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Meet one of our valuation specialists: Marie Foged Klemensen


Marie Foged Klemensen has worked at Lauritz.com Vejle since February 2014. Her background is as an archaeologist at many different museums since 1990. Antiquities, jewellery, amber, glass and porcelain are Marie's special areas of expertise.

Marie tells us: Amber necklaces with polished beads have achieved good hammer prices in recent years, and I love when a customer comes in with a beautiful necklace that has been in the family for a hundred years. These old necklaces have a very warm glow, even though they have grown dim by use and age. Often, they come from homes that do not otherwise contain gemstones or precious gold jewellery. However, nowadays a good amber necklace can be fortunate and achieve prices corresponding to 14, or even up to 18 kt. gold. So the term 'Gold of the North' when talking about amber, fits well these years. 



When a local collector of antiquities wanted to reduce his collection and make money for his other interests, he chose to put his items on sale at Lauritz.com. It was a special collection because many of the things were excavated by an amateur archaeologist in the 1950s, a time when museum coverage was not as broad as it is today, and he was therefore allowed to keep these things as long as he reported his findings to the National Museum. It was therefore unique items that, in addition to being beautiful, had a completely precise provenance and hence a story to be explored. The buyers enjoyed them too - they made for some great auctions. If you have antiquities, and want to try to put them on auction, be sure to get the story of the articles - antiquities without information about their finding are 'missing a certain something' as they are detached from their history. And just in case, head to your local museum and ask if what you have, could potentially be protected as part of the cultural heritage. If so, you receive a bounty in Denmark - if not, the museum can put a piece in the puzzle that is the map of our understanding of human life in ancient times.

It can occasionally be true detectives work, working in an auction house. We must both find out all the beneficial traits of a product which can promote a good sale but also sniff out if there could be talk of fakes, stolen goods, or whether the item is subject to legal barriers such as protected animals and plants, antiquities, etc. In these cases, it may be important to seek out people with the right knowledge in specific areas and draw on their expertise. Such as when we received a few stone axes from a customer who did not know much about where they came from. One was of a very special and to me unknown rock type, which could look like a type of axe that was imported to Denmark during the Stone Age, which are very rare. Via my network I had it looked at by a French researcher who stated that it was indeed a variant of this particular rock type, but the likelihood that this type of axe had been exported to Denmark during the Stone Age was almost zero. The seller had also informed us that he had it from someone who traded and exchanged various items, so the axe has probably reached Denmark via other and unknowable means in recent times. Had the axe been of this rare type, and found in Denmark, it would have been considered part of the cultural heritage and illegal to sell, but with the expert's statement that we acquired, we could put the item up for sale.

In another case, we received a beautiful Art Nouveau belt buckle. It was stamped ‘CF Skagen’, so the sale should be straightforward, but it was not since the stamp was not found in the official name stamp register at the Danish Assay Office. All my Google searches ended blindly - no silversmiths in Skagen. Then I contacted the Local History Association in Skagen and asked if they could help, and immediately I found what I was looking for. A silversmith by the name Christian Fjerdingstad had a workshop in Skagen and an exciting story was uncovered about the young man who, after a brief period in Skagen (1912-1914), joined the Foreign Legion and fought on the French side during World War I. Subsequently, he settled in France permanently and garnered great success, and from 1924 to 1948 he worked as the artistic director at France's largest silverware factory, Christofle! This of course, made a huge difference - selling the buckle with the accompanying story, rather than a buckle of an anonymous silversmith - and I truly enjoyed the exploration.

Contact Marie:

Tel +45 7021 2230 | Mail marie.vejle@lauritz.com