CHARLES TOWN – The Civil War soldier’s letter gathering dust in your attic; the candy dish passed down by your great Aunt Hilda; that 19th century cookbook you picked up at a yard sale – just how much are these treasures worth?
Your chance to hear an expert’s evaluation on possessions such as these comes Saturday as the Jefferson County Museum holds its annual Antiques Appraisal Fair.
“It’s a chance to find out if your heirlooms are in fact valuable right – something like the PBS show, ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ but right here in Charles Town,” explains Jane Rissler, the museum’s curator and the fair’s organizer. “People can bring in their valuables, little treasures or big ones, and the museum brings in expert appraisers.”
Mark C. Grove, a certified appraiser based in Charlottesville and Fairfax, Va., will lead the eighth-annual event, to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum, which is located on the ground floor of the Charles Town Library at 200 E. Washington St.
Anyone is welcome to tote in antiques to be evaluated by Grove and other appraisers. A verbal assessment costs $5 per item. Those bringing in multiple belongings get a price break – three items for $12, with each piece beyond that priced at $3.
Grove, who has recorded more than 10,000 hours as an appraiser during 33 years in the field, also is a lecturer and a regular on the Virginia PBS show, “Chesapeake Collectibles.” He formerly worked as an adjunct professor for appraisal studies at New York University.
His areas of expertise cover fields including the Civil War, military artifacts, coins and paper money, Americana, books and documents, fine jewelry, art pottery and textiles.
Over the years, the fair has delivered good news to antique owners, including the 2011 event when a local couple learned their Vacheron Constantin pocket watch had a value of more than $100,000.
Rissler said the fair also serves as a key fundraiser for the museum, with $600 or more raised in a typical year.
For those who have questions or who need more information, Rissler may be reached at museum at 304-725-8628 or by email at email@example.com.