“We realized that we had to create a space that would be functional for us, but also preserve the fabric of the old building,” Lark Ernest Mason said.
LMA was founded by Lark Ernest Mason, who is an author, appraiser, independent curator, educator, art consultant, and expert in Chinese art and antiquities.
His wife, Erica Mason, is the operations manager for the business, and their son Lark Mason III is also an appraiser in charge of marketing and operations for the company.
Recently, LMA, which conducts the majority of its business online, began a retail side of the gallery, selling art and furniture to customers who visit the New Braunfels location.
Mason said the family decided to move to New Braunfels to be closer to family and open a gallery that was centrally located in the United States.
“When we began to think about opening an actual gallery we thought, why would we go to San Antonio or Austin or Houston when we love it here? Why not just enrich the local place where we live, the culture and the quality of the things that are here?” Mason III said.
Some of the items on display at the auction house include a French 18th century cabinet, Chinese late 18th century cabinet, Greek and Roman cosmetic jars that range from 3000 B.C. to around 1500 B.C. There is also a grandfather clock inlaid with bone from the late 17th century previously owned by the JP Morgan family.
Mason also regularly appears on the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow.” According to PBS, his highest art appraisal so far has been a Korean court screen from the 1700s, which was valued at $400,000-$600,000 at auction.
Lark Mason Associates
210 W. Mill St., New Braunfels • 212-289-5524 • www.larkmasonassociates.com
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
The Appraisal Process
Here is a breakdown of the steps to having an item appraised to determine its value or history.
• Approach an appraiser: Find an art appraiser and tell them the story behind the art piece and why the owner would like the item appraised.
• Research: The appraiser consults auction records, private sales records, artworks currently for sale and more to determine the value of the item.
• The appraiser determines the value: The appraiser will also consider the provenance or history of ownership to determine the value to an art object.
• Experts provide feedback: The appraiser will notify the owner of their findings and their estimated value of the item for insurance or auction purposes.