10/10/10 — Junk or treasure -- antique appraisal today

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Junk or treasure -- antique appraisal today

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 10, 2010 1:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Most people probably have had hopes of discovering valuable treasures as they sifted through attics and basements full of boxes.

Today's third annual Antiques Appraisal Afternoon at the David John Aaron Teaching and History Museum will offer a way for people to find out if they have that treasure, or just junk. It will be help from 2 to 4 p.m. at the museum, 137 E. Main St.

For one woman that hope became a reality when she carried items to one of the earlier programs -- the 12 pieces of crystal she had discovered in a trunk she had inherited were valued at $5,000 each by Conway Rose, a nationally certified antiques appraiser.

"We got a lot of comments," said museum Director Ken Dilda. "I think he (Rose) was most impressed and got excited about some cut crystal, English style, that a woman found in a trunk. It was absolutely exquisite. He said he had never seen any so fine."

Dilda said the woman had inherited the trunk and had it for a while before ever opening it and going through its contents.

"She had no idea it was that valuable," he said.

Other items of value have included paintings by a Charleston, S.C., artist Rose was familiar with that were valued at $750.

While most people probably won't bring in such expensive treasures, the annual event is still interesting and fun, Dilda said.

The first nationally certified antiques appraiser in the state, Rose has been appraising items for 60 years and will be back at the museum Sunday.

Items that will be accepted must be hand-held with a limit of three per person. Items that will not be accepted include pistols, guns, jewelry and large furniture. The cost will be $5 per item, payable at the door.

"There is no charge to watch and people do that," Dilda said. "People find the whole process fascinating."

While it is a fundraiser, it is actually more a community service through the museum's outreach program, Dilda said.

The project started three years ago after museum committee member Patti O'Donoghue read a newspaper article about a similar project.

Normally 25-30 people bring in items including toys, tools, farm equipment, china, crystal and bowls, Dilda said.

Most of the items are family heirlooms, but people are reminded that the museum is always looking for items to add to its collection.

One of the most unusual items has been a hand-operated corn planter dating from about 1894.

"It was really an interesting piece," Dilda said. "He (Rose) is very entertaining and engaging. He is just ideal for this kind of event. He wants to know the history.

"It is a wonderful opportunity if people think they have something of value or who are just curious. It is an opportunity to have someone who is highly qualified to put a value on it."

For more information call Dilda at 731-2779 or Mrs. O'Donoghue, at 735-3234.