Museum hosts Antique Appraisal Day

November 04, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

Sharon Coffman of Chambersburg, Pa., carefully unfolded the colorful, hand-woven coverlet, which she keeps wrapped in a white sheet for protection.

The four appraisers who had gathered to take a look all admired the 157-year-old creation made of brilliant burnt orange with tans and dark blues and greens.

"This is in really good shape. It's one of the oldest I've ever seen," said Waynesboro antique dealer Phyllis Potter.

"It looks as though it's never been used," said Suzanne Daly, a Chambersburg woman who specializes in antique and collectible dolls.


Although the weaver's name is unknown, appraisers said it was made by someone who traveled from town to town and loomed in people's front yards.

Coffman knew little about the history of the item, which was given to her by her father-in-law about 10 years ago.

She was surprised to learn the coverlet is worth about $2,500.

"I think I'll keep it for a while," she said.

Coffman was one of dozens of amateur collectors from the area who brought treasures from their attics to Renfrew Museum on Saturday.

For $3 per item, local antique experts estimated the value.

Because the nine appraisers volunteered their services, all the proceeds went to the nonprofit Renfrew Museum and Park, said museum curator Jeffrey Bliemeister.

It was the fifth annual show modeled after the popular "Antiques Roadshow" on public television.

"In an age when we're moving so fast, people still like to anchor in the past," said David Hykes, chairman of the Renfrew Executive Committee and a local antique dealer who volunteered his services. "That's what Renfrew's all about, preserving the past."

Bill Gelbach of Waynesboro brought in a cast-iron toy calliope wagon pulled by two horses.

Gelbach, who got the circa 1920 toy as a child, said he used to pull it down a 65-foot hallway in his apartment.

"That's a beauty. I don't think I've ever seen one like that," said Budd Moore of Chambersburg, an authority on American pottery and glassware and a member of the American Society of Appraisers.

G. Craig Caba, who has an antique and auction business in Enola, Pa., said he was impressed with the overall quality of the items appraised Saturday.

Among the more valuable items was a set of two family portrait oil paintings worth an estimated $10,000, an 18-inch Stieff bear on wheels valued at $1,500 to $1,800 and a Santa Claus with a reindeer whose head opened up to hold candy, valued at $3,000 to $6,000.

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