Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori: Dr. Lori’s Kid Collectors

Submitted Photo 
Dr. Lori Verderame with one of her Kid Collectors.
Submitted Photo Dr. Lori Verderame with one of her Kid Collectors.

At my public antiques appraisal events held at venues nationwide, many of my audience members are kids. Some of these kids remind me of my childhood. I was a kid who spent many a weekend touring local flea markets and yard sales with my dad. My dad liked to look for old tools and military objects and he taught me about them. But, the kids that come to my events collect all types of objects from fine art to movie memorabilia and more. Young people are very keen collectors. They know what’s hot, what’s not. They learn to become good negotiators and they know how to spot a bargain and how to use their technology skills to sell and trade online.

I often feature kids and their collections on my antiques appraisal tour. They share their knowledge of a collectible category and talk about diverse collections ranging from Star Wars toys to vintage pottery.

Here are a few of the kids that follow me and are at the core of my Kid Collectors programs.

During the early years of my tour, I met Carly, age five, who came to my event in Lancaster. She brought a medal that she found in her grandpa’s button jar to one of my events, accompanied by her mother and older sister. What Carly had found was a Native American peace medal that Louis and Clark gave to the Indians during their expedition under the auspices of the Jefferson administration. My evaluation of her valuable piece of western history was the impetus for a childhood filled with the joy of collecting. Carly returned to my program years later to show me a Frederic Remington sculpture of a busting bronco that she bought at an auction, which she added to her growing western art collection.


Asaya, from Virginia Beach, bought an autographed poster of Pete Rose from a thrift store. He loves baseball and although the six year old was unfamiliar with the Cincinnati Reds slugger, Asaya liked the piece so much that it started him on his way as an autograph collector. He even asked for my autograph to add to his collection.

I met Ethan, age 11, at my show in Baltimore. He told me that he and his older brother collect “unusual objects” from flea markets and thrift stores. He explained, “If there is something that I have never seen before, I buy it and then search online to see if I can find something similar. It’s like solving a mystery.” I thought that was great for creative learning and as a fine collecting method. Ethan brought me a Medieval revival base metal relief sculpture of an equestrian from the 1870s worth $500. The architectural object was interesting and unusual.

Emily, age 12, brought a painting by a well-known regional artist to my appraisal event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we became fast friends. I asked Emily why she collected paintings and she commented quite intelligently and enthusiastically about the composition, brushwork, execution and formalist properties of the painting like a true art historian. I was so impressed with her command of the field’s vocabulary and knowledge that I asked how long she was collecting, and she said that she studies art in school and has been collecting for a few years. When she is not helping out around the farm, Emily adds to her growing art collection, with some pretty valuable.

Ph.D. antique appraiser and award-winning TV expert Dr. Lori Verderame is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s international hit TV show Auction Kings and appears on FOX Business Network’s Strange Inheritance. Visit or call 888-431-1010.