Area residents find out the value of their antiques - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Area residents find out the value of their antiques

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Chippewa Valley residents had a chance to find out if their antiques were trash or treasure Sunday.

"People bring in all kinds of things, from fine art to ceramics and glassware and toys," said Mark Moran, who appraises items for a living.

From teddy bears to bibles, everything has a price. To help people figure the dollar amount, the L.E. Phillips memorial library invited Mark Moran for a special appraisal event. Moran has over thirty years of experience -- he's even been on the PBS show "Antiques Roadshow." 

"I started out as a collector of antiques in the 1970's. In the 1980's I became an antiques dealer, and in the 1990's I started writing books," said Moran.

He says there are two reasons people bring things like this cuckoo clock in for close evaluation. 

"People just want to know the truth about the item, and about the age. And if they find out that its valuable, or more valuable than they thought, that's just gravy for them," Moran said.

Some of the items end up having more decorative value than actual value.

"I was just interested. I've never done this before so it was kind of cool. I figured maybe there might be a nice price on there. I could make them look nicer and have them sit out," said John Sorenson of Eau Claire.

While others could be worth hundreds more than expected---like this lamp base bought at an auction for $20.

"I was hoping it would be worth $70 to 80 dollars, because I thought it might be a mission lamp from the early 1900's. And he said it's valued at approximately $400 dollars," said Cindy Brummond of Eau Claire.

"I know that the value of so many things has declined, so I didn't have real high hopes. So it was quite a surprise," Brummond said.

If you missed your chance to have your unique household items appraised, you still have another chance. Mark will be back in the area Thursday January 17th at the Cadott Community Library.

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