Art & antiques by Dr. Lori

As Americans remember the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle at Gettysburg, I am reminded of the many objects associated with the War Between the States or as some call it when I am taping “Auction Kings” for Discovery Channel in Atlanta, Ga., the War of Northern Aggression.

I have appraised numerous pieces that have been kept, preserved and cherished by audience members attending my more than 150 antiques appraisal events every year.

I have been known to highlight the American collecting trend of the 50, 100 and 150 year cycles.

We collect the objects associated with these historic milestones.

For instance, we will remember the events surrounding the historic day when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas – fifty years ago. Objects surrounding the Kennedy administration and his untimely death will come into focus with collectors later this year. Objects that become 100 years old this year will be of interest on the auction block and in dealerships worldwide too.

Of course, the granddaddy celebration of them all in 2013 will be the memorials surrounding the battles of the Civil War, including Gettysburg and others, which took place 150 years ago.

We tend to keep objects that reach those important anniversaries among us as collectibles and this summer, Civil War collectibles will be all over the news in connection with the anniversary of the historic battle of Gettysburg.

According to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, there were more than 10,000 engagements and battles that occurred during the Civil War.

However, these battles, which occurred during 1863, have reached a historic landmark date of 150 years old this year.

Some of the battles of that fateful year include: Aldie, Bristoe Station, Chancellorsville, Chattanooga, Fort Wagner, Gettysburg, Honey Springs, Middleburg, Mine Run, Port Hudson, Raymond and Vicksburg, to name a few.

At my appraisal events worldwide, I have evaluated pieces with significant Civil War provenance including many well preserved military swords, Confederate and Union uniforms, a mourning locket with woven hair to remember a fallen soldier, canteens and utilitarian objects from the battlefield owned by troops, a field-used wooden slant top lap desk used by a general and now owned by his great-grandson, an early photograph of a soldier in uniform from Virginia, numerous letters written to loved ones at home describing life on the battlefield and in military service, a government issued horse brush with dated documents to prove its origin and intended use, military fifes and drums and much more.

For those interested in learning more about the Civil War and its rich history, I suggest a visit to one of the many battlefield sites, such as Gettysburg, for a tour. You can tour on foot or on comfortable and speedy Segways with a trained guide.

Websites galore touch upon the subject of the Civil War and provide information, historical content and interactive maps of troop movement and events.

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 www.DrLori, www.Facebook .com/DoctorLori or call 888 431-1010.

Art & antiques by Dr. Lori

On a recent episode of Discovery channel’s hit TV show, “Auction Kings,” I was asked to review, authenticate and appraise an Arabian saddle. It wasn’t just any old saddle, it was an Arabian saddle commissioned by the royal court of Morocco.

The Arabian horse is the original work horses. The Arabian is the oldest known breed of riding horse. They are a breed of incredible energy and intelligence, with a gentle disposition. Their backs are short in order to carry heavy loads and they have been the horse of choice for some of history’s heroes such as George Washington, Alexander the Great and Napoleon.

Of course, these historical figures rode other breeds of horses, too.

When compared to other breeds, the Arabians have large chests to compensate for their large lungs, an identifying characteristic. Arabians are marked by a distinctive dished profile: large, lustrous, wide-set eyes on a broad forehead, small, curved ears and large, efficient nostrils.

The Arabians were bred by the Bedouins as war horses in the vast Arabian desert and these horses could withstand travel over long distances. They could travel for long periods of time because of their large lung capacity and endurance under pressure. Arabian horses are still seen as the undisputed champion of endurance events. They are the marathon runners of the equine world.

The saddle itself was easy to identify as a saddle made for an Arabian horse. The saddle had a cantle or very high back and a pommel or front that was characteristic in size to those made specifically for Arabian horses. The saddle in question was a 20th century saddle because earlier saddles would have used goat skin or camel skin to support the stirrups and this saddle used rope.

This saddle featured a unique set of stirrups. The stirrup was one of the milestones in saddle development. The first stirrup-like object was invented in in the 2nd century B.C. Back then, the stirrup consisted of a simple leather strap in which the rider’s toe was placed.

It offered very little support to the rider. The nomadic tribes in northern China are thought to have been the inventors of the modern stirrup, but the first known representation of a rider with paired stirrups was found in China in a Jin Dynasty tomb from around 300 A.D. The stirrup appeared to be in widespread use across China by 475 A.D. After circa 475 A.D., the horse stirrup spread throughout Europe. This invention gave great support to the rider and quickly became of essential use in .

The “Auction Kings’ ” saddle had a relationship with the Arabian Horse breeders alliance, according to the auction seller. It was made on commission from HRH Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.

The King has been a great patron of the Arabian Breeders World Cup for years. The saddle was said to have been commissioned as an award for a race winner with all of the trailings attached. Such saddles typically bring $500 to $900 at auction but are far more valuable as trophies.

In addition to King Mohammed, many other celebrities rode Arabians. One noted Arabian horse enthusiast was American actor Patrick Swayze (“Dirty Dancing”).

Today, many horse lovers choose Arabians as their pet of choice. They are wonderful, impressive animals with a fascinating legacy dating back to the ancient times.

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.