Arts and Business Collide in Esquimalt

August 24, 2015

ESQUIMALT – Ever wonder what that tarnished silver tea set grandma passed down to you is worth or the value of the prized painting you found at a garage sale? Well it’s time to pull the tea set off of the top shelf in your back closet and bring it to the Chamber’s Arts and Antiques Appraisal at the English InnBring that painting as well – unless it’s on black velvet and features dogs playing poker. 

On September 26 three of Canada’s top appraisers will converge on the English Inn to provide you with information on your valued collectables.

Alison Ross has gained national prominence through her regular appearances on Pawnathon Canada but regularly plies her trade at Victoria’s Kilshaw’s Auctioneers. After graduating from UVic with a Masters in Art History she began her career as an auctioneer and now handles thousands of items every week so says “nothing surprises me anymore” about the things people collect. However, she does remember one man bringing her a yak fur jacket that according to Alison was worth exactly what he had paid for it since his purchase price had established its market value. Alison enjoys appraising “items that speak to her about certain time periods” and has particular expertise in jewelry, First Nations Art, Antiques and fine art.

Colin Ritchie, CEO and Chief Appraiser at Victoria’s Colin Ritchie and Company, has extensive national and international experience having worked for Sotheby’s in Europe. During one antique event in Victoria Colin had the opportunity to view a large painting, which a woman had inherited. Upon inspection it turned out to be a very rare work by a prominent Finnish artist, Carl Edelfeldt. Taking Colin’s advice she shipped the painting to international auction and it fetched over $300K. Until then it had simply sat under a bed in her basement! His specialties include: Asian, European, American and Canadian works of art; porcelain; glassware; clocks; and furniture just to name a few. According to Colin his real joy is “giving people good information about their items and hopefully some good surprises too”.

John Sewell began collecting during high school and now runs his own antiques and appraisal firm out of Toronto with 30 years’ experience buying, selling and appraising antiques and fine art. You may know John from his regular TV appearances or his weekly newspaper column “This Old Thing”. John once appraised a carved 400-year-old rhinoceros horn libation cup. He suggested the owner sell and the horn fetched her a tidy $125,000. Several years prior she had considered but refused an offer of $100.

The Chamber is hosting this fundraising event in order to further the programs and services we offer our members. To book your appointment at this exclusive event, contact the Chamber Office at 250-590-2125.

Finally, as an update to last month’s column on Esquimalt’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS), the Chamber Board has written Council offering to cohost a Business Forum designed to facilitate completion of the number one priority identified in the EDS. If Council agrees, stay tuned for details on a Forum that will allow you to provide insight into how Council can “Ensure municipal planning, bylaws and policies support a vibrant local business sector”. 

For more information on business opportunities in Esquimalt visit our website or you can give us a call at 250-590-2125.

– RJ Senko, Vice-President Communications and Government Relations of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.

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