The pride of inheriting a valuable piece of antique furniture is sadly lacking in society today; many a Victorian oak partners desk in Lancashire has ended up as an auction room consignment, sent there in a bid to turn a loved one’s valuables into cold, hard cash.
However, as auctioneer Kathleen Guzman explains, that antique desk may not have been consigned by the estate’s executor, as there are many pitfalls waiting for the unwary person asked to take care of a family inheritance. Finding a trustworthy expert to handle valuations is just one of them.
An antiques expert who has worked with some of America’s top auction houses, Kathleen recently shared some of her knowledge with the magazine Antiques Week. The main problem is lack of knowledge, which places executors at the mercy of van drivers advertising house clearances. He will swear a relative’s Chippendale Revival antique dining chairs are worthless reproductions and offer a few pounds to take them off their hands – and then sell them for many times more elsewhere.
Another problem is the doting grandparent who lovingly leaves her antique marquetry furniture to the grandchildren, believing they will have the same sentiments about it as she did. It would be best for the inheritance to go to the parents, who can decide who to leave it to when their time comes.
In the Ribble Valley, a Victorian balloon back dining chair or antique chest will get an honest, accurate valuation from a Lancashire antiques dealer.
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