LARGO — You've inherited a copy of Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Gone with the Wind. There's no dust jacket, and the pages have tanned, but other than that, it's in fine condition.
Hmmmm. Do you swoon from joy, or, fiddle-dee-dee, sell it at a garage sale?
It depends, said Jody Stanley, a member of the Questers organization, an international association dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antiquities, buildings and historic sites.
"Is it a first edition? If not, it's probably not worth much, but bring it in and find out for sure."
She's talking about the 12th annual Antique Appraisal Fair, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Village.
Ten appraisers will be in the Pinellas Room to assess the value of old and treasured items such as gems and jewelry, Oriental rugs, rare books, firearms, glassware and china, dolls, scientific instruments, and furniture.
Appraisal fees are $5 an item; three for $12. The Pinellas County Historical Society is organizing the fair, which benefits Heritage Village, a 21-acre living history museum operated by the county.
Don't bother with the antique clocks and pocket watches.
"Unfortunately, that expert is unable to attend this year," said Stanley, who is chairing the fair.
If heirlooms are too big to carry, bring a picture, she recommended.
Appraisers will be armed with books to help determine values, but don't expect to walk away with cash.
"They aren't allowed to buy at the fair but can pass out business cards so people can contact them in the future should they decide to sell," she said.
Last year's event was remarkable for the number of vintage firearms and antique quilts and blankets brought in by the public.
"We had a lot of baby boomers with inherited items and people who had bought things at garage sales, hoping they were valuable," Stanley said.
"Because of our times, people often need the money."