Jewelry appraiser S. Quinn McCarthy investigates heirloom jewelry pieces brought in by Nancy Faust to last year’s Hidden Treasures fundraiser for Riddick’s Folly House Museum. This year’s event is coming next Saturday.
Jewelry appraiser S. Quinn McCarthy investigates heirloom jewelry pieces brought in by Nancy Faust to last year’s Hidden Treasures fundraiser for Riddick’s Folly House Museum. This year’s event is coming next Saturday.

Archived Story

Antiques appraisal offered

Published 10:47pm Thursday, March 14, 2013

Old books, your grandmother’s china and that tin of coins you found in the attic are all good candidates for appraisal at an upcoming fundraising event for a local nonprofit organization.

The 14th annual Hidden Treasures Antiques Appraisal Show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23 at the Suffolk National Guard Armory, 2761 Godwin Blvd. Verbal appraisals cost $7, and guests can also arrange to have items formally appraised for insurance purposes at a later date, a process that costs $100.

“It is a unique opportunity to have experts appraise your antiques and heirlooms,” Riddick’s Folly curator Lee King said.

The event benefits the Riddick’s Folly House Museum, located at 510 N. Main St. The home, built in 1837 by Mills Riddick, is a living testament to what life in Suffolk was like during the antebellum period, the Civil War and the years afterward.

Visitors at the appraisal event in past years have found that what they thought were ordinary items were actually worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Two years ago, a visitor brought in 14 documents signed by Albert Einstein. An expert appraiser determined they were authentic and pegged their worth at $110,000, King said.

Several years ago, a visitor brought a painting that King believes was done by Thomas Moran. The auction house they tried to sell it through disagreed, though — had it gone to auction as a Moran, it could have fetched about $350,000, King said.

“I’m still convinced it was Thomas Moran,” King said. “They’ll never convince me it wasn’t.”

Experts will be available in a variety of fields — books and publications, Civil War artifacts and firearms, clocks and timepieces, coins and currency, dolls, furniture, jewelry, linens and quilts, paintings, prints, folk art, needlework, porcelain, glass, silver, and toys and games.

King said toys and books are some of the most overlooked items that people should bring to the show.

“They may not think of toys and dolls, but those things are getting pretty expensive now,” King said. “And people may not think books are worth much, but a lot of them can be. It’s always good to know what you have, rather than putting it up at a yard sale and giving it away.”

Guests are responsible for getting items into and out of the building at the event. For more information, call 934-0822.

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