An Appraisal Cast in Wax: The Conti Museum

An Appraisal Cast in Wax: The Conti Museum

When people ask me to talk about unusual appraisals, I now speak about the work The Appraisal Group did for the Conti Museum in New Orleans. That’s the famous wax museum that was one of New Orleans’ best loved attractions for many years.  It closed in January, sad to say.

Most of the museum appraisals The Appraisal Group handles revolve around major gifts and insurance valuations. In the case of the Conti Museum, we were called in to value the antiques and fine art that were used to accessorize the 155 wax figures.

Pete Fountain

Pete Fountain, now 85 years of age, the world-renowned clarinetist, cast in wax.

With so much at stake – remember all those scenarios were historical stories in 3-D and each had a lot invested in it to make it realistic –  we worked in tandem with experts on costumes, weaponry, and scenery. It was important for the Conti Museum to know what kind of equity they had in all the contents.

The group included a NCIS prop person who was able to value the scenery.  An expert from the History Channel knew the weaponry. And a costume specialist, also from The History Channel, appraised the costumes.

Since all the vignettes were historical, recounting the history of Louisiana and New Orleans, they make a remarkable educational tool. One that would be worthy of any museum or educational institution

As of this writing, the future of the items in the Conti Museum is uncertain. They may be relocated, sold or donated to a worthy museum of educational institution.

Conti Museum

Wax figures sign an early Louisiana treaty.

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