Art & antiques by Dr. Lori

Tulsa, Okla.: I was rendered speechless – a first for me – when I saw an amazing Albrecht Durer print from the 1550s among the objects on my stage for me to appraise. It was a magnificent piece of Renaissance art produced by the artist best known as the “German Leonardo.”

The lovely owner told me that it was a gift from her deceased friend who collected old master prints. And, a masterpiece it was – worth $75,000.

St. Louis, Mo.: Seven-year-old Corinne wanted me to appraise her cellphone to see if her mother loved her or her nine-year-old sister more Truth be told, these sisters both had a better cell phone than I did.

Houston, Texas: A lawyer named Ray and his wife Robin were having a heated discussion over a beat-up upholstered chair that Ray bought at a yard sale. He wanted to try a new hobby – furniture re-upholstery – so he stored the chair in their garage in anticipation of starting the project. Robin, fed up with the situation that left her car outside, told him to start the re-upholstery project or trash the chair. So, Ray started ripping off the old upholstery only to find two pieces of cardboard inside the back of the chair with a work of art sandwiched inbetween them. The work of art was brought to me for evaluation in Houston. It was a French Impressionist pastel drawing by Edgar Degas depicting ballet dancers worth $100,000.

Baltimore, Md.: A US Airways flight attendant, Laura, brought an old radio in fair condition with Disney characters (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”) on it from the 1940s to my event.

Another one like it had sold for $11,500 in excellent condition. I told Laura that her Disney radio was worth $6,500.

Louisville, Ky.: A 30-something year old guy named Paul who could have passed for an NFL linebacker was supporting his grandmother and extended family after grandma’s farm went into foreclosure. He took the weathervane off of the barn and brought it to me to see if it had any value. Paul started to cry when I told him that the 19th century copper weathervane was worth $15,000 and would help get the family back on their feet again.

Ft. Myers, Fla.: A woman paid $1 at a yard sale for a drawing of an angel. Little did she know that drawing was sketched by the court artist to King Louis XV in the mid 1750s. Betty brought it to my appraisal event and I told her it was authentic, signed, dated and worth $40,000.

Omaha, Neb.: A gentleman had an early 1800s good luck charm that had a provenance linking it to Napoleon Bonaparte. It was a jewel encrusted object in the form of a crystal sphinx that was like the one that the French Emperor was holding in a famous portrait of Napoleon. The owner, a golf pro, traded the talisman for a set of golf clubs.

I can safely say that I have been appraising people’s things at a rate of approximately 20,000 objects a year for nearly two decades. I have seen it all – across America and beyond.

When it comes to art and antiques, the stories are just as fabulous as the people and the objects that accompany them.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide. Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s “Auction Kings.” Visit, or call 888 431-1010.