(From the Edinburgh Republic, Oct 10, 2007)

Whatís it really worth? Appraisal event helps visitors uncover true value of odds, ends


By Brian Blair bblair@therepublic.com

    EDINBURGH ó Some wanted to know if theyíd found junk or the jackpot as they sifted through belongings of parents or grandparents. Columbusí John Williams just wanted to see if his ceramic Rookwood bookends boasted value beyond the book shelf.

    He got an answer within minutes from appraiser Jeff Crabb, who found the pieces listed in a reference book at his fingertips.

    ìThese were the largest bookends Rookwood ever made," Crabb said, as he checked details in his antiques guide.

    The bottom line: The bird pieces done in 1928 by artist McDonald Hawthorne are worth between $2,000 and $3,000 ó substantially more than Williams expected.

    He participated in Exit 76 Antique Mallís Free Market Value event, a local version, in a sense, of ìAntiques Roadshow," Saturday near Edinburgh. Nearly 100 owners of this and that came for estimates and background.

    Appraiser Crabb recently met a Carmel woman with a glass item she figured was worth maybe $200 tops. It was valued at $3,000.

    North Vernonís Patty Shepherd and her mom brought a pitcher, bowl and a McCoy vase for appraisal.

    ìWe just never see one (vase) this size," Shepherd said.

Value beyond money

    She recently spoke to her children, ages 22 and 25, about keeping valued items passed down to them, a theme several visitors mentioned while they waited about 45 minutes in line. ìI tell them what things are worth," Shepherd said. ìBut what they would do (with keepsakes) once Iím gone is anybodyís guess." Sandy Sanders, who helped people move through Saturdayís line, noticed that folks had a soft spot for more than hard numbers. ìThey want a story, if possible, so they can know the history of the piece they have," she said. Some carried intriguing pieces, such as the woman who brought in lace placemats she said were from Mamie Eisenhower. The woman said she was a longtime friend of Julie Eisenhower, the former first ladyís granddaughter-in-law. The appraisers had to tell the disappointed woman that she needed to provide photos to properly document the placematsí value. Columbusí Norman Minor showed off an 1870s pitchfork that had been smoothly refinished and slightly restored. The tool, passed along by his mother-in-law 45 years ago, was pegged at $125. Exit 76 Manager Nic Nicoson already is hoping for another Fair Market Value event, possibly in the spring. ìWeíll definitely do it again next year," he said, ìbecause of the numbers (of people)."

Photos for The Republic by April Knox Top left: Ken and Sandy Stiles of Indianapolis brought this religious statue to the Exit 76 Antique Mall during the Free Market Value event. Above: Margaret Payne, right, discusses the value of a chamber pot brought in by John Williams, and Barbie Nunemaker examines a pitcher.

Margaret Payne holds a silver cup from an eggnog bowl set during Free Market Value at the Exit 76 Antique Mall.

This Pre-Civil War silver case pocket watch was valued over $2,000.