BETHLEHEM — An antiques, art and collectibles “discovery weekend” will be held to benefit the Bethlehem Area YMCA in Delmar for two days on the weekend of Saturday, April 1.
Hosted by the Appraisers Road Show, which was started in 2011 by Robert Meringolo of Westerlo, as a venue for local communities and smaller cities to have easy access to antiques, art and collectibles experts, this will be the 27th road show held in New York during the past six years.
“New York state is very interesting,” said Meringolo, a former Sotheby’s Associate who belongs to the New England Appraisers Society, founded the Albany Auction Gallery and has conducted more 300 antique and fine art auctions since the 1980s. “It was the Empire State and there are still vestiges of the wealth that was once here.”
Antique items that have been uncovered by the road show in recent years include: a Chinese Imperial Zitan chair that sold for more than $1 million at auction, a 1905 Gustav Stickley corner cupboard that sold for $96,000 and a group of Japanese Surimono prints — brought in by the great granddaughter of the Japanese Ambassador under Lincoln — that sold for $55,000. “We did one in Gloversville and a woman brought in a 24-karat sword that King Faisal [of Saudi Arabia] gave a prince on his wedding in 1952.”
“I’ve pulled together some of the most qualified appraisers in the country,” said Meringolo. “Former heads of departments at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. We have Lark Mason that does our Chinese antiques, and he was head of the Sotheby’s Chinese Department for 24 years; we have Colin Fraser, a PhD from Cambridge University, and he was head of Christie’s Stamp Department for 14 years.” Other areas of expertise represented on Meringolo’s team include: American and European fine art; Russian art and antiques; iconography; art restoration; American documents; military artifacts; photography; jewelry; tapestries; ceramics; glass; silver; sports collectibles; and toys.
“We have a man named Ray Zylas,” he said. “He’s one of the world’s leading experts on anything military — from weapons to guns to uniforms and medals.”
“Nine show up,” said Meringolo. “But they’re connected to experts around the country by computer, all of whom are top-tier people. If it’s American furniture, we’ll contact Leigh Keno.” Keno, an appraiser who has appeared on all 20 seasons of the Emmy-nominated PBS series Antiques Road and worked as a specialist in the American Furniture department at Christie’s. He has identified pieces that have brought record-breaking prices at auction and is known for helping to build some of the best private and institutional collections of Americana in the world.
It was Antiques Roadshow that gave Meringolo the idea to do something similar in upstate New York. Having worked on several notable local collections, he said, “I just thought it would be a good thing to do here in upstate New York or throughout the northeast. So I started calling people and asked if they would want to do it.”
Since then, he said, “we’ve traveled around the state raising money for worthy causes.” Those causes have included high schools, churches, theater restoration projects, libraries, and museums around the state. Money is raised by charging $5 for each of the first five items brought in for appraisal — either physically or photographed. After the first five, there is no extra charge. The weekend offers anyone the opportunity to have heirlooms and collectibles verbally analyzed and given an auction estimate, by experts with whom they can speak directly.
The two-day event is open to the public and no appointments are needed. For larger collections, home visits are offered. Appraisers also offer a six-month free follow-up period during which they will visit homes to view larger, private or overlooked items for appraisal for no additional cost.
“We have found treasures in upstate New York,” said Meringolo, who encouraged anyone residing in the Capital District with items about which they are curious to stop in on either Saturday or Sunday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at 900 Delaware Ave. in Delmar.
More information can be found at www.gotroadshow.com.