is also home to the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, …
Sunday, November 18, 2012
For those that love the game, they can see football’s ongoing history at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Dr. Lori
Sunday, November 18, 2012
If you like vintage architecture from the 1960s, you’ll like the surroundings of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The building was ultra-modern in its day with its interior spiral ramp (like the one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City), glass curtain wall (a nod to the urban architecture of Mies van der Rohe) and football inspired roofline indicative of the mid-century modern style of American architecture. Canton, Ohio was chosen as the site for the Hall of Fame for many reasons. However, we focus on football’s legacy there as opposed to some other locale because of the Native American athlete named Jim Thorpe who signed a football contract there. Thorpe, the star of the 1912 Olympic …
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Dr. Lori, in this second of a two-part series, continues the historical tour of the White House, highlighting when it was burnt in the War of 1812 and the redecoration styles of Jacqueline Kennedy.
The White House was designed by James Hoban, an Irish born architect. He won a competition organized by President George Washington in 1792. The inspiration for the White House was based on a villa in Dublin, Ireland called Leinster House. The building was completed in 1794. Today, the White House is held as property #1 in the National Park Service’s hierarchy. President Thomas Jefferson made changes to the White House when he assumed the presidency. While James Madison was President from 1809 to 1817, the White House was burned by the British during the War of 1812. Hoban was invited to Washington to restore the White House. After this re-construction was complete, the famous building was painted its characteristic white and thereafter …