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Monday, March 28, 2011

Salem, Ohio Wood Carving


This is a local piece from Salem, Ohio. Completely hand carved by a local man, this intricate piece had quite a few of the attendees at the show talking. The man who brought this in told us about how his neighbor made these wood carvings and gave them to his friends. He added that the man had passed away and that this particular carving was pretty old, "about 30 or 40 years old". There was really not too much that I could say about it. Great work, cool piece and it most likely could be classified as local folk art...


The problem is that for folk art it just doesn't have the right look for today's market. Of course that could change in the future, but for right now it just doesn't have that "look". I explained that although I personally liked everything about it, that at this time its value would be relatively low. The man, somewhat disappointed in my evaluation, respectfully disagreed with me.


The problem with a collectible like this is they often carry a much higher value to the owner because of their personal connection to the maker. Unfortunately this does not translate into a higher price in the general market place. As a seller of antiques it is always important to remove yourself emotionally from the valuation process. A personal connection to an object is just that, a personal connection. Place yourself in the position of the buyer, be practical in your estimate of what a dispassionate buyer would pay for your piece, and if all else fails keep the item.

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