Oakridge Auction Gallery Specializes in Helping Evaluate Hidden Treasures

Oakridge Auction Gallery Specializes in Helping Evaluate Hidden Treasures

Each month in Ashburn, VA, Oakridge Auction Gallery holds auctions featuring fine art, jewelry and antiques that sell for thousands of dollars to local and international buyers who compete against each other in-house and online.

Every Tuesday, Oakridge invites residents from Loudoun County and the surrounding area to walk into the gallery with items they would like to have evaluated by Oakridge’s highly trained team of experts.

“I love Tuesdays, because you never know what people might bring in,” Erin-Marie Wallace, one of Oakridge’s Senior Auction Specialists, said in a recent interview. While Ms. Wallace recommends that people call ahead and schedule an appointment if possible, she also emphasized that new consignors and walk-ins are always welcome.

With the advent of popular reality shows about people finding hidden treasures in their attics or at garage sales, more people are seeking professional estimates for items they think might be valuable. Oakridge’s highly trained and experienced staff can make accurate evaluations, either on the spot or with a small amount of research.

“The majority of the people who work in the gallery have at least one master’s degree, in art history, fine art or auction management,” Ms. Wallace said. “For example, “mine is in Fine and Decorative Art and Design from Sotheby’s Institute in London.”

“Our job as experts is to give clients the knowledge to make an informed decision about family heirlooms or about their collection. In the best of cases, we get to be part of the equation and they will consign with us. Their items are then properly described so that they can be featured in one of our auctions.”

Even if a prospective consignor’s items are of a more modest value than Oakridge’s typical auction inventory, Oakridge’s helpful staff members will share their expert advice and offer clients a variety of options, including, where appropriate, referring them to other auction galleries. Some Tuesdays, though, reveal exceptional finds:

“Just last week on a Tuesday we had three walk-in clients, each with pieces which are now being featured in our April 13th Fine and Decorative Art Auction,” Ms. Wallace said. “One was a watercolor by Joseph Mallord William Turner, one a 1779 French sterling silver tastevin (wine taster), there was also a bronze sculpture by the renowned Japanese artist Genryusai Seiya and, a pearl, 14k gold and diamond parure (jewelry suite). They all came in the same day, which is crazy and wonderful.”

Ms. Wallace also advised that clients can make arrangements with Oakridge staff for confidential, on-site visits where an expert can evaluate items too numerous or difficult to transport to be brought into the gallery.

Oakridge Auction Gallery’s next auction is March 14 and 15, with another one scheduled April 13. According to Ms. Wallace, the business is steadily growing.

“We just added two more cataloguers, and we also added four more auctions to our 2019 schedule,” she said.

Bidding can be done online, on the phone, or in-person on the day of the auction. For more information about upcoming auctions or walk-in appraisals, call the Oakridge Auction Gallery directly at 703-291-1010 or visit oakridgeauctiongallery.com.

Joseph Dill