Paris Apartment Time Capsule

Appraisers are often called in to provide valuations on properties that have been locked up for many years, sadly it’s often the case the contents have rotted away, victims of damp conditions, insects and rodents.

This one is the exception, a Paris Apartment that had been locked up Circa 1940. The apartment was formerly the property of one Madame Marthe de Florian, a little-known actress who was known to had a collection of well known lovers. When she died in 1939 her apartment was inherited by her granddaughter, Solange Beaugiron.

Solange lived there until it looked like the Germans were on their way to invading Paris. Like many others she locked up her apartment and fled to the south of France. She never returned to Paris, but the rent on the building was paid every month up until her death in 2010 at age 91. Everything the apartment contained, including many paintings, furniture and decorative items remained intact all those years, including a painting of her grandmother Madame Marthe de Florian, which sold for €2.1 million.


Free Online Antique Appraisals

Free AppraisalsFree Online Antique Appraisals.. is probably one of the most used search terms for antiques & collectibles on all the major search engines. As I write this today, just on Google alone searching for Free Appraisals pulls up 17,240,000 results… While this may seem like a great thing for people trying to find out what their antiques or collectibles are worth, most of them break down to the following four types:

  • “Click Bait” Free Appraisal sites loaded with links that take you to other Click Bait sites…they get paid every time you click a link.
  • Auctions Sites, they will provide free appraisals for items they think they can sell, but generally only for items worth more than $1000.00
  • Antique Forums, thousands of postings from people looking for free appraisals, very few of them getting any response…and full of adds
  • Dealers Sites, they will provide a valuation, but the value they quote you to buy it is not an appraisal, it’s 30-50% of what they would sell it for.

In reality most of these sites are not in the business to provide free appraisals, but to sell advertising, or get stock at wholesale values. In the case of auction houses and dealers the initial appraisal might be free, but commissions they charge you to sell your item can be as high as 25%.

Of the ones where you actually might get an appraisal for free are the Antique Forums. The problem with forums of this type is you have no idea that the information received is accurate, after all, expert appraisers are in high demand and do not work for free. If you do get a response to your request it will probably be dozens of others saying they’ve got one “just like yours” and asking you “have you found out what it was worth yet”…….
So, the reality is there really are no free appraisals, you pay either with the time you spend searching, clicking and waiting, selling your item at an extreme discount or commission fees at time of sale.

At we don’t provide free appraisals, but appraisals are our only business. If you are really are interested in finding out what your item is worth quickly, easily and at a reasonable cost click here….we promise there will be no advertising…



Based on the images and the markings this melodeon is Rosewood and dates 1861-1871. It was made by George A. Prince, one of the largest producers of organs and melodeons during the mid 19th Century era. The company was established in Buffalo, NY in 1840, a time when furniture and instrument makers were changing from small shops into more highly mechanized factories. From the 1840’s throught the 1870’s the most common musical instrument in rural America was the small melodeon or pump organ, as they were a far less expensive item than a piano. Hundreds of thousands of them were produced. As piano makers themselves expanded production and prices dropped, the piano became more popular, by 1871 George A. Prince went out of business, his melodeons and organs a victim of changing fashions.

In the current market there is not a lot of demand for Melodeons or pump organs, at auction comparable examples in need of some restoration often sell for less than $150.00, the cost of restoring them often being prohibitive, which is why so many of them ended up beiing converted into desks.

Gene Kloss (1903 – 1996) Watercolor


We had a wonderful piece come in for appraisal today, a watercolor by Gene Kloss (1902-1996).  Gene started with etching while at at UC Berkeley, where she graduated in 1924. After marrying poet Phillips Kloss in 1925, she furthered her art studies at the CSFA and CCAC.
She continued spending winters in Berkeley after settling in Taos, NM in 1925. Nationally known for her etchings of Southwestern subjects, she also produced many watercolors and oils. Mrs. Kloss died in Taos on June 24,1996.
Most of Gene’s original work sells at Fine Arts auctions, where it’s rare for a watercolor by her to sell for less than $3500.00, works comparable by her to the one shown often go in the $5000.00- $7000.00 range.

We Rolled out a New Service

buddhabronzeI rolled out as new service this week, a quick evaluation service for $4.95 by text or email for clients that are:

-Clearing an relative’s estate or selling an inherited piece
-Trying to decide what to get rid of or what to keep
-Worried about selling a valuable item too cheap

We’ve had three clients who’ve use this new service, one almost listed a $3500.00 clock in a neighbor’s yardsale for $150.00, another has Chinese “Mutton Fat” Buddha from an estate sale boxlot that could go for $500.00