Leila Dunbar, ISA AM, AAA, Specialty Studies: Collectibles

Leila Dunbar, ISA AM, AAA, Specialty Studies: Collectibles


Leila Dunbar
ISA member since May 17, 2011

(917) 860-1383 (Office)

2107 Huidekoper Place NW
Washington, DC 20007 , United States map

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Leila "Lee" Dunbar, former head of Sotheby’s Collectibles Department and 22-year veteran “Antiques Roadshow” appraiser, is the president of Leila Dunbar Appraisals And Consulting LLC, which offers pop culture memorabilia and wine appraisals, consulting, auctioneering and media services to private clients, auction houses, corporations, media and institutions.

Major areas of expertise include sports and entertainment memorabilia, antique toys and banks, advertising ephemera, transportation memorabilia, comics, comic art, Disney memorabilia, records, posters, vehicles, archives, wine and spirits, etc, with more than $550 million valued.

Projects/clients include the Smithsonian, Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Original Rules Of Basketball By Dr. James Naismith ($4.3 million), Motown Historical Museum, New York Yankees Museum, United States Golf Association, PGA, Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Yogi Berra Museum, Country Music And Rock And Roll Halls of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, collections of Keith Richards, Stephen Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, George Lucas, Liza Minnelli, Bobby Orr, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Mark Texiera, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Ron Howard, Mickey Wright, Floyd Mayweather and Jeffrey Katzenberg; estates of Babe Ruth, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Paul Newman, Dolph Schayes, Les Paul, Ben Novack (Batman), Bob Feller, Tammy Wynette, Joe Kubert, Charles Penney and Joe Fraizer.

From 1999-2008 as Sotheby’s SVP, Lee’s department sold more than $75 million worth of memorabilia via live and online auctions of collectibles.  Sports highlights include the bat that Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run ever on Grand Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, for $1.25 million, a record for a bat and the 1919 contract selling Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees for $996,000, a record for a sports contract. High profile entertainment highlights include the Estate of Katharine Hepburn ($6 million); the Estate of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash ($4 million) and Property from the Collection of Cher ($3.5 million).

Television & Press Contributions: Since its inception in 1996, Lee has participated as a sports memorabilia, toys and collectibles appraiser on the PBS television series The Antiques Roadshow, appearing in more than 70 televised segments and providing more than 3,500 verbal auction estimates. Lee has also appeared on and/or contributed expertise to hundreds of news outlets, including USA Today, The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Sports Illustrated, the BBC, AP, ESPN, People, TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, NPR, GQ, Country Living, Wall St. Journal, etc. Lee is the author of three collectibles reference books: Motorcycle Collectibles (1996), More Motorcycle Collectibles (1997) and Automobilia (1998).  In 2010 Lee was profiled in Forbes Magazine.  Recently she was featured in "Cool Jobs" on ESPNW.com and has contributed to several ESPN segments. In February 2017, Lee's article "Tom Brady's Stolen Super Bowl Jersey - What's It Worth" appeared in Sports Collectors Digest. (http://www.leiladunbar.com/press-blog/2017/02/13/tom-bradys-missing-super-bowl-jersey-priceless-or-worthless/).

Since 2013, Lee has served on the National Appraisal Foundation Board Of Trustees (currently as Secretary), which oversees USPAP; is acertified member of the AAA and accredited member of the ISA; and has given numerous lectures and/or workshops to both appraisal groups. She has also recently spoken at the Concord Art Museum, NARI Homeshow, the American Bar Association, SABR (Society Of Baseball Researchers), the National Baseball Of Fame Symposium at Cooperstown and US Trust; and will be speaking to the International Sports Heritage Association in September 2018. 

Lee has auctioned for Sotheby's, Augusta (Couture) Auctions, Bertoia's, Goldin Auctions and Julien's Auctions. She has also raised more than $4 million as a benefit auctioneer, most recently for Jazz House Kids, the Appraisal Foundation For Education, Motown Historical Museum, Musicians On Call and Kareem Abdul Jabbar's Skyhook Foundation. 


  • Collectibles
  • Collectibles - Sports & Trading
  • Memorabilia
  • Memorabilia - Entertainment
  • Wine


  • Consultant
  • Donations
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Estate Tax
  • Expert Witness
  • Instructor
  • Insurance Claims
  • Speaker

Performs Appraisals Of

  • Collectibles
  • Collectibles - Sports & Trading
  • Memorabilia
  • Memorabilia - Entertainment
  • Transportation - Cars
  • Wine
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