EVALUATING ART – Marilyn Armstrong

In the course of time, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Much of the stuff is old Asian art — mostly  Chinese and some Japanese porcelain from Han to Qing dynasties.

I have no idea what it’s worth.

I think Tibetan – Hard to know dates on bronze pieces
Buddha, Tibet, probably 18th or 19th century

I didn’t buy it from major art houses and much of it has no provenance, so I have no way to prove where I got it … with a few exceptions that I got through the Chinese government agency and it has a number and a label. But these are small pieces and not worth huge amounts of money, or at least I don’t think they are.

Lots of pieces, many Chinese, some modern artist
Crica 1965 Wedgewood

But it has been years since I got them and prices have changed dramatically. I also have some nice original paintings – watercolors and oils. These, except for one which was a wedding gift, were bought from galleries. Again, all were bought at least 20 (or more) years ago, so I have no idea what they are worth or if they are worth anything. I didn’t buy them for their art value. I just liked them.

Cast iron Scotties (1880ish?)
1800s cast iron elephant

I guess what I need is an art evaluator to come to this house and look at all the pieces and give me an estimate of their worth. I know that places like Sotheby’s do this, but they tend to be low-ball estimators because they are looking for pieces that can resell and the less they pay you, the better for them. On the plus side, if you can reach an agreement, they take the stuff away and you aren’t left with figuring out what to do with some really fragile, delicate artwork.

Japanese pre-WWII tea set — I think

Even my son pointed out that I have some pretty nice art hanging on the walls and I said I didn’t think it was worth much since with a few exceptions, none of the artists was or is famous.

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest pieces of pottery.

I could be wrong. I could be very wrong. I could also be absolutely right and what I’ve got are some pretty pieces that aren’t worth much. I have no idea.

I don’t even know enough to take a good guess. A lot of my Chinese stuff I can’t find out about because all the books about it are in Chinese. Asian art only became valuable recently.

Han pot (I had two, but I gave one away)

For years, it was considered junk by the Chinese who were convinced that anything old was worthless. Eventually, over the past 20 years, they have re-evaluated that opinion for which I was grateful because they were using crushed ancient Han pots to build roads.

Sui dynasty musicians. These are very old but have been restored. Restored pieces are much less valuable than originals

So here’s a question: do any of you know any art evaluators who I could enlist to help me figure out what I’ve got? Please, if anyone knows somebody who knows somebody who might be able to help me make some kind of estimate of what this stuff is worth, please be in touch.

Two Acoma seed pots

I’ve always been under the assumption that it isn’t worth much, but so many people have told me I’m wrong, I have to assume maybe they know something I don’t know.


FOWC with Fandango — Former

In a former life, I wrote professionally.

In a former life, I lived in another country.

In a former life, I was a child, a mother, a single woman, a foreigner, a friend, a lover.

Glass-fronted desk full of memories

I have had four different last names, but only one of them matters.

Formerly, I was young and now, I am not. Roll on life.

In all my former lives I was part of the self I am now. In the future, all my formers will find a place on the shelf in whatever life I live.


I love creating decorative vignettes with my glass pieces. I already posted a blog with photos of some of my favorite glass groupings in my house. Here is the second installment of glass vignettes.


I have been lucky to find some very unusual paperweights over the years. I have made a point of collecting the unique ones and displaying them around my house.

Here are some of my favorites.


I have even more interesting glass in my home. I’ve shared many with you already. Here are more I particularly like and think are unusual and maybe interesting.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

Sculptures, statues, carvings

I haven’t been anywhere near “statues” recently, but I have a house full of art. Moreover, I have dozens of fetishes — all hand carvings by talented Native American artists. These are difficult to photograph because they are so small and the work so fine and detailed. The macro lens doesn’t quite do the job for these little finely carved items. It produces a great floral image. Not as great for other items.

As it turned out, the black & white setting on my new FZ-1000 camera worked quite well. There is much more for me to learn on that machine.

Three corn maidens, an eagle, a badger, and a healing bear
Another view of the carvings (square)
A bronze (painted) cowboy at a bar, somewhere in the west. He’s waiting for you
Ganeesh (manufactured during this century) and Vishnu riding Garuda – likely from the 16th century and probably Tibetan. And a cat.


I have pieces of my glass collection spread all over my house. I love to be able to look at beautiful glass work wherever I am. But there is one place where I have collected a large number of pieces in one place – in the wall of bookcases in my family room.

Here are some photos of the wall as a whole, the separate bookcases that make up the wall, the vignettes within the bookcases and some of the individual pieces in closeup.

Full wall of bookcases displaying glass art


First bookcase


Second bookcase


Third bookcase






Here we are again facing another Pick a Word challenge. The words I picked for you this time are hardly challenging. Still, I hope you will enjoy taking part in it: fortified, chic, submerged, embodiment, prehistoric.

Note from me: I’m happy to NOT have to look up the words!

This is as chic as I ever get!

About to be submerged — and submerged!

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Embodiment of a perfect sunset!
A storm over the prehistoric remnants of a Native American tribe forced — to the best of my knowledge — from their land by drought.
An embodiment of the Saguaro cactus in the Phoenix mountains 

And a final embodiment:

Sam “The Man” Adams … in bronze, life-size – Very influential and definitely, an embodiment!

jupiter najnajnoviji


I love glass and almost anything made from glass. So it’s no surprise that over the years, I’ve bought and inherited a number of glass lamps and chandeliers.

Here is my collection.

Mid Century Modern standing lamp from the 1960’s



Of the period Tiffany style lamp shades


Antique Lamp


Mid Century Modern Sculptural lamp


Recent purchase


old-fashioned pair


Mid Century Modern