Antiques in Town

Annual Antique Appraisal Fair – Feb 25th

The Southport Chapter of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) is sponsoring their 15th Antique Appraisal Fair at the Southport Community Center on Sunday, February 25, 2018 from 2 to 5 p.m. As in the past, multiple certified appraisers, both specialist and generalists, are volunteering their expertise to give their estimate of what your antiques are worth. You may bring up to 3 hand-carried items to be appraised. The cost is $8 per item, or three items for $20.

1 – The Southport Chapter has been doing this fundraiser for the past 14 years… what is the most exciting antique that has been “discovered” in the appraisal process? (or memorable)
I think Debby’s $15,000 train set is the record for most expensive.
2 – Has there ever been anything appraised that was quite a “shock”? Or Interesting artifact? Or Unidentifiable?
We have had at least one item that looked like a prehistoric find that was unidentifiable and could not be valued. The owner of it said he had taken it to several other appraisers and they didn’t know what it was worth either. We also had an original letter from Teddy Roosevelt written in 1898. That one was so valuable that the appraiser said more research would have to be done to establish its value.
3 – I think everyone has watched Antique Roadshow… is the appraisal fair similar to that? Yes it is, very similar.
4 – What do people usually do when they find they have something valuable? So they normally sell it – or keep it?
At least half the people have no intention of selling the items; they are just curious as to their worth (and many want to know to tell their children what they will inherit.) Sometimes they are even more pleased to find out how old the item is, what it is, and where it came from especially if it is an heirloom.
“Sometimes people get a real surprise — like my husband. He brought in his 100-year-old shotgun, still in working condition, in its original ratty old cardboard box that left a trail of cardboard sawdust all the way across the room. The appraiser said the gun wasn’t worth much but the box was quite valuable. I can assure you neither Al nor his box were very popular with the AAF clean-up crew who did not appreciate having to get up all that sawdust!”
5 – How many people usually come? One year the total was over 300, but the usual number is closer to 200.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward college scholarships, educational loans and financial assistance for women to further their education. Over the last 14 years, the Southport Chapter has raised over $20,000 through the Antique Appraisal Fair.
P.E.O is an international organization of women whose mission is to promote and support educational opportunities for women. It was founded in 1869 by seven students at a small college in Iowa. If you are interested in knowing more about P.E.O., you can check out their website at
For more information on the Antique Appraisal Fair, please contact Diane Johnson at (910)351-0034 or

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