Saturday, December 7, 2013
By Betty Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
WHITEFIELD — Lawrence Trueman's value appraisal of various family heirlooms Saturday lacked only the follow-up of the soft tinkle of chimes.
The appraiser, owner of L.T. Auctions of Waldoboro, had a table under a marquee, a microphone and a steady stream of people clutching tote bags, carry-alls, large paintings and all manner of household goods.
Close to 70 people sat or stood to here Trueman's pronouncements amplified by a microphone.
The "Antiques Road Show" session was offered free as one of the many activities planned for Whitefield Community Day. There was food a bounce house, an early morning road race that attracted 88 participants.
The wet and windy weather forced some minor adjustments and left a blue and yellow circus tent crumpled on the ground near the town's salt and sand shed and adjacent to the newly christened "Lake Superior."
Volunteers relocated booths and games moved to the paved parking lot, and the show went on.
"I think it's a terrific success," said organizer Sue McKeen as children and parents and other residents ambled from booth to booth and listened to the appraiser work. "It shows a lot of spirit. I'm pleased with what we accomplished."
A $400 donation from the Lions Club and other donations meant most things, including the appraisals were offered for free.
Leaning lightly on a cane and carrying a small woven basket, Lawrence Felt made his way to Trueman's table. Felt said he was 93 and joked that he'd like a value on himself as well.
Felt removed a Waltham American gold-plated lady's hunter watch from the basket, telling Trueman it had belonged to his mother, Flossie Moody, who was born in Pittston. Trueman admired the item and its walnut case and dated the watch at about 1880–1895. "I'd estimate the value at between $75 and $130," he said, and you could almost hear the chimes.
Felt also brought a Northwood iridescent footed and fluted carnival bowl: $85 to $150.
Trueman took the lid off Felt's "beautiful brass ship's spittoon" and showed how was emptied.
"It was given to my mother by an old sea captain," Felt said.
Later, Felt said his mother sat with the captain in Randolph while his wife ran errands, and he gave her the spittoon to remember him by, although his mother referred to it as a cuspidor.
Value: $50–75 because of the provenance. "Stick a note in it saying where it came from," Trueman told him. "I don't think many people chew tobacco now, but there are some."
Thirteen-year-old Dakota Perkins of Whitefield brought a few of his own treasures, a couple of pages from his collection of foreign stamps, six tintypes — $60–$80 — a half-sheet of them as well as some picture post cards. Trueman said the stamps would be better valued by an expert and suggested a dealer.
"I was expecting the tintypes to be worth more," Perkins said, as he and his family carried the items back to the car.
Perkins had been among the participants in the earlier pie-eating contest.
The appraising continued. There was a small whale tooth, brought by Betty Chase, a seasonal Whitefield resident. The tooth had lacked any marks and Chase didn't know where it came from, but offered to create a story.
There were carefully wrapped treasures: cast iron bookends or doorstops from the 1920s-30s decorated with green-painted fully rigged sailing ships: $40–$80 a pair.
A small adjustable-length, hand-carved set of hinged walnut bookends that looked like a small shelf. Trueman cautioned that it should hold only small books to prevent the hinges from snapping.
At the rear of the appraiser's line, Chris Delisle of Whitefield balanced a heavy display case, an April 1915 salesman's sample case of DuPont Blasting Supplies. It held labeled blasting caps, fuse lighters and items suitable for "very wet and submarine use."
The collection had been given to Delisle's father-in-law. Delisle said eventually it would belong to his son Riley.
Betty Adams — 621-5631