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The Best Little Auction House in Jersey

Ninety minutes from midtown, David Rago rules.

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The picturesque town of Lambertville, New Jersey, nestled along the Delaware River, lures visitors with its charming Victorian houses, scores of antiques stores, and Rago Arts and Auction Center (333 North Main St.; 609-397-9374), the state’s largest auction house. Dressers, cabinets, and tables from mid-century designers like Florence Knoll are frequently on the block; hammer prices have ranged from $550 for Edvard and Tove Kindt-Larsen–designed nesting tables to $2,000 for a set of six Hans Wegner dining chairs. Thrice-yearly unreserved sales turn up bargains on French-style armoires (one estimated between $600 and $800 sold for $156 in September), as well as kitschy items like a sculpture of a cat dressed as a butler (sold for $406). And should you ever come across what you suspect might be a HudsonRiver School painting tossed in a Dumpster, know that David Rago and his team, who often cameo on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, offer free appraisals most Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m.


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