Connie McNally, The McNally Company Antiques
6033 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe
Connie McNally is cold to gold. "It's not practical. But silver! It is noble and practical. We wear silver. We eat with silver. We eat off silver." And she lives off silver, literally. She is editor of the internationally distributed Silver magazine, (firstname.lastname@example.org), lectures on silver at NYU, and inherited the love of it from her mother. "I was born into it, literally." The greatest silver? English and Mexican-Spanish are wonderful, but she believes the American esthetic period of 1840-1900 produced "the greatest artisans working, ever." Biggest traps she comes across: reproduction pieces, phony hallmarks, and "worked-over" pieces cobbled together from different articles. Even though silver is down from a high of $80 an ounce to a current $3-$6 an ounce, pieces with history can bring huge sums. "One beaker, American, around 1650, recently brought $750,000 at auction." McNally hasn't got time to do written appraisals but will look at your piece and point you in the right direction.