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WorthPoint Corporation is holding its first auction through its new charitable arm: WorthPoint For Charity. The new venture teams WorthPoint with donors and charities to maximize the monetary value of property donations of fine art, antiques, and collectibles by facilitating sales, providing expert research, and organizing volunteer activities.
As part of its launch and new eBay storefront, WorthPoint For Charity is auctioning items from an extraordinary collection of women’s vintage couture and vintage and contemporary hats. WorthPoint relied on its staff of domain experts and Price Guide data of over 650 million realized auction prices to appropriately appraise the items, some with retail values in the thousands. Additionally, eBay is eager to use its platform to bring this collection to auction and ensure the proceeds of these items are sent to charity.
The first auction is live now.
BEHIND THE COLLECTION
Several months ago, WorthPoint was approached by a professional contact seeking help for a family whose recently passed matron had an extensive collection of vintage couture. This collector was a “New York socialite” and trendsetter with some of the finest known examples of fashion items and accessories. Recognizing the collection’s significance, her family chose to donate these precious items rather than send them to the landfill. By asking WorthPoint for assistance, over 4,000 unique individual items were preserved and appropriately handled.
WorthPoint founder and CEO Will Seippel champions this kind of aid for families. Despite WorthPoint For Charity being outside the company’s normal business operations, Seippel regularly advocates preserving meaningful collections and raising money for charitable causes. According to him, the exceptional items offered in this first collection “deserved to be saved,” and making them part of a goodwill effort was a great way of “giving them a new life.”
WorthPoint For Charity’s first auction is donating the proceeds to the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre (MBT) in Atlanta. This nonprofit has nurtured young dancers and trained them for distinguished careers for over thirty years. According to MBT, this collection’s former owner was a patron of the arts and very active in philanthropic efforts. Both her estate and the nonprofit are delighted that WorthPoint found a charity that matches the collector’s personal passion.
THE FIRST CHARITY AUCTION
The seven-day opening sale, now in progress, features a selection of hats from the inventory of more than 1,400 high-end bespoke hats. The entire collection showcases a range of one-of-a-kind vintage and contemporary hat styles, including Kentucky Derby-style hats, sun hats, turbans, and authentic fur hats. The retail value of most of the hats ranges from $3,000 to $7,000 apiece, and many were the custom works of famous milliners, such as Maison Michel Paris, Suzanne Couture Millinery, and Jean Paul Gaultier.
For example, one of the lots is a multicolor fox fur toque hat designed by Suzanne Couture Millinery of New York. It resembles a Cossack hat and has a prominent central rhinestone brooch embellishment. As shown above, milliner Suzanne Newman had a talent for imaginative, custom-designed creations made from quality materials.
Many of the turbans available for auction are visually similar to those popular in the early 1900s (and again in the Hollywood Glamour era of the 1930s and 1940s). This first auction offers many examples of colorful turbans, some bejeweled and others with fabric and feather embellishments. The brocade turban above—featuring impressive jewel tones throughout its fabric, faux jewels, and painted feathers—echoes the shape and styling of Edwardian-era turbans.
The auction also has hat styles still commonly worn today, such as this exemplary wide-brimmed sun hat. Its bright colors and eye-catching crown of rooster feathers make this hat perfect for fashionable summer events such as the Kentucky Derby. However, for those who are fans of styles that go against the current trends, the collection contains items like large faux fur winter hoods and cartwheel hats.
WorthPoint For Charity will host several similar auctions through its eBay storefront for the remainder of 2023. Future sales will include more hats and extraordinary vintage and contemporary couture examples.
WorthPoint Corporation is the largest resource for researching, valuing, and buying/selling antiques, art, and vintage collectibles. Its suite of offerings on WorthPoint.com includes a Price Guide for researching and valuing antiques, art, and collectibles; a resource gallery for identifying makers’ marks; and a digital Library of books from leading publishers on a wide range of collecting topics.
WorthPoint empowers the antiques and collectibles industry by providing a steady stream of new data and quality information to improve pricing transparency between sellers and buyers. The WorthPoint app is accessible on iOS and Android platforms.
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