Historical Society Offers Professional Appraisals
The Westport Historical Society is holding its own version of "The Antiques Road Show" on Saturday, Oct. 27. Professional appraiser James Lipton will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to offer an opinion on those treasured family heirlooms collecting dust in the attic.
The Easton resident and owner of Appraisers Associates, Inc., says he has "consulted on millions of dollars' worth of art and antiques on behalf
of clients and their families" over a 40-year career.
One of his favorite projects involved "a pair of small Aesthetic
Movement chairs" found in the kitchen of a Connecticut woman who used them to hold newspapers and as a sleeping place for her cats. She
wanted $100 for the chairs, but Lipton thought they might be the work of New York craftsmen Gustave and Christian Herter and worth considerably more.
The Herters had produced pieces in the late 19th century for wealthy clients like the Vanderbilts and J.P Morgan, and they were big ticket items.
Lipton got lucky going through a photo book of New York City mansions, where he found pictures of identical chairs in the living room of beer baron Jacob Ruppert. The photos identified the chairs as the work of
the Herter brothers.
Photos in hand, Lipton persuaded Christie's to include the chairs in its winter auction, where they sold to an anonymous bidder for $204,000.
Lipton will appraise two items for $30, plus $10 for each additional item, to a maximum of five. Appointments are required. Call 203-222-1424.
The Westport Historical Society is located at 25 Avery Place across from Westport Town Hall. For more information, go to www.westporthistory.org