Antique clinic a fun fundraiser for museum

That seemingly ordinary and dusty old relic purchased at a neighbor’s yard sale could be worth much more than the buyer paid for it.

At the Campus Martius Museum’s Appraisal Clinic coming up on Nov. 9, curious participants can find out the values of their own treasures from antique experts.

The clinic, now in its third year, is a fundraiser for the Marietta museum in which anyone can bring in items to be appraised by specialists from Garth’s Auctions, a prominent Ohio auction house based in Delaware. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and each attendee can bring in up to two items to be appraised for $5 each. That fee is donated back to the museum.

“If they can carry it in, they’re willing to look at it,” said Glenna Hoff, the museum’s education and program director. “You might have something kicking around and you don’t even know what it’s used for, and they’ll be able to tell you.”

The clinic has brought in everything from old family heirloom furniture to silver handguns, and Hoff encourages everyone to bring in anything they think might have hidden value.

“Especially being in the area, with so much significant history, you’ll occasionally get some really cool stuff,” she said.

As professional appraisers can charge a few hundred dollars as a hourly rate to look over items, the clinic is designed to save people money while still providing them professional consultation.

Andrew Richmond, the vice president of Garth’s Auctions and a certified appraiser that comes to Marietta for the clinic, does dozens of these events per year, all to help out nonprofits like the museum.

“We see hundreds of thousands of things walk through the day at all the events we do,” Richmond said. “A lot of the time it’s just common everyday antiques, maybe some hand-painted China and glass, but once in a while we do get an interesting find that ends up having higher values.”

Garth’s Auctions sends two appraisers to streamline the process, and Hoff stresses that anyone coming in will be able to get items appraised quickly, even with a large crowd.

“I’ve had good luck in Marietta,” Richmond said. “It’s an old historic town, so there are a lot of historically important things hanging out around in cellars that have been there a long time.”