By Lauren Perry
You’re not quite sure how that antique table found its way into your living room, or why you offered to take your late relative’s furniture after they died. Whether you’re trying to sell your valuables, or simply want to know how much they’re worth, bring your antiques to St. Mary’s School on Sunday, July 28 for an appraisal.
Done by Mark Moran, an antique specialist, you will walk away with an estimated price, and possibly a new appreciation for your goodies. Moran has over 40 years of experience in the field and has written 27 books to relay his knowledge and stories. His love for antiques began in the 1970s when he dipped his toes into the waters by becoming a collector, began dealing antiques in the 80s and finally began writing books in the 90s.
Moran, an Iola, Wis., native, travels throughout the upper midwest sharing his knowledge. Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have see over 300 of his programs in the last two years, which surpassed his goal of 100 shows each year. It is no secret why his shows have been so popular, “This is appraisal as theater, so expect humor, anecdotes, tall tales and just a lot of fun,” Moran said, describing what the typical program consists of.
Even with so many events scheduled, Moran does not see boredom anywhere on the horizon. “Every program you have that’s amazingly cool. A painting or a piece of pottery, even a light fixture.”
During an event in Monroe, Wis. a lamp was brought in and he discovered that it’s shade was worth 8,000. The woman obtained the lamp from a house she’d purchased, and the previous owners had left it there. She had no idea what it was worth, Moran said.
The typical appraisal will last approximately three hours, giving 4 minutes to each item. During those 4 minutes, Moran will inquire about what the owner knows about their possession and how they came to obtain it. After that, Moran gives a brief summary of his findings and his opinion of its worth. He is more than happy to do home visits, which cost $75 and includes an unlimited amount of items.
If you’re interested in learning more about your household goodies, or would simply like to come and learn about the antique world, Moran will be visiting Caledonia on July 28. The appraisal will be held at Holy Family Hall at St. Mary’s School from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Pre-registration is required, as well as a $5 per-item fee, which can both be done at the Caledonia Public Library.