Richard Sanford carried a huge frame with his great-grandmother’s crocheted stockings she wore when she married in 1808 into the community room of Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community on Sunday.

The stockings were white and crocheted with her name, Betsy Wait, at the top and May 10, 1808. Inside the frame was a note written by Sanford’s granddaughter, describing the stockings.

He found the stockings rolled up in a paper bag in the back of a closet when his aunt died. Also discovered were his aunt’s christening gown, a photograph of his aunt in the gown from 100 years ago and a sampler of the alphabet that his granddaughter had done.

Upon finding the stockings, Sanford and his wife decided to frame them and keep them on display.

Sanford’s quest Sunday was to discover if the items had any monetary value or whether they just had sentimental value.

The expert appraisals at the Antiques on the Road, similar to the television show where people take items to be appraised, were ready to look at all types of items — from furniture to jewerly to toys and china.

The experts told Sanford and his wife the stockings “were too unique” to appraise and advised him to seek further appraisals, but estimated the four items together were worth “between $5,000 and $8,000,” and “that’s just guessing,” said Sanford’s wife, Myrna.

Although pleased to know they had some value, the couple have no plans to sell them.

Carol Richmond brought a train her husband, Dale, had been given by his grandfather when he was just a young boy. It was made in Pittsburgh between 1910 and 1912. The value: “Between $2,000 and $3,000,” said August Fetcko, appraiser. “It kind of floored me,” said Carol. It has a special spot in their home, displayed on a special shelf built for that purpose.

The couple were just two of hundreds of people who brought their old things –– from watches to jewelry to furniture and glassware wrapped in blankets, to see if they were of any value.

Joan Barratt was pleasantly surprised when Herb Gold, an antique dealer, told her the value of an Oriental charger dating back to 1840: “Between $1,200 to $1,500,” he said, as she gasped with surprise.

“It rings like a bell,” he explained, tapping on the side of the large decorative bowl. That tone indicates it is of the finest porcelain, he said, giving a history of porcelain, tracing it from China to Japan to Italy, France, Belgium and English.

He owns a similar piece that is larger and valued at $3,500. “It goes up about $500 a year,” he told Barratt, advising her to have it specially insured.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Barratt following the appraisal. It was a gift to her husband when he moved from Warren to Monroeville and the couple has taken it with them everywhere he moved. She knew it had some value, but didn’t think it was quite that much.

A toy metal truck from 1940 was worth between $125 to $150. “It’s a nice collectible toy,” said Fetcko. “The moral of the story is ‘save your toys,’” he said. At the same time, he said, “don’t paint them.”

Perhaps one of the most surprising values of the day was two huge lamps, with ceramic women dancers at the base and scalloped lamp shade. “I know they are ugly,” said Duane Peterson as he carried them down the hall into the room.

He took them to be appraised for his mother, who had to work. “They were in our attic,” he said. “I think they were my grandmother’s.” Turning them over, Fetcko read, “Continental Fish Co.,” noting they were made in the late 1940s. Gold told Peterson they had a “decorative value of between $750 and $1,000 a pair. But if you go to the right antique store on Third Street in New York City, they will be a fortune. You can name your price.”

Asked if he would be taking a trip to New York City soon, Peterson grinned, “My mom might.”

Not everybody was as fortunate as those above. “It wasn’t even worth $2,” said one man as he was leaving with his item. “I should have known I wouldn’t be that lucky.”

“We’ve had a great response,” said Rhonda Thomas, coordinator of the event, noting there were still a large number of people who had not yet been served as time grew close for it to end. Obviously, it didn’t end on time.

Proceeds benefit Wesbury’s operations.



Jane Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at jsmith@meadvilletribune.com

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