'Roadshow' expert visits Danville store

September 19, 2004|STEPHEN BURNETT

Area residents took advantage of an opportunity Saturday to have their heirlooms and other treasured jewelry items appraised by an expert from the popular PBS program "Antiques Roadshow."

Bobby Bradley, a retired truck driver from Hustonville, brought two watches he'd collected from abandoned storage units in to Main Street Furniture in Danville and laid them out before "Roadshow" specialist Virginia Salem. She studied one of the timepieces through her magnifying loupe.

Is it a Rolex, Bradley wanted to know.

"Rolex did not do quartz," Salem said. "Sometimes they've sold these in Chinatown."

Salem was at the furniture store to help introduce a new line of furniture inspired by "Antiques Roadshow." Pulaski Furniture representative Randy Giacometti said the furniture was designed to mimic antiques seen on the program.

The appraisals were part of the promotion and free for anyone who walked in.

Salem has been working with jewelry for over 15 years. She buys and sells estate jewelry and appears at antique shows.


Most of those who visited the Main Street gallery Saturday brought in small boxes with one or more items of jewelry.

"One of the most typical things I see are pocket watches," Salem said.

One man, who withheld his name, showed her a watch inscribed with the date "Dec. 25, 1898." But the movement was made in 1876, Salem said after checking a record book. After further examination, though, she amended that.

"No, made in 1895, in Springfield, Ill.," she said. "A hunter's case pocket watch. Looks clean as a whistle. ... We're looking at about $150 to $200 on that. If it weren't in such good condition, it would be worth less."

Only about 1 percent of people whose antiques she's appraised want to sell their items after learning their worth, Salem said. But most, like the man with the hunter's case watch, hang onto their treasures.

Beth Brown of Danville said she watches "Roadshow" occasionally and read about Saturday's event in the newspaper. She came with a timepiece that had been in her family a long time.

"I have a watch that belonged to my grandfather," Brown said. "I just want to learn its age, value and such."

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