International auction house Lark Mason Associates settles in New Braunfels

Lark Mason Associates is a full service auction house specializing in fine and decorative fine art and is located on Mill Street in downtown New Braunfels. The company had an 1850 German farmhouse in New Braunfels that needed to be demolished moved to its location and built the auction house around the historic structure.

“We realized we needed to create a space that would be functional for us, but also preserve the fabric of the old building,” said Lark Ernest Mason.

LMA was founded by Lark Ernest Mason, author, appraiser, independent curator, educator, art consultant and expert in Chinese art and antiquities.

His wife, Erica Mason, is the company’s operations director, and their son Lark Mason III is also an appraiser in charge of the company’s marketing and operations.

Recently, LMA, which does the majority of its business online, launched a retail side of the gallery, selling art and furniture to customers visiting the New Braunfels site.

Mason said the family decided to move to New Braunfels to be closer to family and open a gallery in the middle of the United States.

“When we started thinking about opening a real gallery, we said to ourselves: why would we go to San Antonio, Austin or Houston, when we love this place? Why not just enrich the local place where we live, the culture and the quality of the things that are here? said Mason III.

Some of the items on display at the auction house include an 18th century French armoire, a late 18th century Chinese armoire, Greek and Roman cosmetic jars ranging from 3000 BC to around 1500 BC There is also a late 17th century bone-encrusted grandfather clock was previously owned by the JP Morgan family.

Mason also appears regularly on the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow”. According to PBS, his highest art appraisal to date was a Korean court screen from the 1700s, which fetched between $400,000 and $600,000 at auction.

Lark Mason Associates

210 W. Mill St., New Braunfels • 212-289-5524 • www.larkmasonassociates.com

Opening hours: Tue.-Sat. 10am-5pm, closed Sun-Mon

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The evaluation process

Here is a breakdown of the steps to have an item appraised to determine its value or history.

• Speak to an appraiser: Find an art appraiser and tell them the story of the artwork and why the owner wants the object appraised.

• Research: The expert consults auction records, private sale records, works of art currently on sale and more to determine the value of the object.

• Appraiser Determines Value: The appraiser will also consider provenance or ownership history to determine the value of an art object.

• Experts Provide Feedback: The appraiser will inform the owner of their findings and the estimated value of the item for insurance or auction purposes.