Do You Have a Treasure in Your Attic?

Saturday, October 27, 10 am to 4 pm
Two items for $30, plus $10 for each additional item to a maximum of five. Appointments are required. Call 203-222-1424.

 If you’ve always wondered about the value of that old ladder-back chair from Great-Aunt Agatha, here’s your chance to find out. Dust it off and bring it to WHS’s version of “The Antiques Road Show”.  Professional appraiser James Lipton of Easton will be on hand to offer an opinion. Over a 40-year career, Lipton, the owner of Appraisers Associates, Inc., says he has “consulted on millions of dollars’ worth of art and antiques on behalf of my clients and their families.”“Working with museums, corporate collections and private individuals, I have handled items of value across almost all categories and periods of art, antiques and collectibles, from Egyptian antiquities to mid-century modernism,” he says.

One of Lipton’s favorite projects involved “a pair of small Aesthetic Movement chairs” found in the kitchen of a Connecticut client. The woman wanted $100 for the chairs, which were piled with newspapers and used as a sleeping place for her cats, but Lipton thought they might be the work of New York brothers Gustave and Christian Herter and worth considerably more.

The Herters had produced pieces in the late 19th century for Guilded Age clients like the Vanderbilts and J.P Morgan, and they were big ticket items.

Lipton got lucky going through a book filled with pictures of New York City mansions, where he found pictures of identical chairs in the living room of beer baron Jacob Ruppert. The photos identified the chairs as the work of the Herter brothers.

With the photos in hand, Lipton persuaded Christie’s auction house to include the chairs in its winter auction. Happily, the chairs, once used as a cat bed, were auctioned to an anonymous bidder for $204,000. Mr. Lipton will appraise two items for $30, plus $10  for each additional item to a maximum of five.