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There was an air of hushed anticipation Saturday as a small crowd gathered at A Step in Time.
Jan Milner, a Charlotte appraiser, had returned for a second appraisal event at the shop on Easy Street. Folks brought in their treasures, wrapped carefully in towels and shoeboxes to discover what value Milner thought they had.
Most folks went away satisfied. Many folks discovered they’d made a maximum return on a minimum investment.
Jim Gobble was first in line.
He showed Milner a Paul N. Norton watercolor of an old covered bridge. He’d paid a buck for it. Milner told him it was worth between $300 and $500.
“If someone had cash today, I’d probably sell it,” Gobble said.
Jim Bigger found out that an mandolin guitar zither he bought for $5 in 1962 was worth $1,000.
“The capital gains are going to be tough,” he said, grinning.
Pat Sylvester brought in a clock that her father had won in a sales award contest.
Milner suggested that the clock be cleaned, and it would probably be worth $3,000.
“You’re not going to get a better quality clock,” he said.
It wasn’t unusual for items to have missing parts.
Jean Owen brought it a glass vase that had been a wedding present for her mother-in-law in the 1930s.
“You have the lid?” Milner asked.
“No, I’ve never seen the lid,” Owen said.
With its missing lid and some chips, the vase was worth about $300, Milner said. If it were intact, the piece would bring $3,000.
Owen had better luck with a piece sent by her husband, Foster, and brought in by Charlie Bernheim. (Each person was allowed to bring in one item.)
The English antique barometer would fetch some $5,000, Milner said.
Pat Burris found out a Dresden doll she carried in a shoebox was worth $1,000. The vinegar jug husband Tom brought was said to be worth $500 with its “serious” chips.
Alan Winters brought in a ceramic hot water bottle used by his wife’s grandfather, who was a country doctor in West Virginia.
Winters said he planned to donate it to a local museum. Milner advised him to take a $500 tax deduction.
Will and Laura Sandridge unwrapped a vase mass-produced in the 19th century that a family member received as a wedding present.
“Just one?” Milner asked. “They usually travel in pairs.”
He told the couple the vase was worth about $300.
“It’s worth more than that sentimentally,” Laura Sandridge said.
Sandra and Harry Rogers of China Grove brought in a small bronze statue of a girl in a raincoat.
Her uncle brought it home from Germany just after World War II. It stayed in Florida until the couple went and got it about 15 years ago.
“It was exposed to salt water on a post for a number of years,” Sandra Rogers said.
“He probably got it for a carton of cigarettes,” Milner said.
Even with the damage, Milner said the piece was worth $5,000. It’s by a French artist Eliza Carpenter Beetz.
“Very good!” Sandra Rogers said.
Shop co-owner Joe Lancione said Tuesday that the event raised $400 to benefit local charities.”We were hoping for more,” he said. “But overall, we were pleased.”
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Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or sshinn@salisburypost.com.

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