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Antique appraisal fair deemed success

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

They brought antique bathtubs, telephones, parlor settees and even old Cracker Jacks' toy prizes. Some were overjoyed to learn their treasures were quite valuable, while others were shocked when their cherished heirlooms weren't relished too highly on the money scale for antique-worthiness.

The antique appraisal, hosted by the Clarksburg/Harrison Cultural Foundation, was held at Robert C. Byrd High School on Saturday. More than 800 people attended the event, according to Barbara Bean, foundation president.

"I waited in line for about an hour and a half," said David Young of Clarksburg. "But it was worth the wait."

Young originally went to the event to help out as a volunteer and decided he would bring along a woodblock carving that artist Blanche Lazzell used to produce one of her paintings.

He was glad he did.

It qualified as a very important piece and is rather valuable, according to Todd Pinkham, an appraiser from Dargate Auction Galleries of Pittsburgh.

"It's such a rare item because normally most artists destroy their woodblocks, so prints can't be made," Pinkham said.

Robin Miller, a volunteer at the event, brought an old kerosene lamp and was shocked to find it was worth $700.

"I was surprised that it was from the 1860s," she said. "It's going to stay in the family now."

The certified appraisers who donated their time were local antique dealers and enthusiasts as well as professional appraisers from auction houses in Pittsburgh, Bean said.

It was the first time the foundation held the event and they hope to make it an annual fundraiser, according to Bean. One of the most interesting items she saw come through the line was a toy washing machine from the Civil War era.

Virgil Matheny of Clarksburg brought an antique toy truck and an antique wicker stroller and was anxious to find out their values. Following his appraisal, Matheny was pleased but realistic about the amount he could potentially receive for the items

"Its like any collectible," he said. "It more or less depends on who wants it as to what it's worth."

The money raised at the event will go into the foundations' endowment fund to help provide arts and entertainment for residents of Harrison and surrounding counties.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1443.

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