Carol Prisant, a writer, editor, author and expert on antiques formerly of Roslyn Harbor, has died.
Prisant died on April 9 of lung cancer, her son M. Barden Prisant told The New York Times last week.
Born Carol Lincoff in Pittsburgh, Penn., the daughter of jeweler Escher Lincoff and his wife Jeanne, a travel agent, as a student at Barnard College studying English literature she spent a summer working as an au pair for Babe Paley, wife of CBS founder William Paley.
In 1958, she left school to marry rocket scientist and aircraft indicator case manufacturer Millard Prisant. They would live near Cape Canaveral in Florida and in Boston before moving to Roslyn Harbor in the early 1960s. Prisant would then operate an antique appraisal business in Locust Valley until being sidelined by back problems.
In 1989, at age 51, Prisant would write to Min Hogg, editor of the London magazine The World of Interiors, and ask if an antiques editor position was available. The publication didn’t have such a position, but Hogg offered her the chance to write anyway. She took it, working for the magazine for over 27 years and later becoming its New York editor.
Also in the 90s, Prisant would author her first two books, “Antiques Roadshow Primer,” and “Antiques Roadshow Collectibles,” guides to American antiques and companions to “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, and begin writing the antiquing column “Good, Better, Best?” for House Beautiful, later adapted into a book of its own.
The Prisants shared a passion for design and restoration that would extend to their homes. Her eye for aesthetics, cultivated through years of scoping out antiques and treasures, and his talents in construction led to them working together on restoration including a fourteen-room Victorian Gothic house in Roslyn Harbor, a seven-year endeavor that would cost $125,000.
”Millard and I have a division of labor,” Prisant told the Times in 1999, in a story on the house. ”I do ‘pretty’ and he does ‘functional.’ He’s the engineer and I’m the artist.”
Appropriately, Millard would also serve as president of the Roslyn Preservation Corp., chairman of the Roslyn Harbor Planning Board, and as president of the Roslyn Landmark Society, and Prisant herself would also serve on the advisory board of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Their son Barden, born in 1961, would follow in his mother’s footsteps by founding the appraisal and research company Telepraisal.
Following her husband’s death from pancreatic cancer in 2000, Prisant would sell their Roslyn Harbor home and move to an apartment on East End Avenue in Manhattan, where she continued writing.
In 2010, she authored the memoir “Dog House: A Love Story,” about her 42-year marriage and the 10 dogs they shared. Her first novel, “Catch 26,” would be published in 2016, and one more memoir, the personal “7 Shrinks: 60 Years in an Undiagnosed Altered State,” would be published in February.
Prisant is survived by her son Barden, daughter-in-law Catherine, brother Richard Lincoff, and a granddaughter, Tucker Velocity Prisant. A memorial service had been held at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan on April 9.