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ABOUT ANTIQUES by Julie McClure

Julie McClure has 44 years of experience as an appraiser and conducting estate sales. She is a member of the Appraisers Association of America. Her company, Appraisals and Sales by Julie McClure, Inc., is based in the Sarasota Bradenton area but does cover the entire Tampa Bay area and the lower west coast of Florida.

Starting in 2006, Julie was a columnist for "The Herald". Her column ran weekly in the Home Style section and was titled "About Antiques". The column provided readers with answers to their questions about their antiques. The Herald no longer provides a link to the articles, but you can view copies of the first few columns by selecting the dates in the left side bar.

Appraising Antiques

Appraising is not an exact science. At best, it is an educated estimate on what it will cost to replace an item or the reasonable expectation of what an item will bring at auction, tag sale or private sale.

Those values do not come out of thin air, but by looking at auction results, talking with dealers, examining eBay results, reading trade and special interest publications, visiting antique shops and shows, and consulting price guides. The purpose of the appraisal is of paramount importance. There are two kinds of appraisals:

  • An insurance or replacement value appraisal establishes the retail price should the item be lost or damaged in shipping, moving, fIre, theft or natural disasters.
  • A fair market value appraisal is the price agreed upon between a seller and buyer. By federal and Florida state law, values for estate purposes and divorce settlements must be at fair market value.

In this column I'll use the replacement value. If you watch the "Antiques Road- show" on PBS, you will notice their experts use replacement values, too.

To evaluate your item as well as provide you information about its age and origin, I will need a photograph and your name, street address, email address, and phone number with the best time to reach you. We will not publish your name, just your initials and city or neighborhood of res idence. You can e-mail this to me at McClurescolumn@AOL.com or mail it to me at the Bradenton Herald (address below). If you mail in a photograph and want it back, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

  • I need the following information:
  • Furniture: wood if known, width, depth and height, and signatures or makers marks, a view of the back ifpossible or the sides with the drawers pulled out.
  • China, silver, bronze, and glass: size, a picture or drawing of any manufacturing marks.Paper and textiles: size and signatures.
  • Paintings: size without the frame (stretcher size), signatures on the front or the back. Please include any other information relevant to your item, such as condition,repairs, when and where purchased if known, how many pieces are included in a set, prior appraisal information, or anything you think would be helpful.

I do NOT appraise coins, stamps, antiquities, jewelry or ethnological art like preColumbian artifacts.