Hitting the Jackpot at Antiques Appraisal Day

Prospect Point, Niagara Falls in Winter, 1856-1860, by Jasper F. Cropsey

(Larchmont NY, May 23, 2011) The Larchmont Historical Society’s Antiques Appraisal Day has helped to unearth two valuable paintings by Jasper F. Cropsey, a 19th Century landscape painter of the Hudson River School. At an auction at Larchmont’s  Clarke Auction Gallery the “Winter Hunting Scene at Niagara Falls” fetched $552,000, and “An Autumn View of Mount Washington in New Hampshire” sold for $288,000.

The owner, who has asked not to be identified, was settling the estate of his mother who had died last year. Anticipating that the paintings were of modest value, he brought them to the LHS Antiques Appraisal Day for appraisal. One of the expert appraisers at the event, David Bahssin of Larchmont’s Post Road Gallery was initially skeptical because of the dates of the paintings, but teamwork with Ron Clarke of the Clarke Auction Gallery the puzzle of the auhenticity of the paintings was soon resolved. However, the market value of the paintings was not determined until the subsequent auction.

Larchmont Historical Society events are of consistent local interest, but rarely make a splash on the national and international scene. This time, however, the news of the unusual discovery and the news of the subsequent auction prices was widely reported:

So how did Larchmont’s Historical Society’s local Antiques Appraisal Day beat out all but one of the appraisals in fifteen seasons of the PBS Series Antiques Road Show, which lists on it’s website one appraisal in excess of $600,000: 18th-Century Qianlong Jade Collection from Qing Dynasty? According to Larchmont Historical Society President Colette Rodbell, “It’s all about planning, teamwork, Board members with exceptional skills, and partnerships with local antiques experts like the Clarke Auction Gallery and the Post Road Gallery.

Last year, the Larchmont Historical Society launched our first “Antiques Appraisal Day”.   The event proved to be a wonderful success, with more than 80 enthusiastic participants  attending,  eager to learn the value of their treasured art, jewelry, furniture and decorative objects from a panel of expert appraisers. One member brought an antique globe which turned our to be worth more than $20,000!

Autumn In America 1860, but Jasper F. Cropsey

This year,  LHS partnered with the Clarke Auction Gallery, and once again we offered guests the chance to assess the history and value of their antiques. We expanded the program into a two-day event. To generate interest, we held a lecture titled “What’s Hot? What’s Not” at the Larchmont Yacht Club.   It featured  an open forum panel discussion with seasoned experts, exploring the state of the antiques market today,  and answering questions about their given expertise, as well as inquiries about antiques in general.   The panel was moderated by Tom Curran of Clarke Auction Gallery.

The next day was appraisal day at Clarke  Auction Gallery, from 12-4PM.  Certified dealers and appraisers were on hand in the fields of Asian Art and Antiquities, European and International Fine Art, Jewelry, Silver, Traditional American Antiques, Paintings and Sculpture, and the Decorative Arts.   A fee of $20 was charged for the first appraised item, $10.00 for each additional item, with a maximum of three objects being appraised per person.