Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Priceless Memories?

By Misty L. Harris

I’ve never been good at throwing anything away. I have not reached ‘hoarder” level yet but I do have items that I consider my “collectables” that have increased in number over the past years. I also have never been good at giving things to the Goodwill. I always commit to the “spring cleaning” project  but there’s always something in the “give away” bag that I think I could make good use of (at least for one more year, right?). My mother hates it! I don’t consider any of my stuff junk, trash or out-of-style.  Besides, old stuff equals good old memories. That doll collecting dust or that set of three mugs given to you by Grandma or perhaps Great-Grandma traces back to a special time that you or they don’t want to forget. It’s not so much about the value - it’s the memories.  But what if that china set was worth a gazillion dollars? How would you know if you didn’t get it appraised?  Could Grandma have been sitting on a gold mine? That’s up to you to find out!  So take it out of that bag and head down to the WNED Antiques Home Show

Bring your antique items down to the WNED Studios in downtown Buffalo and depending on the category, one of several appraisers will carefully examine your piece to determine the value. Does this sound familiar? Have you watched this show before? Yes, it’s a lot like PBS’s Antiques Road Show but with a twist! I asked WNED’s Events Manager Dorothy Mesmer about the event and what participants could expect.

What makes the WNED Antiques Home Show so unique?  People like to find out what their things are worth, hoping to find that one item that is worth a lot of money.
How is it different from Antiques Roadshow?  Ours is done with local appraisers and it is not televised.

Who is the target audience for this event? Any one with an antique wanting to know it’s value.

Why do you think this event is so popular?  Everybody hope to have that one special item worth a lot of money.

What are the most interesting items that have come across your path?  A Tiffany Lamp, beautiful antique diamond ring and broach, there are a lot of things. Each unique in it’s own way. Someone bought a trunk at the Goodwill for $10 and it was worth $1,000.

What item has garnered the most value as far as an appraisal is concerned?  An oriental rug appraised at  $100,000 that was just hanging in their living room.

What are some of the fun reactions guests have had towards an appraisal?  Shock, excitement, interesting stories behind the items.
Do you remember that shocking appraisal from last year’s Antiques Roadshow  in Tulsa?  The collection of 17th/18th-century Chinese carved rhinoceros horn cups were valued at 1 million to 1.5 million dollars! The owner began collecting cups in the 70’s and had no clue that they were potentially worth this much.

So what do you have upstairs in your attic or downstairs in the basement collecting dust? Maybe it’s worth a visit to the WNED Antiques Home Show to find out just how much it’s worth. And while no one can put a value on our treasured memories, it might be fun to investigate, just in case!

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