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For what it’s worth

Antique appraisal fair raises funds for library

September 9, 2012
By JOHANNA BOYLE - Journal Ishpeming Bureau ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Families everywhere have antiques that may have been passed down for generations or purchased for cheap at thrift stores.

Part of the fun of keeping antiques is the air of mystery that surrounds the objects - how much might they be worth?

Area residents got the chance to learn a bit more about their family antiques Saturday at the Peter White Public Library's antique appraisal fair.

Set up as a fundraiser for the library, the event gave people interested in having items appraised the opportunity to purchase a ticket for each item.?The items were appraised by professional appraiser Mark F. Moran, who has appeared on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow. Moran is a former senior editor of antiques and collectible books for Krause Publications, specializing in vintage folk art, Americana and fine art. He has also authored or co-authored more than 25 books.

"Every show I do, I see (at least) one amazing thing. It's not always the most valuable," Moran said. "It's always wonderful to see beautiful artwork."

Moran said one of his favorite parts of appraising is getting to hear family stories and then give the family further information about their items.

"In many cases, it's part of their family's heritage," he said.

Items brought in Saturday ranged from tea sets to paintings to furniture.

Gregg Beukema of Marquette brought in a Victorian-era chair, which was appraised at $300.

"My grandmother was nursed in it," he said.

Although finding out an item is worth a small fortune might be a rarity, part of the fun is finding out what a $5 thrift store painting might be worth.

"It was a lot of fun and I'm happy to find out," said Carol Huempfner of Marquette.

The dollar value, however, doesn't represent the value of an item that has long been part of the family.

"The programs I do, most people don't care about the value," Moran said. "They just want to know if the stories about the pieces are true."

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is



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