By DR. LORI
Recently, the Williamsport Crosscutters baseball team hosted my antiques appraisal comedy show at historic Bowman Field. Fans of the Crosscutters brought me flea market finds and family heirlooms in order to find out what their stuff really is worth.
In addition to the traditional and typical sports collectibles - like a circa 1955 signed New York Yankees team baseball featuring Mickey Mantle and other players worth a few hundred bucks and a 2004 Topps autographed baseball card signed by Alex Rodriquez and Hank Aaron worth about $250 to $350 - there were objects big and small brought to the ballpark for evaluation.
The more unusual objects and the stories that their owners shared made for a fun evening amidst the aroma of hot dogs and pretzels.
For instance, a World War II-era Zippo lighter, in fair condition, was a family keepsake and aging treasure that was part of the appraisal show. It was worth about $25 but had a great story of war and remembrance to go along with it.
A pair of white metal (another term for cheap pot metal) salt and pepper shakers that the owner's mother bought at Niagara Falls were family heirlooms but not the best part of the family inheritance, as they were only worth $15 but dated back to the early decades of the 1900s.
Toys were popular appraisal items at the ballpark, including a Toni doll with a super blonde hairdo. The owner told the crowd that her mother had done up the doll's hair and she hadn't touched the doll since that day.
These collectible dolls, worth about $90 without the original box, came with the Toni home hair permanents back in the day.
An oversized Asian cabinet from the 1920s made its way to my appraisal tables on the main concourse at Bowman Field.
The owners brought the table to me on a hand truck. They wheeled the cabinet in and the Asian detailing and inlaid design work featured hand inlay of abalone. It was worth $3,000 retail, however, the owner bought it for about $100 at an estate sale.
I advised the owner to tread lightly and refrain from using commercial cleaners on the wood or the inlaid shell work.
I reminded the crowd that furniture and fine art typically bring high values on the antiques market and to try to keep such pieces in the family to reap the benefits.
Some other Crosscutters baseball fans brought in a $750 moriage vase, a crazy quilt worth $2,000, and a gorgeous portrait painting of Czar Nicholas of Russia, circa 1900, by a Polish artist.
The painting was signed and showed exceptional workmanship, and was worth $3,000 to $4,500 on the art market. The painting was handed down from the owner's grandfather. I told them to hold onto it, as the painting will increase in value over time.
Some keepsakes of Williamsport were of interest like a post-war post card with a picture of the old high school (which burned down in the late 1940s) on it and some vintage Little League objects and memorabilia.
Of course, fans bring me objects to get the real deal about their antiques and to find out the actual value of their heirlooms. When your appraiser isn't offering to buy your antique, like me, that's when you will get the true value.
Remember, don't let it go until you know what it's worth.
I had a great time visiting with old friends at the Crosscutters' game and cheering on the home team.
An evening at Bowman Field watching the Major League stars of tomorrow is a great way to spend a summer night in Williamsport.
Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on the Discovery Channel's hit TV show, "Auction Kings."
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide.
As seen on NBC's "The Tonight Show," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and Lifetime Television, Dr. Lori offers information about your antiques at www.DrLoriV.com, www.facebook. com/DoctorLori or call 888-431-1010.