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$25 wooden sculpture worth $5,000

SPENCER — Maureen and Hugh Wilkie were shocked to learn that a 4-foot-tall wooden sculpture they bought for $25 at a Thomasville flea market is worth between $5,000 and $6,000.
The Salisbury couple presented their wooden lady, whom they affectionately call “Mary,” at the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum over the weekend during an antiques appraisal fair.
The Wilkies had been searching for more than a year for information that could unlock the clues to Mary’s origin, museum owner Beth Nance said.
They learned the piece is a handcrafted sculpture more than 100 years old that would have bedecked a grand staircase.
A steady stream of people flowed into the museum Friday and Saturday during the event, which raised $600 for the new nonprofit museum.
People were encouraged to bring family heirlooms, yard sale bargains and long-lost items salvaged from attics and basements, and they did.
They presented an array of items to antiques dealer and certified appraiser Michael Hansen, who also serves on the museum’s board of directors.  
Swords, books, an old telephone, dolls, toys, paintings and a 100-plus-year-old jar of brandy are just a few of the items that found their way into the museum, which charged $5 per item for an appraisal.
The museum is located at 108 Fourth St., across from the N.C. Transportation Museum. To learn more, call 704-762-9359.

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