I recently went into a local home to give some estimates on what their furniture was worth. I normally love doing these types of appraisals. It gives me a chance to show off my superior intellect on antiques and to bring joy to people by telling them how fantastic their antiques are. Then there is the flip side, it is when my normally great sense of value gets conflicted with reality.
This particular set was in perfect condition. It was if it had been in Marie Baron's (Everybody Loves Raymond) living room covered with plastic. Not a rip, tear or wrinkle. No stains, dog hair or cat scratches. No smoke, no smells and no fading. They had never been sat on. She paid over $2,000 for the pair. In the heat of the moment I blurted out; " They should bring at least $500 at auction.".
Wrong. I should have known better. Sometimes, what seems to be reasonable is not. Although these were perfect in every conceivable way they just weren't what the auction crowd wanted that night. They brought a whopping $140.
No matter how hard you try, no matter how much experience you have and no matter what seems reasonable, auction crowds tend to make up their own rules. I still believe that the set should have brought $500. Oops!