Appraisal show could hide big surprise

Published 9:46 pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

An unusual painting you inherited, an old book from the dusty box in the attic, your grandfather’s grandfather clock or your great-grandmother’s hand-quilted quilt could all be worth thousands of dollars.

A great time to find out what you’ve got — and how much you could get if you were willing to sell it — is coming up at the annual Hidden Treasures Appraisal Show.

A fundraiser for Riddick’s Folly House Museum, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. next Saturday, March 22, at the Suffolk National Guard Armory, 2761 Godwin Blvd.

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

Experts in 16 areas will be available, ranging from linens and jewelry to toys and clocks. Books and publications, Civil War artifacts and firearms, coins and currency, dolls, furniture, quilts, paintings, prints, folk art, needlework, porcelain and glass and silver also will be examined by the experts.

Previous guests at the event have discovered they have some real treasures on their hands, King said.

Last year, a 200-year-old, hand-colored engraving of the bombardment of Fort McHenry was appraised at $8,000 to $10,000. In other past shows, a Union officer’s uniform was brought in by a descendant, and it was appraised at $15,000; a World War II submarine battle flag was appraised at $3,000 to $5,000; a baseball signed by a 1960s New York Yankees team was put at $2,000; a collection of letters written by Albert Einstein was valued at $100,000; a small Thomas Moran painting was appraised at $350,000; and a 1795 American Eagle $10 gold piece was set at $35,000 to $50,000.

The cost is $7 per item, which gets the owner a five-minute verbal appraisal of each item. There is no limit to the number of items, but guests are responsible for getting them into and out of the building. Large items like furniture can be left on the truck, and the appraiser can meet the owners at the back door of the building, King said.

No one under 18 will be allowed in the building without a parent or guardian. For more information, call 934-0822 or email