Trumansburg Connection: Business spotlight: Ithaca Vintage


Steve Daly, the owner of Ithaca Vintage, provides professional appraisals for fine and decorative arts, books, comics, antiques, and collectibles, in addition to valuation services, estate counseling, downsizing services, and more. Confidential appraisal types include insurance, damage and loss, estate, donation, equitable distribution, and collection management. Daly is personable and honest and takes his relationship with his customers very seriously. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with him about his industry and catch up about the upcoming second year of the Tburg Flea, which Daly hosts at his gallery.

Tell me about Ithaca Vintage - what do you do?

People may not realize that I spend a lot of time in the field doing appraisals and other valuation services for estate liquidations, downsizing, insurance, and other purposes. I am a one-man operation, and while the gallery has unpredictable hours right now, I am always available by appointment and I hope to have some help and better gallery hours soon.

Do you purchase the antiques you appraise?

I think there is the impression that Ithaca Vintage is like most antique stores where I buy peoples items and resell them. However I don’t buy anything and, for the most part, everything in my gallery is on consignment. While I won’t buy your items, I will help you figure out what to do with them whether it’s a single piece or an entire household. I am a qualified appraiser and as such there are certain ethical rules I have to consider. I work on behalf of property owners offering an unbiased opinion of value and getting involved as a buyer can muddy the water.

Tell me about your qualifications.

Unlike in real estate, there is no license for personal property appraisers so anyone can refer to themselves as an appraiser no matter where their interests lie. I am considered a qualified appraiser because I received a certificate in appraisal studies from NYU; I meet the requirements to be an associate member of the Appraisers Association of America and I am compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). This doesn’t sound very exciting but it is important because it is the recognized standard for the IRS and most insurance companies. My responsibility is to give an honest, independent assessment of my client’s property.

How should one decide which appraiser to work with?

If you are a buyer, you should always look for someone who believes their job is to be honest with you, and who will let you know where you stand. If you are looking to sell, look for someone who can give you realistic expectations about how much you should expect to get.

What do you find rewarding about being an appraiser?

I consider it an honor to be invited into people’s homes to learn about their families through their belongings. I have often referred to it as “Micro- Anthropology” because it’s like discovering our area’s history one house at a time.

What should people know about the current state of antiques?

The problem I am seeing a lot of lately is that many people are not aware that there has been a collapse in the antique market. Many things that have been increasing in value for generations have taken a nosedive. I sometimes feel like I am in the disappointment business these days. Things like China, many types of collectibles and antique “brown furniture” are selling for a fraction of what they were a few years back. It is really a buyer’s market for many things. The other side of that coin is finding valuable pieces that the client had no idea about. It is not uncommon to discover that things you never considered are now in high demand. I have found some amazing things over the years including autographed and inscribed first edition books by the likes of Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King Jr., beautiful works of Tiffany glass and a letter written by Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War.

Tell me about your seasonal flea market.

The Tburg Flea at Ithaca Vintage is returning for its second season. The season opener will be Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 23, and will continue every fourth Sunday of the month through September. There will be multiple vendors set up around the building and in the parking area behind. Last year’s vendors included antique and collectibles dealers, upcyclers, jewelry makers, artists, and craftspeople. The great thing about flea markets is that you never know what you might find there. There were as many as 12 different vendors at each flea last year but there is room for more and we expect to grow this year. We had a few soggy days last year but we all hung in there and the community still came out to shop and had a good time. We are looking forward to doing it all again this year, rain or shine, but a little sun would be nice.

Ithaca Vintage and Tburg Flea are located at 2289 on Rt. 96 at the corner of Seneca Road, in the old Ehrhart building. To learn more about Daly’s appraisal services, or to sign up to participate in Tburg Flea, visit their website, or contact Daly at (607) 591-2395.

In brief:

Ulysses Philomathic Library Fundraiser
Our Library: A Universe of Stories will take place Wed., May 8, 2019, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Americana Winery, 4667 East Covert Rd., Interlaken, NY. Please help support your library with good food and music, raffles and prizes, tastings, and trivia with Quiz Master Chris Wofford.

Every astronaut, extraterrestrial, and library supporter will be entered into a drawing for this year’s mystery prize! Tickets are $30 per person, available at the circulation desk or at the door on the night of the event.

For more information, contact the library at 607-387-5623. Tastings by Americana Winery, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Thirsty Owl, Bacchus Brewing, Glenhaven Farm, Myer Farm Distillers, and Finger Lakes Cider House.
Live music by Lynn Wiles & Friends.

Sponsors: Americana Vineyards, Sally & David Dieterich, Hazelnut Kitchen, Glenhaven Farm, Myer Farm Distillers, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Thirsty Owl, Finger Lakes Cider House, Sawtooth Vineyard Management & Consulting, Atlas Bowl, & more.

May Day 5K and Fun Run
May Day 5K is an annual fundraiser for the Trumansburg Elementary and Middle School PTO. The race will take place Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. and will include a 5K and Kids Fun Run. Register at


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