I have been asked to do appraisals at church suppers, potluck dinners and all sorts of luncheons, but I just worked my first pig roast. I didn’t think an evening event such as this would bring out the antiques, but I was surprised by the number and quality of the items I saw.
I can’t include all the photos I took there, because that same week, I held an appraisal program at the Cape May County Library’s main branch on Mechanic Street. So, I have photos enough for a couple of more columns to come.
Whatever you do, you must have a county library card. Did you know that with your card number you can access the “Price It” feature on www.cmclibrary.com and get free access to a database of thousands of antique prices? That’s only one of the ways the library can help you appraise your own things. Get your card today.
Among this week’s photos is a “whatzit,” an item you will have to figure out. I certainly didn’t know what it was when it was first presented to me. Send me an email if you have the answer.
Also of interest this week is an early electric lamp from the time when they were still trying to figure out what an electric lamp should look like. The earliest electric was available in New York City, and the American Lamp Manufacturing Company in that city produced many electric lamps using slag glass, a colored milk glass that let a soft light out while hiding the bulb.
In good condition slag glass lamps can be valued at from $500-$2,000. If the designs are colorful and unique, people will see them a proud classics rather than old-fashioned, and worthy of a place in even the most contemporary decor.
If you are looking to have some things appraised, this month is the time to do it. This Sat., May 18, I’ll be at Marketplace at Teaberry on Route 9 in Clermont from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Appraisals are free with a purchase from one of their dealers, or with a $5 donation to charity for two items. (You can slip in another; I won’t tell.) Call 609-624-1700 for more information.
And don’t forget, May 25, the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, it’s the annual Avalon Antique Show run by the Bayberry Twigs, our local hospital’s Women’s Auxiliary. This is a real festival – lots of antique dealers, a great flower sale by the Garden Club, and a yummy bake sale by the Woman’s Club. I’ll be there to appraise your items from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. It’s a great way to start off the summer season at the shore. This show is always lots of fun, and it’s all for a good cause. Hope to see you there.
Arthur Schwerdt, a certified appraiser, is the author of “The Antique Story Book: Finding the Real Value of Old things,” and co-owner of The August Farmhouse Antiques on Route 9 in Swainton. Send your comments, questions and appraisal requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.