Lots of oldies, plenty of goodies
February 28, 2011 —
Sometimes being a pack rat pays off. In this case, payoff comes in the form of old fishing lures worth an estimated $500 each.
Last Saturday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Saginaw Art Museum on North Michigan hosted an antique appraisal show. The event seemed to carry a lot of excitement and interest as collectors and antique enthusiasts conversed, shared family stories and waited to have their own items appraised for value.
Guests were invited to bring up to three items for an examination by Judy Campbell, visiting appraiser, Midland resident and Certified Graduate of Syracuse University and New York University’s Appraisal Studies Program.
Seeing this as a great opportunity to help my family lighten the stockpile of clutter in their respective basements, I collected what looked to be the most interesting and hopefully valuable pieces to be appraised, and I was not disappointed with the outcome.
The first item of mine that Campbell examined was an old frame photograph of Cupid that I have seen hanging in my grandmother’s living room since I was a child. The picture dates back to 1897 and is part of a set of other pictures, of which there are several other copies in various sizes.
“Pictures of children dressed as Cupid were very popular in the later Victorian period at the turn of the century,” Campbell said.
The picture was priced at an insurance value of $150, the same price as my second item, a very old (and very loud!) crank operated doorbell that came from a demolished building in Saginaw during the late 1800s. According to Campbell, several other copper gongs of the same kind were made with similar leavers and designs as the one that my stepfather asked me to have appraised.
However, the most valuable items were a rather unlikely collection: a tackle box filled with old wooden fishing lures. My grandfather purchased them in the early 1940s. They’re labeled as “Heddon” lures, and in 2006 one of them sold on an online auction for as much as $500. This was the most expensive lure in the collection, but the others are in well enough condition to bring in several hundred dollars each.
Though finding a buyer for such antiques would be very difficult, especially in these harsh economic times, I can definitely say that I’m happy with the appraisals that I received from Campbell. I know that my family members will be even more happy to know that the things they’ve had sitting around for ages have the potential to sell for a pretty decent sum of money. Although getting them to actually consider selling anything might be another task in and of itself!
Judy Campbell is an appraiser of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles and personal property. She is a columnist on antiques, collectibles, estate sales and also a member of the Appraiser’s Association of America.
If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Saginaw Art Museum, Lindy Morley, the event coordinator of the museum, says, “Student are offered a discount payment of $20 for joining.” Once becoming a member, students receive year-round admission to exhibits in the museum, discounts on art classes and many more benefits.