I collapse in bed on the verge of a coma after day one of my two-day estate sale. All that day and the next, when faced with selling my parents' antiques and finer furniture, I was caught in the crosshairs, stuck at the intersection of clearing the house in a few days so we could fix it up to sell, and honoring the value of my parents' treasured belongings.
In a panic, I'd emailed an antiques appraiser from PBS's Antiques Roadshow. (I had an in.) I sent photos of the antiques I was most unsure about for guidance on what they should sell for.
The morning after the sale, and another night of angst-filled furniture dreams, I hear from Gary Sullivan, one of Antiques Roadshow's featured appraisers who specializes in high-end antiques.
I didn't immediately tell Sullivan I no longer had some of the items he'd appraised. I waited until after his verdict:
A French side table is perhaps the piece I'm fondest of not only because it was once my nightstand, but also because I love its Frenchness. The piece has curved, carved legs, a marble top and a marble-lined cabinet. I had no idea if the piece was worth $100 or $1,100 today. I did know that if I lived within driving distance, and not 3,000 miles away, I'd take it home.
Sullivan said: The piece was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, in the Louis XV style. The item would sell at auction for about $200.
A retail store would sell it for $350 to $400.
Despite buyer interest, I did not sell this at the estate sale. But after talking to Sullivan, I called one interested dealer and offered it for $200 firm. He agreed, but the morning he was to come get it, he changed his mind.
I think he expected me to lower my price, but I didn't. I'm just not ready to let go.
Contact Marni Jameson through www.marnijameson.com.
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