Appraisers to uncover the value of attic treasures

Rochester-Avon Historical Society Antique Appraisal Day to be held March 4

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published February 13, 2018

 Photo provided by Leslie Mack Whether presented with an entire book or a single page, organizers say the event’s book appraiser strives to educate and inform.

Photo provided by Leslie Mack Whether presented with an entire book or a single page, organizers say the event’s book appraiser strives to educate and inform.

Photo provided by Leslie Mack

ROCHESTER — For 25 years, the Rochester-Avon Historical Society has invited the public to see what their vintage jewelry, collectible china and antique art is really worth.

This year, 12 certified appraisers will be on hand to solve those mysteries during the society’s annual Antique Appraisal Day noon-4 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at the Rochester Community House, 816 Ludlow Ave.

“Over the years, some people have had some really good surprises. Others have had confirmation, and others have thought, ‘Oh gee, I hoped it was worth more,’ but that’s part of the fun,” said Carol Tough, who organizes the event and also serves as vice president of the Historical Society.

This year, local antiques experts and appraisers — including representatives from Haig’s of Rochester Fine Jewelry and Objects of Art in downtown Rochester, Nostalgia Antique Appraisals Services in Bloomfield Hills, and Rochester Sports Cards and Memorabilia, also in downtown Rochester — have offered to donate their time and expertise in a number of areas.

A couple of new appraisers will be on hand to share their expertise this year, Tough said, including one who focuses on art and one she classifies as “a generalist” who can appraise a number of different items.

This year’s appraisers have expertise in areas such as sports and gaming cards, team clothing and gear, stringed musical instruments, books, coins, clocks, glass, pottery, collectibles, china, lighting, furniture, silver, stained glass, military items, dolls, teddy bears, costumes and fine jewelry, paintings, prints, Eastern art, African-American art, and more.

“Last year, in those four hours from noon until 4 p.m., over 700 appraisals were done by our appraisers,” Tough said.

Approximately 200-300 people — from all over Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties — attend the event each year. Visitors can bring up to five items to be appraised. For larger items, people can simply bring photographs and any details that may be helpful to the appraiser. Admission to the event is free and open to anyone in the tri-county area, but appraisals — which are verbal only — cost $5 per item.

Proceeds benefit the Rochester-Avon Historical Society’s mission to “educate the community about local history, to foster appreciation and preservation of its historical resources and pride of place.”

“The appraisal day event is important to the Historical Society, particularly because it is a way for us to reach out to the community and engage people in our area in some of the latest history and have people hopefully gain a greater understanding of the value of history and parts of history that they may even have in their own homes,”  said RAHS President Brian Dunphy. “It is also one of our major fundraising events for the year, and the funds that we generate through the appraisal day event help us to support educational programs that we do in the community, as well as the other programs and operations of the Historical Society.”

New this year, attendees can also enjoy displays from local collectors during the event. Jim Cassell, a collector of military history, will feature a display of World War I trench art — artillery shells crafted into everyday items such as ashtrays, vases and toothpick holders by soldiers in the trenches and on the front lines of the war. Berta Cassell will share her collection of antique irons.

For more information, visit or call (248) 375-0084.