Rummaging through dusty attics or exploring other obscure nooks and crannies can prove highly rewarding, as some East Texans are likely to discover at the Historic Upshur Museum’s upcoming 10th Annual Appraisal Fair.
Set for Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Yamboree Exhibit Building just off U.S. 271 N. in Gilmer, the fair is patterned after the popular Antiques Roadshow on PBS.
Featured will be seven experts on antiques and collectibles, including firearms, furniture, glassware, jewelry, books, coins, currency, precious metals, Civil War and historic Texas documents, pottery, art and toys
Admission is free. Cost of appraisals will be $10 per item or three items for $20.
Appraisers include Rudy Beloney, Big Sandy; Chris and Janice Cleeson, Longview, Charles Edwards, Bullard; Mark Feller, Longview, Richard Laster, Gilmer; and Butch Schaffan, Sulphur Springs.
“It’s amazing what things show up at the fair,” said Betty Slocum, coordinator for the event. “Over the years, we’ve had items ranging from Revolutionary rifles to a paintings worth $50,000 to what appraisers called ‘priceless’ letters from a Civil War soldier. Last year, one visitor brought in a bone sliver from a saint who helped save a French city from destruction by Attila the Hun.”
In addition to a colorful quilt display, fair highlights, all involving Gilmer residents, include a presentation of Civil War artifacts by Terry Smith, numerous Frozen Charlotte china dolls (manufactured from 1850 to 1920) owned by Mary Jones, pottery-making by Bill Taylor, the antique marble collection of Virginia Carroll, crocheted necklaces and button jewelry by Dorothy Eggert, jewelry created from silverware by Red Jones, quilts by the Gilmer First Baptist Church’s Piecemakers, and the Sebastian miniature figurine collection of Jean Hamil.
Food and other refreshments will be available, and fair attendees can participate in a silent auction for a variety of items donated by museum benefactors and board members.
At the fair’s conclusion, certificates will be awarded for items that appraisers deem “Most Exceptional,” “Most Unusual,” “Oldest,” and “Most Representative of Upshur County.”
Fair proceeds will be used to aid the Historic Upshur Museum in continuing its work in preserving and promoting the heritage of Upshur County and East Texas.