By: MATT BLOIS
Linda Dyer has a superpower that makes her very good at buying wedding gifts.
The Franklin antiques appraiser, who specializes in tribal arts in the Unites States, can walk through a thrift store and spot quality.
Recently, she found a $6 thrift store basket that turned out to be worth $400. She has also bought a set of Rosenthal China for her niece’s wedding from a thrift store.
“It’s a skill that anybody can acquire just by going to museums, going to auction houses, touching things,” she said. “It’s not because I’m a genius. You see quality.”
Dyer spent 12 years working as the director of the American Indian art department at the auction house Skinner in Boston. She also worked with Harvard’s Peabody Museum of ethnology, and has appeared on the PBS show Antiques Roadshow.
Now, she’s an independent appraiser who helps families liquidating estates make sure that they aren’t throwing away valuable collectibles. She also works with auction houses and private clients.
Antique appraisers aren’t licensed. There are a few antique appraisal societies and museums that offer courses, but Dyer doesn’t have formal training.