Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Antique appraisals are Saturday at Heritage Village

LARGO — If you've ever questioned if that doll or cameo from your great-grandma is worth a fortune or belongs in a yard sale, there is a way to find out.

On Saturday, antique experts will be ready and waiting with information on items from Depression glass to furniture at the Pinellas County Historical Society Antique Appraisal Fair at Heritage Village.

"People can actually find out what kind of treasure they have," said Paige Noel, living-history interpreter. "We have experts in almost every area of antiques. They can bring their treasure in and get a very good estimate on it."

In the past, the appraisal fair has attracted up to 200 people with various antiques. It is sponsored by the Pinellas County Historical Society, a nonprofit group that supports the Heritage Village Museum.

This year, questions about the event have come in from as far away as Withlacoochee and Florida's east coast. RoseMarie Kafer, president of the Pinellas County Historical Society, has taken more than 50 calls in the last month.

"People are interested, and it's summertime, so why not take a trip to Pinellas County?" Kafer said.

Kafer said she had always thought fair visitors brought in their items because they wanted to sell them, but she has learned that isn't always true. She said one woman who called plans to move and is unsure if her items are valuable enough to be appraised and insured or should go to a flea market. By coming to the fair, she will have a better idea of what to save and what to part with before the move.

"That hadn't occurred to me before," Kafer said. "When items are handed down and you get a couple of generations away, there isn't that attachment to an item. People just don't know what they have."

At least nine appraisers with expertise in antiques including musical stringed instruments, rare and vintage books, gems, guns and armor will be on hand to answer people's questions.

Have questions about a doll saved from before 1950, or maybe some Victorian jewelry or an Oriental rug? No problem. There will even be a clock specialist to help with appraisals.

For a $5 appraisal fee for one item, or $12 for three, owners can learn facts about pieces they may have held on to for years, may have bought for themselves or recently inherited.

"I think this is a good way for people to find out what they have should they want to hand down an item to a child, a sister or someone," said Kafer. "They can tell that person what they find out. Some people may find out they want to insure an item or put it in a safe. Whatever they find out, they will at least have some idea of what they have and get an idea of what the item is worth."

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