Art and antiques by Dr. Lori

Have you ever spent a Saturday morning going to yard sales?

Here are some tips for making the most of a yard sale shopping spree.

Don’t forget the cash

Yard sales are not like a quick trip to the convenience store.

You will need more than just your keys, cell phone and credit card.

You will need coins, money in small denominations and an open mind in order to take home the best from a yard sale.

Don’t force a yard sale seller to break a $100 dollar bill, it could be the end of your negotiations to get a bargain.

Don’t sell everything

Some things aren’t supposed to be sold on the front lawn.

Don’t sell original art, jewelry, solid wood furniture or precious metals at a yard sale.

These objects need a strong market to reap their true value.

There are not enough people shopping at a local yard sale to attract high prices that these objects deserve. Yard sales are not the place where you will get big bucks for your heirlooms.

Don’t get up early

I have made it a lifelong rule that there is no good reason, other than a house fire, to get up before 8 a.m. Plain and simple, don’t get up at the crack of dawn to try to beat everyone to a yard sale.

You won’t miss a thing.

Shop at lunch

You can get the best prices around lunchtime as most yard sale hosts are ready to call it quits. By noon, sellers are exhausted.

They have been up since the crack of dawn putting stuff out for the sale and the morning is the busiest time for them.

By lunch time, they don’t care what you pay for that Wedgewood cachet pot as long as you take it with you. It is a great time to negotiate or even get extra stuff for free.

Tag it

Some things should be tagged and some things like oversized items should be left untagged to leave room to negotiate with a potential buyer.

Some people like to have a $1 table or a $5 table at their yard sale, but this opens up the temptation for some buyers to get a bargain price just by moving an item from a higher priced table onto a lower priced table.

Don’t buy damaged stuff

Condition is a key to value.

If you pick up a completely tattered linen from a yard sale thinking that it is some great 19th-century quilt made by a group of Amish seamstresses, you probably are paying hard earned money for the same rag that you’d let your husband use to wax the car.

Just because it’s someone else’s tattered piece, doesn’t make it a wonderful antique.

Don’t fantasize about a yard sale find.

If a yard sale item is in poor condition, leave it on the lawn.

Don’t buy parts

I always say that buying parts is for auto mechanics, not yard sale shoppers.

Don’t buy incomplete sets or games with missing pieces at yard sales. Buy objects with all of their original parts and their original boxes whenever possible.

Instruction booklets, packaging and original boxes increases the value of a board game by as much as 15 percent.

Don’t let it go until you know what it’s worth

As an antiques appraiser with decades of market and appraisal experience, I know that most hosts don’t bother to find out what their objects are worth before they schlep them from the attic or basement out to the front lawn.

Do your homework and enjoy yard sale season.

Celebrity 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.

Art and antiques by Dr. Lori

I met a client during an in-home appraisal evaluation session who had raised six sons in a house with a pristine, fragile and very valuable collection of antique glassware. Her ability to have boys share a house with fragile stemware prompted me to share my tips for protecting your valuables.

Valuable objects – art, antiques and collectibles – have to live in a stable environment in order to remain in good condition. Here are some tips for keeping your home and your stuff in tip top, clutter-free shape.

Do serious cleaning first. Clean up the kind of dirt that comes in from outside like mud on your shoes, germs that can grow if you leave food out overnight, and the like. Clean it up.

Quick pick-me-up

How do I achieve this marvel of home cleanliness? About 10 minutes before I head off to bed, I do a quick clean up: Load the dishwasher, put away that jacket that I tossed on a chair when I had to take a phone call, put my gym shoes in the closet, etc. I don’t go full force. I just do a few little things to keep the house in order.

The next morning, I find the house is in reasonably good shape. This nighttime trick prevents the clutter from getting out of hand. When you have a big mountain of cleaning to do, it can be overwhelming. Tidy up!

If you have art or antiques in your home, these objects probably have a regular place where they reside – a home, so to speak.

Your canister set has a place where it lives and it probably only moves from that spot when you are baking. Right?

After you use the flour or sugar, you put that canister back in its home. This is why most canister sets are handed down from generation to generation.

The reason why most canister sets make it from grandmother to granddaughter is because they have a home, are not often relocated or put in danger of getting damaged.

Certain objects like Hummel figurines or Waterford crystal pieces should be in a protected area like a china cabinet or on a dining room sideboard where there isn’t much traffic.

Large objects like sculpture, paintings and pieces of antique furniture are rarely moved from their spot. Identify a particular place where small collectibles belong and the result will be a home that’s neater with objects that are not easily damaged.

