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Antiques examined, restored at history center

POSTED: April 25, 2009 11:56 p.m.

Amy and Jon Oakley of Haysville, N.C., make repairs to crystal goblets the Northeast Georgia History Center during Saturday's "Reviving Your Classics" antique sale, workshops and appraisal.

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Appraiser Richard Williams made a few people’s day and left others crestfallen.

Williams studied all manner of antique pieces brought to him, from silver napkin holders to oil paintings to flintlock guns, giving his opinion on the worth of each as part of the Northeast Georgia History Center’s "Reviving Your Classics" event Saturday.

"This has got to be at least $1,000," Williams said of a gold chain-driven pocket watch brought in by event chairwoman Cathy Herdener.

"Go figure," she said. "I would never have known."

While a sunny, event-filled Saturday may have affected turnout, those who did attend the fundraiser seemed intent on making the most of their family treasures.

Repainting and upholstering workshops taught attendees how to spruce up their ragged old furnishings, and a glass mosaic workshop showed new ways of getting creative with shattered remnants.

At Frederica Barr’s table, folks brought in their chipped and fractured porcelain pieces for
examination and repair.

"I thought about fixing it myself, but I was afraid I wouldn’t do it right," Nell Wiggand said of a porcelain Baehm rose with broken petals she brought to the history center.

Barr teaches a class to help spread the skills of what she calls a dying art.

Not every porcelain piece Barr has repaired was of high dollar value to begin with.

"I’ve fixed pieces that were free in boxes of soap, but because they belonged to a mother or aunt or grandmother, there was a lot of sentimental value there," Barr said. "It’s a family heirloom. It really doesn’t matter how much it’s worth; they want it fixed."

Some folks, however, aren’t as attached to their pieces.

One woman on Saturday had Williams appraise a large cupid-adorned epergne centerpiece with some significant damage. Once determining it was not of high value, she went to Barr’s table and sold it.

"We know what I’ll be doing the next few months," Barr said.

April Dilbeck of A. Dilbeck Interiors had high praise for the history center’s program.

"They put together a great show," she said.

Dilbeck believes with the promotion of antiques in programs such as PBS’ "Antique Roadshow," people are becoming increasingly interested in having appraisals done of items they inherited.

"I think people are looking for value, and there’s certainly value in antique furniture," she said.

"I wonder if this country will start becoming more appreciative of quality over quantity, and get over just having stuff."


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