MANASSAS, VA – That heirloom ring in your safety deposit box could be worth $8,000, while time may have done little for the chair you bought at a barn sale 50 years ago. Uncertain? Just ask a orthologist.
Three top Worthologists offered on-the-spot estimates to collectors from across Northern Virginia at the annual “Treasures from the Attic” fundraiser for the Manassas Museum. The museum preserves local history near the site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run during the Civil War, about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.
Click here to watch videos from the event: http://www.worthpoin…
Thom Pattie, Tom Carrier and Christopher Kent spent hours evaluating people’s antiques and curiosities ranging from 19th century furniture to coins, glassware and jewelry. Most of what they appraised held more sentimental and conversational value for their owners than any real financial appreciation. But among all the keepsakes, they discovered a few notable exceptions, along with some disappointments.
- Pattie told attendee John Holmes of Manassas that a German telescope made by Carl Zeiss was worth at least $5,000, depending on its provenance.
- Kent told Marie Constantine that the Hitchcock country chair handed down to her by her great-grandparents dated to the mid 1800s wouldn’t
bring more than $225. Another chair brought to the event by Dennis Ravella was likely produced in the 1890s. Ravella bought it at a barn sale some years ago for $50; Kent guessed that it is now worth at least $375.
- Ruth Mahoney worked for Lyndon Johnson for 16 years – first in the U.S. Senate, then in the White House. She showed Carrier a sample of the hundreds of letters, proclamations and legislation signed by Johnson that she collected. Carrier will visit her home soon to film a video of her entire collection. LBJ documents typically are valued at $300-$400, depending on their condition, but important or personal examples run higher.
- Kent told a visitor that the diamond and emerald ring she’d kept in her jewelry box for decades probably was worth $8,000.
Carrier also helped put a value on a 1876 Centennial ribbon featuring George Washington (up to $250) by finding a citation in WorthPoint’s data base, the
Worthopedia. But Carrier couldn’t find a match for a complete pack of cigarettes from the turn of the 20th century.
The Worthologists introduced Worthpoint.com to hundreds of people at the museum by showing the website on a flat-panel screen and doing online searches in the database. Visitors signed up for memberships on the spot – including the man who left without an appraisal on his old pack of cigarettes.
“Worthpoint makes them feel part of a much larger community of collectors,” Pattie said.