While I like clean, white cotton cloths for dusting fragile objects, I think that the good old vacuum cleaner is a helpful tool too. My mother taught us to dust first and then vacuum, so you catch any dust that hit the floor.

Dust can built up quickly and it can damage your art, antiques and collectibles. Vacuuming can get rid of the dust you don’t see.

Remember that ventilation is important when it comes to displaying your antiques and collectibles. Art and antiques like to live where you like to live – in a clean, well ventilated house.

A clean house is the best way to create a stable environment for your valuables.

Celebrity 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.

Art and antiques by Dr. Lori


Special to the Sun-Gazette

DIYers are enjoying the process of reclaiming, recycling and repurposing worn out, vintage and antique objects. I have seen my fair share of vintage tea cups turned into candlesticks, reclaimed headboards repurposed into benches and drainage gutters reused for strawberry plants.

While not everything should be repurposed, junk can be reconsidered and made into cool, contemporary stuff.

Here are some vintage and antique pieces that have been re-done, which may provide a few ideas for those of you who like dumpster diving, yard sale hunting and rehabbing old treasures:

1. Old library card catalogue cabinet repurposed into a wine rack.

2. Old armoire gutted and turned into a liquor cabinet.

3. Old clarinets and trumpets made into garden fountains.

4. Old-but-clean fishing creel recycled into a pocketbook.

5. Old wicker hamper reclaimed into an oversized garden planter.

6. Vintage suitcases reused as coffee table with glass top.

7. Old casement window as garden table top.

8. Old feed bag material re-sewn as throw pillows.

9. Old ball jars as miniature plant terrariums for kitchen shelf.

10. Victorian-but-clean chamber pot as magazine rack.

And my favorite repurposing idea – of course, it has to do with jewelry. Take those old 1950s wristwatches (just the watch, not the entire band) and link them together with a single metal loop. Link each loop to another wristwatch until you have linked enough to reach around your wrist. This continuous chain-link of wristwatches makes a cute bracelet.

For those who are ready to recycle that old piece of furniture, be sure to know the origin of what is being repurposed and its value before undertaking a DIY project.

It’s no fun if you find out that you accidentally repainted an antique library chair with Rustoleum that once belonged to Noah Webster worth $50,000 and completely devalued it.

Celebrity 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.

Art and antiques by Dr. Lori

Like many others, I lost friends on Sept. 11, 2001.

As a museum professional and historian dedicated to the study of objects and their role in culture, I am pleased to highlight the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Liberty Street, New York City, New York, and its new museum that recalls that historic day.

The museum debuted with ceremony and remembrance recently.

The memorial and museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

The memorial, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993.

The memorial features two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Tower buildings.

Designed by architect firm Davis Brody Bond, of New York City, the Sept. 11 memorial is sited below ground and displays artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while telling the stories of loss, compassion and recovery of the 2001 and 1993 attacks.

This is achieved through displays, multimedia and interactive exhibits.

“The magnitude of the historic importance of the site and its symbolism made it essential for us to find a balance between the collective and the individual experience,” said architect Steven Davis, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

The architectural firm was established in 1952 by Lewis Davis and Samuel Brody and became Davis Brody Bond in 1990.

Today, it is one of the leading architectural firms in America.

Over the years, the firm has designed buildings for universities such as Cornell, Northwestern, Princeton and Columbia.

Also, they have designed museum buildings, including The Frick Collection and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Before the public opening of the museum, there were a few days set aside when the museum hosted 9/11 families, President and Michelle Obama, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, survivors and residents of lower Manhattan.

The museum was kept open for 24 hours to host these individuals in the same way that rescue and recovery personnel worked continuously at ground zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy.

The museum opened to the general public on May 21. It boasts 110,000 square feet of exhibit space which features interactive, multimedia displays, personal narratives and impressive monumental and uniquely personal artifacts.

The breathtaking “In Memoriam” exhibition remembers the people and reminds visitors of 9/11.

A three-part, mainly-historical exhibition leads visitors through the background of the attacks, the events of the day and the aftermath.

“The museum tells heartbreaking stories of unimaginable loss, but also inspiring stories of courage and compassion. Its opening honors the commitment we made to 9/11 family members and to all future generations: That we would never forget those we lost or the terrible lessons we learned that day,” said Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the Sept. 11 memorial and former New York City mayor.

Museum donations came from people from across the country and around the world, including New York City school children who donated their pennies to the project.

It is anticipated that the museum’s inaugural summer of 2014 will be a busy one with visitors coming to the memorial and museum from all parts of the world. I urge you to visit, learn and remember.

There is an admission fee for adults, with discounted rates for seniors, veterans, college students and youths.

Admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 pm.

For more information, visit

Celebrity 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.