Learn values of heirloom items from Dr. Lori at Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show
There’s a reason Dr. Lori wears white gloves.
She touches some of the rarest and most sought-after artifacts – some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Others might garner less cash.
But she’s the expert who purports to know their monetary value.
She is “Dr. Lori,” the star antiques appraiser from the History Channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island” and Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings.” She also appears on Fox Business Network’s Strange Inheritance.
She has been making daily appearances at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show at the David Lawrence Convention Center.
Lori Verderame has a PhD in art history, is an internationally syndicated columnist and an author of 30 books and an award winning television personality and talk show host.
Presenting more than 150 events every year and conducting in-home appraisal visits, she reviews approximately 20,000 items a year.
Items she said she has seen include: George Washington’s wallet, an Apollo 13 moon boot, Queen Victoria’s diamond brooch, Adolf Hitler’s arm band, a Viking sword, Thomas Jefferson’s desk, a piece of the Hindenburg, love letters from Marilyn Monroe and the first Kermit the frog doll. She’s appraised a painting worth $150,000 that was bought for $5.
You might have that piece you found in grandma’s attic or an item from your parents’ basement that you’ve been wondering about. So bring it for free (a second item costs $25). If it’s too large to carry, a photo of the item will suffice. Dr. Lori will appraise it.
On Monday, she entertained guests at the Home and Garden Show. They brought everything from candlestick holders to a clay model of an equestrian statue. Dr. Lori, who is known for teaching something about each item to the owner, weaved humor and knowledge into her presentation.
“I like this show because it is one of the best in America,” she said. “It is organized well and Pittsburgh is about community and decency. They don’t get mad if I tell them that it’s not worth much. Pittsburgh has always welcomed me warmly.”
Catch Dr. Lori at the home show at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, she’ll put on three shows each day— at noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and at noon and 3 p.m. Sunday.
“Dr. Lori is awesome,” said John DeSantis, executive director of the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. “Everybody has something laying around the house, and she goes item by item. She is funny by nature. She tells you what the item is and its history.”
DeSantis recalled one of the first items she appraised – an autographed baseball by Pittsburgh Pirates star Honus Wagner. The ball had been used, so it was only worth $50,000. It could have been worth $250,000 if it was in better condition, DeSantis said.
“I am good at my job,” Dr. Lori told the Trib on Monday. “I will tell you the truth. I don’t have a conflict of interest. I am not like your typical appraiser. I don’t have a dog in the hunt.”
She said women are often victims of antique scams. She recalled a senior citizen who had sold an old newspaper to an appraiser for $50 and it was worth $50,000. She said that woman may have needed the money for health care or food or other living essentials and Dr. Lori doesn’t want that to happen again.
“My real gift is to bring an inanimate object to life,” she said. “I never know what is coming until it is there. Most appraisers don’t have my education or experience. I am not just another appraiser. It is hard for people to know who to trust. Even though I have seen so much, I haven’t seen it all yet.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .