What’s It Worth
Antiques Appraiser Dr. Lori to Appear at Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Show
Dr. Lori Verderame (known as “Dr. Lori”) is a Ph.D. antique appraiser who is coming to Grand Park on February 8 & 9 for the Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Show where she will present her popular Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show. The community is invited to bring in any antique, heirloom or hand-me-down item to receive a free appraisal from Dr. Lori.
“Everybody has objects in their homes,” says Dr. Lori, who has decades of experience evaluating and authenticating objects. “It makes perfect sense for me to be at the home show so that I can not only share their value but also teach folks how to protect, store and display their pieces.”
Dr. Lori, who has been touring the country for 20 years, injects humor into her shows to make them more entertaining.
“People will remember the information you give them if you make it accessible in a funny way,” she says.
Fascinated with history since she was a child attending flea markets and yard sales with her dad, Dr. Lori went on to earn a doctorate degree in art history and was a university professor at Penn State. A syndicated columnist and author, she has worked at major museums around the world and is regularly invited to share her expertise on shows such as the Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” and The History Channel’s “Curse of Oak Island.” For instance, on “Auction Kings” Dr. Lori authenticated Thomas Jefferson’s writing desk. On “Curse of Oak Island,” which is a show that traces a 225-year-long treasure hunt (the longest on record), treasure hunters dig up artifacts and antiques, which Dr. Lori appraises. Most recently she authenticated a gold cross dating back to 1550 from the Inca empire of Peru.
Dr. Lori developed a passion for appraising items because far too often she has seen folks get duped by incorrect information where someone is told that their valuable item is worth next to nothing. Sometimes grieving people are taken advantage of at estate sales when they are emotionally fragile. Other times unethical appraisers blatantly lie to make a buck. For instance, she once met a 75-year-old woman who was told by an appraiser that she had an object that would only fetch $50. In truth, the item was worth a thousand times that.
“I can’t stand to see people get ripped off,” Dr. Lori says. “I’ll tell you what something is worth. I break some hearts and I make some millionaires, but I always tell the truth.”
That’s why people like coming to her. They know they can trust her assessment. Booked 150 dates annually, through the years she has heard hundreds of eye-opening stories. For instance, at one show a woman brought a tiny bible that belonged to her great grandfather. The woman said that the bible had saved her great grandfather’s life when he was fighting in the Civil War because it was in his pocket when he was shot. The bullet was still lodged within the weathered yellowed pages, and Dr. Lori was able to authenticate that it was an 1865 United States government-issued pocket bible with a bullet from the Civil War.
“The objects that are brought in are wonderful and I just make them come alive,” says Dr. Lori, who says that people attend the Indy Home show for a variety of reasons.
“Some come for their free appraisal of grandma’s needlepoint or grandpa’s rocking chair,” she says. “Others just sit in the audience, take notes and learn.”
She encourages everyone to comb through their belongings — and those of their ancestors — because some objects may hold enough value to change your life. She recalls the time a pair of 60-year-old sisters brought in an old American Impressionist painting of their mother’s to appraise.
“The one sister thought it was ugly and wanted to get rid of it,” Dr. Lori says. “Turns out it was worth $175,000.”
Go to the Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Show on February 8 and 9 — Dr. Lori is doing two shows a day — and bring an interesting object for free appraisal. If something is too big to carry in, you may bring a photograph.
“The Indy Home Shows are always a really fun time,” Dr. Lori adds. “Hopefully your object is worth something so that you’ll have the money to remodel your kitchen.”
For more on Dr. Lori, visit DrLoriV.com. The Suburban Indy Home & Outdoor Living Show will be at Grand Park in Westfield February 8-10. Visit tradeshowz.com/suburban-indy-home-show for more information.