NPT hosted another fun, successful Fine Arts and Antiques Appraisal Day event this year. Held at the Factory at Franklin on June 25, the event raised more than $37,000 to support NPT’s educational, cultural and civic programming. Twenty appraisers were on hand to offer verbal assessments of furniture, silver, weaponry, musical instruments and other items. Brown & Brown Insurance Co. provided attendees with complimentary bottles of water and a chance to win a Fitbit. Two people won free admission via Now Playing Nashville and 10 NPT viewers purchased in-home appraisals during televised pledge specials leading up to the event.
Intriguing pieces appeared right from the start, among them an unusual rocking chair with a sleigh-like appearance. Selma Paul of Selma Paul Appraisal & Estate Services pulled out a flashlight for a closer look at the applied carving on the piece. “Have a seat,” she said to S.D. (Robin) Sinclair of Sinclair Appraisals and Consulting, with whom she was sharing an appraisal table. “It’s a perfect fit,” Sinclair quipped. Sinclair and Paul surmised that the piece is a convalescence chair likely designed for a woman and that could not only soothe the patient by rocking, but could also tilt back to place the sitter in a horizontal position.
Tilting the chair back on unsuspecting friends was a favorite prank of their children, confirmed Franklin’s Mat and Pat Hughes. Originally part of a pair, the rocker was appraised at $500 and is believed to date from the 1850s.
There are always surprises at NPT’s Appraisal Day; some good, some bad. For Lisa and Bobby Keen, the news was good. At the last minute, the couple decided to bring a $20 auction purchase they were using as a pool fence decoration. Not anymore. The elongated wooden carving of a face is 19th-century Polynesian and worth an estimated $5,000 to $8,000.
This was the Keens’ first time at NPT Appraisal Day and they made it a family affair by bringing along their sons, Jacob and Mason, who brought a small collection of vintage board games ‒ including an English “Sherlock Holmes” edition of Clue ‒ sourced from an antebellum home in Franklin. Though possessing a certain cool factor, the games were deemed to be of no great monetary value, while the painting the family brought was of indeterminate value due to an unrecognizable artist’s signature.
Another family’s paintings were easier to appraise. The three works by Texas artist Everett Spruce were brought in by his granddaughter, Phyllis Feener of Mt. Juliet, who came to Appraisal Day with her husband, Stan. Appraiser John Case of Case Antiques Inc. pored over the paintings before accessing their value at between $6,000 and $16,000 per painting.
Everett Franklin Spruce was considered to be one of the first American Scene Painters, a regionalist who specialized in depicting the Texas Hill Country and West Texas landscapes, particularly the area included in Big Bend National Park. His use of color and textured brush strokes show the influence of expressionism. Spruce’s works can be found in the collections of several museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.
On the other end of the spectrum, a painted elephant tusk turned out to be merely a faux tusk with appliqued decoration and thus worth around $50, about what the owner paid for it. It’s just as well ‒ were it real ivory it would be illegal to sell it.
Other appraisers present at the event were Charlie Clements, Clements Antiques (Chattanooga); Chas Clements, Clements Antiques (Chattanooga); Mel Covington, Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals (Nashville); Mike Cotter, Back in Time Rare Books (Jacksonville, Fla.); Rick Crane (Knoxville); Berenice Denton, Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals (Nashville); Sarah Campbell Drury, Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals (Nashville); Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, Minerva Appraisal, LLC (Brentwood); Joe Spann, Gruhn Guitars (Nashville); Sam Holden, Pickle Road Appraisers (Nashville); Mike Mouret, Nashville Coin & Currency, Inc. (Nashville); Len De Rohan, Case Antiques Inc. Auctions & Appraisals (Knoxville); Joe Rosson, Joe Rosson Estate Sales (Knoxville); Sara Stessel, Chartreuse Consultants (Nashville); J.T. Thompson, Lotz House Civil War Museum (Franklin); Mike Walton, Walton’s Antique Jewelry (Franklin); and Julie Walton Garland, Walton’s Antique Jewelry (Franklin).
What will next year’s Appraisal Day turn up? Scour your attic and basement and save the date for Saturday, June 24, 2017. Hope to see you there!