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Antique lovers gather at Eastmoreland appraisal party

by: David F. Ashton, Nancy Craven learns from appraiser Gary Germer that her grandfather’s silver “loving cup” has more than sentimental value — it’s worth about $2,000.

Due partly to the popularity of the PBS TV show, 'Antiques Roadshow', three Inner Southeast businesspeople decided to throw their own 'Antiques Party' in Eastmoreland on April 9th.

'We wanted to have an event that would promote our neighborhood, and be open to the public,' said one of the organizers, Molly Starr, of Starr/Hamilton/Rand Brokers, ReMax Real Estate Group.'Along with my partners, Una Rand and Chris Hamilton, we invited folks to the Eastmoreland Golf Course clubhouse for refreshments, to listen to jazz by Ward Rand's duo, and to get a free verbal appraisal of some of their antiques and collectibles.' Starr's special interest in antiques comes naturally; a few years ago she operated the former 'Sellwood Peddler' antique shop on S.E. 13th Avenue.

From the moment the doors opened, people started lining up to show their treasures to Gary Germer, a licensed appraiser. Before Germer gave his verbal monetary appraisal, he carefully inspected each object, and shared his knowledge with the owners.

We were nearby, as Nancy Craven presented her grandfather's silver cup, Germer looked it over carefully, then explained, 'It's not of historical significance. But it's a wonderful piece. If this is in the 'decorator' type of shop, and for someone into awards history, it's a 'double collectible'. It's a heavy piece; and in the $1,500-$2,000 range.'

After the event, Germer talked with us for a few minutes. 'The highlight for me was the fellow with Norman Rockwell posters. These were World War II fundraising or bond posters, called 'The Four Freedoms'. They've become an iconic symbol. Having all four posters was an amazing find, worth about $500 for the set.'

Germer added that the most absorbing item he appraised was a necklace made from Tuscan pottery. 'The terra-cotta pottery had to have been thousands of years old. In the 1920s, it was made into a necklace, with 18 karat gold and pearl strands. It was quite an interesting piece.'

'One of the most difficult things,' Germer went on, 'was telling a guest that their Abraham Lincoln signature wasn't actually by Abraham Lincoln. At the time, his secretary signed the President's name to the more mundane documents. It's kind of sad; I think I broke the hearts of a multigenerational family. But, they did learn about their historical document.'

The best thing about holding public appraisals, Germer told us, is learning the family stories behind the pieces. 'I love finding what the piece means to the individual. They get such a kick out of learning a little bit more information about a possession that obviously means the world to them. It doesn't really matter if it's worth a dollar or a $1,000 to someone who appreciates it.'

And part of the fun, he said, is overhearing couples talk about items they've brought. 'Sometimes a husband is elbowing the wife telling her it's a piece of junk; I get to say that it's a $2,000 painting that they brought in.'

If you missed this antiques event, Hamilton, Starr, and Rand say they plan to hold another one. Watch THE BEE for the date and time.