Consulting and Appraisal Services
With more than 40 years of experience Mr. Wilson is a sought after expert, appraiser, broker and collections advisor by prominent auction houses, private collectors and museums. Integrity and honesty are important hallmarks of his work and he has placed countless important objects in the hands of institutions and collectors across America. Mr. Wilson maintains close business relationships with experts in many fields of collecting and is, therefore, able to call on them to serve his clients as well. It is our sincere hope to be able to serve you and your interest in early objects from American history.
We offer appraisal services to collectors, insurance companies, estates, museums, organizations and institutions. Our rates are hourly plus travel expenses. We will never purchase or offer to purchase any object we’ve appraised. In certain cases we may offer the owners brokerage services if desired. Please contact us for additional information.
Collections Management and Advice:
One of our unique offerings to clients is curatorial services for collections. Over the years we have built investment quality collections of antiques, rifles, primitives, antique arms and other historical objects for clients. Many people who have an interest in history wish to collect yet do not have the knowledge or expertise to make informed choices when buying. Through a series of interviews with the client we are able to put together a “Collections Plan” of carefully curated objects that reflect the interests and eras of history that the client desires. While some collectors choose a wide variety of eclectic objects to be used as decorative accessories in the home others have strong interests in local craftsmen or a particular era in American history. This takes time as objects of interest, particularly the rare and unusual, are not always available on the market. As a part of this service we educate the client on the history and attributes of each object so they can become articulate about the history and importance of the collection.
Object Search Services:
When commissioned we will search for and purchase on your behalf specific objects that you are seeking for your collection. A written contract and deposit is required for searches that are commissioned. If you are looking for specific objects, riflemakers or antiques but do not wish to commission us you may fill out our Interest Form here. There is no obligation to purchase but we will contact you if objects arrive in our inventory for which you have expressed interest.
Estates, families, museums, organizations and institutions often find objects in their household or collections that are unidentified. We offer a broad range of knowledge in the field and have access to colleagues who have expertise in fields beyond ours. Please contact us for a quotation.
Museum and Collections Exhibition Design:
With over 20 years of experience designing museum exhibitions we know how to present your collections in your home in a manner in which they deserve. Through the use of specialized mountings, lighting, graphics, images and placement we can transform an accumulation of historic antiques into a veritable story.
Collections and Objects Cataloging:
This service is used principally by museums and institutions who do not possess the content expertise to properly catalog collections and objects in written and photographic form. We offer this service to institutions as well as individuals at attractive hourly rates.
We offer expert conservation services to museums and individuals for metals, wood and leather. We do not restore antique objects but, rather, perform accepted processes to stabilize and preserve objects in their unrestored state. If you have objects outside of our three areas of expertise we are happy to refer you to a qualified conservator for your needs.
Our Work in Action:
American Wars Collection
We recently completed a collection of firearms and swords for a physician in Pennsylvania which traces the history of American wars from the French and Indian Wars to the Spanish American War. The process took about a year but now some two dozen long arms and twenty swords tell that story in an intriguing manner.
Partial List of Government and Institutional Clients:
National Firearms Museum, Virginia Historical Society, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, Maryland Historical Society, Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Maryland Historical Society, State University of New York, Atlanta History Center, Society of Colonial Wars, Society of the War of 1812, Maryland Historical Trust, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.
“I put an addition on my house several years ago and retained Mr.Wilson to assemble a collection of historical American arms for me. I love history and now I can tell stories to my guests and friends through these wonderful (and beautiful) firearms and swords that chronicle America’s freedom from colonial times through the end of the 19th century.”
D.D.B., Elkton, MD
“Courtney is always willing to share his extensive knowledge and expertise whether it leads to a sale or not. You don’t find that very often in the antiques business.”
J.J.S. , Media, PA