McMinn museum appraisal fair could bring big surprise

McMinn museum appraisal fair could bring big surprise

July 20th, 2012 by Clint Cooper in Chattnow Outabout


What: Appraisal Fair.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Address: McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, 522 W. Madison Ave., Athens, Tenn.

Admission: $5 per item.

Phone: 423-745-0329.


Mary Alton said she's looking forward to seeing the looks on the faces of noncollectors who get a big surprise at Saturday's Appraisal Fair at the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum in Athens, Tenn.

"Some people have no idea what Great-Grandma left at the house," said the museum's director of visitor services. "That's the exciting stuff."

The appraisal fair, similar to the popular PBS series "Antiques Roadshow," offers an opportunity for people to bring items they'd like to have professionally valued by owner John Case and other staff from Knoxville's Case Antiques.

Alton said there will be at least five people, each a subject-matter expert, to evaluate items. The items most likely to be seen are art, furniture, glassware, pottery, silver, jewelry, military items, quilts and children's toys. There even may be a car, based on a call she had.

"We're not excluding anything," she said. "They've all been in business a long time."

Appraisers will provide verbal information on the history of an item and how it's used, as well as an approximate insurance valuation and a likely -- and lesser -- current market value, Alton said.

Visitors may bring as many items as they'd like, but there is a $5 charge for each item to be valued.

If people are bringing five or more items, or are bringing very large items, the museum would like to know ahead of time.

"That will help us gauge [the number of appraiser needed]," Alton said.

Free handouts also will be distributed that offer information on how to clean and preserve old quilts or describe archival boxes in which textiles can be kept.

Alton said people who bring items to be appraised will receive a free ticket to tour the museum while they wait. They also can purchase refreshments.

Registration will be in the lobby, and appraisals will be done in the Guild Room in the basement of the museum.

In hopes people will get to tour the museum, she said, "I hope there will be a bit of a wait.