Live antiques appraisal event slated Feb. 26

Mark Moran, a guest expert on Antiques Roadshow, will appraise items at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library, Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. All of the appraisal slots are full but the public is welcome to attend and hear Moran share history and appraisals.
Mark Moran, an Antiques Roadshow guest expert, will appraise items at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library, Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. All of the appraisal slots are full but the public is welcome to attend to hear Moran share history and appraisals. of the items brought in.

By Heather Ruenz


Mark Moran, a former editor for antiques and collectibles books and guest expert on the Antiques Roadshow, will appraise items belonging to community members from 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library in Whitewater.

Although all 40 time slots for appraisals are full, the public is invited to come and observe the event and see Moran in action. The events have proven very popular according to Moran, who said more than 400 programs have been booked in less than a three-year time span.

“I started the events because I was let go from my job as senior editor of antiques and collectibles books in January 2011,” Moran said.

His interest in antiques grew in 1973 when he first walked into an antique shop. In the 1980s Moran became a dealer and 10 years later began writing books to which he now has 27 to his credit.

“Along the way I’ve met hundreds of great folks in the antiques trade,” Moran said.

Moran books events in the upper Midwest – northern Illinois, northeast Iowa, eastern Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula and scores of villages, towns and cities in Wisconsin.

While he said the goal in holding appraisal events is to give people an entertaining and educational three-hour event, “I have more fun than almost anyone who attends.”

He has been surprised a few times by items people have brought in, including a table lamp that had been left in a house a woman bought in 1945.

“She took good care of it for almost 70 years and then brought it to one of my programs. Turns out it was a Tiffany Acorn lamp, circa 1910, and worth about $8,000,” he explained.

Another surprise was a pair of cloisonné elephants a couple had inherited from an uncle that later sold at an auction for just over $12,000.

“And on a house call after an appraisal event, a woman showed me a pair of bookends inherited from an aunt who got them in the 1930s. They were bronze, marble and ivory images of storks. The last pair of these bookends that sold at an auction in 2008 brought $15,000,” Moran said.

Other than the appraisals, Moran said visitors should expect humor, anecdotes, tall tales and “a lot of fun.”

The process will include Moran asking what people know about the item they bring in and how they acquired it. Then, Moran will explain its history or intended use, give details about the maker or country/region of origin and share design influences.

“I’ll note condition issues and how that affects value and suggest how an object can be repaired or restored, if desired. Finally, I’ll give my opinion of value and try to answer questions about how they might sell it, if that’s their goal,” he explained.

Moran said his biggest accomplishments include bringing fun and educational events to communities of people that might not be able to attend Antiques Roadshow, or who can’t afford an elaborate certified appraisal.

“They’re just curious and want to know the history, origin and uses of their treasures… even if they aren’t especially valuable. And most people don’t care about value, they just want to know if the story they’ve heard all their lives is true,” he said.

For more information visit the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library at 431 W. Center St., Whitewater, go online at or call (262) 473-0530.

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